[Hotel Review] – Marina Mandarin (Marina Bay Suite), Singapore (24 – 26 Mar 17)

Facade of Marina Mandarin

Location

Marina Mandarin Singapore is located in Marina Centre, right in the centre of Singapore. The hotel is connected to the Marina Square Shopping Mall and is also well connected to other nearby shopping malls such as Suntec City and Raffles City. Marina Mandarin is situated right in front of Marina Bay area, next to the Esplanade Theatre. The hotel is accessible to 2 MRT stations, making it convenient to access anywhere else in Singapore.
Interior of Marina Mandarin Hotel
Marina Mandarin Singapore is located above Marina Square Shopping Mall

The Suite

I checked into the Marina Bay Suite, which is facing the Marina Bay area. The expansive 66㎡ suite is the 2nd most luxurious suite in Marina Mandarin, just one category below the President Suite. The suite make up of a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom.

Living Room

Guests  would find themselves in a large living room upon entering the Marina Bay Suite in Marina Mandarin Singapore. Immediate to the left side of the spacious living room is the dinning area. Designed by the wall is the mini bar, where guests would be able to enjoy complementary drinks and snacks, topped up daily. There are no lack of storage space for guests who prefer to bring their own snacks. However there is only one power socket at the mini bar area which is to be shared between the Nespresso Coffee Machine and the electric kettle. The glasses and mugs are found in the right most cabinet in the mini bar area. The fridge is found inside the left most frosted glass cabinet in the mini bar area. There is a small glass round table with 3 chairs, serving as the dinning table by the mini bar area.
Dining area of the Marina Bay Suite
Mini bar area in the Marina Bay Suite
All the contents in the fridge are complementary and are topped up daily
Complementary snacks
The hotel even gives complementary signature pineapple tarts, but these are not topped up daily

Further into the classy decorated living room is the couch area. There is a generous 3 seater couch placed close to the balcony in the living room. A single seater arm chair is placed next to the 3 seater couch. Diagonally opposite the couch is a large flat screen TV, placed on top of a TV console. As the TV console is placed on the TV console, there are no swivel function on the TV and guests would have to shift the TV to angle it to face the couch. There is a glass top coffee table placed between the couch and the TV console.

Spacious living room in Marina Bay Suite
TV console and the entrance to the bedroom from the 3 seater couch in the living room of Marina Bay Suite
Armchair in the living room, next to the 3 seater couch
The interior of the Marina Bay Suite seem a little dated with the analogue switches for air conditioning
Living room in Marina Bay Suite

Further into the Marina Bay Suite, placed in front of the floor to ceiling glass panels separating the living room and the balcony is a work desk. The work desk is of a fair size, sufficient for one to do some decent work on. There is a small cabinet tucked by the wall side where one can find the telephone and a complementary mobile phone on top of this cabinet. There are 2 power sockets hidden in a ledge on the work desk. However these sockets are used to power the table lamp on the study table and the charger of the mobile phone. There are no additional power sockets in the entire suite.

Work desk in the living room, just before the balcony in Marina Bay Suite
The work desk is rather big. A copy of the newspaper was placed on the table when I checked in. Newspaper was not replaced daily
There are limited power sockets in the entire suite. There are only 2 power sockets at the  work desk but both are used for the desk lamp and the complementary mobile phone in the suite
Telephone and a side cabinet at the work desk
Marina Bay Suite guests are provided with a  mobile phone that one can make complementary calls locally and selected countries. Guests can also enjoy 4G network on this phone

Balcony

The Marina Bay Suite in Marina Mandarin Hotel has 2 balconies, one of which is located in the living room and the other is located in the bedroom. Despite being next to each other, these balconies are separated by a solid wall, which means there are no access from the balcony in the living room to that in the bedroom. The balcony in the living room faces Marina Square Shopping Mall and one will be treated to views of Marina Bay from the balcony. The balcony in the living room is decked with 2 chairs and a table, whilst the balcony in the bedroom has no furniture placed in it.
Balcony at the living room with chairs and table
View of Marina Bay area from the balcony
Balcony in the bedroom, which is bare and has no furnitures

Bedroom

The double panel large wooden door opposite the 3 seater couch separates the living room from the bedroom. Entering the bedroom, guests will be greeted by a large King-size bed with a bedside table on both sides of the bed. The king bed is very comfortable to sleep on and I fell asleep shortly after lying on the bed and felt very refreshed the next day. The sleep quality is excellent and the pillow is of the right firmness. There is a armchair placed next to the king bed, in front of the floor to ceiling glass panel that separates the bedroom from the balcony. Diagonally opposite the bed is another TV console with large flat screen TV on top. Left from the entrance to the bedroom is where one will find the bathroom and a dressing area. A 2 panel wardrobe is placed opposite the entrance to the bathroom. The wardrobe is a tad small for travellers who prefer to hang their clothing and will be staying here for more than 1 week, as the capacity is rather small. There is a cabinets with 3 glass drawers on the left panel of the wardrobe, capable of storing more clothing folded up. An in-room safe is placed on top of the 3 drawer cabinets. Further into the suite, next to the wardrobe is a small power area. Here is where one can find a huge ledge for one to place a large luggage on. There are 4 large drawers beneath the ledge. In the corner is where one can find the dressing cum power table.
King bed in the bedroom
TV console in the bedroom
Armchair in the bedroom by the balcony
Phone and clock by the bedside in the bedroom of Marina Bay Suite
Wardrobe and powder area in the bedroom
The right closet is for hanging of cloths. The space is rather limited
The right closet has more storage and an in-room safe
Powder area in the bedroom

Bathroom

The spacious white marble laden bathroom is enclosed with frosted glass, giving it a very clean and bright feel. Entering the bathroom, the walk-in shower separated by glass is the first thing that greets guests in the Marina Bay Suite. There is only a regular shower head in the walk-in shower. Next to the entrance of the bathroom is a single sink with loads of storage area for additional toiletries that guests might bring with them. A bathtub sits next to the sink, in the furthest end of the bathroom. The bathtub seem rather low, however when soaked in it, one would find it rather spacious. The toilet bowl is located next to the bathtub and opposite the sink. Even the toilet bowl seem a tad low.
Entrance to the bathroom
Walk-in Shower
Sink area
Bathtub and toilet bowl
Marina Mandarin provides quality bathing amenities for their suite guests

Meritus Club

Guests staying in Marina Bay Suites in Marina Mandarin Hotel are entitled to visit the Meritus Club lounge located on 21 floor of the hotel. The dark wooden themed lounge is a rather comfortable place to hang out. The lounge maximises the use of window to allow guests to sit by and relax. There is a substantial amount of dinning and sitting area in the lounge. Guests get to enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails in the Meritus Club. As the lounge has a no children policy, the lounge is exceptionally quiet and a great place to chill. The food served during breakfast is a scaled down version of what is being served in the breakfast restaurant, however guests get to enjoy the breakfast without crazy queue and at a peaceful environment. The hotel serves sandwiches and pastries during their afternoon tea time and a selection of local food as well as some finger food together with wine and beer are available for guests during the evening cocktail at the lounge.

