Far from ordinary, the Wanderlust Hotel offers guests a delightful escape from Singapore’s towering mainstream hotels. This affordable eclectic boutique property is located in charming Little India, a culturally dynamic neighborhood just north of the city center.

Each of the hotel’s 29 rooms is a unique celebration of creative design. Singapore’s top design agencies joined DP Architects, a renowned local architectural firm, to successfully infuse new life into a tired old school built in the 1920s. Whimsical, colorful and in some cases, eccentric themes dominate each floor of the four story hotel.

Flower Room at Wanderlust Hotel

On hotel Level 3 fondly named “Is It Just Black and White?”, I found my special room. Bright, white and dazzling in pop-art daisies, the Flower Room was a heavenly haven after a long day of sightseeing.

Wanderlust’s recent opening in August 2010 marks positive change and the spotlight for Little India. The area has now expanded its reach and popularity beyond the budget and backpacker crowd. Wanderlust Hotel is a comfortable option for the curious explorer who seeks a truly authentic “off the beaten path” travel experience.

Location: No. 2 Dickson Road; Singapore, Asia

Little India (MRT/Subway stop: Little India)

Rooms: 29 themed rooms

Price Range: Modest Rates. US$170-$300+

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When to Go: Singapore, located 85 miles north of the equator, has a very tropical climate. Weather can be very hot and humid year round. Avoid peak holiday times like Chinese New Year which spans several weeks in late January/early February.

Services/Amenities:  WiFi; mini fridge; in-room coffee/tea maker; large flat screen TV; full service bar/restaurant; outdoor deck & jacuzzi; secure keyless room entry; walking distance to MRT/Subway.

Fun Fact: Little India is home to Singapore’s 24 hour Shopping Center – Mustafa Centre

Where else can you buy socks and running shoes at 2 a.m.?

Be forewarned, Sundays can be absolutely crazy near Mustafa. Streets are packed with hundreds of migrant workers from India and Bangladesh who congregate to shop, socialize and visit nearby temples. Weekends in Little India give new meaning to crowd control.

Hotel Restaurant: COCOTTE

Cocotte is a wildly popular restaurant with locals and guests alike, specializing in rustic French Cuisine. The restaurant’s claim to fame is its original menu and communal family style seating. Reservations are highly recommended. “Must Try” specialties include: Braised Baby Squid, Escargot Gougeres (tender snails in cheese puff pastries), and Fried Tripe (cow stomach). For a truly mouthwatering meal for two… try Cocotte’s roasted whole organic chicken served with baby potatoes and fresh spring vegetables. Note: You will need to pre-order this dish, given the chicken is marinated for 2 days before serving. But it is well worth the wait!

Cocette Restaurant

Sister Hotel Properties (Singapore) to check out next time:

New Majestic Hotel – Stylish boutique hotel in Historic Chinatown

Hotel 1929 – Hip Retro hotel property located on the edge of Chinatown in a business district. Special note: Terrace Suites offer private rooftop verandas with over-sized cast iron soaking tubs. Nice!

Visit YourSingapore.com for more travel planning information.