Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore is an aparthotel that offers a distinctive experience for short-term and long-term guests, characterised by three brand attributes: Harmonious, Custom-Fit and Social. These principles are reflected throughout the guest journey, creating a unique and tailored experience. The hotel boasts a range of features and amenities that cater to every guest, fostering interaction with the local environment through multiple touchpoints.
Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore has had a remarkable year, marked by unforgettable experiences and a significant achievement – being named the winner of the 2023 World Travel Awards for ‘Asia’s Leading New Serviced Apartments.’ The World Travel Awards stands as the most prestigious honors program within the travel and tourism industry, and this victory is acknowledged worldwide as the ultimate benchmark of excellence. This accolade adds an extra layer of excellence to your stay, and as a brand with a strong commitment to sustainability, guests have the opportunity to indulge in a greener experience. There are various eco-friendly activities to engage in and a chance to learn about sustainable practices, making it an attractive choice for those who value environmental responsibility.
Our editorial team interviewed Roy Liang, who serves as the Vice President of Operations for Dao by Dorsett and also holds the position of General Manager at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore. He shared insights into his responsibilities as Vice President of Operations and his instrumental role in shaping the brand during the launch of the first Dao by Dorsett hotel in Asia, among other topics. Keep reading for more insights from this engaging conversation.
Interview with Roy Liang, General Manager and Vice President of Operations, DAO by Dorsett AMTD Singapore
1. How does Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore’s aparthotel model distinguish itself in offering a unique and tailored experience that caters to the requirements of both short-term and long-term guests? What specific features and services make it stand out in accommodating the needs of these different guest groups?
Roy Liang: Dao by Dorsett is a new aparthotel brand launched by parent Dorsett Hospitality International last year. Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore (rebranded from Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore) is the flagship property launched in July 2022, the group’s first location in Asia, followed by Dao West London.
Dao translates into English as ‘the way’ and emphasises how our Dao by Dorsett hotels will pave the way in letting our independent, dynamic guests explore the community and immerse themselves in the local area. The extensive range of partnerships we have in our first Asian property, in Singapore, a testament to our belief in this approach.
The Aparthotel Hybrid Model is a unique concept that combines the best of both hotel accommodation and the appeal of extended stays. It offers guests the comfort and convenience of a hotel room, along with the flexibility and amenities of a fully furnished apartment. With travellers travelling more frequently and for longer durations, the Aparthotel Hybrid Model has become an increasingly prominent choice for those seeking flexibility instead of opting for more one-dimensional stays.
Our accommodations under the Aparthotel Hybrid Model offer spacious and well-equipped units that are suitable for both short and long-term stays. Most properties have units that house a living space, kitchenettes and even laundry space, making it an ideal choice for business travellers, families, and individuals who prefer a more home-like experience.
2. Can you provide an overview of the key features and amenities at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore that enhance the guest experience upon arrival, and share specific examples of how the hotel embodies its core brand attributes of ‘Harmonious, Custom-Fit, and Social’ to facilitate guest engagement with the local environment during their stay?
Roy Liang: At Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, we have 268 fully serviced apartment units, one dining destination and a beautiful pool deck overlooking downtown Singapore and the upcoming Greater Southern Waterfront. From biodegradable in-room amenities to partnerships with small local businesses, our aparthotel’s mindful approach to travel will create an uplifting and inviting experience for all guests.
Dao translates into English as ‘the way’ and emphasises how our Dao by Dorsetthotels will pave the way in letting our independent, dynamic guests explore the community and immerse themselves in the local area. The extensive range of partnerships we have in our first Asian property, in Singapore, are testament to our belief in this approach.
Dao by Dorsett AMTD has established carefully curated collaborations to empower guests with choice and flexibility throughout their stay. The hotel facilitates the multiple touchpoints for guests through the brand’s three attributes. At Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, through the brand’s three attributes: Social, Custom-Fit and Harmonious, we want to encourage guests to ‘live your way, anywhere’ with sustainability in mind from the onset.