Meritus Club is located on 21st floor of Marina Mandarin Hotel
Plenty of seating in Meritus Club
More dinning area in Meritus Club
Snacks are available all day
More snacks for guests in Meritus Club
Afternoon tea
Evening cocktail
Evening cocktail
Evening cocktail
Buffet area in Meritus Club

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Marina Mandarin is located on the 5th floor of the hotel. The hotel has a mineral pool, which means the chlorine content in the pool is rather low. This is a great place to swim, with the amount of sunlight one can get at the pool and the pool side area. There are a large number of suntan deck chairs around for guests to enjoy themselves at the pool. There are several gazebos by the side of the pool for guests to enjoy at no extra charges. The pool itself is rather big and has a depth of 2.5m at the deepest end of the pool.
Entrance to the swimming pool on 5th floor
Mineral swimming pool
A small pool for children
Great place for suntan at the pool area
Hotel facade at the swimming pool

Gym

Gym in Marina Mandarin is located on the 5th floor of the hotel. The smallish gym has a few treadmills, stationary bicycles and an area for weights. One can still get a decent workout at the gym despite its size. Throughout my stay at the hotel, the gym usage is rather low as it is empty most of the time (including no staff manning the gym).
Entrance to the gym on 5th floor
Gym in Marina Mandarin hotel
Some gym equipment
Weight area in the gym on level 5

Breakfast

Guests in Marina Bay Suite has the option of having breakfast at Aquamarine Restaurant. The restaurant is large with heaps of sitting to cater for the guests in the hotel. There is a huge selection of food from local dishes to the more international dishes available for breakfast in the restaurant. As the restaurant is halal certified, no pork is served in this restaurant. The quality of the food served is good and flavourful, however dinning here for breakfast can be a nightmare due to the amount of guests coming her for breakfast.
Breakfast in Aquamarine Restaurant
There is a huge variety of food for breakfast

Guests staying in Marina Bay Suite also have the option of having their breakfast in the Meritus Club. The variety of food for breakfast is limited in the lounge, however the quality of the food is good. Having breakfast here means one do not have to crowd with the rest of the guests at Aquamarine Restaurant. However the chef at the egg station seem to be producing lacklustre quality of eggs. I ordered pouch eggs with no mushroom, which usually comes with muffin, but was given just the pouch egg with hollandaise sauce. My friend’s sunny side up came with egg yolk that is damaged.

 

Breakfast in Meritus Club
Breakfast in Meritus Club
Badly made eggs by the chef whom do not seem to listen to guests and shabby effort in making eggs

Service

The service in Marina Mandarin is impeccable. The staffs make me feel welcome and are eager to do their best to satisfy my requests. I requested for baby cot and baby bath amenities before my checking into the hotel, these items were already placed in the suite when I enter. When I requested for extra towels from the housekeeping department, the items were brought to my suite without me having to wait for too long. The staff who delivered the items to my suite were always smiling.

The great experience in Marina Mandarin started with the moment I stepped into the hotel for checking in. The staff at the concierge processed my check-in without me having to wait unnecessarily, after which I was escorted by another staff – Vivy to my suite. Vivy was very friendly and introduced me to the various facilities in the hotel. She even recommended me to try out the Meritus Club lounge during evening cocktail time for the food that will be served. At the suite, Vivy introduced the facilities inside the suite.

Whilst at the lounge, I met with one of the staff Maria, whom was as welcoming as anyone else I have met. She kept on checking if I need more food or drinks during afternoon tea. Maria cleared the empty plate on my table as soon as I left my table. Maria was attentive and friendly. She shared with me her experiences working with the hotel and recommended me to return for evening cocktail. Chatting with Maria is like chatting with a friend.

I am surprised by another staff at the lounge, Richie, whom seem to have a photographic memory. My interactions with Richie was minimal and he only asked for my room number. I was surprised the next day, Richie recognised me and even welcomed me back to the lounge despite the short interaction time. This showed that Richie is very observant to all the guests whom come into the Meritus Club lounge.

Nurjarnah the housekeeping staff who made up my suite during my stay is a gem in the hotel. She kept the suite clean and tidy, ensuring that I have a clean and comfortable suite to return back every morning. Nurjarnah also smiled and greeted me whenever I saw her at the corridor. There was a few occasions I went up to her to request for additional bath amenities, despite her being busy cleaning up another room, she always smiled and fulfil my requests. When I apologised for disturbing her work, Nurjarnah assured me that I wasn’t disturbing her at all.

The star of the hotel during my stay got to be Vignes, the Duty Manager. Vignes was very welcoming and went all out to ensure that my stay was comfortable and without incident. Vignes will always come up to me and chat whenever he saw me around in the hotel. Chatting with Vignes is like chatting with an old friend. Vignes shared with me his experiences working in the hospitable industry and running a hotel from his perspective. I learnt a lot chatting with Vignes. Vignes never fail to check if everything is okay during my stay in the hotel and would get things sorted out whenever I made requests to him. Vignes even took the trouble to find me in the lounge to check if he can do anything to make my stay at Marina Mandarin more comfortable before he knocks off during my stay in the hotel. On the day of my checking out, Vignes came to my suite and bide me farewell. He personally processed my check out swiftly.

Overall

My stay at Marina Bay Suite in Marina Mandarin Hotel is a great experience. Despite showing signs of aging in the suite, the suite is very comfortable and well maintained by the staffs in the hotel. The view from the balcony in the suite is superb, great even when sitting in the balcony relaxing. The suite is very spacious and the sleep quality is excellent on the king bed in the bedroom. The staffs are very friendly and welcoming and they are not stingy with their smiles. My guests and I had a great time in Marina Mandarin and I highly recommend one to check out Marina Mandarin.

Atrium in Marina Mandarin Hotel at night from the floor I was staying

 

[Hotel Review] – The Fullerton Hotel (Postmaster Room), Singapore (10 – 12 Sep 16)

Location

Occupying the former General Post Office, The Fullerton Hotel is located in the centre of the CBD in Singapore next to Singapore River surrounded by office buildings. The nearest shopping mall is about 20 mins on foot, however Fullerton Hotel provides regular shuttle service to the nearby shopping malls. There is an MRT station about 3 mins walk from the hotel. The Fullerton Hotel was accorded National Monument in 2015, staying here is like staying in a part of history of Singapore.
Facade of The Fullerton Hotel from across the street
The Fullerton Hotel was accorded a National Monument in 2015 printed on its keycard
Hotel Atrium
Reception area in The Fullerton Hotel

The Room

Bedroom

I checked into the Postmaster Room during my stay at The Fullerton Hotel. The earthy tones of light brown and beige colour running throughout the room eludes a cosy feel for guests entering the room. The three-panel wardrobe resembles a traditional Japanese door, with white panels and thin wooden trimmings. Although occupying but a small part of the room, the wardrobe is large enough for guests to put away one week worth of clothing. The panel immediately next to the main entrance has shelving and drawers, which gives ample space for guests to put away smaller pieces of clothing. Guests can also hang up their cloths in the two-panel wardrobe next to it. A small foldable stool can be found inside this part of the wardrobe for guests to put their cabin-size luggage onto. I was able to put away my duffle bag on the stool and have the wardrobe doors closed.

