Published on Monday, 31 July 2017 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Inconspicuously tucked away from prying eyes like a well kept secret in the heart of Orchard stands Oakwood Studios Singapore. The elegant and refined building standing tall and erect functions as a swanky serviced apartment beautifully furnished with state-of-the-art technology, a paradisiacal charm and a whimsical glamor for au courant occupants.
A slightly perfumed cold blast of air engulfed us as the sliding doors silently glided open and we stepped into the stylish reception tinted in a crimson hue. The neon red lights adorning the bars dripping from the ceiling are strategically arranged in a pattern that will reveal a familiar symbol if you stare at its reflection on the glossy tiled floor long enough. Ask any of the bubbly, spirited hotel receptionists (called curators in Oakwood Studios as they effectively help to curate your stay to your exact desires and provide any assistance needed) if you still can’t figure it out and they will let you in on the secret.
Mirrored Samsung TV in Socialize
Kitchen in Socialize
We walked straight down through the lobby into a beautiful avant-garde masterpiece of a living area. Aptly labeled Socialize, the resident’s lounge explodes with a myriad of cheerful vibrant colors bedazzled with quirky mismatched furniture, plush sofas, irregular shaped tables designed to be actively moved around by guests like a jig-saw puzzle, a white piano emblazoned with red lipstick prints, and an open kitchen adorned with chalkboard graffiti. An impressive cluster of mirrored Samsung TVs adorn a wall, displaying a slideshow of digital art.
Retreat, the al fresco garden terrace just lies beyond the sliding doors of Socialize. The outdoor area is a tranquil and secluded spot perfect for just lounging around, soaking up the sun and enjoying the nice breeze rustling through the thoughtfully planted foliage. Colorful cabanas provide some shade and allow you to comfortably stretch out on its vast plush seats while tables and chairs provide a means to hang out with friends over some drinks.
Enshrouded in a shadowy corner of Retreat is a small spiral staircase that leads up to a secret garden. The open space dotted with lounge chairs and tables, encompassed by lush greenery, is the perfect place to unwind with a book or practice yoga and temporarily escape from the concrete jungle that is Singapore.
We were then brought up to the highest floor where upon stepping out of the lift, a cool breeze combed through our hair and we were greeted by the sight of a turquoise pool set amidst a background of blue skies, fluffy clouds and the residential skyline.
A relaxing swim is definitely warranted especially when it approaches sundown. Imagine weightlessly floating by the edge of the pool without a care in the world and gazing out into the distance as the sun’s departing rays paint rainbow streaks across the rolling firmament.
As soon as dusk falls and twilight sweeps across the land, the drop in temperature will create the optimal conditions of throwing a BBQ party with lots of booze and seductively smoked BBQ meats. The BBQ pit is also located on the roof deck along with an al fresco dining area, just speak with your friendly curator in booking one.
There is also a petite gym situated just beside the pool where you can work up a good sweat while enjoying a nice view of the city. And while we are on the topic of sweat, you can toss all worries of dirty laundry out the window (not literally of course), as Oakwood Studios has all your laundry needs covered. A laundry room, fully stocked with six high-tech Samsung washing machines that also function as dryers, is available for use at your own leisure completely complimentary.
The Oakwood Studios building is peppered with hidden little niche touches that embody the spirit of Singapore like a Where’s Waldo challenge. So remember to take in your surroundings and try to spot these fun little easter eggs.
We were then shown to our rooms. An air of sophistication swathed us as we entered the brightly lit and surprisingly spacious studio apartment. Posh and understated, the décor of the apartment is a lot more toned down than the designs of the aforementioned guest spaces. Splashes of colors scatter and disperse among neutral white and grey tones, giving the space a very clean-cut and professional appeal yet with a fun and invigorating cheerfulness.
The space utilizes warm lights and natural sunlight streaming in from the sliding doors spanning one length of the apartment to illuminate the place. Beyond the sliding doors is a long balcony that allows you to chill out and get some fresh air. It comes equipped with a kitchen (complete with full-sized conventional oven, rice cooker, kettle, coffee machine, cutlery, plates, bowls, and other kitchen necessities), living area, work desk, TV, and a bathroom with a rain shower.
Prior to your stay, you can actually submit a request to get your fridge and kitchen cabinets fully stocked with groceries, snacks, drinks and whatever your heart desires. You will then be charged accordingly. My colleagues and I were only staying for a night, so we simply requested for some snacks and alcoholic beverages.
