Ideally sited for sampling the gourmet goodies on offer in Singapore’s restaurant-packed business district, Naumi Singapore is a city retreat that promises unabashed luxury and street-savvy urban smarts. Survey the skyline from the hidden 10th-floor pool deck, sample whiskies in the chill-out lounge bar, and relax in the knowledge that there’s a member of staff dedicated to providing everything you need.
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A welcome cocktail each in the lobby bar on arrival
Noon. Late check-out up to 6pm subject to availability and a half-day charge. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £194.15 (SG$339), including tax at 17.7 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast; for SG$22 a person (SG$18 for children aged 6-12, free for under-6s), you’ll get access to a Continental spread of fresh greens, cheeses, yoghurt, pastries, eggs many ways and a selection of hot breakfast favourites.
At the hotel
Gym, yoga room, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV with Apple TV, sound system, yoga mats, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, Soak bath products and free local calls. All suites include well-fitted kitchenettes.
Our favourite rooms
Ask for a room as high as possible above street-level for extra privacy. If you don't want to stretch to a suite, the entry-level Premium Rooms at the corners of the building are fab, with decent views but showers only. Avoid the Corporate Suites if you're after a stylish stay. The leviathan Luxury Suite is the most alluring prospect, with indulgent perks such as the wine chiller, mother-of-pearl coffee table and its own steam room. Lovebirds should flock to the Executive Patio Suite; the private high-walled patios, shrouded by foliage, give you your own little bower to canoodle in.
On the 10th floor, the infinity pool and surrounding deck offer expansive views of the Singapore skyline.
Given the unpredictable climate, insect repellent and umbrellas are always wise luggage inclusions. Make sure you’ve divested you pockets of chewing gum – it’s illegal in cleanliness-conscious Singapore.
Take nibbles and cocktails on the rooftop pool deck and savour the view.
City sleek indoors; swimwear and a hotel-supplied sarong up on the roof.
Start your morning with breakfasts of freshly squeezed juices and à la carte local and western breakfast favourites at Table Restaurant & Bar. After breakfast, the restaurant focuses on modern, Indian-inspired fare; at lunchtime, speedy bento-box are available. There’s also a selection of wines, cocktails at bar bites available well into the evening.
Rooftop Cloud 9 Bar sits poolside and looks out over the Singapore skyline. It’s for hotel guests only and a serene place to unwind with alfresco drinks – we’d recommend a whisky, as the bar stocks more than 17 labels.
The bar’s open until 10.30pm daily. Happy hour at Table Restaurant & Bar runs from 5pm to 7pm.
Order dishes from Table Restaurant & Bar directly to your door from 11am to 10.30pm.
The Naumi hotel is situated where Singapore’s chic shopping precinct meets the buzzing financial district.
Planes Singapore (Changi) Airport (www.changiairport.com) is serviced by 80 different international carriers with connection to over 200 destinations worldwide. Naumi is only a 20-minute taxi ride from the Airport.
There are three MRT stops near the hotel (Orchard Road, Middle Road and City Hall.) The Changi Airport MRT Station is located under Terminals 2 and 3. The first train arrives at around 0530hr and the last leaves at 2318hr. Head to the SMRT website (www.smrt.com.sg ) for services and schedules.
Singapore’s streets can be ruthless. Best to stick with cheap taxis or the always reliable SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit) system to get around.
Championing fresh ingredients and simple but sensational Gallic cooking, Gunther’s Modern French Cuisine has become a hot ticket under chef Gunther Hubrechsen. On the second floor of the fashionable Chijmesrestaurant complex, an atmospheric former monastery, has a range of eateries to choose from; Japanese Dining Sunserves up seasonal Tokyo-inspired treats in a casual contemporary space. Arch restaurant (+65 (0)68 373 132), at 32 Seah Street, offers local Peranakan (Straits Chinese-influenced) fare in intimate surrounds.
Tea Bone Zen Mind serves up a sensuous selection of pan-Asian teas, as well as tempting snacks, ideal for relaxing and regrouping.
Low-lit Horse's Mouth is more romantic than it sounds, with minimal Japanese-inspired interiors and panels of dainty origami displays, while Bitters & Love is a lively den of experiemntal drinks. Tippling Club always has an innovation up its sleeve, whether its a menu of cocktail-flavoured gummy bears or libations flavoured with truffle, sourdough milk and other unique ingredients.