Corridor outside the Postmaster Room
Main Entrance to the room with the three-panel wardrobe
Space in the wardrobe to hang cloths
Single-panel side of the wardrobe with three drawers to put more stuff in
Wardrobe is located next to the main entrance to the room

With the wall that makes up the bathroom opposite the wardrobe creates a small corridor that leads guests into the room. Stretching from the wardrobe through the entire depth of the room is hip height cabinet, using the same coloured wood as the wardrobe the hotel was able to achieve consistency in the colour scheme of the room. This makes the room look comfortable and not too confusion with the minimum use of colour schemes in the room. This cabinet houses the mini bar fridge as well as a safe nicely hidden away from sight. Right smack on the centre of the cabinet is the 42″ LED TV, which  is placed directly opposite the King Bed. Facing the main entrance to the room, tucked away in a corner is where the workdesk is located. The workdesk is rather sizable and doubled up as a dinning table for me during my stay there. On the workdesk, the hotel provided a mobile phone which guests can use as a mobile wifi device. Local calls on this mobile phone is complementary from the hotel. There are also various media inputs located next to the workdesk for one to plug in their lifestyle devices to be projected from the TV. There are several options in the menu of this TV, including movies which are chargeable. Otherwise, guests can choose from the many local and international channels for entertainment.

Other than the TWG tea and instant coffee, the rest of the items in this rack are chargeable 
The safe is well hidden below the electric kettle
Mini fridge
Large 42″ LED TV
Some reading materials are provided in the room
A large workweeks cum dinning table tucked in one corner of the room
Media inout that connects to the TV located next to the workdesk
Stationery can be found in a drawer next to the workdesk
The hotel provides this mobile device that allows guests to make unlimited local calls for free. This can also be used as a mobile wifi device

The King bed is placed opposite the LED TV. The large bed can sleep thee comfortably and the sleep quality of the bed is superb. I had great rest on the bed throughout my stay at the Fullerton Hotel. The pillows placed on the bed are soft, however Fullerton Hotel does provide a pillow menu with varying degrees of firmness to suit their guests. I opted for the buckwheat and firm feather pillow. As I prefer firmer pillows, I find the firm feather pillow to be more comfortable. As with many international hotels, a couple of bedside tables are placed on either side of the bed. There is a master control on the right side of the bed which controls the lighting as well as curtains to the balcony. There are no lack of power outlets in the room, with two on either side of the bed. Placed slightly in front of the bed, tucked to the wall of the bathroom is a single seat armchair with foot rest. There is a small coffee table placed beside it. I find myself sitting on this armchair watching TV and reading a book whilst in the hotel. The armchair is rather comfortable to sit one. The placement of this armchair does not seem to come across as an obstruction for movement in the room.

A very comfortable King bed that gave me a good night sleep 
One of the bedside tables. The plush toy is not complementary
Arm chair right in front of the bed with the TV and workdesk
This panel is located on the right side of the bed that controls the lighting as well as the curtains to the balcony
Dirty spot on the telephone that was missed out by housekeeping staff

Balcony

The main difference between the Courtyard room and the Postmaster Room is that the latter has an attached outdoor balcony. There are a few times of rooms in the hotel that comes with balcony. Furthest into the room is where one can find the door to the balcony. The balcony spans across the entire width of the room. There are a couple of chairs and a table placed to one side of the balcony. Though the view (the room that I stayed in faced an office building) isn’t that great, I enjoyed relaxing by the balcony as it is rather windy. There is no direct sunlight onto the balcony, making it my favourite spot to hang out. There are two double paneled doors to the balcony. One would have to be careful with the outer door as it tend to slam back, thanks to the hydraulic door closer. Not too sure if the glass panel of this door will shutter with prolonged slamming of the door.

 

Door to the balcony. There are two doors before one can reach the balcony
Chairs in the balcony for guests to chill
I can see part of Singapore River from the balcony. The room I was assigned faces directly to the office building

Bathroom

The bathroom is located opposite the wardrobe and next to the entrance. The marble laid bathroom is rather spacious. There are two entrances to the bathroom, one by the main entrance and another next to the King bed. There is a large bathtub opposite the sink top, tucked in a corner of the bathroom. The sink top has ample space for guests to place their toiletries. There is a three-tiered shelf carved out of the wall that provided additional storage space. Next to the bathtub is a walk-in rain shower stall, enclosed by glass providing a wet and dry area. I like hotels that designed their bathrooms with a separate walk-in shower, which not just make showering easier (without the need to climb in and out of the bathtub for shower), it also separates the wet from the dry area. This means the wet flooring in the bathroom is kept to the minimum. Next to the shower is a toilet cubicle, which comes with an additional door.
Bathroom at a glance
The bathtub is very large, however unlikely some hotels, The Fullerton Hotel does not provide bathsalts
Single sink in the bathroom. There are a lot of space to store additional toiletries
Walk-in Shower stall with rain shower
Toilet cubicle
The bath amenities provided by The Fullerton Hotel feels luxurious
Additional Amenities

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in The Fullerton Hotel is located on the 2nd floor. The 25m infinity pool, overlooking Singapore River, is rather small. There is a Jacuzzi area built in the pool. The number of sundeck chairs available are rather limited. On a busy day, one can forget about visiting the pool. The Fullerton Hotel allows guests to use the pool at the adjacent sister hotel, Fullerton Bay Hotel. However one is expected to walk about 5 mins to Fullerton Bay Hotel. There is a bathroom next to the swimming pool, where lockers are available. There is a sauna and a steam room inside the gents bathroom.
Small pool with limited sundeck chairs
Swimming pool area
Facade of the hotel from the pool
Steam room and sauna inside the toilet next to the swimming pool

Gym

Gym in Fullerton Hotel is located at level 1M, opposite Fullerton Spa. The gym is rather small, however is well equipped with treadmills, static cycles as well as limited weights machine. Though not elaborate, one can still get a decent workout in the gym.
The Fullerton Hotel has a very small gym, but sufficient for guests to get a decent workout
Drinks and apples are available for guests using the gym

Breakfast Service

Breakfast is served at Town Restaurant located one the first floor of the hotel. There are no lack of variety served up at during breakfast. Other than the standard American and Continental Breakfast, there are also local fares being served up during breakfast. I find the providing of  local fares to be a very good way of the hotel introducing local food to their guests.
Breakfast is served in Town Restaurant
Most of the food can be found in the centre of the restaurant
The restaurant serves up local fares on top of the standard American and Continental Breakfast

Service

The service levels in the hotel is befitting of a five-star standards. As I arrived at the hotel during the check-in time of 3pm, there is a number of guests waiting to check-in. Staffs were seen coordinating with guests, assuring them that their turn to check-in will not take too long. I saw a pregnant lady in the queue, and thought that the staffs can do better by providing her a seat or place her in a priority queue.  I did not have to wait too long to get myself checked in . However the check-in process is rather slow and took about 15 mins, excluding the wait time.

Other than the slow check-in process, the staffs around the hotel seem to be eager to do their best to ensure guests have a comfortable stay. I called up reception several times to request for amenities and pillows. Whenever I called the reception for amenities or pillow, there will always be a call back to confirm that the stuffs that I requested for has been delivered. I find this check back is good way to ensuring guests get what they requested for. I ordered room service, before entering the room, the staff would introduced himself to me. I thought this is a good way of establishing rapport with the guests.

The biggest star would have to be Izan, a staff working at the pool. He was welcoming when I hit the pools. Izan offered to bring us to the chair that we wanted and even took the initiative to lay out the towels on the chair for us. I seen Izan working hard to provide the same service to all other guests coming to the pool tirelessly, in the hot afternoon sun. He religiously removed towels that were left behind by guests, rearrange chairs to the way they were on top of helping guests to the sundeck chair.

The staffs at Town Restaurant are very welcoming as well. I received greeting from a staff member before being led to my table and handed over their colleagues on the restaurant floor. The staffs in the restaurants are very efficient and obliging to requests from guests. Coffees and teas came very fast, and no empty plates are left on the table. As soon as I returned to my table, the plates are already cleared. Staffs would pop by and check if I needed more coffee.

