My dashing new crush is waiting outside my cabin at YOTEL Singapore. He is four feet tall, has a solid, silver body and what he lacks in arms, he makes up for with three well-defined compartments. His big, dreamy eyes make him a little cuter than his cousin YO2D2 from YOTEL Boston, but what wins me over is the fact that he is polite and kind of geeky. While waiting for the lift, he quips “Beam me up, Scotty!”
This is Yoshi, one of two robots on YOTEL Singapore’s staff, and the first in the world to be equipped with Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping technology, which allows Yoshi and his robot companion, Yolanda, to move around the hotel’s grounds on their own, taking turns to deliver towels and bottled water to the hotel’s 610 cabins at any hour of the day.
Here, in the heart of Singapore’s buzzing shopping district, the hotel is a contrast to the classic opulence that defines the properties lining Orchard Road. Contemporary, cool, tech-driven, and affordable, YOTEL Singapore offers a kind of luxury crafted for a different generation. Its futuristic interiors with white walls, purple lights and geometric furnishings will have you humming David Bowie’s Space Oddity in no time.
YOTEL’s founder Simon Woodroffe was inspired to design a hotel with rooms resembling first class cabins after a eureka moment on a flight – when he was upgraded to the first class cabin. The result: smart, sleek rooms with only essential luxuries.
Measuring just 14 square metres, my abode – the Premium Queen – is an example of remarkable design ingenuity. The room was spacious enough to fit everything I needed – a nice bathroom with a monsoon rain shower and a plush queen-size mattress with gel memory foam. Oh, and a note on the queen bed – YOTEL Singapore’s adjustable SmartBed™ transforms into a sofa during the day and a bed at night!
Most of the room’s storage areas can be cleverly folded into its ‘technowalls’, which house USB and Bluetooth ports, so in case guests don’t feel like watching any of the 63 channels available to them, they could easily catch up on some Netflix on the cabin’s 40-inch HD Smart TV.
Staying put, though, would seem quite the task – just a five-minute walk away from the Orchard Road MRT, YOTEL Singapore is strategically located and exploring the city via public transport is incredibly easy – something a budget-conscious Malaysian like me definitely appreciates.
Speaking of things inexpensive, a visit to Grains & Hops – the hotel’s home to craft beers and sumptuous rice bowls – is a must! Here, diners can savour grilled Angus beef, roasted Kurobuta pork collar, and miso salmon, alongside thirst-quenching cold brews.
Before I leave, I try to catch Yoshi, but with so many guests crowding around him, I realise I am just one of his many admirers who will have to make another trip here to see him!
Fend off the heat in sunny Singapore with a glass of ice-cold beer! The Grains & Hops’ Brew, crafted exclusively for YOTEL Singapore, is a divinely smooth, fruity pale ale infused with a hint of jasmine green tea.
Address: 366 Orchard Road, Singapore 238904