Villa Samadhi stands out in urban Singapore as it is the only resort villa to be set in a lush nature reserve. Bucolic and peaceful, it provides a pleasant refuge from the city rat race with its old-world atmosphere and restful ambiance.
The hotel is nestled amidst the verdant greenery of Labrador Nature Reserve – a 54-acre park that is teeming with heritage and biodiversity. The nearest Labrador MRT station is 10 minutes on foot. A drive to VivoCity, Sentosa and the Singapore Cruise Centre from here will take about 10 minutes; Chinatown 20 minutes; the Civic District, the Central Business District and the Singapore Changi Airport about 30 minutes.
Style & character
Time comes to a standstill here, completely aided by the bucolic setting and the hotel’s rustic colonial charm. Housed in a 1920s black and white building that once served as a British army garrison and a halfway house before it fell into neglect, the bungalow has been carefully restored to instil an air of old Malayan charm and, at the same time, reflecting Singapore’s colonial past.
Shutters and floorboards have been renovated with decades-old recycled wood from abandoned kampong houses, and broken or missing roof tiles replaced with those from the original manufacturer. Throughout the hotel’s public spaces you will see vintage centrepieces collected from the owner’s journeys in East Asia; look out for the antique Myanmar wooden bank teller in the hotel’s reception, the antique Indian four posted bed in the library and the leather armchairs in the bar.
Service & facilities
There may not be a swimming pool, spa, tennis court or gym here, but the idea of checking in to this villa is not to do any of these. Instead, guests are intended to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.
Service is laid back but spot-on.
- Room service
Villa Samadhi offers a total of just 20 rooms in categories of Crib, Luxe Crib, Sarang and Luxe Sarang. All the rooms come with a slightly different layout but share a common colonial theme of simple dark wood furnishings set against whitewashed walls, recycled wood and cement flooring, as well as restored original windows. There are no sofas in most of the rooms (you would have to watch TV in bed) although there are two wooden armchairs for each room located along the corridor.
The bathrooms are generously sized with white ceramic tiles and in-house bath amenities; some rooms come with a sunken whirlpool bath, and three come with wooden bathtubs. Guests have Newby Teas and instant coffee sachets to keep themselves hydrated. Instead of bottled water, you get boiled water served from a copper pot. Turndown service is unusually special as it comes with a nightcap of Port. A handy phone with unlimited data is available in each room for hotel guests to make unlimited calls free-of-charge to selected countries.
Food & drink
The Library serves a pedestrian cold buffet spread for breakfast (hot items are available for order from a menu), a welcome tea of open-faced sandwiches and scones with Newby tea, and an afternoon tea of local cakes and snacks. The adjoining bar offers an hour of complimentary cocktails (from a list of five) at 6pm. Remarkably, these are all included in the room rate.
Just two minutes walk away from the villa via a forested wooden walkway, Tamarind Hill serves Thai fare like pomelo salad with shrimps, tom yum soup with river lobster, roasted duck curry with lychee and mango sticky rice. If you don’t mind catching a cab out, Naked Finn at nearby Gilman Barracks serves top notch seafood while Alexander Food Centre fields heart-warming hawker fare like chicken rice.
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