Ask a Singapore-based French design house founded in Los Angeles and a Paris-based international designer born in Germany to pool their talents. Suggest they combine a taste of history with urban sophistication, and local culture with a funky international vibe.
A ‘mission impossible’ clash of cultures? Not when the creative pair involved are renowned Miaja Design Group and fashion designer extraordinaire Karl Lagerfeld. The result is the recently opened Sofitel So Singapore, the third in the designer-led Sofitel So label.
Each hotel features collaboration with a world-renowned designer, including Christian Lacroix in Bangkok, and Kenzo Takada in Mauritius. In Singapore, Karl Lagerfeld had particular demands. The hotel is in a 1920s building, backed by a new five-storey wing, on Robinson Road in busy Chinatown. The challenge was to combine heritage with modern chic and to bring the city-centre flavour of Singapore inside yet keep the incessant bustle out.
Sofitel So Singapore is the third in the designer-led Sofitel So label.
The colonial style of the former Eastern Extension Telegraph Company building remains, overlaid with Singaporean pop art and French sophistication. Exciting features include a light-filled atrium and lobby with unique artworks and a captivating hexagonal light installation. A golden-tiled pool on the rooftop provides magnificent unobstructed city views, while its cabanas, bar and DJs bring a beach club experience to the urban surroundings.
Karl Lagerfeld’s touch is felt in the details. He designed the hotel’s Lion’s Seal emblem, which is spotted on everything, from doorknockers to the red-and-white embroidery of the bespoke bathrobes. Sofitel So Singapore’s trendy front-of-house team is fashionably dressed in pieces from the Paris-inspired Karl Lagerfeld collection, which is noted for its signature black-and-white silhouettes.
Lagerfeld’s graphic touch also influences a variety of objects, from correspondence cards to check-in folders. Especially distinctive is the BooKube, an exclusive art-piece bookend created by Lagerfeld that bears the Lion’s Seal emblem and a quote from its creator: “Reading is a sport. Books are my personal brain-building.” As Lagerfeld is a noted book collector, not surprisingly the French-based designer also created a literary hideaway in the hotel, La BiblioteK, containing a selection of personally chosen books.
French style throughout
Stylish guestrooms designed by Isabelle Miaja, of Miaja Design Group, are inspired by 19th-century French decadence, with high ceilings and bespoke light boxes featuring images of palatial glass domes referencing the traditional architecture of Europe and modern constructions in Singapore. Guests staying in the opulent suites enjoy regal balconies flanked by antiquated columns, reminiscent of traditional Parisian apartments.
In a world full of ordinary hotels, Sofitel So Singapore is a stand-out. Reflecting a strong flare for design, the hotel combines Sofitel’s art de vivre (art of living) with the distinctive style of an international designer while presenting the best of its local environment. Check in and see it for yourself.