Architecture / Interior /

The 8 Luxurious Hotels of the Orient World

For many centuries, history has recorded that the Orient has consistently been among the most opulent parts of the world. From palaces to artisan works, the Oriental world continues this tradition in a way which is still relevant in the modern day. Over the last 10 months, I have been travelling to the ancient city of Byzantium (now is Istanbul), all the way up to 3,000 meter above sea level to another ancient city of Lijiang, down to the shore of the Lhaviyani Atolls in the Maldives, and finally to Singapore to find eight luxury hotels that still keep the spirit of Oriental world opulence.


Capella Singapore:
The Extraordinary Fusion

Hidden in the tranquil area of Sentosa Island is one of Singapore’s best resorts known as Capella Singapore. Being the first establishment bearing Capella’s brand, Capella Singapore was opened in March 2009. It has achieved respect as an amazing example of global collaboration, featuring the works of famous designers of our era from the hotel’s architecture to the landscape.


Capella Singapore follows the popular design recipe of combining the old and the new. A beautiful and fully restored 1880s British colonial building called Tanah Merah, part of the hotel’s glorious past, is not only preserved but is also used as the main reception area. The building also hosts a library lounge and the gorgeous looking Chinese fine dining restaurant called Cassia that was designed by the renowned Andre Fu of AFSO. A colour palette of lilac, mineral grey, dark Chinese lacquer, and bronze are woven, to great effect, throughout the restaurant. An open staircase features a large scale installation by a Japanese artist, Tomoko Sawada that leads, in turn, to an alluring water feature and the long architectural wall becomes the accent of this restaurant.

Curved, modern buildings gently intermingle with both of the colonial buildings and the verdant, vibrant rainforest which is spread over 30 acres of land and features the South China Sea as the background view. Award-winning architects Foster + Partners ingeniously integrated traditional Asian design with contemporary Western influences into Sentosa Island’s natural topography, allowing new structures to follow the contours of the terrain to ensure a balance with nature.

They also designed the resort’s 112 guestrooms, though the interior design was led by the late Jaya Ibrahim. Utilizing a neutral colour palate, Ibrahim brings the local Singaporean culture to life with his great vision. The interior design has been crafted as a backdrop for visitors to sit, move, lie down with ease and with the constant awareness of this tropical setting, highlighting the contrast of old and new.


Another design marvel in this resort can be found at The Knolls, Capella Singapore’s all-day dining restaurant and bar lounge that was designed by Yasuhiro Koichi, the co-founder of Tokyo based Design Studio, SPIN. Inspired by the fusion of Capella Singapore’s classic and modern design, Koichi has given this restaurant an Asian-colonial flavour, integrating antique and contemporary elements to create an intimate oasis.

Capella Singapore also has one of the most dramatic landscape designs as a juxtaposition to the hotel’s clean-lined, contemporary architecture. Various indigenous plants from bamboo, beetle nut and Livistona palms have been used to complement the region’s historic colonial architecture. Alan Kerton of Belt Collins International who designed the landscape also created a combination of plants inspired by rice terrace landscapes within the main hotel courtyard. Being the first Capella hotel of its kind, Capella Singapore is such a great melting pot of design that it sets a standard for luxury resorts in Singapore

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