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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Russian luxe goes to Marina Bay Sands

High-rollers will not be the only ones belonging to an exclusive club at Marina Bay Sands from this month.
January 5, 2013
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Russian luxe goes to Marina Bay Sands

A new club lounge, Dom Lounge, will be opening the middle of this month and only people on the owners' list will be invited to join

High-rollers will not be the only ones belonging to an exclusive club at Marina Bay Sands from this month.

An invitation-only luxe club lounge will open there by the middle of this month.

Dom Lounge, a $3-million nightclub modelled after an ornate Russian palace, will be open only to those on a list of invitees drawn up by its Singaporean owners. There is no joining fee.

Mr Lee Jia Jun, 25, and Mr Andrew Carver, 29, decided to open the club lounge to draw patrons who are willing to spend money on drinks and value "high-quality service".

Drinks at Dom will average $300 for a premium bottle of liquor and $20 for cocktails. And instead of jostling for the bartender's attention at a crowded bar, the joint will have at least one server attending to each table at any time.

The split-level venue, with a mezzanine floor, which can hold 200 people, is located opposite the ArtScience Museum. Guests enter via its own entrance, a short walk from The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

Its over-the-top interior decor includes red velvet drapes and gold-embellished furnishings.

Dom - which means "home" in Russian - will have a "cosy, communal nature", says Mr Lee. He also says the invitation-only rule will make it stand out from the bustling nightlife scene here.

Mr Lee, who has experience operating nightclubs such as Supper Club at Odeon Towers and Arena at Clarke Quay, adds: "This list will expand when our patrons invite their friends to join us. The owners and staff will welcome each new guest and introduce them to other patrons, fostering the creation of new relationships."

Mr Carver previously operated talent and artist management agencies.

Dom will be the third nightlife venue to open at the integrated resort after brand-name clubs Avalon and Pangaea opened at the end of 2010.

Unfazed by the competition in the vicinity, Mr Lee says: "Each of these destinations has a unique offering, and we are confident that the addition of a premium luxe Russian-themed lounge will enhance the nightlife landscape significantly."

Dom will also be the third luxe club lounge to open here, after Pangaea and the Royal Room in the Pan Pacific Hotel, which opened a year ago.

The club lounge concept is centred on patrons sitting back and enjoying the music, with no dedicated dance floor.

The invitation-only concept is slowly gaining traction here: Members-only club Filter opened at Gallery Hotel in 2010; and Avalon's members-only lounge, Spider Room, opened a couple of months ago.

Club operators Life! spoke to say that partygoers are increasingly keen on venues with better service and a luxurious atmosphere - as opposed to cavernous, no-frills rave halls.

Agreeing, Mr Lee adds: "The cocktail culture and bespoke drink trends are gaining popularity, but people have always wanted quality service and drinks with great music at a nice location."

Housewife Eve Ang, 32, who has frequented club lounges Royal Room and Pangaea, says she is keen to check out Dom when it officially opens.

Of the growing number of club lounges here, she says: "It's a sign of our country's affluence and the demand for finer things in life. Bars and pubs just don't cut it anymore. If you're in your 30s, you want some tunes and you want a place to be seen. This is it."

However, Pangaea founder Michael Ault believes it is not possible to sustain the trend of high-end lounges in Singapore in the long term.

He says: "Singapore is too 'thin' a market to support one or two high-end ultra lounges. Even in cities such as New York, with a population of nearly 20 million, people can support just a few.

"Revenue and customers are split between too many would-be contenders, the market dies, and the big boys move on to new markets."

melk@sph.com.sg

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