Produced by SilverKris for Heritage Collection
The pandemic has hit Singapore’s heritage neighbourhoods particularly hard. With inbound tourism at a standstill, and work-from-home the norm for nearly two years, areas that relied on international visitors and patrons from surrounding office blocks are suffering from diminished footfall. What will it take to keep our most prized areas alive. One possible answer: heritage staycations.
Think about it: chances are you’ve done the Sentosa blowouts and brand-name city getaways and are once again yearning to trade your life for a different one, if only for a few days. Located in old buildings, nestled in historic enclaves and rubbing shoulders with local eateries and businesses, heritage staycations are novel experiences hiding in plain sight.
Heritage staycations give you the chance to immerse yourself in the city’s most iconic neighbourhoods like a true inhabitant. Perhaps more importantly, an influx of staycationers can positively impact the local shops and eateries that have lost business in recent months.
Revitalising neighbourhoods with heritage staycations
A homegrown boutique hospitality chain founded in 2011, Heritage Collection has worked with landlords to restore charming shophouses and operate them as long-stay accommodations within heritage neighbourhoods in downtown Singapore. That includes small colonial-era buildings in the picturesque areas of Boat Quay, Chinatown and City Hall.
Over the pandemic, the brand has diversified into short-stay hotels, opening up intriguing new staycation opportunities for travel-starved Singaporeans. Back in January, it did a thorough refurbishment of Heritage Collection on Clarke Quay, a quaint five-floor building located along a classic five-foot way on the corner of Upper Circular Road and South Bridge Road.
Studios here start at S$85 nett per night, and feature contemporary in-room perks such as rain showers, fully equipped kitchenettes and Apple TVs. The property is walking distance to cocktail joints, tapas bars, bak kut teh haunts, third-wave coffee shops, cute gelaterias and lots more. All in all, perfect for solo staycationers looking for some solitary R&R or couples seeking an urban getaway.
Boat Quay’s transformative new staycation
In August, Heritage Collection made its biggest splash till date, opening its flagship property right by the river on Boat Quay. The four-shophouse takeover near Elgin Bridge has given a much-needed facelift to an area with a lot of recent tenant turnover.
Heritage Collection on Boat Quay (Quayside Wing) has maintained all the buildings’ heritage architectural elements, including wooden door screens, parapets and roofs. Its 41 rooms are located on the second and third floors, with an array of F&B options along the street level. Like its sister properties in the area, the Quayside Wing offers high-tech mod-cons amenities, kitchenettes and rain showers. It is also the first to use a mobile check-in system that resides within the feature-packed new Heritage Collection mobile app.
Life on the river with Heritage Collection
Runners will appreciate waking up and immediately heading down for a morning jog by the river, admiring the architecture, murals and statues along the way before refuelling at one of the many cafés or kopitiams. There’s also of course the option of heading back to your room to make breakfast. The FairPrice at nearby Funan Mall is perfect for stocking up on pantry essentials if you’re staying for a few nights.
In the evenings, guests staying in selected rooms can enjoy a view of the sunset, or order a riverside craft beer and Mexican, Indian or local seafood takeaway from the local bars and restaurants directly downstairs from the hotel.
If you’re short on ideas, Heritage Collection’s mobile app serves not just as your room key but a great source for room promos, neighbourhood guides and discounts for local cafés, laundry services and boutique tour operators.
Heritage Collection’s show-stopping view
Need more reason to give heritage staycations a go? Here’s the clincher: the unbelievable balcony views from two of Quayside Wing’s top-tier rooms.
Whether you stay at the Stamford Studio or the split-level Raffles Loft, you can just about reach out and touch the jaw-dropping panorama of the Singapore River, the Parliament, the Arts House, the Singapore Flyer and MBS in the distance. (Pro tip: fireworks-lovers should keep this in mind for New Year’s Eve and the next National Day.)
And with a spacious balcony packed with old-time shutters, black-and-white blinds and lounge furniture, there’s no place better for sundown drinks than your own temporary home in the heart of Boat Quay.