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Luxe Lifestyle Retreat: One Farrer Hotel & Spa
These days, hotels aren’t just places for guests to sleep. To appeal to a new generation of discerning travellers, they need to become destinations in themselves.
That’s the approach that five-star luxury hotel One Farrer Hotel & Spa took when it opened almost four years ago. Billing itself as a lifestyle urban resort, it is located within the hospitality, healthcare and lifestyle Connexion complex at 1 Farrer Park Station Road which also houses Farrer Park Hospital, Farrer Park Medical Centre and Owen Link, a retail and dining zone.
Conveniently located above Farrer Park MRT Station, the 243-room hotel has a unique “hotels within a hotel” concept which features three hotels, each with a personality of its own: Urban Hotel, Loft Apartments and Skyline Hotel & Sky Villas.
The Urban Hotel has 128 rooms and suites spread across levels 11 to 15, while the 23 two-storey Loft Apartments (equipped with kitchenette and pantry) occupy levels 16 and 17.
The Skyline Hotel and Sky Villas comprises 84 Skyline Rooms, Suites and Studios on levels 18 and 19, as well as six Sky Villas (including the palatial Presidential Villa) on level 20. There’s even a private glass lift to transport Skyline guests between the three levels.
While other hotels have gift shops, One Farrer Hotel & Spa has a “Touch & Feel” corner on level 1 which showcases a curated selection of quality merchandise (sold at regular retail prices) such as Royal Selangor Star Wars and zodiac figurines; Newby teas; RISIS jewellery; Stellé Audio Pillar wireless speaker; plush toys; panda mugs; rooster motif crockery; and art, lifestyle and architecture coffee table books as well as books by the likes of Jodi Picoult and Nick Hornby. Shopping can also be done in the comfort of your room via the in-room shopping catalogue on the smart TV, with your purchases delivered promptly to your room.
5 Things We ♥ About The Hotel
1. Spacious Studio
Comfy king size bed. Check. Floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views. Check. Soaking tub. Check. illy coffee machine and TWG teas. Check. Free minibar stocked with chips, nuts, gummy bears and soft drinks. Check. Bluetooth speakers. Check. Favourite cable channels. Check.
Our 65sqm Skyline Studio King room on level 18 couldn’t have been better equipped with all our favourite mod-cons.
We were also impressed with the two art pieces adorning the walls (more on that later), the pillow menu selection (charcoal pillow anyone?), the back-friendly Herman Miller desk chair and the non-fogging mirror in the bathroom. But nothing tickled our fancy more than the very thoughtful “Please Wait” button next to the TOTO Eco Washer for moments when you can’t answer the door right away!
2. Lounge With Generous Meals & Sweeping Views
When we’re not in our room, we’re chilling out at the cosy Skyline Lounge & Terrace on level 18. Open from 7am to 10pm daily, the lounge serves five complimentary meals to guests with lounge access.
In addition to serving breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktail, this lounge also offers sandwiches and snacks from noon to 2pm as well as sweet and savoury supper treats from 8.30pm to 10pm. Coffee, tea, water, fruit juices, fresh and dried fruits, nuts, cookies, and fish and prawn crackers are available all day.
Photo: C. Wee
We were impressed with the spread of dishes served with free-flow of four wines and standard cocktails during Evening Cocktail from 5.30pm to 8pm. It was an Indian-themed menu when we were there so we tucked into lamb curry masala, vegetable curry, briyani rice and samosas, accompanied by appetisers of potato salad, tomato salad, cold tofu, fruits and cheese.
We love sitting by the window to soak up views of suburban life and the surrounding neighbourhood. In the evening, we recommend chilling out on the breezy outdoor terrace to catch the sunset.
With the Skyline private pool conveniently located next to the lounge, there was no excuse for us not to burn off the calories. What’s more, the Skyline 24-hour gym is just above the lounge so that’s another push for us to get a full body workout.
3. Rooftop Farm
We’re big fans of the farm-to-table concept so we were thrilled that the hotel has a farm and even more so when we learned that we could tour the farm.
A complimentary farm tour is conducted at 3pm daily (weather permitting) by the hotel’s Lifestyle Concierge and is open to hotel guests as well as the general public. A minimum of four persons is required for the tour and bookings must be made a day in advance.
Located on level 7 of the adjoining Farrer Park Hospital wing, the 11,000sqft lush farm and orchard is home to over 70 varieties of edible plants, herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables.
The harvest, which ranges from lady’s finger, sawtooth coriander, blue pea flower and chocolate mint to melon, mango, passion fruit and ciku, is used in dishes at the hotel’s eateries and cooking studio Origins Of Food.
Photo: C. Leong
To indulge in dishes made with freshly harvested produce straight from the farm, reserve a seat at the hotel’s Poolside Sunday Brunch. Held at the Pool Side Restaurant on Level 6 (next to the hotel’s main Olympic-sized swimming pool) from 11.30am to 3pm, the Sunday brunch features a semi-buffet plus one main course for $28++.
4. Outstanding Art Collection
We were blown away by the hotel’s large collection – some 700 pieces – of contemporary and abstract art by artists from Singapore and greater Asia.
Commissioned by The Farrer Park Company, the paintings, sculptures and installations are scattered throughout the hotel and Farrer Park Hospital – in rooms, suites, lift lobbies and public spaces – making the hotel seem almost like an art museum.
You can’t miss the gigantic Artemis green bronze apple sculpture, the handiwork of Singaporean artist Kumari Nahappan, at the hotel driveway, or the commanding Circle by Milenko Prvacki, a 2012 Singapore Cultural Medallion Winner, at the hotel lobby.
Circle (2014) by Milenko Prvacki
Look out also for fine hand-knotted carpets and ceramic pieces displayed in various spaces to complement the artworks.
To check out the other artworks around the hotel, especially those housed in the Skyline Villas and especially the Presidential Villa, sign up for the free guided art tour led by the Lifestyle Concierge at 3pm daily. Bookings must be made in advance, with a minimum of six persons.
Besides artworks, the Presidential Villa is also decked with two 12th and 13th century Khmer jars, Persian Nain carpets and Audubon sterling silverware
5. Round-The-Clock Dining At Escape Restaurant & Lounge
What’s a holiday without some indulgence? So as soon as our midnight hunger pangs set in, we made a beeline for Escape which opens 24/7.
We almost settled for the comforting Teochew Porridge Spread (available from 11pm to 4am daily) if we hadn’t looked at the a la carte menu and saw Durian Fried Rice! We can never settle for regular fried rice after tasting this lip-smacking dish of rice wok-fried with thick and creamy D24 durian, prawns, scallops, squid, egg and peas, topped with a dollop of durian, and served with punchy homemade sambal chilli.
Durian Fried Rice
We also couldn’t resist ordering the KL Tai Loke Mee, Malaysian-style noodles stir-fried in an aromatic dark sauce and rich stock with prawns and squid, and crispy cubes of pork lard.
KL Tai Loke Mee
The restaurant also serves a local and international lunch and dinner buffet spread, with some dishes prepared a la minute at its interactive kitchen.
From 8pm to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, be entertained by Face Facts Duo’s Omar and Joyce who will belt out evergreen classics, country and pop-rock hits.
Rates start from $250++ for the Urban Room.
Photos courtesy of One Farrer Hotel & Spa