The hip Keong Saik Road area in Singapore’s Chinatown district is known for its mishmash of old school eateries and cool restaurant/bars. It’s also gotten a recent influx of new hotels like Kesa House, and now, Hotel Soloha.
A 45-room boutique spot taking over the shop house units vacated by Chinatown Hotel, the neighborhood’s newcomer brings a touch of jungle chic to the street. Its name blends the words “so” and “aloha” (the Hawaiian greeting), calling on guests to pay it a visit for a little adventure.
Don’t let its simple blue-and-white facade trick you, though. As you step through the doors, you’re immediately transported to a dark-lit, club-like space, where the bar counter acts as a reception corner, and the 3m-wide pop art mural by local artist Ethrisha Liaw is a hodgepodge of bright hues, tropical motifs, and a stark neon “S” sign.
The forest theme continues throughout the hotel, as each floor is emblazoned with its own neon spirit animal (such as the butterfly and tree frog), along with carpet prints that complement the creatures, and gentle sounds of the rainforest tinkling through the speakers.
Of particular note is the 13m-high artwork by homegrown artist Danielle Tay, which acts as the backdrop for what would otherwise be an ordinary-looking lift shaft. Titled “Spirit of the Forest,” the piece is painted on eight panels, each with interpretations of four rainforest layers, and allows guests to spot animals like peacocks, leopards, and parrots gazing out at them.
Other sleek design elements include a line of dark, wooden medicinal boxes that display gleaming accessories by Singaporean jewelry design label Eden + Elie, as well as a range of bronze, glass, and ceramic Japanese home ware.
As you make your way to the rooms, which come in five categories, you’ll find custom-made furnishings, smart TVs, and smart control units behind every door to allow for easy light and air-con adjustments.
The Deluxe options are little nooks that utilize every bit of space, even allowing for a mini fridge nestled underneath the queen-sized bed, while the lofts tuck the mattresses up the stairs in a cozy alcove with views of the nearby shop houses.
If you’d rather not cramp your style, pick the suites instead. These open out to a private garden with a bathtub that looks out on the street, as well as a shared courtyard, which you can monopolize if you book all the surrounding rooms.
Back to the ground level, there’s a tiny communal game/meeting room that can be used for travelers to get some work done or play a round of table tennis. Plus, the lounge is home to Takeshi Noodle Bar, a ramen joint decked out in an unlikely shade of blush pink, with terrazzo tables and rattan sofas thrown into the mix.
Three types of bowls are offered here: sliced wagyu beef with truffle Iberico tonkotsu, honey roasted Iberico pork with burnt miso Iberico tonkotsu, and seafood Sichuan mala Iberico tonkotsu. These are complemented by sides like mentaiko oysters, char siew, and grilled sirloin beef strips.
Hotel Soloha is at 12 Teck Lim Rd.
6222-8881. Takeshi Noodle Bar: Mon & Wed-Fri noon-3pm & 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun noon-11pm.
Nightly room rates from $185 for deluxe single, $335 for loft, and $375 for suite with outdoor tub.
MRT: Outram Park/Chinatown
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