Sometimes, after a hectic day, all I need to forget about work is a nice glass of gin tonic or any other cocktail. And as I get older, I want to avoid crowded places and enjoy my drink in peace. This is why I prefer to patronise hotel lounges which are generally more relaxing and less boisterous. Over time, I’ve gathered some of my favourite hotel lounges or bars. And with this, I bring to you, Josh’s Top 10 Hotel Lounges in Singapore.
Let’s start the countdown.
10. ASTOR BAR, ST REGIS HOTEL SINGAPORE
At number 10 of my list of top 10 hotel lounges in Singapore is the Astor Bar at the St Regis Hotel, Singapore. Frankly, I have a love-hate relationship with the Astor Bar. On one hand, I want to love it unconditionally. On the other, there are some things that continue to irritate me whenever I’m there.
The Astor Bar, St Regis Hotel Singapore
The Astor Bar has all the makings of a bar befitting for the refined individuals – deep mahogany red leather armchairs, well curated drinks and famous artworks. Some might find it stuffy but for me, I enjoy the irrelevant air of aristocracy. The drink that you must try when you’re there is the fiery Chilli Padi Mary, its signature Bloody Mary. Do not underestimate this concoction; it’s burning hot when you first taste it but the aftertaste is pretty smoothing. The satays are among the best in town. They are tender and juicy. If you have ever travelled on Singapore Airlines’ Business Class, the satays at Astor Bar are equally good as those on board.
drink at Astor bar, st regis Singapore
As for the bad part, I still cannot understand why the resident musician is still there. He speeds up anytime he likes when playing a ballad. And his repertoire has not changed much. The worst is when intoxicated bar guests encourage him. And the Astor Bar has the tendency to attract some undesirable crowd who loses their demeanours after having too much of a drink.
Having said that, visit Astor Bar on a Sunday evening. That’s when the resident musician is off and the ambience is more dignified. The guest singer is also better presented for a bar of this stature.
Astor Bar's signature, Chilli Padi Mary, and satays
The St. Regis Singapore, Lobby Level
29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
Tel: +65 6506 6859
9. MANHATTAN, REGENT HOTEL SINGAPORE
Manhattan at the Regent Hotel Singapore, number 9 on my list, has been making a name for itself since its opening in April 2014. A celebrity bar tender and a smart social media marketing strategy are all the key ingredients to making one known in this well-connected island.
When I first stepped into Manhattan, I felt that it’s more like a club rather than a hotel lounge especially with its over-the-top-opulent decoration and loud music pumping away loudly in the background. I was very surprised that the bar was packed when it had just opened for less than three weeks!
Manhattan at the Regent Hotel Singapore
The interesting drinks menu is categorised into the different districts in New York City such as the Upper East Side, Soho and Theater District. I must say it’s a smart way of designing the drinks menu and bringing bar guests straight into the Manhattan’s vibe. I’m very impressed with creative drink names such as The Millionaire, Blood on the Tracks, Rainbow Room Cosmopolitan and Box Office Smash. I concur that the cocktails are generally good and I enjoy the popcorns instead of the usual bar snacks.
The popcorn is an unusual but welcomed snack with the drinks
Having said that, there is something about Manhattan that makes it at the near bottom of my top 10 list. And I reckon it’s the crowd, these guests just try too hard to look like a well travelled, chic and hippy jet setter. When you’re as old as uncle here, there’s nothing to prove or show off. Maybe I should go on a weekday when it’s less ‘happening’, the experience would probably be more palatable for a ‘senior’ citizen like me.
Want to be a Millionaire? Start drinking gold!
Regent Singapore, Level 2
1 Cuscaden Rd, Singapore 249715
Tel: +65 6725 3377
8. A.T.O.S @ ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS, SINGAPORE
2014 is a year of new hotel bars and lounges in Singapore. Every other hotel in Singapore has either renovated their tired bars or found a niche out of their floor areas to house the new lounge. And A.T.O.S at the Royal Plaza on Scotts belongs to the latter. To be fair to them, the renovation works started as early as last year (if I remember clearly) and it’s not just for the lounge.
A.T.O.S @ ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS, SINGAPORE
Among the other nine lounges in my list, this is the underdog. Located at a weird corner in the front of the hotel lobby and facing an uninspiring bus stop, A.T.O.S doesn’t get the best view in the house. Maybe that’s why some smart Alek thought of adding colours with the use of changing LED lighting in the table. Yes, someone added a splash of “Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat” without realising that the clashing contrast with the flora and fauna themed lobby would actually hurt the eyes even more.
Mango Halia Cocktail
However, I must say that the culinary team did a great job with its range of Asian tapas, which I simply adore. The Aromatic Chicken Rice Balls are great! They are very flavourful and the chicken and rice filing is moist. When dipped into the accompanied green chilli and coriander sauce, the chicken balls came alive instantly. The Chicken Skewer with Indonesian Spices is pretty popular with its guests too. The Yuzu Kazu cocktail is a hit with the ladies. It’s very easy to drink and not too overly sweet. Unfortunately, A.T.O.S is more tacky than hip. So it’s definitely not a place for people watch. It’s number 8 in my Top 10 hotel lounges in Singapore.
