Villa Samadhi Singapore: Discreet Luxury Amid Greenery
While the peerless Raffles continues to undergo major renovation, visitors to Singapore may wonder where else to stay to experience attentive personal service in a colonial-era setting while visiting the city-state. For those who prefer an intimate alternative to the steel and glass highrise hotels so often associated with Singapore, there is a place for you.
Unknown even to many Singaporeans, Villa Samadhi was originally built as a small garrison for the British Army. The heritage building renovated to perfection by Samadhi Retreats, the property has now been turned into a deluxe guesthouse set amid the dense foliage of the Labrador Nature Reserve to the west of Singapore’s CBD. This special place, rarely on the itinerary of international visitors, is a short walk from the Labrador Park MRT station but worlds away from the concrete of the city centre.
The 20 rooms at Villa Samadhi eschew over the top glitz in favour of a pared-down glamour for those who have no need to impress anyone other than themselves. There is no lobby per se, just a discreet reception room from which guests are escorted to their rooms. The focus of the house is the Library, the place where complimentary cocktails are served to guests every night at 6pm before they have dinner at the superb Tamarind Hill restaurant next door, which also belongs to Samadhi Retreats. The Library serves as a lounge exclusively for in-house guests, a place to enjoy the crossbreezes wafting through the windows and appreciate the varied tropical trees, plants, and flowers surrounding the building. It’s all very low key while maintaining an exacting standard of excellence under the watchful supervision of General Manager Anshuman Narayan. Meticulous and unpretentious in equal parts, Mr Narayan is the perfect personification of the Samadhi Retreats ethos of casual luxury paired with faultless management in every aspect of operations.
The word samadhi is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘the highest state of meditation’, and it is the goal of Samadhi Retreats’ hotels and restaurants to induce a state of dreamy relaxation in the minds of its guests and patrons. The long outdoor walkways found at Villa Samadhi are a hallmark of Samadhi Retreats properties; they are meant to symbolise the move from the busy world at large to the tranquil world of Samadhi. Suitable to the location and mindset of Villa Samadhi, private meditation, yoga, and tai chi classes can be arranged on request.
Mirroring the outdoor walkways directly below them, the wide corridors upstairs extending to the right and left of the Library are lined on one side with windows and on the other with doors to rooms, which come in a variety of sizes. Aside from their huge bathrooms, some rooms (Sarang rooms) also have their own plunge pools. The biggest and most impressive option for accommodation at Villa Samadhi is the Luxe Sarang, whose expansive indoor space is complemented by a swimming pool set in a private, walled garden. Not that a private garden is necessary to appreciate the outdoors at Villa Samadhi. The Labrador Nature Reserve is a nice place for strolling along the waterfront or along the paths taking people to various remnants of the British military presence in what was known at the time as Fort Pasir Panjang.
As does its namesake property in Kuala Lumpur, Villa Samadhi in Singapore offers guests a surprisingly natural experience while only steps away from a major city. Less than 30 minutes by car from Changi International Airport, a private transfer with LimoCars Singapore transports Villa Samadhi guests in luxurious style in one of the company’s exceptional automobiles at any time of day or night. Daytours for shopping and/or sightseeing can also be arranged.