Nestled in the rich cultural neighbourhood of Keong Saik, Singapore, Hotel Soloha is the newest bolthole for dreamers and adventure seekers. As I was in the Lion City for a weekend, I took the opportunity to explore Hotel Soloha, which quickly won me over with its effortless charm.
For founder Josh Hu, it was his desire for creative expression that created the dream that is Hotel Soloha.
“The Keong Saik neighbourhood has been a characteristically distinct destination that appeals to both residents and the international jet set,” explains Hu. “We wish to be part of the scene and contribute to its character and personality, creating a vibrant technicolour dream space where guests would feel comfortable in.”
Comprising 45 rooms, the boutique hotel invites its guests to embark on a journey of discovery. The moniker combines “so”, an expressive portmanteau that emphasises the idea of “to such a great extent” and “aloha”, the catchy Hawaiian greeting that is about living life. Hence, to be Soloha essentially means living an expressive life filled with superlatives.
While retaining the old school charm of a shophouse, Hotel Soloha prepares the expectant visitor of its artistic concept with a fresh, contrasting white and blue façade. As guests walk through the hotel’s wooden panel doors, they are greeted by the bar reception. The reception counter that doubles up as a technicolour bar acts as the centrepiece that ties the rest of the hotel’s urban jungle chic aesthetic together.
The wall’s bold colours juxtaposed with earthy, tropical elements like palm leaves shouts tropical modernism at its best. Attention may be particularly drawn to its 3m wide pop art mural by Singaporean artist, Ethrisha Liaw. The mural, along with her artwork in the guest rooms, revolve around the central theme of “play”, exploring tropical sensuality through the use of pop gradients and uncanny visual textures to create a sense of dynamic movement.
The forest theme is further emphasised through a 13m high painted art piece by local artist Danielle Tay installed in the lift shaft. The artwork, aptly named” Spirit Of The Forest”, seeks to take guests on a journey in a mystical forest as they ride the elevator.
Next to the lift are distinctive wooden medicinal boxes that showcase Singapore’s jewellery designer Eden + Elie and beautifully curated wood, bronze, glass and ceramic Japanese homeware and table top accessories.
As guests make their way to their rooms, they will notice that each floor is fitted with its own neon spirit animal sign and complementary custom-made printed carpets. Gentle whispers of the rainforest are also played over the sound system, adding to the ambience.
Overall, the hotel offers five types of rooms – the standard, superior, deluxe, loft and suite – with deluxe rooms starting from S$250++ per night. Upon entering the room, guests are immediately greeted by its warm and inviting elements such as veneer wood panels or grey-cosy wallpaper, a classic rattan chair, and bright pops of colour added by the bright orange headboard and experimental collages by print designer Ethrisha Liaw.
The Smart Room Control Unit in every room allows guests to manage lighting and air-conditioning with the press of a button. A variety of pre-set light settings from ‘party’ to ‘romantic’ give guests the luxury to create the vibe they desire.