Upon arrival, guests will immediately be immersed in Dao by Dorsett’s Harmonious approach to check-in by being invited to visit the custom-built Dao Plant Library. Developed for both first-time plant parents and green-fingered connoisseurs, guests can adopt their own houseplant to look after during their stay. They will have the opportunity to learn about their chosen plant, as well as care tips for each of them.
Dao by Dorsett has established carefully curated collaborations to empower guests with choice and flexibility throughout their stay. Guests can Custom-Fit their stay to suit their preferences, whether it’s booking a wellness suite, opting for pet-friendly amenities in-room or a playtime set-up for younger guests.
The hotel is Social, looking to create a community which celebrates local brands and emerging talent while offering guests a chance to make genuine connections with the city. This begins with an introduction to the local art scene through a collaboration with Wasuka Art who are curating art exhibitions for local aspiring artists to established international artists. Food and beverage partnerships include a collaboration with Omnifoods, who have created a plant-friendly menu for the property’s in-house restaurant, Collective, and a partnership with Singapore’s first fully-fledged distillery, Brass Lion Distillery.
These are just some of our unique offerings. We are confident that our prestigious hotel under the Dao brand will be taken to the next level and best serve our customers worldwide.
3. For families staying at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, what are some of the unique amenities, activities, or experiences that parents and children can look forward to, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay for both generations?
Roy Liang: The Two Bedroom Suite: Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore’s two-bedroom suites are an ideal sanctuary for families and friends, where they can create quality moments with loved ones. Enjoy contemporary comforts in our 2-bedroom serviced apartments in Singapore, featuring a spacious living room and separate dining area that sits up to 4. Enjoy a refreshing shower in both the en-suite and common bathroom, and relax in comfort with plush king- and twin-bedding in the master and second bedrooms, respectively. Our Singapore serviced suites are perfect for families seeking an opulent sanctuary – complete with picturesque views of the city’s harbour and state-of-the-art facilities.
Built with fascinating decor, the designs of the rooms are based on modern structure and dedicated to those who place a premium on space, comfort and style. The 98-sqm Two-Bedroom Premier Suites give everyone the space they need to spread out and relax. The spacious living room is where you can spend valuable time with your loved ones. Big, bright and airy, this space is guaranteed to give more than enough space for your active kids to run around.
Each suite features a comprehensive suite of amenities, inclusive of complimentary Wi-Fi; a fully-equipped kitchen with a fine selection of kitchenware including Nespresso® coffee machine, electric kettle, oven, rice cooker and crockery; refrigerator; in-room safe as well as a washer/dryer. While preparing to start the day, parents can catch up on the latest business and entertainment news with the 49-inch Smart TV with international cable and local channels. Kids can also watch international cartoon channels on the living room TV.
Kids Activities: Our aparthotel is committed to consistently upgrading its facilities for the enjoyment of families alike. Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore offers tons of options to keep your little champs busy. The fact that they don’t have a kid’s club doesn’t limit the activities for your children. In fact, to keep the ‘home sweet home’ vibe, the hotel prepares a ‘Toy Collection’ for them to play around during their stay. They’ve put together a depository of toys and kids’ amenities, such as electric vehicles, play tents, puzzles and many more – all for complimentary loans! What is even more wonderful is that parents can accompany their little ones in the activities, thus spending some much-needed quality time with them.
Swimming Pool: You can easily refresh yourself with a soothing dip at the infinity pool overlooking the city skylines. With beautiful designs and indulgent features, this hotel pool takes relaxation and swimming to another level. Here is a balance of sun-drenched and shaded areas bordering the pool and the relaxing sound of nature complete this rejuvenating and relaxing experience.
Culinary Experience: Dao by Dorsett’s signature restaurant, Collective, is a 74-seater restaurant located in the Lobby on Level 7, offering modern international cuisine hidden from the hustle and bustle of the central business district. Coming up with an urban style, the ambience is elegant. Helmed by Executive Sous Chef Dexter Lim, expect a vast presentation of sumptuous breakfast options from Western to local selections available to power up mornings, while modern international dishes are served for lunch and dinner.