Lo and behold, when we walked in, there were snacks, cup noodles and a bottle of wine lovingly placed on the kitchen counter top, and craft beers chilling in the Samsung refridgerator. Tea satchels and coffee capsules are provided complimentary with the stay. I almost shed a tear, touched by the amount of thought and dedication that went into ensuring we had the most comfortable stay possible.
Kitchen in studio apartment
Each apartment is equipped with a television and a r7 wireless speaker. Upon settling ourselves in, one of us immediately connected to the speaker and blasted some pop tunes as we cracked open bottles of beer and popped open bottles of wine. Oakwood Studios Singapore was extremely gracious to give our team two studio apartments, back to back, so that we could have a taste of living amongst friends and throwing a party.
A cause for concern in every hotel and serviced apartment is noise pollution. Nobody likes paper-thin walls where you can hear your next door neighbor going about his daily activities and *ahem* nightly romps. We did a test and turned up the volume on the wireless speaker to the maximum, and headed to our neighboring studio apartment. We strained our ears to catch a modicum of the beat pumping next door but there was none. The apartment we were in was so silent that we could hear a pin drop.
You can even rent a piano for just $30 a night. Each apartment is designed specifically so that there is an allowance of space to fit a piano. Imagine how luxe and classy that will be.
A smartphone and a tablet is also provided for each apartment. The smartphone acts as a replacement for the landline that allows you to make calls down to the reception, and you can carry it out of the property and make use of its complimentary data and local calls when you travel around Singapore. The smartphone comes preloaded with a couple of apps that will assist you in navigating, traveling and exploring Singapore. The smartphone also functions as the apartment key. It is always easier to remember to bring your phone out along with you rather than card which can be easily misplaced. Just tap the smartphone to the card reader on your door and the door will unlock with the magic of technology!
The in-room tablet offers a wide array of in-house services you can request for with several simple taps. We wanted to request for craft beers to be delivered to our apartment, but unfortunately for us, both tablets in our apartments were faulty and we could not appropriately test this cool technological concept, much to our chagrin.
The party team
Looking on the brighter side of things, Oakwood Studios Singapore is strategically positioned a stone’s throw away from Paragon Shopping Centre. When we were dangerously close to finishing our tipples that we brought from home, we sent the boys on a beer run to the nearby mall. When they returned after an hour with a plethora of snacks and drinks, enough for us to bunker down and survive through an apocalypse for several weeks, they commented on how exceedingly convenient the location. It took them all but 5 minutes to take a leisure stroll from Oakwood Studios Singapore to Paragon, and another 5 minutes back. They spent the bulk of an hour clearing out the shelves at Paragon’s Cold Storage.
Due to the proximity of Oakwood Studios to Paragon, certain restaurants offer free delivery right to your doorstep! When we accessed a popular food delivery app and found out about the waived delivery surcharge for most of the restaurants located within the vicinity, we went wild and ordered up a feast, selecting various dishes from a multitude of restaurants. If you would like to traipse around town instead of slacking around like us, you may want to rent one of Oakwood Studios' electric scooters for just $30 a day so you can very efficiently zip around Orchard Road. Scooter rental is available for both residents and non-residents!
When night fell, the city came alive with streetlights and a raucous susurration of Orchard Road's nightlife echoed from the balcony. It was nothing like we have ever heard. The unanimous indistinguishable chatter from thousands of people living it up filled the air with joie de vivre. We sat outside for awhile, soaking in the happiness of a thousand different voices drifting and fading continuously in the wind before we went in and shut the sliding doors, drowning out the joyous roar of the night scene to a melodious silence in the room, threw ourselves onto our big fluffy beds and fell into a deep slumber.
Oakwood Studios Singapore's apartments start from $214 a night, with a minimum stay of 7 nights.
Hi, I'm Cheryl. I possess a joie de vivre spirit unique to my character, my expressions of euphoria are wild in nature and I approach life like one colossal party. I love venturing into the unknown and exploring all that is possible; from exotic foods to cliff-diving. When I am not seeking out something extraordinary to check off my bucket list, I love curling up on a comfy couch with a glass of wine and a book in hand. Follow my personal adventures in my blog here where I let loose of all inhibitions, voice my inner-most emotions, exult in all that is wonderful, unleash the monsters within, lose myself in beautiful reveries, reminisce treasured memories and curate recherché experiences.