Overall

I had a comfortable stay in The Fullerton Hotel. The sleep quality on the king bed was superb, the size of the room is just nice. I particularly like the balcony and find it a great place to hang out. In terms of service, they are good but not memorable, except for a few individuals, like Izan.

[Hotel Review] – Hard Rock Hotel (Deluxe Suite), Sentosa, Singapore (13 – 16 May 16)

Location

Hard Rock Hotel is located right at the doorstep of Sentosa Island, within the grounds of Resorts World Sentosa, and is one of the several hotels managed by Resorts World Sentosa. The hotel is located in the heart of action with theme parks such as Universal Studios Singapore, Adventure Cove right next to the hotel. There are no lack of eateries around the hotel, making it very convenient place to stay for guests to explore Sentosa Island and Mainland Singapore. The hotel is very accessible, thanks to the monorail system that ply between Mainland Singapore and Sentosa.
Iconic guitars at the entrance of the hotel
Hotel signage
Artefacts such as items used by rock stars were seen throughout the hotel
Corridor leading to my suite
Hard Rock Hotel signage on the ceiling at the lobby
Lobby
Spacious lobby
Charges of the rooms in Hard Rock Hotel Singapore

The Suite

The Living Room

Upon entering the suite,  a dark purple themed suite greets guests. The main entrance opens up to the living room of the suite. To the right of the entrance to the suite, one can find a dark themed toilet. The functional toilet houses a toilet bowl and a sink. I find this toilet a tad dark. Further into the suite one can find a black dinning table with 2 chairs tucked by the wall to the suite. Next to the dining table is the mini bar area, with a small bar fridge well hidden in one of the three cabinets. On top of the cabinet is a huge counter top with a sink located in the middle of the counter top. A Nespresso machine and kettle is placed on the left of the sink , while the cups and Nespresso capsules as well as the coffee and tea are placed on the right of the sink. One can find 2 purple single seat arm chairs located further into the living room of the suite. There is a huge coffee table placed in front of the arm chairs. A LED TV is mounted onto the wall in front of the arm chairs. The wall separating the living room and the bedroom is mounted with dark mirrors, which makes the suite looked bigger. I liked the high ceilings in the living room of the suite, making it feels bigger. However I do find the suite a little bare without a 2-seater couch, making the living room look under furnished. The absence of a couch also discouraged guests from spending more time in the living room, as the arm chairs are a tad uncomfortable to laze in. I spent most of my time in the bedroom of the suite. There are artefacts of rock stars apparent throughout the entire suite.

 

Layout of the floor I was put up
Entrance to my suite
The dark toilet next to the main entrance of the suite
Living room of the suite. The absence of a couch makes the living room look empty
Minibar area and sink in the living room
Minibar. The price of the drinks are rather expensive, a can of coke will set guests back by S$6.
Complementary coffee and tea
Nespresso machine and electric kettle
Dinning table in the suite
Close up view of the armchairs in the living room
Only 2 armchairs in the living room. No couch for guests to entertain guests or to laze onto
Reading material on the coffee table in the living room
Night view from the living room in the suite

The Bedroom

Entering the door to the bedroom, guests will find a King bed sitting by the wall greeting guests. The purple coloured room feels spacious with an interesting chandler hanging from the ceiling of this part of the suite. An LED TV can be found mounted on the wall to the left of the door (from the bed). There is a day bed fixed by the window for guests to laze on and enjoy the superb view of Harbour Front and the dolphin lagoons of Adventure Cove. From the window, one can see the dolphins swimming freely in the lagoon. To the right of the door is where one can find the work desk equipped with the standard fixtures like a reading light and the phone. There are limited power outlets in this area of the bedroom. Guests can also find a single sized pull out bed between the King bed and the day bed. The sleep quality on the King bed is great. Guests can be assured of a great night sleep on this bed. The pillows are just right, not too soft to my liking. I was able to sleep peacefully and wake up afresh sleeping on the King bed. There are no side tables on either side of the King Bed, however there is a long bench-like table that stretches from the King bed to the entrance of the toilet. There are no wardrobes in this part of the suite.

Very comfortable King bed greets guests in the bedroom
Day bed by the large window in the bedroom. This is a nice spot to laze in.
Work desk
Very limited power sockets in the suite
There is a dock for iPhone users on the work desk
Single-sized pull out bed
A very unique chandler in the bedroom
A long bench served as bedside table found on only one side of the bed
View from the day bed in the bedroom

The Bathroom

Separated by a panel of translucent glass from the bedroom is the bathroom. The bathroom feels a tad cramp compared to the bedroom and the living room. As one enters the bathroom, one can find the bathtub sitting on the right of the entrance to the bathroom. The bathtub is rather large, sufficient for two to have a romantic soak in. Opposite the bathtub, by the entrance to the bathroom, tucked into part of the wardrobe is where guests can find a small TV. Despite having a remote control here (there are 3 remote controls in the entire suite, one for each TV), I was unable to switch channel using the remote control. It seem that the channel on this TV is a duplicate display from the TV in the bedroom. There are no lack of wardrobe space in the bathroom, guests are treated to 2 large wardrobes in the bathroom. The safe and extra pillows and blankets as well as iron and ironing board can be found in the wardrobe further from the entrance to the bathroom. I find it a tad weird and somewhat inconvenient for the wardrobes and a ledge for guests to stow their luggage to be located in the bathroom. Having the wardrobe with the rest of the bathroom fixtures makes the entire bathroom feels cramp. Next to the bathtub is a single sink, decked with a large Hollywood styled mirror. There are ample space for 2 to stow their toiletries on the sink area. There is an outlet for guests to charge their electric shaver, however it does not seem to work in the suite that I was assigned to. Next to the sink, between the sink and the bathtub is where the walk-in shower is located. The walk-in shower has both the regular shower head as well as the rain shower. I find the water pressure to the rain shower head is a tad weak. When I first entered the suite, towels are placed inside the walk-in shower area on one of the three glass shelvings, which I find it weird as the splashes from the shower would have the towels wet. Behind the sink area, in front of the wardrobe furthest from the entrance to the bathroom is where one can find another toilet cubicle. There are no lack of handles in the bathroom area for one to hand their towels to dry.

 

Huge bathtub
Sink area with a large Hollywood style mirror
Sink
A unique stand to store some of the bathroom amenities. The guitar brings out the “rock and roll” vibe
Walk-in shower. The placement of the towels here seem weird as the splashes from the shower head might wet the towels
Regular and rain shower heads. The water pressure from the rain shower head is rather weak
Standard shampoo and shower gel in the walk-in shower. The quality of these feels cheap and does not give guests paying S$1200++ per night a premium feel
Toilet cubicle in the bathroom
Art pieces in the bathroom outside the toilet cubicle
Wardrobe with TV opposite the bathtub. This is one of the many lightbulbs that were fused and not rectified
Wardrobe outside the toilet cubicle. Guests can find bathrobe and extra blanket and pillow here together with the in-room safe. Together these wardrobes provides ample space for guests to store their clothing

The Pool

The key feature of Hard Rock Hotel Singapore gotta be the pool, which the hotel brings the beach into the pool area for guests to play with the white clean sand. There are several other pools for guests to enjoy their day in the pool area. Other than the Beach area, there is also a lap pool, a free form pool with a pool side bar, where guests can order snacks and drinks, as well as a sheltered jacuzzi pool. There is also a pool for children with water slides and fountains for children. Beside the pool is a beach volleyball court, tucked at on corner of the pool area. Guests can spend the whole day at the pool area. Unfortunately, there is some sort of upgrading works at the time of my stay, the shower rooms beside the pool and the gym were closed.