4. Sustainability is a central theme for Dao By Dorsett, with a strong focus on eco-conscious practices. Can you share some specific initiatives and partnerships that demonstrate Dao By Dorsett’s commitment to environmental responsibility and social impact?
Roy Liang: Under Dao by Dorsett’s three brand values – Social, Custom-Fit, and Harmonious – the property has implemented initiatives to reduce single-use plastics, such as providing Brita Jugs and water carton packs as alternatives. Additionally, 40% of the ala carte menu offers dishes from OMNI Foods, to cater to diverse dietary preferences and promote sustainable food choices.
From a sustainability perspective, aparthotels like Dao often prioritise eco-friendly practices throughout their operations. This can include using environmentally-friendly cleaning products, implementing water-saving measures, and promoting responsible waste management. With the rise in conscious travellers seeking authentic experiences and meaningful connections while leaving a positive impact on the environment and community, Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore places a strong emphasis on sustainability.
The property has eliminated use of plastic bottles and offers water tetra pack in the hotel; Partnered with Vanity Group for all hotel dry amenities, with EcoPure® biodegradable materials for packaging and provides toiletries from vegan-friendly and sustainable brand Abyssian. There’s also a “Handy Bag” placed in all rooms, complimentary for use. This encourages guests to bring it around to wherever they go during their stays. Offer convenience and encourage reducing plastic carrier waste when exploring the city.
Our restaurant, Collective carries Tried and True Vodka and Brass Lion Gin which are ordered in ecoTotes, via the Ecospirit distribution system where we fund a tree planting, whenever we order an ecoTOTE. A tote saves 9 glass bottles of Gin and we have planted 34 trees till date.
As part of Dao by Dorsett’s commitment to being more eco- and socially conscious, the property highlights its on-going initiative – “A Greener Stay @ Dao”. Guests can take a pledge and become a part of the Go-Green initiative by opting out of daily housekeeping and the replenishment of dry amenities such as water cartons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, and more. As a token of appreciation for going green with Dao by Dorsett, guests will receive SGD 15 credit per room, per night, which can be used at Collective for dining, for in-room dining, as well as the purchase merchandise.
We hope that by incorporating these values of sustainability, inclusivity and collaboration into our operations and actively participating in initiatives that align with our beliefs, the Dao brand can bring about meaningful and lasting change and make a positive impact on the community and the world at large.
5. What are some of the standout features that set Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore apart from other hospitality offerings in the region?
Roy Liang: Our 1 and 2 bedroom units come with an in-room washer and dryer, a dining table and full kitchenette. These facilities help the asset attract longer stay travellers and can also cater to high yielding short-stay families or group travel during peak periods-offering a service that traditional hotels can’t rival.
6. As Vice President of Operations for Dao by Dorsett, you played a crucial role in shaping the brand during the launch of the first Dao by Dorsett hotel in Asia. Can you share some insights into the key strategies and decisions that were instrumental in establishing Dao by Dorsett’s presence in the region?
Roy Liang: As the Vice President of Operations for Dao by Dorsett, I am at the helm of the first Dao by Dorsett hotel in Asia, Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore and have led the shaping of this dynamic apart-hotel concept in the heart of the city’s vibrant Central Business District. I am also responsible for building the Dao by Dorsett brand globally and for leading the charge on pre-opening discussions for all the potential Dao properties in the world.
I have supported the quest of pioneering an innovative aparthotel hybrid model and ensuring the consistent, outstanding performance of the property.
The aparthotel hybrid model that seamlessly merges the features of traditional hotels and serviced apartments with the communal aspects of co-living. By integrating the finest qualities of hotels and co-living elements, Dao offers a tailored guest experience that caters to the evolving preferences of modern travellers. With the flexibility of being able to switch between long and short stays, the property is poised to attract the best of both worlds.
