Normally, the thought of staying in a concept hotel makes us long for the simple splendors of Motel 6. We picture Santa-themed "love hotels" or places done up like a set from Interview with A Vampire — and German dungeon porn. Sweet dreams!
But the new Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore — which advertises its "concept" on its Web site — isn't quite so self-serious. And it proves just how far the entire boutique hotel phenomenon has spread, while adapting to local tastes and whims.
Designed "to draw madcap voyagers and curious travelers," it's set up as a showcase for local designers. Each gets a floor and free agency to dress it any which way, whether in trompe l?oeil modern furniture (up top), glammy salon chairs or a wacked-out typewriter that would look right at home in Gulliver's Travels (below). The whole thing's so quirky and clashy and tacky, it seems like an anti-concept of sorts.
Which is a clever business tactic unto itself. Wanderlust Hotel is a property of the marketing company-turned-hotel group Design Hotels, which has turned the idea of boutique properties into a global enterprise. The company has more than 190 hotels around the world, each meticulously designed and entirely sui generis. Clearly, it recognizes that people like staying in playful theme hotels that aren't mannered. More on Wanderlust below:
The lobby is fitted out like an industrial-chic barbershop. By Asylum]:
Here, the art and design collective :phunk studio used an acid Pantone palette to paint rooms the color of famous songs.
DP Architects's rooms are inspired by paper and Pop Art:
The building, a 1920s schoolhouse in Singapore's downtrodden Little India:
[Images courtesy of Design Hotels]