 

Beach pool at night
Swimming pool in the day

Breakfast

The breakfast service in Hard Rock Hotel Singapore runs from 7.30am to 10.30am. Breakfast is served at the Starz restaurant located next to the reception area of the hotel. There are ample space seemingly catering for maximum capacity for the hotel. There is a huge spread of food available for breakfast ranging from local cuisine to Asian cuisine to western cuisine, catering to a wide range of palates. Despite the huge variety of food available, I find the taste average.

 

Pastry section
Asian section
Dessert and fruit section
Pancakes and sausages

Service

The service throughout my stay in the hotel was nothing short of excellent. I was warmly welcomed by Yugen at check in. Due to the time of my arrival, there is no queue and Yugen checked me in swiftly. Yugen also informed me about the location for breakfast and the timing of breakfast. He pointed me to the correct side of the lobby to take the lift to the level where the suite is located. Yugen even took the initiative to checked with me if everything in the suite was okay. When I highlighted that the TV in the bathroom was not working, Yugen took into account the time of my checking in and asked if I would prefer to have the TV fixed now or tomorrow. The staff came at the time I told Yugen the next day to fix the TV. The great service is even showed by the housekeeping staff, Lavinia, who is not just excellent and meticulous in her job, she presents herself as warm and friendly staff. Lavinia ensured that the suite is always in a pristine condition every time she made up my suite, she is also meticulous in ensuring all corners are cleaned. I took some ice from the ice machine the night before, Lavinia even took note to ensure the ice bucket (which was covered) is cleared of melted ice. She is always smiling and greeted me whenever I bumped into her along the corridor. Siew Lam the staff from the poolside issuing towels to guests was also great in her service. She remembered my suite number when I signed out the towel every day. She even advised of the best timing to enjoy the pool. When returning the towels, she recognised me and signed the towels in without me informing her of my room number. The hotel provided welcome fresh welcome fruit and a personalised card signed off by the duty manager of the hotel. The hotel also provided shuttle service to ply through the all the hotels managed by Resorts World Sentosa with 15 mins interval providing guests the convenience of moving around without much walking. However the hotel does not provide complementary wifi in the room and guests are expected to pay for each device hooked onto the wifi at a rather expensive rate, even for guests paying a premium staying at a suite. The hotel also does not provide newspaper for their suite guests.
Welcome fruit on the dining table in the living room
Welcome card
Shuttle service

Overall

In terms of hardware, the suite is very spacious and comfortable. The air conditioning the suite was excellent. However I find the living room to be rather empty with the existing furnishing. The absence of a couch also does not make me feel like spending time in the living room of the suite, making the living room a wasted space. The sleep quality on the bed was excellent, ensuring guests of a good night sleep and waking up feeling afresh. The service rendered by the staffs in the hotel is excellent, staffs were seen smiling and greeting guests. Overall I had a pleasant stay in Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, with the proximity to amenities and attractions in Sentosa, Hard Rock Hotel is a great place to stay.

 

[Hotel Review] – Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa (Prestige Suite), Sentosa, Singapore (25 – 27 Mar 16)

Location

Sofitel recently took over the former Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa and reopened its doors under Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa in Nov 2015. The hotel is located on western part of Sentosa island somewhere between the entrance to Sentosa island and Sentosa Cove. In terms of location, the hotel is some distance from the major attractions on Sentosa Island, however with shuttle regular shuttle service plying to Resorts World Sentosa and mainland Singapore, guests are still able to gain access to some of the major attractions on the island. Since it is somewhat isolated, guests can be assured of spending some peaceful time in the garden hotel. The hotel has direct access to one of the beaches on Sentosa island via a stairways next to the swimming pool of the hotel.
Hotel Signage
Facade of the hotel

The Suite

I checked into the Prestige Suite for a long weekend staycation over the Good Friday Holidays. The Prestige Suite has a total floor space of 64m sq, according to the hotel website. Opening the door to the suite, I was greeted by an artwork of 2 sculptures hung onto the wall of the small lobby. The in-suite lobby serves as a walkway, separating the living room and the bedroom.
The lobby in the suite linking the bedroom to the living room
Interesting art work in the lobby of the suite

Living Room

To the right from the main entrance to the suite, passing through a double-paneled wooden door, guests will find the location of the living room. Decorated in soft earthy tone, the living room is a very comfortable place to hang out. Entering the living room, a study table facing the TV, placed behind a 3-seater couch greets guests living in this suite. Behind the study desk is a wall of mirror, which makes the room looked more spacious. Tucked in one corner away from the door is the minibar. The minibar is housed in a white roundish cabinet, which houses the mini fridge, glasses/mugs, the coffee machine and the kettle. I find the design of this cabinet rather unique and the placement of this cabinet is accessible yet non-obstructive.
Entrance to the living room
I like how the study desk was placed to face the TV
Minibar counter
Fully stocked minibar. The price of the items are very pricey. A can of coke and a standard packet of Milo sets you off $7 (GST and service charge extra)
Glasses are stored on the side panel of the minibar counter
Minibar fully opened
In front of the study desk is a 3 seater couch, facing a 42″ LED TV. A good 2/3 of the space of the living room space is dedicated to this couch area. The coffee table is rather unconventional. The beige coloured square shaped coffee table blends in very well with the other furnitures in the living room. The side chairs in the living room look like a smaller version of the coffee table, giving this part of the furnishing a retro look. There is a rocking arm chair by the side of the living room. There are also a couple of shelves placed by the walls of the living room. These shelves served more like decor pieces rather than for guests to stow their stuffs.
View of the living room with the couch and a rocking chair at the side
Another view of the living room with the TV
These shelves served more as a decorative item than for practical useage
Shelves in the living room
Outlets under the study table, which is not at all obstructive
Welcome fruits and sweets were placed on the coffee table with a card signed off by the Hotel Manager
The suite that was initially assigned to me had garden access, however the so called garden access suite overlooks a carpark and a patch of dead grass. The view from this suite was so depressing  and so bad that there hardly was any tranquillity.
Depressing view of outside the suite, facing carpark and a patch of dead grass
I wonder how can anyone sit here to look at the depressing view of the carpark and a patch of dead grass

