One Farrer Hotel and Spa is three hotels in one, and each hotel is targeted at a different demographic. The three hotels occupy a common tower and a common lobby, and many of the facilities are shared.
The hotel is part of a multi-purpose complex that includes Farrer Park Hospital, a shopping mall, and a convention centre.
Approximately 20% of hotel guests are there for medical treatments at the hospital, or they are accompanying relatives and friends being treated at the hospital.
Following treatments at the hospital, many patients move to the hotel to recuperate from their medical procedures. Oxygen equipment, for example, is available in some of the rooms.
Many hotels in Singapore have art collections, and the One Farrer Park Hotel and Spa is no exception.
The Farrer Park Company Art Collection is a permanent, commissioned collection comprising 700 pieces of original art that is abstract and contemporary. The art, which includes both sculptures and paintings, hails from across Asia.
A total of 68 artists were involved in the project. About 60% of the collection was by Singaporean artists.
With works in both rooms and public spaces, it is the largest art collection of its type in Singapore.
What makes the collection unique is that pieces of art were curated first, and the interior design of the spaces they were to be installed in were then created around them.
“The décor was based on the art that would occupy the space,” says Dr. Richard Helfer explains.
“So we chose colours and tones that would complement the art.”
If the hotel has a unique selling proposition, it would have to be the farm and gardens that are spread across outdoor spaces on 20 different levels.
The farm occupies an 11,000-square-foot space atop a podium, and its produce supplies many of the ingredients used in the hotel’s kitchens.
“It started as an herb garden with herbs and spices, but we thought we could do more,” says Dr. Helfer, owner of the hotel.
Fruit and vegetables have been added. There is now a total of about 75 varieties, and everything is organic, including the compost, soil, and anything else coming in contact with the plants.
“It is now the largest such garden in downtown Singapore,” Dr. Helfer says.
But the hotel’s horticultural edge doesn’t end with the farm. There are another 14 gardens, offering hotel guests greenery, flowing waters, and quiet zen-like spaces to reflect.
Rooms in the Urban Hotel are targeted at the young and trendy. It has state-of-the-art entertainment equipment and a comfortable environment to work and relax.
Suites in The Loft Apartments cater primarily to long-staying guests. They have two levels and en-suite kitchenettes.
The Skyline Hotel and Sky Villas are the hotel’s premium brand. Guests there have access to the Skyline Lounge as well as a private swimming pool, private fitness room, and private technology centre.
The Sky Villas are located at Level 20. They have private outdoor terraces, lava rock barbecue grills, personal wine cellars, and private Jacuzzi pools.
I stayed in a room in the Skyline Hotel. It was just a few steps from the Skyline Lounge, which I made full use of during my two-night hosted stay.
My spacious room was furnished in restful earth tones with a couple of bright orange highlights.
There was a panoramic view of shop houses with terra cotta roofs in the foreground and high rises in the distance.
There was a comfortable work space, a complimentary mini bar, and a bathroom that I particularly liked.
I like to shave in the shower rather than at the sink, and that often results in a couple of missed spots. The spacious shower in my bathroom room had a mirror that didn’t fog up.
I’ve stayed at many hotels in my life, and only a few of them had mirrors in the shower. Most of them quickly fogged up, with only two exceptions. My room at the Skyline Hotel was one of them.
The shower had one more feature that I liked: a sturdy wooden object, which you could either sit down on or prop one of your feet on.
Food and Beverage
Escape Restaurant and Lounge is an all-day dining eatery serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight snacks. It is open 24 hours a day.
With a menu running from international to regional to local favourites, the restaurant has an open kitchen as well as both buffets and an extensive la carte menu.
The lounge serves domestic and foreign beers, cocktails, and spirits, including a wide variety of Japanese single malt whiskeys.
The wine cellar stores an impressive collection of vintages, and 16 varieties can be ordered by the glass.
There is live music from 8 to 10 pm on Friday and Saturday evening.
The Owen Road Diner serves international, regional, and local meals and snacks around the clock. They can be delivered to hotel rooms or picked up at the Escape Restaurant to go.
One Farrer Confectionery sells freshly baked breads, pastries, cakes, and chocolates as well as fresh flowers and hampers.
Local, Fresh and Seasonal (LSS) is a deli serving comfort foods.
Origins of Food is an interactive food studio offering cooking classes, cooking demonstrations, culinary classes, and other food-based activities
I had access to the Skyline Lounge, which is located on Level 18. It is open from 7 am to 10 pm and serves five lights meals per day.
Breakfast is served from7 to 10.30 am, sandwiches and snacks from 12 noon to 2pm, afternoon snacks from 3 to 5 pm, evening cocktails from 5.30 to 8 pm, and sweet and savoury snacks from 8.30 to 10 pm.
The food choices were exceptionally good. I particularly liked the salads, which were not the standard “kidney beans poured out of a can” variety you get at many five star hotels.
Culinary themes change daily so that long-staying guests won’t get bored with the same offerings day after day, night after night. I enjoyed Thai bites one night and Mediterranean bites the next.
Staff in the lounge were exceptionally friendly and helpful. I really was made to feel more that I was staying with friends than at a hotel.
Access to the lounge is provided to one guest per room and children up to the age of 12 with adult supervision. Additional guests are charged a supplemental fee.
The property has two swimming pools: an Olympic size swimming pool open to all hotel guests and a small private pool open exclusively to guests staying at the Skyline Hotel and Sky Villas.
The Olympic size swimming pool is situated within the Palm Garden. There are poolside as well as in-pool lounge chairs and a Jacuzzi whirlpool. There is also a therapeutic Water Walk.
I have rarely stayed at an urban hotel with such a large swimming pool. The Sunset Bar overlooks the pool and serves drinks and light snacks.
The hotel has two spas: one is located on the same level as the Olympic size swimming pool and another on the 18th floor.
The former spa has male and female Onsen Relaxation Gardens with saunas, steam rooms, cold plunges, Jacuzzi pools, and therapeutic mineral pools. There is no charge for hotel guests. A full menu of spa treatments is also available at the spa.
The latter spa focuses on Asian wellness treatments, offering programmes in pain, fatigue, sleep, and weight management.
A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, a traditional Thai therapist, and a lifestyle nutritionist are among the spa’s full-time staff.
The hotel has two fitness centres. One is located on the same level as the Olympic size swimming pool and spa retreat. The other adjoins the Asian Wellness Spa and Skyline Lounge on the 18th floor.
The One Farrer Conference Centre has a grand ballroom, breakout rooms, and other facilities that can handle events of up to 700 participants.
Live fibre optic transmission from the 18 operating rooms at the Farrer Park Hospital and the Origins of Food Studio can be provided for medical meetings and culinary events.
Location, Location, Location
The hotel is located on the outskirts of Little India. A Muslim mosque and Hindu temples are a short walk from the hotel.
The colourful district has street-side tailors and flower stands, selling floral offerings that devotees can take to temple. Innumerable eateries cater to the local Indian community as well as guest workers and visitors from South Asia.
There are also numerous jewelry shops, clothing boutiques, electronics shops, and other kinds of businesses, including Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour shopping mall with a mind-boggling array of shops and businesses.
The Farrer Park MRT station is across the street from the hotel.
One Farrer Hotel and Spa, 1 Farrer Park Station Road, Singapore. Check room rates and read guest reviews here: One Farrer Hotel and Spa/TripAdvisor.