With a lobby ceiling stripped bare to expose 78-year-old paintwork and with dentist chairs surreally placed beneath vintage fans, Singapore's New Majestic Hotel newmajestichotel.com makes a striking first impression. Then again, 34-year-old owner Loh Lik Peng didn't make his name by pandering to conventional notions of
The latest venture, a couple of streets away, is a grander vehicle for his bohemianism. There are avant-garde murals and installations by nine up-and-coming local artists, and eminent creative talents were involved in the design of some of the accommodation. Graphic designer Theseus Chan covered one room with marine plywood, while director Glen Goei appointed another in red silk in homage to Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou's period drama Raise the Red Lantern. The hotel's modern Cantonese restaurant is just as characterful, with glass windows on the ceiling looking straight into the swimming pool above not that Loh needs any more help when it comes to making a splash. Rates from $150 a night.