Bedroom

To the left of the entrance tot he suite, from the suite lobby through another double wooden door is the bedroom. Extending the comfortable feel from the living room, the bedroom is also decorated in earthy tones, with numerous art pieces scattering around the bedroom. There are no lack of storage space in the bedroom. Entering the bedroom, guests can find a ledge to store their luggage. Beneath the ledge is a couple of drawers drawers, providing guests additional space to store their stuff. next to the luggage ledge is a couple of wardrobes decorated with some art pieces, taking the boredom out of these wardrobes. The wardrobe nearest to the entrance of the bedroom has 2 parts to it. Left half of the wardrobe is where the iron and iron boarding is nicely concealed into the room as well as a short bar that serves as an extra space for guests to hang their clothings. The right panel of this wardrobe has a 4-tier drawer with the in-room safe placed on top of them. There are a couple of open shelvings above the safe. The wardrobe furthest in the room is purely for hanging of clothings. The combined wardrobe space in the bedroom allows guests to store up to 2 weeks of clothings. The centrepiece of the bedroom has to be the super King size bed. The bed is large enough to sleep 3 comfortably. The sleep quality on the bed is superb, which is not too soft nor too hard. The sleep quality on the pillows are rather bad, my friend had a neckache after sleeping on them. The pillows are too soft for my liking. The hotel provides a pillow menu, the oddly shaped oversized square pillows offered under the pillow menu is hard to sleep on comfortably. I find even the firmest pillow offered in the menu to be too soft for me. There are a couple of bedside tables, built onto the walls, on each side of the bed. These bedside table both have powerpoint sockets for guests to charge their lifestyle gadgets. On the other side of the bed, there are more powerpoint sockets, with international outlets that guests can charge their gadgets. There are also a couple of bedside lamps on each side of the bedside table. On the headrest of the bed, there are additional reading lamps that guests can use as night reading lights. There is a side couch placed beside the bed, near to the windows. This side couch is very comfortable both to sit on and lie on. Another 42″ LED TV is placed facing directly to the bed. The angle of the TV is perfect for one to laze on the bed and catch their favourite shows. There are no lack of channels from movies to talk shows as well as news channels and local channels that guests can choose from.

View of the bedroom with the wardrobe and a decorative chair
Wardrobe with drawers and shelvings for guests to store their belongings. An ironing board and an iron were nicely concealed inside the other side of the wardrobe
The other wardrobe where guests can hang their clothings in
There are no lack of art works around in the suite
View of the bed and the side couch in the bedroom
TV facing the bed and the entrance to the bathroom
Powerpoint sockets in the bedroom. There are plenty of powerpoint sockets in the entire suite
Powerpoint sockets on the other side table
Art work on the headboard of the bed

Bathroom

The Bathroom in the suite is only accessible from the bedroom. The size of the bathroom feels a tad small, however, it has all the stuff that one needs. The bathroom is decorated in a retro theme, with bright mosaic colours. Entering the bathroom, the first thing that caught my eyes is the sink area. The use of mirrors in the bathroom makes the bathroom look bigger than it actually is. Despite being a single sink bathroom, the counter top is large enough for guests to stow their additional toiletries. On the left to the sink is a couple of cubicles. The cubicle furthest into the bathroom is where the toilet bowl is located, and the cubicle closest to the entrance to the bathroom is where the shower is located. The shower has both rain shower and regular shower head. There is a small ledge in the shower cubicle for guests to place the bath amenities. There is also a see-through glass that looks into the bedroom in the shower cubicle. For privacy, guests have the option of lowering the blind from the shower cubicle. Opposite the cubicles, one can find the bathtub. The bathtub look smaller than it actually is. The bathtub is large enough for one to have a good soak in without having to squeeze into it. The hotel uses the luxurious Lanvin bath amenities and even comes with a large size loofah and bath salts.
Sink area in the bathroom
Toilet cubicle
Walk-in shower with rain shower and regular shower heads
A large bathtub in the bathroom
Toiletries provided
The hotel uses the luxurious Lanvin bath amenities
Loofah and bath salt are available for guests to use

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in the hotel is a great place for one to laze and spend the day under the sun. The large pool is over 2m deep on one side. There is a safety line that demarcate the shallow from the deep area of the pool. There are plenty of chairs and cabanas around the pool for guests to enjoy. One may spot the resident peacock and peahens occasionally strolling by the pool. I found the temperature of the pool water to be warm, which allows guests to swim comfortably in. The pool closes at 7pm which limits the time guests can spend at the pool area.
View of the pool
Large day beds and cabanas are available at the pool
View of the pool
View of the pool. The safety line demarcates the shallow and the deep area of the pool

SO Spa

The in-house spa, SO Spa, is located off the main hotel site. The spa is around 5 – 10 mins walk from the hotel grounds. Buggy service is available to ferry guests to and from the hotel to the spa. Guests staying in a suite room are given complementary access to the outdoor facilities of the spa area. The outdoor spa facilities is a tranquil place to spend an afternoon. There is a smaller pool, where one can soak the sunrays by, or float on the mat found at the pool. There is also another shallower pool with artificial waterfall for guest to cool off the sun. However, the water in this small pool is a tad too cold. There is mud pool at the outdoor facilities where guests can apply mud onto their skin to rejuvenate their skin and a separate pool to wash away the mud. There is also a females only outdoor spa facilities catered to female guests. In the changing room of SO Spa, there are steam rooms and indoor jacuzzi as well as a cold dip pool for guests to enjoy.

SO Spa signage
The spa is located in a colonial building away from the main hotel grounds
SO Spa porch
Reception area of the spa
Swimming pool at SO Spa
This pool is alot quieter than the main pool in the hotel
Another pool at SO Spa. The water in this pool is rather cold and the pool is only 0.9m deep
Mud pool. Guests are encouraged to apply the mud that is available and dip in the pool
Container with mud for guests to use
Outdoor garden at SO Spa
Entrance to Spa villas
Spa villas
Another view of the pool at SO Spa
Rest area outside the men’s changing room
A cold pool and jacuzzi inside men’s changing room
Steam room inside the men’s changing room
Shower facilities inside the men’s changing room
Lockers inside men’s changing room

SO Fit

The hotel gym (named SO Fit) is located in a separate building next to the spa. The gym is rather large and is very well equipped, with machines for a full body workout. Other than the standard treadmills, there are machines for abs, back and biceps workouts to name a few. Water and apple are available at the entrance of the gym for its users to enjoy after a great workout. There is a shower area in the gym area for guests to freshen up after a good workout.  Steam room can also be found in the changing room, ideal for gym-goers to relax their muscles after a workout.

 

SO Fit signage
Lounging area outside the gym
Entrance to the gym
Well equipped gym
Well equipped gym
Lockers are available in the men’s changing room
Shower cubicles inside the men’s changing room
Steam room inside the men’s changing room

Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the Kwee Zeen restaurant located opposite the lobby of the hotel. Guests are treated to both local and Asian cuisine as well as international flare for breakfast. The Asian option is located in the outdoor area. There are numerous type of breads for guests to choose from, coupled with the generous choice of spread from better to an assortment of jams.

 

Kwee Zeen is where breakfast is served
Bread station
International cuisine selection
Asian selection located at the outdoor section of the restaurant
Decor of the Kwee Zeen

Service

Part of a hotel stay that is equally important to me is the service quality. The service quality in Sofitel Sentosa has more misses than hits. The horrid service starts at check in. Two days prior to my stay with Sofitel Sentosa, I received an email from Accor informing me of their online check-in service. This online check-in is touted to cut short on the check-in time required so guests can get their rooms early. I have done online check-in prior to my arrival at the hotel. I arrived the hotel at the check-in time of 3pm. At this point, there are queues forming up with guests waiting to check in. I waited in the queue for a good 15 mins before it is my turn to check-in. Despite having done the online check-in, the check-in process is slow. The whole check-in process takes around another 15 mins, which makes no difference between having done online check-in and not. The whole check-in process took around 45 mins, from the moment I started to queue for check-in, to getting to settle into my suite. Despite the Accor webite’s claim for a priority queue for Accor members, the Accord counter was unmanned throughout my stay, making the claim rather redundant.