Aromatic Chicken Rice Balls & Yuzu Kazu
Royal Plaza On Scotts, Lobby level
25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220
Tel: +65 6589 7799
(A.T.O.S is closed on Sundays.)
7. ONE-NINETY BAR, FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SINGAPORE
The One-Ninety Bar is located within the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel Singapore. Situated away from the busy Orchard Road and facing the quieter Orchard Boulevard, the One-Ninety Bar attracts a slightly different crowd. The guests are more discreet, refined and well mannered. The atmosphere is generally more reserved although the guests still have an enjoyable time.
One Ninety Bar at Fours Seasons Hotel Singapore
The One-Ninety Bar has an extensive range of signature drinks. And if you were a big fan of Gin and Tonic, I would recommend The 190 G&T, a concoction of Bombay Sapphire gin and cardamom spice. The presentation is quite eye-catching especially when the bar serves the drink in a huge goblet instead of a tall glass.
Crispy Calamari with Lime and Chipotle Aioli, and The 190 G&T at One Ninety Bar
The bar snacks are pretty amazing too. The Crispy Calamari with Lime and Chipotle Aioli is probably one of the best that I’ve ever eaten. They are tender and juicy but the best part is that they are not oily at all. And they pair pretty well with The 190 G&T. If you like cakes, their cakes are so delectable and beautiful. The only reason that’s probably stopping you from gobbling down the cakes is you need to decide which one to have first.
Drink at One-Ninety Bar
One Ninety Bar and Terraza by Javier De Las Muelas
Four Seasons Singapore, Lobby Level
190 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore 248646
Tel: +65 6831 7671
6. LOUNGE@JEN, HOTEL JEN ORCHARDGATEWAY, SINGAPORE
Searching for a hotel lounge that offers good value for money? Search no more. The answer is Lounge@Jen at the recently opened Hotel Jen OrchardGateway Singapore. Since its opening on 15 September 2014, I’ve been back at Lounge@Jen for no less than three times. Located at Level 10 at the new OrchardGateway shopping mall and just above the Somerset MRT station, this place is super convenient. When you throw in the affordable bar prices, Lounge@Jen is a gem.
Lounge@Jen at Hotel Jen OrchardGateway Singapore
The lounge looks very contemporary and trendy with its bright turquoise blue and copper colour palette. The lounge also gets a pretty decent view of the financial district skyline.
Satays and Watermelon Mojito at Lounge@Jen
The regular classic cocktails like Gin &Tonic starts at $14++, which I think it’s reasonable considering its premium location. As for the tapas, though not a wide range, costs $8++. I’ve tried the satays and mini beef burgers, I must say they are really good. My personal favourite is the Mini Beef Burgers. There are three mini burgers with each serving and it’s good enough for a light meal. A slice of crispy bacon is added to the thick and juicy beef patty. Although it’s simply prepared, it’s so delectable.
Mini Beef Burgers at Lounge@Jen
Hotel Jen OrchardGateway, Level 10
277 Orchard Road, Singapore 238858
Tel: +65 6708 8900
5. ANTI:DOTE, FAIRMONT SINGAPORE
Fifth on my list of top hotel lounges is the stylish Anti:dote bar at Fairmont Singapore. This place never fails to impress me and I’ve been wowed over and over again. Occupied the space where the former Ink Bar was, Anti:dote has been opened for slightly less than a year. And it has a huge following already.
Anti:dote at the Fairmont Singapore
During the day, Anti:dote serves light lunch and afternoon tea. The happy hours, at least for me, starts in the evening. While most hotel lounges are just famous for their drinks, Anti:dote is an all-rounder. The tapas are excellent. I strongly recommend the Black Truffle Bao with braised veal cheak, foie gras, caramelised shallot and Madeira. The bun is pillowy soft and the veal filling is juicy and flavourful. But at $20 for a serving of two small buns, they are definitely the most expensive in town. The cocktails are equally good. Using premium liquors, the mixologist has managed to craft unique concoctions to attract its customers back.
Anti:dote Bar at Fairmont Singapore
Fairmont Singapore, Lobby Level
80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560
Tel: + 65 6339 7777
4. AXIS BAR AND LOUNGE, MANDARIN ORIENTAL SINGAPORE
It was a decision between gym and drinks at the Axis Bar and Lounge. It wasn’t that difficult a decision especially when I’m really tired from work and it was already 9pm on a Monday. Hence, my feet and heart led me to Mandarin Oriental Singapore even though my mind was thinking of gym. Frankly, I didn’t regret my decision.
