Duxton Reserve Singapore, Autograph Collection (Opium Suite)

Located in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown with abundant dining and nightlife options, the Duxton Reserve Singapore, Autograph Collection offers modern accommodation infused with rich Asian heritage. Formerly the Six Senses Duxton, this property was rebranded under Marriott’s Autograph Collection from June 2020.

But not all is lost. In fact, guests will still be able to immerse themselves in the repurposed shophouses befitting of Marriott’s Category 5 listing. There are a total of 49 guest rooms and suites, all of which are unique, so no two rooms are the same.

But before I take you through the property, drivers should note that there is no onsite parking available. Instead, street side parking, or the open-air carpark nearby, offer alternative parking options if you intend to drive there for your stay.

The facade of the property still retains that of the traditional shophouses that line the streets in Chinatown, albeit with a modern flair. Even though the wooden window panes are still retained, the building is pretty much sealed behind glass windows, to keep the cold air conditioning in and the hot humid air out.

Once inside, you’ll be greeted with strong shades of black, gold and yellow all around. You’ll find the same throughout the entire lobby area, stretching all the way through to the in-house restaurant Yellow Pot right at the other end. Personally, I find that the colours go very well together. Plus, the clever use of glass panes set with the wooden partitions allow for better flow of lighting throughout the space, avoiding a potentially dim and cluttered atmosphere.

Ambient lighting is also enhanced by means of beautiful yellow lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

As Platinum guests, we were informed that we were upgraded to the Opium Suite, which was a nice gesture.

However, we were mentally prepared that since the property was built within the shell of adjoining shophouses, the suite would appear more confined than suites in other properties. And we were right.

With only 36 square metres of space available, the property had to maximise the use of space by optimising the arrangement of the furniture. Upon entering the suite, there was a short corridor that eventually opened up to the main area of the suite.

Along the corridor was a very well stocked minibar! Much care and attention was taken to ensure guests do not go hungry or thirsty during their stay.

The walls were lined with calligraphy wallpaper, a defining feature of this suite.

On one side was the living space, with a long sofa positioned along the windows.

Along the middle of the space was a firm ottoman that doubled as a coffee table. A large tray provided offered an adequately firm surface for some drinks and snacks. Almost immediately after our check in, an associate came by to offer us our welcome amenity – a pot of Chinese tea!

On the side opposite that of the sofa was a cushioned wooden bench for additional seating around the living room.

The television was mounted on the wall and the cable options were pretty much in line with other properties.

A wooden partition that stood nearly from floor to the ceiling separated the living area from the sleeping quarters. As you can tell, space isn’t a premium in this suite, so the large king sized bed was positioned against the corner of the space.

Note that due to the design of the bed frame, there is only one way to get on and off the bed, which may inconvenience your sleeping partner if you’re the one on the inside. If you have to manoeuvre yourself to cross over your sleeping partner to get out of bed, be careful of the lantern that’s dangling right over the centre of the bed.

Another television was mounted right in front of the bed, but the viewing distance was still comfortable when viewed in bed. Movable reading lights are located on either side of the bed for your convenience.

Right next to the wooden partition was a fairly large work desk with a cushioned stool that could be pushed all the way under it in order to save space. There was also a coffee machine and a kettle for guests to use.

Notice the couple of standing lamps that illuminate the space by directing light upwards towards the ceiling to cut down on direct lighting.

Next, the bathroom. Less is more when it comes to this bathroom that only had space for a WC, sink area, and a standing shower. Of course, there was no bathtub to be seen as there was no way it could’ve fit inside the bathroom.

That being said, the jet-black surfaces and diffuse lighting gave the bathroom a very contemporary feel.

For this Opium Suite, we had issues with the shower as there was no hot water available. As there was no alternative suite of the same category available, the staff issued us key cards to access another guest room just to use the shower. Overall, this was an inconvenience to us but we just had to make do with it.

There are no onsite fitness facilities such as a gym or swimming pool, so the only exercise you can get is to put on your running shoes and explore the surrounding precinct if you wish. However, when the Maxwell Reserve, Autograph Collection opens nearby in the near future, guests can hop over to use the gym and swimming pool facilities over there. I covered these in a previous post prior to the property’s rebranding from Six Senses to Marriott.

Breakfast was served at Yellow Pot on the ground floor. The dishes were free flow, and we had a go at the chicken ginseng congee, chilli crab omelette, kaya toast, soft boiled eggs, and some dim sum.

Yellow Pot had many seating configurations, perfect for couples or even family gatherings. Although, the highlight would have to be the bar area with the clever use of glass and lighting to create the perfect atmosphere for a drink with friends after work.

If you’re benchmarking your stay at this property against a typical shophouse, you’ll definitely be impressed. The rich Asian tradition is evident from the building’s facade to the interior decor, but modern touches keep it up to date for the discerning traveller. However, compared to other newer properties out there, you’ll find the guest rooms and suites much smaller than the industry standard. Also, the lack of hot water for showering shouldn’t happen at all, but service recovery in this case was adequate. As part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, we’ll be interested to see how its sister property, the Maxwell Reserve Autograph Collection, compares to the Duxton Reserve, when the hotel opens in Nov 2021.