An unmanned counter for Accor members
The state of the suite was also unacceptable. Other than the lousy view of the carpark from the so called “Garden Access Suite”, when we arrived at the suite, the air-conditioning in the living room was not working. The living room felt like a sauna at the time of our arrival into the suite. Initially I thought the warmth in the living room was due to the hot climate in Singapore. After staying put in the suite for about 30 mins, the temperature in the living room does not seem to come down. I notified the “One-touch” centre and a technician came moments to fix the air-conditioning. After 1 hour of fixing, we were assured that the air-conditioning should be working. After waiting for another 30 mins, the temperature does not seem to come down. It seem as though the air-conditioning is not working at all. A technical staff came by after my call to the reception to fix the air-conditioning, which wasted 1 hour of our time.

When the technical staff was fixing the air-conditioning, I gave a call to the “One-touch” Centre to request for extra bath towels and bath amenities. A housekeeping staff suddenly barged into our suite without knocking or ringing the doorbell to place the items that I had requested for, when her colleague was in my suite trying his best to solve the air-conditioning issue. I find this act an intrusion of privacy and not professional for a 5-star hotel standard.

When I arrived at the suite assigned to me, I was delighted to find welcome plate of fruits and sweets for guests. I thought this is a very good gesture as not many hotels provided such welcoming gestures. However my delightfulness was short-lived. Together with the welcome fruit is a card. The card that was in my suite was NOT addressed to me, but to someone else. I am not too sure if there has been a foul up or the card was a leftover by the previous guests. This also left me wondering if th welcome fruits and sweets were leftovers from the previous guests and that housekeeping did not clear them. What is the point of having a welcome gesture and not addressed to the guest but someone else?

 

A welcome card that was not addressed to me was found in the suite

The lapse in service standards did not stop there. The “One-touch” service on the phone remains unmanned most of the time, especially at nights. I tried to order room service and request for pillows, most of the time I was kept on hold with no one answering to the phone call. The ringing went till the tone was dead for waiting for too long. Luckily I was able to reach the operator by pressing “0” (which I was trying my luck after a few unanswered calls from the “One-Touch service line”). The operator sounded empathetic of my situation and quickly took note of my requests.

Whilst at the spa using the outdoor facilities. After we decided to leave SO Spa, I approached an Indian (female) staff at the counter checking out if they sell essential oils. The first response I got from the Indian staff was “It is very expensive” in a very demeaning tone. I am not too sure if it is the hotel policy for its staffs to judge the guests by the way they are dressed (I was in bermudas, singlet and slippers). I find this response totally uncalled for and very unprofessional of the staff.

Amidst all the negativity, there were a few stars of the hotel which made me felt welcome. Firstly is Mr Steven, the uncle driving a buggy that ferried us to the spa from our suite. We managed to get through to someone from the “One-touch” service line after a few tries. Steven came and picked us up to So Spa. Steven was welcoming and initiated conversation with us. He even introduced to us some of the facilities in the hotel as he was driving us to So Spa. His exemplary service does not stop there. After we were done with using the spa facilities, we headed to check out the gym. As we were done, standing by the road waiting to get back to So Spa to get a staff member to arrange a buggy service to send us back to the hotel, Steven spotted us. We saw him making a U-turn and came towards us, asking if we are heading back to the hotel. Such a gesture is fondly welcomed and a stark difference from the experience of the service we had in the hotel thus far. During the drive back to the hotel grounds, I mentioned a different room number to Steven. Steven can even remember the room number we were put up in.

Other than the housekeeper who barged into our suite, the other housekeepers we came in contact with were fantastic. In the evenings, there are a couple of housekeeping staffs came ringing the doorbell to our suite, presumably doing their turndown service. When seeing we were in our suite, these ladies passed us some cookies and additional bath amenities with a smile. Other than these ladies, there was a male Indian Staff who came after we requested for the pillows. After managing to get someone to answer the call on the “One-Touch” service line, I attempted to call them again to request for additional bottled water. As I was waiting for someone to answer the “One-Touch” service line (after attempting a few times), an Indian staff came ringing on the doorbell with the pillows that I had requested. After explaining to him that I was calling “One-Touch” service for bottled water, this staff apologised for the non-answering serviceline and requested me to wait for him to get back to his store to grab the water that I requested for. I apologised to him for making the extra trip, the staff replied with a smile and told me it is not trouble as his store is nearby. Such an empathy from this staff astound me. In the first place, he did not have to apologise for someone not doing their job. He did it anyways. He responded to my request for extra bottled water instead of brushing the request aside.

Overall

My experience with Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa was a mix. Despite the comfortable bedding and the spacious suite, the non-functioning air-condition in the living room of the suite we were assigned was a great disappointment. We wasted time in waiting for the air-con to be fixed, so much so that we did not manage to use the pool (which closes at 7pm) nor the outdoor SO Spa facilities (closes at 6.30pm). The surroundings of the hotel is rather peaceful and the pool was fantastic. SO Spa facilities and SO Fit facilities were awesome as well. However the amount of service lapses we have encountered makes us wonder if Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa is worthy of its 5-star rating. There are more misses than hits during my stay at the hotel. This is hotel I will NOT be going back at all and would not recommend to stay. Given the price, there are better options elsewhere on Sentosa Island.

[Hotel Review] – Hotel Michael (Deluxe Suite), Sentosa, Singapore (31 Jul – 3 Aug 15)

Location

Hotel Michael is located in Resorts World Sentosa, next to the train system that plys between Singapore and Sentosa Island. It is located at a precinct where eateries and entertainment, such as Universal Studios Singapore, the S.E.A Aquarium, Trick Eye Museum are located. The location of this hotel, as with other hotels managed by Resorts World Sentosa, makes it a great place to explore and have fun in Sentosa and Singapore mainland.
Entrance to the Hotel from RWS
Hotel Signage
Hotel Facade
Reception Area
Art pieces at the reception. Some of these art pieces sells for up to S$10,000
Lounging area next to reception

My Initial Room

The room I originally booked was a Deluxe room. The room is rather small, measuring 37m². Upon entering the room, I was shocked at the state the room was in. The bedsheets are dirty, covering with stains that does not seemed to be washed properly. Out of 4 pillows, all 4 pillows had stains on them. There is a large crack on one of the bedside tables, which seemed to be capable of rendering its users cuts. The couch at the end of the room had a terrible crack on it, the crack is so bad that the sponge in the couch are ready to pop out any time. The curtains in the room is filled with stain marks, which seem to suggest that the last time they were changed was a long time ago. I wonder how one can live in such a filthy environment and if the staffs themselves would want to stay in such a room. There was no in room slippers and all I found was an empty plastic bag, which seemed contain slippers if there is one. For a $400 a night room, this hotel leave me wonder if it is of 5-star standard. I had to call and ask for the duty manager to address these issues. The duty manager – Cecilia popped by my room and was shocked at the state it was in. She asked for sometime to look for another room for me.
There is an empty plastic bag on the lower right hand corner of this closet where it is believed that is where the slippers should be located
No body lotions were provided. I was later informed by the duty manager only suites get body lotions and they are only made available upon request for deluxe rooms
Duvet cover with stains found when I checked in the room
Dirty duvet cover in the room
Stains on the bedsheet
Stains on the pillow case
Stain on yet another pillow
Stain on bedsheet
Dirty curtains that seem to suggest they were never changed
Very dirty curtains
Large crack on the bedside table top
Worn couch where one can see the sponge beneath it

The Suite

I was transferred into the hotel’s Deluxe Suite. The 1 bedroom suite measures a good 80m², providing guests ample space to relax in either in the living room or the bedroom itself. The hotel prides itself for being “a luxurious treat for art lovers”. There are art pieces, in the form of paintings, found throughout the suite that I was staying. More art pieces can be found in the common areas such as the lobby. One can also find mosaic tiled motifs in the toilet. The entire suite is decked out in contemporary wooden architecture, combined with the orange lighting used in the entire suite, the suite eludes a warmth and cosy feel to its occupants. The suite is divided into 3 main sections.

