August 7, 2016
M Social Singapore is a new 293-room lifestyle boutique hotel designed by famed French designer Philippe Starck as an avant-garde playground, located in the bustling rows of Robertson Quay amidst great restaurants and bars.
As Philippe Starck puts it:
“M Social is where all the elements of the world – including creativity, humour and love – come together in an explosion of energy to create the joy of today’s and tomorrow’s world. To me, it is a stage dedicated to creative people.”
This convenient location allows M Social’s guests a getaway from the madness of the crowded city, while providing dynamic recreational and dining options as well as still being pretty accessible to town if you choose to indulge in shopping.
The hotel is styled on the premise of comfort and modern flair, while being as accessible to the main market as possible.
As you enter the reception area, friendly front-of-house staff, clad in casual uniforms from Uniqlo will see to your needs to make checking in a breeze. One can even walk in and book a room on the spot with self-service kiosks if spontaneity hits you.
Cosy spaces around the hotel cater to different needs, with warm earthy tones, plush leather furnishing and thick rugs to be more welcoming to guests in contrast to the stuffy, formal hotels around Singapore.
You’ll observe customized modern art and design elements all around, which makes you wonder if your stay is indeed in a hotel at all.
Connecting our increasingly digitized culture with modern living, M Social’s design elements have an interactive feature, allowing you to play with iPads on the wall or even charge your mobile devices with the cables that have merged seamlessly with the ambience. Digital life and reality should be as one, right?
So go ahead, don’t be shy, and experiment with M Social’s intended social features.
After quite a number of staycations in Singapore, the biggest draw for me at M Social hotel is their beautifully designed two level loft studio rooms – much like the minimalist Studio M, but starkly different in its contemporary outlook and chic interiors.
Let’s get to the rooms, shall we.
The Loft Gallery Room (formerly known as The Big Room), are 22 sqm loft-inspired rooms with high ceilings and space-saving features. Similar rooms with a terrace are also available, known as the Loft Terrace Rooms.
These modern duplex rooms allow guests to retreat to a comforting space, with tall bay windows that allow natural light for that homely atmosphere.
A small work desk coupled with a plush sofa lets you unwind after a long day of adventure and discovery, or continue your digital occupational quests.
The Loft Gallery room loans a handy smartphone offering unlimited international and local calls, unlimited 3G data and city guide access as well; visiting tourists don’t have to worry about unexpected data or call usage during their stay.
Although lacking a bathtub, the cubicle bathroom does boast a rain shower with La Bottega bath products that are more than sufficient for cleansing away the day’s worries.
Compactly designed under the stairs, a vanity area completes the room with all basic necessities needed in a hotel stay.
The Loft Gallery room indeed delivers on the swanky lifestyle that M Social hotel promises – this is the room to book for anyone planning a couples staycation in Singapore, with rates starting from $238++ with breakfast for two.
Alternatively, the Alcove Cosy Room showcases smart design within a limited space, also with high ceilings so you don’t feel all that claustrophobic.
These smaller rooms will be more suited for the present-day solo traveler with snugness in mind and uncompromising quality.
Compared to other less-equipped boutique hotels, M Social has a 31-metre outdoor lap pool and fitness centre to stretch those muscles if guests prefer to unwind with exercise.
And what about dining at the hotel you ask?
Beast & Butterflies is the in-house restaurant at M Social, with a crew read to offer hearty fare created with inspiration from the East and West.
From this huge digital-themed restaurant comes dishes such as Lala Bee Hoon, Lobster Porridge, Braised clams and rice vermicelli served in hot stone clay pot and Ham Hock. The cuisine is truly a manifest of East and Western culture all in the comfort of one restaurant.
Ham Hock – crispy German pork knuckle is paired with Asian sauerkraut and Thai nam jim sauce as a dip.
Braised clams and rice vermicelli served in hot stone clay pot – comforting Asian-style soup that reminds you of home.
Lobster Porridge – homeage to inventive Singaporean home fare.
Despite a medley of cultures, the dishes I sampled at Beast & Butterflies served by chef Bryce Li merits praise for their individual brilliance. The cuisine is not fusion, but rather, each dish draws from its classic recipes and is executed well enough to rival other specialized restaurants.
I feel a more synergizing concept might serve to market the restaurant more clearly though, but the respective dishes do stir up an appetite.
If you’re feeling in the mood for a tipple, the bartenders at Beast & Butterflies are ready to shake up artisanal cocktails.
Flanked by two 13.5m bar counters embedded with LCD screens, the bar counter design is intriguing although mildly distracting at times with flashing images through the night.
In all candidness, although the cocktails are presented in innovative vessels, the price point of $20 upwards for this pedigree of alcohol falls short of expectations, given the creative flair that the Singapore cocktail scene has risen to.
Perhaps more homemade juices, syrups and cohesive thought needs to be injected to truly justify the high price of drinks at Beasts & Butterflies.
One of the alcoholic elements that did impress was the exclusively-designed bottled single portion wines, available as reds or whites and great for having a casual sip at the pool or back in the room.
But M Social wants to be more than just a hotel; it is a lifestyle experience where guests can mingle and engage in social activities led by the I M Social Series, a program that will reinforces the hotel as a lively community with a host of thematic gatherings like live music and exercise regimes.
A quirky, eclectic hotel stay, I enjoyed the refreshing loft-inspired experience at M Social that makes it stand apart from the common 5-star hotels. With an urban, functional-chic design, one can appreciate the amount of thought put into the spaces to make it comforting and aesthetically pleasing to guests.
With close proximity to wander the hip Robertson quay, M Social is an ideal couples staycation with food, accommodation and nightlife all-in-one.
Expected Damage: Room starts from $218++ when booked online