There’s nothing that we didn’t love about AMOY. This 37-room boutique hotel in Central Singapore threads the fine balance between tradition and modernity, and holds in high esteem great service that goes beyond a smile. To enter the hotel, we stepped over the threshold of Fuk Tak Chi Temple along Telok Ayer Street. Yes, this temple-turned-museum is the main entrance of AMOY! We were greeted by artefacts that showcase the history of Singapore’s early Chinese immigrants.
Right beyond this is AMOY but the museum never quite ends, spilling into the hotel decor and design, from the lobby and into the rooms. This building that is now a hotel used to be old shophouses, each with a unique architectural layout. This means that no two rooms in AMOY are the same.
AMOY is nestled in the historic district of Chinatown, steps away from Telok Ayer MRT station and framed by skyscrapers that are part of Singapore’s CBD. Plenty of iconic attractions are within walking distance but we recommend taking your explorations beyond it. Delve deeper and you’ll find quirky cafes, exclusive speakeasies and maybe even a cool barber along a quiet alleyway.
There are several interesting features about the rooms in AMOY. In line with the hotel’s heritage theme, the rooms are named after common Chinese surnames such as Huang (黄), Wang (汪) and Chen (陈). Different antiques are on sale in each room, such as a boxed abacus or a rack with paint brushes.
On top of that, each room comes with a Handy Smartphone equipped with free local and international calls (to Japan, US, Australia and more) as well as unlimited internet.
AMOY’s Cosy Single rooms come in various layouts but with the same in-room amenities. Modern comforts are in order, such as a coffee machine, in-room safe, hair dryer and iron. On the table, there’s an iPhone dock and an alarm clock with USB ports we could charge our electronics with. The room has space-saving features that make the room feel spacious, such as a 32” LCD TV (with cable channels) that swivels from the wall.
Complementing the chic vibe of the room are some nostalgic oriental touches. A modern white opium bed – the kind used in opium dens back in the days – takes the centre stage, and on the wooden table lies a book about old postcards.
We love it that the refreshments in the minibar are free and replenished daily. It’s a pretty wide selection, including Florida’s Natural Orange Juice and even Carlsberg beer!
The Double Deluxe Room we stayed in exceeded our expectations. Our room was divided into two sections: the sink, bathroom and shower beside the door, and the desk and queen-sized bed down some steps.
A nice touch was the porcelain basin and a little cushion on the bed with an oriental design. Our room also had a beautiful teapot set on display and sale. AMOY sure knows how to weave in a nice dose of traditional touches to their rooms!
Ask previous guests what they love most about AMOY and chances are, they’ll mention the incredible hospitality they received from the hotel staff. The lovely thing about staying in a small boutique hotel is the intimate setting it affords.
The staff at AMOY went to great lengths for us – they gave us food recommendations, tips on visiting attractions, and even walked us to the nearby wanton noodles stall when we asked for directions. It doesn’t stop there. We’ve read that the staff would slip handwritten notes to their guests and sometimes even pack Tau Sa Piah (bean paste pastry) for those who are checking out!
As we were checking in the hotel, we were greeted not just with smiles but also a glass of Alluring Amoy. This is AMOY’s signature mocktail: a blend of orange juice, grenadine syrup and soda. A refreshing drink to mark the start of an unforgettable rejuvenating stay – how apt for the occasion!
This Japanese restaurant housed within AMOY’s premises offers sushi, seafood, noodles, and all sorts of Japanese food. Fresh ingredients are championed; some are even specially flown all the way from Japan! Run by Chef Thomas Kok, a pioneer Japanese chef in Singapore, JIN Fine Dining can satisfy even food connoisseurs with a refined palate. Try their set lunches or an omakase meal if you like pleasant surprises.
AMOY has paired up with DEAN & DELUCA to deliver a wider variety of breakfast options for their guests. Hailing from New York, DEAN & DELUCA embodies the tastes and trends of its parent city. The 55 seater cafe in Far East Square, one of their three outlets in Singapore, offers all-day breakfast, salads, sandwiches and quiches that will tantalise your senses. Breakfast awaits just 50 metres away from AMOY! Featured in their gourmet selections are Grilled Ancho Chicken, Pan Seared Salmon and Slow Roasted Beef. We indulged in their Salmon Benedict and topped that off with a Rainbow Cake – a divine start to the day! After breakfast, you can browse their gourmet selections of food products such as condiments and spreads on sale.
The concept of AMOY is inspired by the Zhengzhou immigrants from China who settled in Amoy Street years ago. So, why ‘AMOY’? The hotel’s name is actually transliterated from the pronunciation of the word’ Xiamen’ by the Zhengzhou people!
Around the hotel lobby are displays of antiques such as an old typewriter and a sewing machine. Some of them are even on sale! These antiques are either contributions from the community or personally sourced by the hotel manager of AMOY.
In the past, the Fuk Tak Chi Temple was located by the coast. Thanks to land reclamation in 1879 and the urban development henceforth, the shoreline has been pushed back. You can’t even see it from AMOY now!
Book Period: 1 Jan 2018 until 30 June 2019
Stay Period: 1 Jan 2018 until 30 June 2019
Enjoy the following perks when you book the ‘Nostalgia at AMOY’ package:
One of the selling points of AMOY is its great location. It is in close proximity to cultural attractions such as Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Relic Temple & Museum and Sri Mariamman Temple. Walk towards Singapore River and you’ll find the Merlion Park, Esplanade and Marina Bay Sands. Within a five-minute walk from AMOY are also two famous eateries, Lau Pa Sat and Maxwell food centre. To top it off, the Tanjong Pagar historic district nearby is a paradise for hipsters who love unique cafes, bars and restaurants.
Part of the Thian Hock Keng Temple complex is a quaint cafe that is little-known, even to ubiquitous cafe-hoppers. Chong Wen Ge Cafe serves Peranakan favourites like Nonya Curry Chicken Rice set, Laksa and Mee Siam. For those who only have room for munchies, try their assortment of nonya kueh such as Kueh Lapis, Kueh Talam and Lemper Udang.
Beside the cafe is a Peranakan Tile Gallery which houses over 20,000 tiles, and within the same building is the Singapore Musical Box Museum. You can sit indoors, surrounded by a hodgepodge of colourful tiles, or outdoors under the pavilion.
Tucked in the narrow alley between Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street is a street barber who goes by Mr Lee. Plastic tarp held together by ropes and paper clips make the roof of his modest little barbershop.
When we visited, the well-dressed Mr Lee, who has over 50 years of experience as a barber, was busy snipping locks of his customer’s hair. Six dollars is little price to pay for supporting a trade that is rapidly disappearing, and not to mention an excellent haircut.
“We buy junk and sell antiques, some fools buy and some fools sell,” reads the sign in front of Tong Mern Sern Antiques Arts and Crafts. Delve into this treasure trove and hunt for your piece of gold, whether it is an antique watch, old paintings or silverware. This hidden gem which hides many gems is found in Chinatown, along Craig Road.