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Byron VIP Travel

Hotel Review by Mary MacKenzie

Middle eastern exotic & value for money, The Sultan. Jalan Sultan, Singapore.

Tucked away in the Arab district and only a short walk from Bugis MRT station is this gem. Thanks to SMH Traveller Australia who piqued our interest one of their "six of the best articles". We had enjoyed Little India in early 2015 so this visit we opted for the Arab district in the cultural melting pot of Kampong Glam. Walking the district its hard not to be overwhelmed by;its heady scents wafting in the air from fragrance boutique Jamal Kazura Aromatics on Bussorah Street or Sifr Aromatics on Arab street, the many vibrant fabric shops or the quaint shops of narrow Haji Lane.

The Sultan is a boutique hotel of 64 rooms. A conservation of 10 shophouse buildings was undertaken and have been renovated to exacting tastes between 2008 - 2011. Many options of rooms are available to suit traveller needs including: standard, deluxe, loft rooms or Sultan suite options which are all well appointed with comfy beds, high ceilings with heavy exposed beams, clean lines with a touches of middle eastern exotic mosaic & simple yet distinctly middle eastern furnishings.

 The hotel aims at the discerning guest and ticks the boxes for Byron VIP Travel for business or pleasure; close to MRT transport, reasonably priced, clean, smart, excellent service & friendly staff.

Sultan Mosque ( stands majestic after its recent refurbishment just a block away. You will hear the call to prayer 5 times a day being in the heart of the Arab district.

Dinner has many local options but we returned to a favourite haunt recommended on our last visit by our concierge - ZAM ZAM; established for over 100 years with house specialties of murtabak & chicken biryani. It lies directly opposite the newly gilded mosque and is super busy with families, it's basic, cheap & delicious. The Arab district seems to have started to out price itself, we found an $8 piece of baklava in one cafe. Shop around there are some cheaper options available; we left & discovered home made churros with middle eastern twist for our sweet tooth from a small family run shop @ $4 for 6 including caramel & chocolate dipping sauces.

On the first floor of the Sultan is the home of live music venue the SingJazz Club which kicks off around 9:30, dark with loads of plush furnishings & a sultry smooth atmosphere. SingJazz Saturday night before Christmas featured American Juny brothers - Jupiter Seven & Fat Boy Tony (channeling his best Stevie Wonder)who gave us fusions of hip hop, jazz, soul, dance and funk with drum, piano, electric keys & sampler. In their first performance as a duo and they included a young local female vocalist for several songs which delivered us a funked up set despite a few mic issues which were rectified by the attentive sound-crew. Drinks here aren't cheap with beer, wine & cocktails all around the $20 mark with a $35 cover charge which doesn't apply all nights but if you're a hotel guest you won't be charged. It's a great intimate locale to catch some cool vibes in luxe surrounds & worth a visit. SingJazz is open Thursday to Sunday evenings

The hotel offers another bar/restaurant on the first floor as well as a separate newly opened restaurant on the ground floor. The ground floor restaurant serves as the breakfast buffet room with options for western or asian breakfasts available. It has a coffee machine that doesn't always work as expected. No problem here, if this happens staff will duck out and source it from another coffee house to ensure guests get their morning fix!

Disbenefits for the Sultan, there is merely one. Singapore is very hot & humid but here there is no pool so if you think you require a swim this may not be the right option for you. Our other comment was the odd located ironing board against the wall as we entered the room which was a bit disconcerting, we suggest it needs a hidden home as we couldn't find one for it!

Simple Definition of exotic: very different, strange, or unusual. Adjective ( Merriam-Webster).

The Sultan, Singapore fits the mix without the price tag to go with it!

Byron VIP Travel: Our travel experts will help you find the best hotel deals from Byron Bay Australia to around the world. We have hundreds of luxury hotels and unique accommodation to choose from.

See our Byron Bay Restaurant Guide and Byron Bay Festivals Guide [Bluesfest and more] for more local information.