If you were to tell a cabby you want to go to Hilton at Tekka, he would probably say you've got the address wrong.
He might also tell you that everyone knows the famous Hilton hotel is a landmark in Orchard Road.
Even if you were to give him more details - "to Hilton Garden Inn in Belilios Road please", you might get him scratching his head madly. So swear to him you're 100 per cent right: There's a new Hilton hotel with that name in Little India.
Indeed, the opening of a sleek hotel by world-class chain Hilton in a backstreet surrounded by Indian temples, curry restaurants and Tekka market on Thursday (June 1) came as a surprise to many.
In fact, land-scarce Singapore with a congested Central Business District is seeing more upmarket hotels opening just outside the main business and shopping areas and at locations that we least expect.
Some of them even command ritzy prices for their most lavish rooms, comparable to that of posh hotels in the heart of the city. All of them offer modern amenities and easy connection to the city. The local attractions in some of the more unique neighbourhoods would enrich experiences for the traveller.
Here, we list some upmarket hotels in unusual locations with the lowest prices (before tax) for their most expensive rooms listed on booking sites for the period around the middle of June.
1. Hilton Garden Inn
Where: 3 Belilios Lane
What's so special: Touted as an award-winning, "upscale yet affordable" brand by the Hilton chain, the hotel is its first in Singapore. It boasts 328 modern deluxe rooms with designer Serta bed, ergonomic chair, and bay window seating or a balcony in some units. Apart from The Garden Grille restaurant which overlooks the swimming pool, the Pavilion Pantry is open 24 hours for guests to grab snacks and ready-to-cook meals. But there are tonnes of good eateries to choose nearby.
Most expensive room: An appealing price tag of $225 for a room with a balcony.
2. Park Hotel Farrer Park
Where: 10 Farrer Park Station Road
What's so special: Located above Farrer Park Station with City Square and Mustafa malls just a short walk away, the recently opened 20-storey hotel houses 300 contemporary rooms offering panoramic views of the city. The area sizes of the rooms are small but the high ceilings of the duplex sky and premier lofts with the bed on the second level enhance the sense of space. The hotel's Blue Jasmine Thai restaurant offers an alternative for those tired of Indian cuisine in the neighbourhood.
Most expensive room: You can have the premier loft at $288.
3. Hotel Vagabond
Where: 39 Syed Alwi Road
What's so special: Housed in a 1950s heritage Art Deco building at a corner of bustling Little India, this multi-award-winning luxury boutique hotel is a Trinute Portfolio hotel under the world-renowned Marriott brand. Designed by famous French designer Jacques Garcia, it offers an art-inspired experience and chic old-world charm. Located near Mustafa, it offers indulgent amenities in seductive Parisian-style rooms and suites, a club lounge, comedy nights, gastronomy and arty-farty events.
Most expensive room: Part $540 for an out-of-this-world experience at the most expensive suite.
4. One Farrer Hotel & Spa
Where: 1 Farrer Park Station Road
What's so special: Opened several years ago, this landmark behind the noisier Serangoon Road offers wide-ranging rooms, from entry-level budget ones in its Urban Hotel to self-explanatory high-end Sky Villas with jaw-dropping prices. With a hospital, medical centre and spas on site, it seems geared towards wellness tourism and recognised for its innovative and intuitive approach to serving guests. But how to deal with the overwhelming food temptations in the neighbourhood?
Most expensive room: Cough up $560 for the most expensive suite. Or luxuriate in the presidential villa for around $7,000.
ALEXANDRA / PASIR PANJANG
1. Villa Samadhi
Where: 20 Labrador Villa Road
What's so special: Housed in a 1920 black and white colonial garrison, the 20-room boutique hotel by the Samadhi Retreats group is cocooned in the sprawling Labrador Nature Reserve, which is popular with anglers and also boasts a replica of Dragon Teeth Gate, a craggy outcrop named by Ming Admiral Cheng Ho. The bigger rooms boast plunge pools while the Tamarind Hill restaurant attempts contemporary takes on Thai and Burmese cuisines.
Most expensive room: Take a dip with $554 for a room with a plunge pool.
2.Park Hotel Alexandra
Where: 323 Alexandra Road
What's so special: Located next door to Ikea, this recently opened hotel looks like a tourist-class hotel from the outside. But it offers five categories of room, with club rooms and executive suites in the upper tiers. Suites on high floors offer a deep-soaking bathtub, rain shower with organic bath amenities and breathtaking views of The Southern Ridges and city skyline.
Most expensive room: Blow $378 for the executive suite or save the money for a shopping spree at Ikea.
1. The Club
Where: 28 Ann Siang Road
What's so special: Housed in a large 1900's heritage building, it's regarded as one of the best kept secrets in town. The seamless mix of restaurants, all-day dining, a Peruvian rooftop bar and a whisky bar extends to 20 club rooms and suites designed to give quality sleep with bespoke brands. Feed communally at The Disgruntled Brasserie which proffers both large plates and small plates or go bar and restaurant hopping in the neighbourhood.
Most expensive room: The price tag for the club suite is $368
2. The Duxton Club
Where: 83 Duxton Road
What's so special: Also located in heritage buildings, this new luxury boutique hotel is the first venture by an international chain - Starwood - in Chinatown. Branded as a hotel under The Luxury Collection for the most discerning travelers, it will offer 109 guest rooms in The Duxton Terrace and 49 in The Duxton House elegantly redesigned by Jacques Garcia and Anouska Hempel. On its website, the hotel promises "lush bedding, elegantly appointed furnishings, and city views".
Most expensive room: Details are not available yet, but expect to pay at least a couple of hundreds.
CHANGI BUSINESS PARK
1. Capri by Fraser
Where: 3 Changi Business Park Central 1
What's so special: Adjoined to a mall, the hotel residences are a new concept designed to meet the needs of today's E-generation traveller. Those with big ambitions should go for the luxurious Mercedes-Benz suites which feature living, dining and bedroom areas and a private terrace. Car elements and designs can be seen on the elegant sofa, the 'shrimp' chair, crystal chandelier and bed lightings.
Most expensive room: Feel a million bucks in the Mercedes-Benz suite for $360.
2. Park Avenue
Where: 2 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, Park Avenue Changi
What's so special: Like Capri, it's located next to Singapore Expo and just one station away to the airport. Feel at home in the bigger rooms - executive deluxe rooms (34 to 38sqm) and two-bedroom suite (59sqm), which come fully furnished with a kitchenette and a washing machine.
Most expensive room: The rate for the executive deluxe room is $268. If you're lucky, snag the two-bedroom suite for $368 but it seems popularly booked by long-stayers.