The Gallery Hotel is located along the Singapore River at Robertson Quay, an area that’s expanded and become a happening night spot with lots of trendy bars and restaurants sprouting up along the riverside. It’s a short walk to the bars and restaurants of Clarke Quay, and you’re not far from Fort Canning or Orchard Road either. The CBD is a 10 minute taxi ride away, while it will take around 25 minutes to get to the airport. There’s also a complimentary shuttle bus servicing the riverside hotels that takes you in to the CBD.
There are eight categories of rooms to choose from but I prefer the ‘Bookend Club’ rooms that face the river. The Gallery was the first hotel in Singapore to organise a room design competition and as a result, there are a number of suites that have been uniquely designed by Singaporean artists. My favourite is the ‘Singaporean Dreaming’ suite with its cartoon characters, it made me feel like a kid again.
There’s a photography and art gallery on level two, while the hotel itself serves as an informal gallery – showcasing stunning photographs from past Gallery Hotel calendar shoots. I especially love the tasteful nudes.
Eating and drinking
The land surrounding the hotel was once a Japanese enclave, so there are a good number of sushi and yakitori establishments as well as one of the most authentic ramen noodle houses, Sapporo Ramen Miharu, right on the premises. The colourful Zenden restaurant serves contemporary and Asian cuisine. But my favourite is the relaxed eM by the river, an alfresco bar that often has live music. A newly opened members dance club called Filter, is also on the premises.
There’s a full size gym complete with fitness trainers and classes. The cantilevered, glass-sided pool is an iconic feature, while the Ayuthaya Royal Thai Spa facilities are popular with the more pampered guests.
The staff were pleasant and well mannered and very helpful with directions.
Who stays there
Art enthusiasts and young business managers.
The Gallery rooms are the lowest and most inexpensive category, but I’d pay that little bit extra for a Bookend Club room with a view overlooking the Singapore River. WiFi is free, but the breakfast buffet if not included in your room rate is $23++, which isn't bad for a hotel of this calibre.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Free WiFi
- A wealth of dining options, for all price ranges, on the premises.
- Unique glass-sided pool.
- Not close to public transport.