PHILIPPE STARCK BRINGS SOUTH BEACH TO SINGAPORE
Philippe Starck has certainly influenced Miami’s South Beach hotel scene over the years, but now his name is attached to a very different South Beach a continent away: The South Beach, Singapore. The Asian city state isn’t one to shy away from mega developments, nor does it here: The South Beach combines four historic buildings on Beach Road (hence the name) with two new towers – one 34 stories tall, the other 54. That kind of size gives the space to house offices, residences, retail spaces and a members club in addition to the hotel, which has no less than 654 rooms.
We last saw The South Beach with our own eyes in February (above), when construction was still ongoing. Designed by Foster + Partners, an undulating canopy connects the various low-rise buildings, above which rise the glass façades of the two towers, interrupted by various sky gardens. Its location puts it right opposite a hotel it conceptually couldn’t be further away from: Raffles Singapore, where Ernest Hemingway and Somerset Maugham drank in the Long Bar and you’ll find nothing but teakwood floors, lazily spinning ceiling fans, and furniture harking back to colonial days.
This is what you’ll find inside The South Beach, where accommodation is divided into ‘Showcase’ rooms and ‘Premium’ suites. It’s a lot to take in, not in the least due to the black/grey/white camouflage carpet. Each room comes with free WiFi and minibar, while upper category rooms and suites have access to ‘The Infinite’, a club lounge that serves breakfast, afternoon tea, and drinks in the evening.
Aside from a number of restaurants and bars (like LAUGH or ADHD – All Day Hotel Dining), there are 43 ‘social spaces’ around the complex where ‘one can gather to socialise, or be alone’. The two sky gardens that are part of the hotel feature infinity pools and there is a fitness centre. Rates at The South Beach seem to start a touch above SGD500 (around $360/£235 at the moment) a night.
[Exterior photo: LE Miami. Exterior rendering & room photo: The South Beach]