Hotel Indigo is reffered a gem in the hotel industry in Singapore that pays tribute to the rich Peranakan heritage of the Katong neighbourhood of Joo Chiat, the city’s first designated Heritage Town, with a vibrant Straits Chinese-inspired design.
Set in the Katong neighbourhood of Joo Chiat, Hotel Indigo offers guests the opportunity to go off the beaten track to explore the often-ignored eastern fringe of the city that happens to be extremely colourful and vibrant. Situated opposite the 112 Katong mall, the hotel is a mere 20-minute taxi ride to the Changi Airport, Singapore Expo and the Changi Business Park.
Given its lack of access to the MRT station (the nearest ones are Dakota and Paya Lebar MRT stations and they are both 10 minutes from the hotel by cab), transport to Orchard Road and the Marina Bay area is more convenient by taxi and should take you no more than 20 minutes. The East Coast Park waterfront, popular among locals for recreational activities like beach BBQ, cycling and jogging, is not far from here but best reached by taxi.
Address: 86 East Coast Road, Singapore 428 788.
Style & character
Hotel Indigo pays tribute to the rich Peranakan heritage of the neighbourhood where it resides with a vibrant Straits Chinese design theme that integrates the historic former Joo Chiat Police Station built in 1928 (now housing the resident eatery, Baba Chews Bar & Eatery, and a number of leased out food outlets) to a brand new multi-storey building with a contemporary façade that includes a panel of vertical garden at the hotel entrance.
The heritage theme is evident from the time you enter the hotel lobby, where a feature wall bearing a collage of Peranakan ceramic patterns holds court to the hotel pavilion overhung with colourful lanterns, where a pop-up 1960s “mama stall” (a convenience stall usually found in housing estates) doubles-up as a book stand. During check-in, guests are welcomed with a choice of tea or hot/cold latte brewed with locally roasted beans.
Service & facilities
Apart from a 24-hour gym and a rooftop infinity pool, the boutique hotel does not offer much in terms of facilities, but you won’t miss it given the diversity of shops in the neighbourhood. Service is courteous and well meaning, but despite a few repeated requests for bottled water, none was delivered to our room until the third or fourth call. Turn down service was also overlooked in one of the inter-connecting rooms we were staying in.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
The 131 guestrooms (no suites) – Deluxe, Premier and Premier with bathtub – are fashioned in the style of a Peranakan home with wall murals of Katong’s street scene by a local urban sketcher. Each hotel room entrance features a living area with carrom board as coffee tabletop, a cane furniture-inspired sofa and a minibar fashioned after a traditional display cabinet. This leads into the sleeping area with batik printed cushions and headboard with Peranakan motifs. Further in is the shower/bath area decked in Peranakan-inspired tiles featuring a floor-to-ceiling window and a classic enamel basin bowl stacked atop a marble-topped Singer sewing machine base serving as a vanity counter.
The most basic Deluxe room category comes with no Nespresso coffee machine and no bathtub. There are only 12 Premium rooms with bath tub here, those without tubs make up for it by providing an enamel wash basin with a range of Biology Smart Skincare products (bath salts, exfoliating foot scrub and a soothing foot balm) for a DIY foot spa experience. All rooms are provided with Biology Smart Skincare essential oils-infused bath amenities.
Food & drink
There is only one dining outlet on site and, befitting its location in a Peranakan-themed hotel, Baba Chews Bar & Eastery serves a Peranakan-inspired menu headlined at dinner by a clutch of stellar dishes like beef short rib rendang, goreng chilli barramundi, pong tauhu soup and dessert of kueh durian.
Breakfast is a limited buffet of cold options and pastries matched with a menu of cooked-to-order hot food like eggs Benedict, kaya toast set, Belgian waffles and daily-changing specials that featured “mee siam” (thin rice noodles in a spicy, sweet and sour light gravy) and “wanton noodles” (noodles with dumplings) during our visit.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The rooms in Hotel Indigo are not equipped for guests with disabilities but the public areas are accessible. For guests requiring accessible rooms, there are 6 of such rooms in Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong, which is located next to the hotel.
The hotel rooms are unable to accommodate extra beds but families have the option of booking connecting rooms. Baby cots are available without extra charge. Baba Chew Bar & Eatery also offers a kids’ menu.
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