South Beach Singapore
Outrageously outfitted by the flamboyant designer Philip Starck, the 654 rooms property opened to rave reviews from design buffs and art savants. Barely 24 months later the hotel takes centre stage as the JW Marriott South Beach after a S$20 million renovation.
A work still in progress, a splatter of bars accompanies the main joint, Beach Road Kitchen, which serves one of the best Sunday brunch in town. The interiors of Spa by JW look every bit as funky as other parts of the hotel but it remains to be seen if the services here match the hardware. Madam Fan by Alan Yau of Haka San fame woks up some sumptuous lobster noodles a la old new Chinese cuisine.
Affable and sharp, staff here do try and make a good impression.
One simply cannot initiate check-in without first checking out the quiet Ju Ming sculpture contrasting against the fluid wall mural or wonder if those flickering flames from Starck's levitating candles are indeed real. Rooms are bright and zappy but the hybridised rocking chair grates with its unviable design. From the monumentally dazzling Lee Lee Nam wall installation to the quiet restraint of Botero's Woman on Horse, the lobby of what is now officially the world's most funky JW Marriott is a veritable exhibition on both art and panache. But overall, the disjointed designer aspects and smallish rooms mar the hotel's overall appeal.