Hello. My name is Mrs Smith and I am an addict. For me it’s all about the lines. No, no, not those sort of lines – the sleek, delicious undulating contours of designer furniture. At the Naumi my fixation is fed the moment we enter our Deluxe Room. Don’t get me wrong: there’s none of that stark minimalism that looks amazing but is about as comfortable as a bed of nails. This is all about stylish functionality.
A bright orange Zanotta armchair is the focal point in an otherwise muted living room, where a frosted-glass lamp hangs over a khaki three-seater sofa – it has a vaguely mod Chesterfield style – that doubles as a cosy love nest. A sleek flatscreen TV separates the living and sleeping areas, and Mr Smith makes a beeline straight for it, swivelling it around to make sure we can watch it from both lounge and bed. We can. The king-size bed, flanked by Artemide table lamps, provides greater spin to the designer tale. To one side sits an iPod dock, and I find myself visualising a situation in which I walk alone, revelling in the sights of Singapore, while Mr Smith spends entire days horizontal, downing free drinks from the minibar while listening to the Beatles on his MP3 player. A quick call to our Naumi aide, assigned on arrival (how West Wing is that?), means that Wii and XBox consoles, together with the latest games, could also be brought to our room within minutes. I can see I’m going to have to keep an eye on the outgoing calls.
Hidden surprises are what really whet my interest though. There are plenty here, discovered as I throw open cupboard doors and explore the suite. Inside the pantry there’s a Nespresso coffee machine; beside that, a wooden box is filled with Naumi organic tea bags. A mirrored cupboard opens to reveal shelves of gleaming cutlery, a toaster, microwave and hotplate. There’s more than enough kitchen regalia to whip up something for one’s self should the mood take you, though you’ll perhaps not be surprised to learn we chose to pass on this option.
In the marble-clad bathroom, I find myself burbling like an idiot. ‘Honey, they’ve got amazing toiletries!’ I manage to say, while simultaneously inhaling soothing aromas and slathering body balm infused with orange peel, pink grapefruit and lemon rind onto my hands and legs. The doorbell rings and Mr Smith drags himself from a prone position to answer it. He returns with three extra facial products. There’s only one word to describe my reaction when he presents them: ecstatic. Talk about a wonderful touch.
It hasn’t always been like this. Before September 2007, the Naumi was known as the Metropole Hotel, a fairly conservative, budget-conscious spot popular with business travellers. Its location, in the centre of town right near Raffles City, means that it’s still popular with that crowd but is also attracting more jet-setting types, like Mr Smith and myself.
Having completed a full room dissection, I harangue Mr Smith into pulling on his bathers. The rooftop infinity pool has the reputation of being one of the most glamorous spots to catch some rays in the whole city, so I am keen on a romantic afternoon dip. Sunsets, swimsuits, you can imagine the rest. Coming out of the lift, I’m floored by the dangerously sexy pool surrounded by designer chaises and shaded, round seats (with their pull-over-for-privacy sun shields, Mr Smith and I dub them the love pods) and a breathtakingly gorgeous view of Singapore’s skyscrapers in the nearby financial district. Maintaining our cool while bubbling with excitement on the inside, we take our places on Dedon sunloungers, order margaritas and assess the scene. At one point, I’m struck by the thought that perhaps a couple of laps might do me some good, but, much like the urge to check out the three fitness rooms (cardio, weights and yoga), it passes rather quickly.
With both our stomachs growling like mildly threatening rottweilers behind a gate, we gather ourselves for dinner. The Naumi has a bar in its lobby – entwined floral motifs feature prominently from intricate white prints on the see-through, neon-illuminated screens to the subtle embossed patterns on its sumptuous chairs – and while it does serve casual meals, we decide to head out to find food. We toy with the idea of burgers from Seah Street Deli at Raffles Hotel or stir-fries from the Arch, and even think about dressing up in our most stylish togs for a candlelit meal of modern French fare at Gunther’s on Purvis Street. In the end, we wander down to the Chijmes dining, shopping and entertainment complex for dinner at the delightful Japanese Dining Sun restaurant. Dimly lit with a lofty ceiling and open kitchen, it is, it turns out, the perfect place for super-fresh teppanyaki, sushi and sashimi.
Afterwards, Mr Smith takes me to Tea Bone Zen Mind, a tea café located just a few doors away from Naumi, where we spend some time relaxing and sipping infusions from Japan, China and Taiwan. After much rumination – and even more tea – Mr Smith and I agree that the Naumi is ideally sited for sampling the gourmet goodies on offer in Singapore’s restaurant-packed business district. Particularly for the design obsessed among us.