BIG Hotel, Singapore: Functional chic in a great location

BIG Hotel, Singapore. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for margauxlicious.

IMG_9543Soon after the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, I was invited back to Singapore for one of the dinners for World Gourmet Summit. Easy me (haha), I flew back in a heartbeat.

I was planning to stay in Chinatown as I fell in love with that area the last time I was there (more on that later). Singapore’s Chinatown has become a hip venue. It does not feel like Chinatown at all. Feels like Malate back in the ’90s.

This time, though, we ended up in Bugis. I was not a fan of Bugis until this stay. Apparently it’s their arts area. The design center was around the corner from our hotel.

We stayed at a hotel called BIG.

BIG 15 front deskThe first thing that struck me was the hotel’s attention to detail. This is the front desk, with this striking painting. But note the weighing scale on the side to help you make sure your luggage is not overweight when you check out (brilliant! at other hotels you have to ask). And how cute is this hat stand?

BIG Hotel, Singapore. Photo by Margaux Salcedo for
Lobby waiting area.

After being led to our room, we were briefed on how to operate the switches: you have the option of doing it the regular way (light switch on the wall) OR you can use a tablet! There is a photo of the room on the tablet with indicators of where to push to switch on the lights.

BIG 6BIG 8 tabletThe room reminded me of a hotel I stayed at in New York years ago called the Hudson. Designed by Philippe Starck, the breakfast area is like a mess hall and the rooms are supposed to look like dorm rooms – but with far greater style, of course.

At BIG, the rooms are bigger (rooms at the Hudson are puny!), possibly because of their amazing use of space. In our deluxe room, instead of a cabinet, you can hang your clothes on hooks and a wall metal shelf. Instead of compromising with a single sized bed, a queen sized bed keeps its post but is shoved sideways to the wall.

It’s makes sense. Who really uses a cabinet anyway for a quick weekend trip? Plus, you get the benefit of a large bed even on a tight budget. And, might I add, the beds here are perfect. Sooooo soft. Felt like 500,000 thread count sheets. Ok, a few extra zeroes but you know what I mean!

I also really liked the way the designer used very relaxing shades and textures. The colors and wallpapers really help you calm down after a tiring day of walking, walking and more walking. One wall resembles cement bricks while another was like teak. It’s supposed to be a Scandivian-inspired design but to me it felt like upscale Muji!

Below the bed is the safety deposit box and a LOT of room for your bags or shoes. Really brilliant maximization of space.

BIG 20 roomsThe breakfast place called the Nook I surmise is supposed to resemble a school cafeteria. It gets really full around 8 am, a  testament to how booked the hotel is!

BIG 21 nook collageI liked this touch of using footprints instead of arrows to direct you.

IMG_9458 confess though that I did not eat at the Nook because we went out to discover more restaurants. But the brewed coffee was a necessity after a wine pairing dinner at The White Rabbit for the World Gourmet Summit the night before! It’s from a dispenser so you can chug down as much coffee as necessary to wake you up! (Make sure you bring the coupon they give you upon check in.)

If you find yourself checking in here, you’ll be relieved to know that the hotel is also near a couple of MRT stations. My sister and I found the Bugis station most convenient as it was also like a Glorietta mall with all these shops you can pass through before riding on the train.

After your day of fun, just before you hit the sheets, you can grab a drink at their Wine Bar. Check it out – my dream closet:

BIG 4BIG 5And just like in college, there’s a dart board and scotch!

IMG_9507My kind of place!

Traveler’s tip:  If you book via Agoda (which I have been doing for several years now), you may be able to get a room here for less than P5,000 a night! I used Agoda to book myself at various stops in Italy, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Saigon, even Tagaytay, and I can honestly say that they give really good deals. In fact at some hotels, I was surprised to find it cheaper to book via Agoda than to book directly with the hotel!

Oh, this hotel also has cute references to “BIG”. To clean your room, the door sign says “I’ve made a BIG mess.” The hotel pen says “Living it Big”. And check out where they keep the blow dryer:

BIG 2BIG deal 😉

BIG Hotel 
200 Middle Road, Bugis, Singapore 188980