Branching out

Branching out

Stepping out of one's comfort zone applies to more than just individuals. Some established names have taken on the challenge of entering new industries, and are already enjoying benefits from the resulting synergies.

Hospitality spirit

Adonis Hotel

13 Purvis Street

For nearly 30 years, Adonis Beauty International built up its name as a leading provider of customised body and facial care services for tropical climates.

The homegrown family brand has since taken their brand of tender loving care to a new level with the opening of the Adonis Hotel in Purvis Street.

Andrew Wang, director of Adonis Hotel Management Hospitality, says that the hotel is "an extension of Adonis' and my late grandmother's hospitality spirit".

The hotel is in a conserved shophouse already belonging to the family. It used to house a traditional bakery, Nam Tong Lee, famed for its tau sar piah and mooncakes, which was run by Mr Wang's late grandmother.

The shophouse also served as a gathering point for the new immigrant community, when people of diverse backgrounds would meet at the bakery for traditional Hainanese coffee and pastries.

The bakery is now gone, and over the years, the family had leased out the shophouse to restaurant operators.

A year ago, the family decided to stop leasing out the shophouse. "Mum and I felt that it could be better used, and it was our idea to start the hotel," says Mr Wang. His mum is Ann Lee, founder of Adonis Beauty.

The two-storey shophouse comes with a six-storey extension at the back, and houses 19 rooms, with rates starting from S$185++ for a queen-sized room. The look of the hotel is an elegant mix of heritage and modernity.

The Chinese characters for Nam Tong Lee are still on the pillars, which flank the entrance to the hotel. In the lobby, guests can snack on old school titbits such as White Rabbit Candy, hawthorn flakes and colourful gem biscuits. More substantial meals can be has in the Argo Cafe on the same floor.

The spacious rooms come with amenities typical of a modern hotel, such as complimentary breakfast, mini bar and Wi-Fi. Nespresso machines and rain showers are also found in all rooms.

The hotel has three suites - the Artist Suite, Photographer Suite and Explorer Suite. "The artist, explorer and photographer are traditional Hainanese professions, so I wanted to play that up," says Mr Wang.

The Artist Suite is the penthouse suite, and comes with an outdoor bath area. Decorative accessories, such as reflectors used by photographers, and old maps of Singapore adorn the other two suites.

Like most hotels, Adonis Hotel also provides toiletries, but with an added touch. "Our facial wash, shampoo and shower gel, soft peeling gels and body moisturisers are specially formulated by our experts in the beauty side," says Mr Wang.

There are no plans to introduce body and skin care services in the hotel, but "we will introduce packages, where we can ferry customers in a limousine to and from the hotel to our salon at Lucky Plaza", he says.

Mr Wang, the middle of three boys, is the only one to be in the family business. His elder brother runs an art gallery, while his younger brother is in the army.

The Bachelor of Business (Management) graduate joined the family business when he was 19, and has been a part of the finance and accounts department since 2006. These days, he spends most of his time at the hotel, but "I am still managing the finances for the salons", he says.

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