I am thrilled to be able to assist in building something from its infancy stage. Here at Dao we really believe that the aparthotel model and its flexible, hybrid abilities can thrive in all types of scenarios – from both high street locations to non-core central locations; from corporate business travellers to new age digital nomads. We feel that this is a model for the future.
7. What are some of the challenges you faced during the launch of Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore and how have you successfully addressed them while staying true to the brand’s core values and guest experience principles?
Roy Liang: A challenge we face is that selling an aparthotel is not as straightforward as selling a pure hotel or pure service apartment. This is because we need to have a “fine balance” in knowing the best percentage that should be allocated to long stays and short stays, which varies from month to month. We work towards having the best balance of RevPar and prove that having the flexibility of long and short stay guests allows us to compete effectively in the market. Fortunately, we are not tied down by a cookie-cutter approach as we have the resources to make every Dao by Dorsett more competitive, especially with a smaller inventory. At the end of the day, I believe that it boils down to the services provided to guests, not so much the hotel or room product. If guests find that the value versus the price they pay is better, they will choose to stay.
Despite the challenges, I believe that Aparthotel Hybrid Model is a model for the future, and with its flexible, hybrid abilities, can thrive in all types of scenarios – from both high street locations to non-core central locations; from corporate business travellers to new age digital nomads. Travellers can definitely look forward to more from future Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore properties.
8. In your role as Vice President of Operations, what are your insights into the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry? How does Dao by Dorsett plan to proactively adapt to these changes and continue offering exceptional guest-centric experiences?
Roy Liang: As the first Dao by Dorsett in Asia, we are a forward-thinking, hyper-local aparthotel that works well for all types of guests.
AI is a fast-growing trend in all industries, particularly hospitality. We are starting to see some very interesting applications that facilitate day-to-day operations and allow for a fast workflow and better experience for our guests.
Since opening our doors last July 2022, we have already made numerous changes to our tech operations. I am spearheading several new initiatives at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, including a deeper integration into the local community, wellness-focused offers and a number of art and community tie-ups. Over time, to launch these initiatives successfully, we wish to cautiously embrace more and more AI technologies and its potential to improve our operations, enhance guest experiences, optimise various aspects of our business and develop further in our roles. It is no doubt a powerful tool for the travel industry if we can unlock its full potential, with most people researching trips online.
To achieve efficiency, we utilise quick communication channels such as chatbots to ensure efficient interactions. Additionally, AI allows us to introduce innovative, disruptive services such as using robots which differentiates brands from competitors and creates new revenue streams. Automation is also a key aspect, as it helps streamline repetitive and manual tasks, leading to increased productivity and reduced labour costs. Ultimately, our focus is on enhancing the guest experience through personalisation, convenience, and seamless interactions.
We aim to create a product that fits the needs of different clientele. Current luxury travel trends include a focus on providing more personalised stays for business travellers. With the increasing demand for unique and tailored experiences, Dao is working on going the extra mile to cater to the specific needs and preferences of their business guests. This includes offering personalised amenities, dedicated workspaces, and exclusive services to enhance productivity and comfort during their stay.
Additionally, the rise of family travel has also necessitated hotels to adapt accordingly to cater to this market. Luxury hotels are now offering family-friendly amenities and services such as spacious suites, kid-friendly activities, and special dining options to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for families. This shift in focus towards family travel reflects the changing dynamics of the travel industry and the growing importance of catering to the needs of different types of travellers.
Being located in the central financial district, it is only natural that we have many business travellers. That’s our standard, our staple. For people who belong to this category and want a more exclusive stay at our hotel versus another 5-star hotel, we have a program called Dao+, which is our version of a club floor. Typically in a hotel if you stay on the club floor, you enjoy exclusive privileges like cocktails and canapes at a lounge. We took this concept and changed it up a little, where the privileges are applicable to any guest staying in any room. You can purchase the package regardless of the room type you are in, and still enjoy the perks from cocktails and canapes, to discounted limo transfers to the airport, to VIP turndown service in the evenings where we place a turn-down card with a small menu of night-time snacks to keep guests satisfied and happy – such as cookies with warm milk or something representative of our local culture.