Axis Bar and Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
The Axis Bar and Lounge is located on level 4 at the stylish Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore. What greets you when you approach the Axis Bar and Lounge is an amazing view of the Marina Bay Sands on the left and the Shenton Way Skyline on the right. The deep colour palette of the bar adds another layer of sophistication and elegance to this classy hotel lounge.
Axis Bar and Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Singapore
The service was excellent when I was there. Junel, the waiter, was very attentive and forthcoming when I asked him for drinks and food recommendations. And his recommendation was spot on! The signature, Mandarin Mojito, was exactly what I needed after a hectic day. It is a unique concoction of vodka, ginger syrup orange, lemon and lime juices – refreshing and fruity. I would also recommend the mouth-watering Cheese and Ham Croquetas to go with the drink. It is made of chopped Parma ham, manchego and cheddar cheese. The golden brown croquetas have a crispy exterior and creamy filling. It was a pity that I missed the happy hours, which are from 6pm to 8pm, Mondays to Thursday. During these hours, they offer their signature cocktails at a discount and complimentary snacks such as Chicken Yakotori! And on Fridays and Saturdays, there are jazz musicians playing in the bar. This is a hotel lounge that I know I will be heading back very often in the future.
We are very close to the top hotel lounge in Singapore… just hang on.
Cheese and Ham Croquetas, and Mandarin Mojito at Axis Bar and Lounge
Axis Bar and Lounge
Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Level 4
5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Tel: +65 6885 3500
3. LOBBY LOUNGE, WESTIN SINGAPORE
From the pier, I move to 32 floors up above ground. Perched nicely at level 32 of Asia Square Tower 2 is the Lobby Lounge of The Westin Singapore, which sits in the third position on my top 10 list.
The Lobby Lounge at Westin Singapore
Again, the view is simply spectacular! The Lobby lounge oversees the Marina Bay Cruise Centre and the port. On a clear day, the view is expansive. And when it rains, there is a kind of cosy yet romantic feel to the lounge.
The Lobby Lounge at Westin Singapore
Situated right in the smack of the Central Business District, the Lobby Lounge is where I head to when I desperately need a drink to relax after all the stress and pressure at work. Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) members get discounts on the drinks. Hence, I can drink all I want without burning a hole in my pocket. And I love this place because it’s not crowded at all. It’s even better when the pianist plays the grand piano in the lobby. It’s definitely an excellent way to end a frenetic workday.
The refreshing Rejuvenator
The Westin Singapore, Level 32
12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961
Tel: +65 6922 6888
2. THE LANDING POINT, THE FULLERTON BAY HOTEL SINGAPORE
Docked at the former Clifford Pier, The Landing Point at the luxurious Fullerton Bay hotel is a stunning and gorgeous beauty. It’s hard not to love this attractive bar. First, it has the perfect habour view. It’s the best location to admire the New Year fireworks and the iconic Marina Bay Sands. Next, it’s very sophisticated yet not intimidating. It doesn’t attract the show-offs from the nearby financial district, who at times, can be rather loud and obnoxious. And finally, the bar has one of the best duets. The pianist and singer play the classic and evergreen songs from the 1980s. The female singer has an amazing vocal and her voice is so sultry.
The Landing Point at the Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
The Landing Point is within walking distance from the Raffles Place MRT station. The best part is that despite its prime location, the drinks are pretty affordable. If you’re there, you may want to try its signature Landing Cup. It’s an alluring concoction of rum, citrus, honey, orange bitters and prosecco. And I love the addictive snacks, which I can never seem to get tired of.
The Landing Point is number 2.
The landing Cup Cocktail and snacks
The Landing Point
The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Lobby Level
80 Collyer Quay,
Tel: +65 6597 5277
1. BOB’S BAR, CAPELLA SINGAPORE
At number 1 is my favourite Bob’s Bar at the Capella Hotel. Overlooking the South China Sea, Bob’s Bar is one of the hotel lounges that boast an excellent view. When you step into this quaint yet sophisticated bar located within the elegant Capella Hotel, it’s like you’ve stepped into an overseas resort far away from Singapore. It’s especially cool in the evening when the bar gets a fair amount of sea breeze. Although the bar does enjoy a good amount of human traffic, it’s never crowded. It’s helped by the fact that guests are seated quite spaciously apart.
The Bob's Bar at Capella Singapore
Its signature drinks include the Champagne Mojito and Sentosa Sling. The bar food is simply delectable. I love the pizza, which goes extremely well with any cocktail or beer. On certain days, renowned jazz musician, Jeremy Monterio, plays at the bar. The only pity is that it’s partially sheltered. During monsoon season, the bar can get pretty wet. Although there is an indoor area, the feeling is just different. Nevertheless, it still tops my list of favourites.
Bob's Bar Pizzavana
Capella Singapore, Level 2
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297
Tel: +65 6591 5047
And there you go, this is my list of Top 10 Hotel Lounges in Singapore.