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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Staycation at Dorsett Hotel: Tourist at Keong Saik Road

Last weekend had to be one of the best weekends I had in a long time. See, Abel and I took a staycation at Dorsett Hotel.

It was a pretty rocking stay, the rooms are in beautiful condition (well it is only a year old), the location is utterly fantastic, and the staff are lovely and helpful. Loved it. Best part of it all, the location! Tourist time!
We had the absolute privilege of a night at Dorsett Hotel, a business-boutique residence at Outram MRT.
Pearls Centre is just opposite it!
I'm not kidding, the one year old hotel was right next to MRT. I think they even shared some parts of the same building! 

Plus the hotel sat right in front of one of my favourite roads in Singapore. Keong Saik Road. 




That road is just a blend of old and new, where decades old coffee shops sit right next to brand new caf├ęs.
Step out of the lobby and you are in the heart of the city. The cultural rich heart, not the movie watching, Gucci shopping heart.
Anyways I made a stupid mistake. I drove

See! My mom's car is the only one in the super cool, stackable car park. I should have just taken the train. Much more convenient, I circled around the building twice just to find the car park. 

Abel was late, so I checked in and explored first:  

Lobby

Lift lobby

Massive chandelier at entrance.
You'd expect for a business hotel they'd have a sad corridor and boring doors, but at the front of each door was a camera stand!

The Room at Dorsett Hotel
See the doorbell was the shutter button and everytime you clicked it it flashed. DAMN BRIGHT SOMEMORE.


Everytime I stepped in or out of the room I clicked it. Simply cause I liked the shutter. So sua ku.

The hotel room was small (expected) but much more luxurious then I expected. The room we had was called the Splash room because of the open-concept bathroom.


What an awesome tub! I really want an egg-shaped tub for my home in the future. 

Of course for the more prudish shy couples you could pull down the blinds and block out the room. I loved that tub. I spent like an hour in there just soaking my life away. With my Lush bath bombs. Check it out on my Instagram

I love the bathroom amenities that came with the room:



Super girly and pretty. I have no idea what brand it was, but it lathered well. The box behind had the shower cap, tooth brushes and everything else needed.

Speaking of girly and pretty, check out the hotel's colours:



MINT-GREEN. My favourite colour-scheme! I'm really into this range of colours. I got pretty excited and called Abel, he wasn't excited to say the least. He just said, "yar, where is the hotel? Does it have a charger?"

What do you think mister. Of course lah. They had an iPod dock (sadly iphone 4 port so I couldn't use my phone as an alarm clock) but it had a USB port for my wire. Also it included an international powerpoint, so if you're foreign, you wouldn't have to use an adaptor. Plus points for Dorsett!




So while waiting for Abel I lay on the bed, watched Penny Dreadful and had Royce champagne chocolates. Utterly gory television show, but I can't get enough! Plus Eva Green is so glorious.



Only ate some okay! I practice self-control. But I finished them all by the end of the stay. We spent a lot of time nua-ing in the room. He finally caught 21 Jump Street!

Abel arrived. I wanted to go out and be a tourist. So off we went, and I had the best time ever exploring Keong Saik Road!

First stop: Bread and Hearth
We spotted a new bakery:


I was very excited, cause I was thinking, new pictures for the work instagram! And I was right. The place was totally instagram-worthy. It had a rolling pin for a door handle:
  
 
And a beautiful red-brick interior with croissants lined up for hungry cafe-hoppers.

The food was delicious:



We had the pear-tart and the croissant. We wanted room for dinner later. The croissant was buttery and the pear tart was fresh and delicious. I enjoyed the base of the tart very much. Word of advice: take more of the butter and jam provided by the owners with your pastries!

Bread and Hearth is only a few months old, and they already have quite a number of people dropping by for coffee and pastries, so that was very impressive. Plus the staff were lovely, so friendly! I love how there was a little alcove that looked into the kitchen and fresh bread just kept coming out from there. A staff member would pull a tray of goodies out and lay them out for customers.


Tel: 6534-7800

Second stop: Potato Head Folk
As we walked out of Bread and Hearth we spotted Potato Head Folk. Impossible to miss:




It actually takes up the whole building, but we decided to head straight to the top floor:



Very whimsical art!
The room was an explosion of colour and displays:



Then they told us we could only have drinks here cause the kitchen only opened at 5pm. So we left. Sad.