On the other hand, you may be a family travelling to Singapore on weekends. We have two bedroom suites that have a living room, full kitchenette, a washer and dryer which are all important for families travelling with children. So we have created a Toy Collection, which is the name of the initiative. We provide a range of toys that are free for our guests to loan, suitable from ages 0 to 8 years old. In addition to the toys, we have a fleet of automatic electric vehicles that the kids can borrow from us as well. If you were to go to a shopping mall, you would typically have to pay money to have a ride, but we have made it available for free for a short period of time. On top of that we have game tents and game boxes that children love. The most important value of this is that parents don’t have to carry all these toys with them halfway across the globe when they are travelling. We have made this process so much easier for them by providing all that they could need when it comes to travelling with their children.
9. Lastly, looking ahead, what are some of the strategic goals and initiatives that you and your team have in mind to further enhance the Dao by Dorsett brand and its offerings?
Roy Liang: The first two Dao by Dorsett properties to have launched are part of a strong pipeline including a number of properties in leading capitals of the world. We have plans to expand in Mainland China, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong and hopefully Australia in the next couple of years.
For Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, in the coming year we can look forward to:
○ More wellness and sustainability focused offers like the ‘Greener Stay at Dao’. As part of Dao by Dorsett’s commitment to being more eco- and socially conscious, the property highlights its on-going initiative – “A Greener Stay @Dao”. Guests can take a pledge and become a part of our Go-Green initiative by opting out of daily housekeeping and the replenishment of dry amenities such as water cartons, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, and more. As a token of appreciation for going green with Dao by Dorsett, guests will receive SGD 15 credit per room, per night, which can be used at Collective for dining, for in-room dining, as well as the purchase merchandise.
○ In September 2023, Dao by Dorsett served up a special menu featuring Alaska Seafood that is wild caught, all natural and is sustainable – as part of a partnership between the state of Alaska and the Alaska Seafood industry promoting Alaska seafood. This seafood promotion initiative aims to support Singapore importers and highlight the versatility of Alaska seafood in various cuisines found in Singaporean culture.
○ A Wellness Suite in partnership with OSIM, a Singapore-based company that manufactures wellness technology and lifestyle products such as well being chairs, massage chairs and sofas, slimming belts, and pulse massagers.
○ Deeper integration into the local community with a number of art and community tie-ups
■ In October 2023, Wasuka Art will be putting up a preview for the Affordable Art Fair 2023 at Dao. Artworks by a variety of local and international artists from Wasuka Art, and a portion of sales at Dao during this preview (26th October – 6th December) will go to HCA Hospice, one of Singapore’s largest home hospice care providers and is a registered charity since 1989. Wasuka Arts is an inaugural art exhibition that is part of Wasuka’s and Dao’s efforts to develop a nurturing space for local and international emerging artists, as well as an ecosystem of artists and art lovers to forge long-term friendships and a global support system for the arts.
■ Subsequently leading up to Q1 2024, you can expect a series of aspiring artists and established artists with solo showcases at Dao.
○ We are very proud of the achievements and recognition the brand has achieved in a very short time after the opening. The local and international demand on our property shows appreciation to the efforts and hard work put together by all our team members. We have had a year full of events and we are very grateful to the support of the media, the local community and the unrelenting endorsement of all those who contributed to our success.
To find out more about Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore and for booking, please visit https://daobydorsettamtd.sg-singapore.com/
Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore
Address: 6 Shenton Way, #07-01 OUE Downtown 1, Singapore 068809
Our family recently had an awesome staycation at Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with our experience. The hotel’s meticulous attention to detail, unwavering commitment to sustainability, and well-thought-out amenities collectively created an exceptional and unforgettable stay for us. To find out more about our wonderful experience, please read our detailed review at https://www.ourparentingworld.com/a-remarkable-and-memorable-family-staycation-at-dao-by-dorsett-amtd-singapore/.
All images credit to Dao by Dorsett AMTD Singapore