Located close to the city centre, Chinatown is a place known not only for narrow five-foot walkways, restored shophouses and rich heritage, but also for the many boutique hotels and backpacker hostels in the area.
Known for its bold Gothic-chic design, the Scarlet Hotel occupies a beloved Art Deco shophouse. Also located nearby are the New Majestic Hotel and Hotel 1929, with rooms having unique designs conceptualised by local artists. Both are chock-full of vintage furniture that buff up their ultra-cool retro appeal.
The Saff is a recent addition to Chinatown’s offering of boutique hotels. Its saffron-inspired interior design echoes the art of Morocco, Persia, Thailand, Spain and Turkey. If yellow is not quite your colour, try out the stark whites of The Club by Harry’s Hospitality instead. Located just off a corner of Chinatown, some may find its asylum-like white walls a bit off-putting, but the hotel makes up for them with an alfresco tapas restaurant and a lively rooftop bar.
Alternatively, the Dragon Inn Chinatown is popular with families travelling on a budget.
What if you just need a place to rest your head? You might then want to consider the Peranakan-inspired Inn at Temple Street or A Beary Good Hostel. Both offer only the most basic of amenities, but the latter has become so popular with backpackers that it has opened second branch just two blocks away. Whichever hotel you choose, you’d get to share travelling stories with fellow backpackers.
Situated at the base of Pearl's Hill, Hotel Re! takes after the iconic retro theme and plays host to a stunning array of colours and psychedelic furnishings. It even houses its own pampering treats from its own in-house boutique restaurant and a wellness centre.
A couple more options can be found just outside of Chinatown. Located in one of Singapore’s oldest public-housing estates, the Link Hotel used to be a block of apartments in Tiong Bahru that has been revamped into a boutique hotel. Meanwhile, the cylindrical Art Deco Wangz Hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from Chinatown MRT station, provides practical no-frills service.
Staying in Chinatown