Third stop: PIGEONS
At the end of Keong Saik Road there's a Hindu temple and a large grass patch where pigeons congregate. I made Abel embarrass himself.



We both had a big kick out of it. Cause after he ran through them, we ran to the traffic light cause people were staring at him weirdly. Sorry babe.

Fourth stop: Pearls Centre
Literally nothing here that would interest me except for this:

It was a mahjong shop! I wanted some of the beautiful chips, but they don't charge per pack or set, they charge per chip. 60 cents per chip! Which meant... $60 for 100 chips?! Not that I was going to buy 100 chips.. but still.. Not worth it...

Fifth stop: Chinatown!
Whenever I come here during Chinese New Year, it's full of Asians trying to get the $5 plastic bag of jelly and overpriced Bak Kwa (which I pay for. I'm totally part of the system.) but this time I was there as a tourist!




This is shit you find in Chinatown that is extremely gimmicky but something you love looking at cause the textures are so bright and colourful. Abel had to say NO to me many times. I wanted to pull my wallet out for everything.




Zodiac themed chopsticks!

Apparently people used to display old coins like these outside their homes as a display of their wealth. Whoever owned this must have been filthy rich haha.


Tourist trinkets.


I love the colours and textures of Chinatown though, it's so rich and beautiful!

Sixth stop: TinTin Shop
I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS A TIN TIN SHOP!



His face is so weird.



I was very amused, I also wanted to buy plenty of souvenirs.

Seventh stop: Temple Street

You probably don't know this, I didn't know either till I walked into the street, but Temple Street has a few great secrets!

Pardon the exorcist-style imagery, If you've been to Bangkok, you know this is the place all the Singaporeans go for high-class service at reasonable (cheap) prices! Unfortunately, the prices here are much much much higher. But still, it's great for a vacation in Singapore. Also, the lemongrass fragrance is strong with this one.

If you're fans of Running Man, you'd be as enthusiastic as Abel and I were. Gangnam Restaurant is a Korean BBQ place right next to Healthland. We haven't had the chance to try it out yet, but we can't wait!

Gangnam Restaurant
3 Temple St, 058556
Tel: 6220-9858



Next to the restaurant is a row of stores selling glass apothecary jars like these, vases and catering dining ware at warehouse prices. Perfect for any starting homeowner! 



By the time we started walking back, it was in the late evening (even though the sky doesn't look it) and we had made our way back to the start of Keong Saik Road. So we had a little walkthrough to spy some good places for nosh.
The start of Keong Saik Road! Dorsett Hotel was on the other end.
We wanted to try Burnt Ends but it was fully booked. :( 

Esquina. Possible. But fully booked too.
Eight Cafe. The retro-themed place was fun looking.

Oca Grassa.
I've heard plenty of good things about Oca Grassa so we decided to go there. We made a reservation for 8pm and went up our room in Dorsett Hotel. The restaurant was less than a minute's walk away! You could actually see the hotel from the restaurant's exit. You can read about the food in my blog post that will be up next week!

On the way up I noticed all the amazing textures of Dorsett Hotel:

Giraffe Skin at the lift lobby! Plastic chips actually.


Faux crocodile skin at the lift Iobby of another floor!

Fatty mao with wings! They had bunch of them in primary colours:

The whole place was so cute! Just goes to show how much detail and thought was put in the place.




I really enjoyed my stay at Dorsett. The atmosphere was great, the pool was lovely and the staff polite. Really, I love how guests at the balcony rooms could just step out into the pool from the small balcony gate. 

But you know what makes this place absolutely amazing? It's location. Right in the heart of Singapore's culture and heritage! 

The Outram, Chinatown area has so much to explore and see. If you really want to get to know the area better and see what your home country has, or if you're a lucky tourist who stops by, you should really have a stay in a hotel nearby. Dorsett is right at the MRT and in the heart of both the old and new culture. It's not expensive (check out Agoda! Less then SGD190!!), extremely comfortable and perfect for staycations. 

333 New Bridge Rd
Singapore 088765
Tel: 6678 8333

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