Living Room

As guests enters the suite, one is ushered into a sizeable living room. The living is decorated with a 3 seater sofa, facing the LED TV. On the sides of the sofa is a 3 seater couch on its right, situated right in front of the floor to ceiling window panel, which also is the fire access. It seemed ironical for the hotel to place a couch in front of the fire access, with a sign next to it that reads “Do not obstruct at all times”. To the left of the sofa is a single seater couch. There is also a coffee table, which is essentially a glass panel placed on top of a wooden base. As one enters the main door, there is another door to the right of it, which opens up to a toilet where one can find a toilet bowl and a sink. The wall of this toilet is decorated with mosaic tiles, which not only brightens the toilet, it also removes the boredom of a white wall which is common in most toilets in a hotel room or suite. Behind the single seater couch is where one can find the minibar area. The minibar is well concealed in a huge sized cabinet, where one can find a fridge in the lower deck of the cabinet and the standard glasses, snacks and a Nespresso machine on the upper deck. Despite being a suite, other than the coffee and tea as well as the bottled mineral waters being complementary, the rest of the items in the minibar is chargeable. The hotel do not even provide free wifi, which most other hotels are now providing with complements. The fridge is defective at the time when I checked in, which is one of the many signs that maintenance is not in the hotel’s list of things to do. Beside the cabinet where one can find the minibar, one can find a sink, which is a nice touch for one to wash their cups in.
Entrance to the Suite
Sofa in the living room with art piece hanging on the wall
LED TV in the living room. The red sign on the walls says “Fire Access, Do not obstruct at all times”
TV in the living room
View from the living room
View of the living room. It is obvious that the 2 seater couch is obstructing the fire access
Sink area in the living room
Top shelve of the minibar area
Non-functioning fridge other than the lights. The fridge was subsequently replaced after it was reported faulty.
The door on the left leads to a small toilet, while that on the right is the main entrance to the suite.
Toilet bowl in the toilet next to the main entrance
Sink in the toilet next to the main entrance

Bedroom

A door beside the 3 seater sofa leads into the bedroom itself. The bedroom of this suite is large by any standards. As one enters the bedroom, a large king bed greats guests. The bed occupies about a fraction of the room, facing another LED TV, which is placed at an angle that makes watching it a chore. There is no swivel to tilt the TV to provide guests with optimal angle to watch the TV. In the bedroom, one can also find a small dinning table, with 2 chairs tucked in a corner which does not obstruct the space in the bedroom. The bed is large and comfortable to sleep in and is able to provide one with a good night sleep. However the pillows are a tad too soft for my liking, which gave me neckache when I sleep on one. The hotel does not seem to provide pillow menu for its guests. There is also a dressing cabinet beside the dinning table, next to the door to the bedroom. This cabinet, with a mirror hang on the wall, provides more storage space as well as make up space for female guests. There are also a couple of bedside tables on each side of the bed, which provides more storage space.
King Bed
King Bed, but the pillows are a tad too soft for my liking
Small dinning table in the bedroom
Dresser next to the dinning table in the bedroom
Bedside table. There are very limited powerpoints in the suite. There isn’t any at the bedside tables
Entrance from the living room to the bedroom

Bathroom

Next to the bed is the entrance to the bathroom. Decked out in white marble, the expansive bathroom is rather large. As one enters the bathroom from the bedroom, a small make-up area can be found to the left. To the right of the entrance is where one can find another toilet cubicle fully furnished with a toilet bowl and a sink. Directly facing the door to the bathroom is where one can find a sizeable closet, large enough to stowaway 5 days worth of clothing. The iron and ironing board as well as the in room safe can also be found tucked nicely into the closet. Passing the closet to the left is where the bathroom opens up to a dual sink of the left and a walk-in shower, featuring regular shower head and rain shower to the right. Passing the narrow corridor, one can spot a bathtub situated at the end of the bathroom. The tub is huge enough for 2 to soak into, with a small TV facing the bathtub. The bathroom, despite decked in white marble giving guests a feel of prestige and a sense of classiness, is rather dim in its lighting.
Entrance to the bathroom from the bedroom
Make-up area next to the entrance
Toilet in the bathroom
Huge wardrobe with its contents well organised
In room safe tucked away in the closet
View of the rest of the bathroom
Walk-in shower with rain shower. The controls to the shower and the shower head are behind the door.
Standard bath amenities
Body lotion is available upon request and are not replaced daily, even in the suite
Face towels by the dual sink
Great addition of the bench in the bathroom
Stool for kids to reach the sink
Bathtub
Small TV in front of the tub

Balconies

There are a total of 3 small balconies in the entire suite where one can stand onto and watch the happenings around the hotel below. 2 of these balconies can be accessed from the bedroom and 1 can be accessed from the bathroom (pass the bathtub). The air-conditioning throughout the suite is very good. There are separate temperature control for the living room and the bedroom, which is powerful enough to cool the suite to 16°C.
View from one of the balconies
Corridor leading to the suite
Corridor leading to the room from the reception on level 2

Swimming Pool

The hotel has a small free form swimming pool located on the 3rd level, which allows guests to swim laps in it. There is also a jacuzzi located next to the pool. There is a counter prior to the entrance to the pool, which unfortunately is unmanned. There is also no towel provided at the pool, guests would have to bring their own towels from the room to utilise the pool. There is however a phone, which called, the hotel will arrange for someone to stock up on the bathrobes. There is also a bathroom cum toilet next to the pool. There are limited toilet cubicle (only 1 in the men’s room) and 1 shower cubicle in the toilet.
Small free form pool on level 3
Jacuzzi next to the pool
Jacuzzi next to the pool
Swimming pool
Hotel facade from the pool
Unmanned counters and no towels were seen anywhere here

Gym

Located next to the pool, one can find a small gym. The gym is very small and only provides a couple of treadmills and some stationary bikes. There are very limited weights equipment in this gym.
Small gym
Limited gym equipment
Limited gym equipment

Palio Restaurant

Breakfast is served in Palio Restaurant. The quality of the food is so-so and there are very minor changes to the menu each day. The food does not seem tasty and the variety is rather limited for a 5-star establishment. There are only mass brewed coffee, and latte or cappuccino is not being offered. The fruit juice tasted blended and seemed to be made from cordial syrups. The quality of the food is rather bad and often left cold. There are also no top ups for food.
Breakfast is served at Palio Restaurant
Inside the restaurant
Limited variety for breakfast
Some of the food has wrong label. The green jam is kaya but it is labelled as “Peanut butter”. This goes to shows the staff have no pride in their work
The uninterested staff at the egg station. I waited for about 10 mins before she turned around and take my order. I have asked her a few times, but she just ignored
Breakfast is so-so

Service

The service that I received from the hotel is a far fetch from the 5-star it is being accorded. From check-in to the restaurant the staffs does not seemed to be interested in providing 5-star service to its guests. When I was checking in, the lady at the counter does not seem to be interested in providing information such as where the room is located, where to have breakfast. She is slow in processing my check-in and gives me a feeling that she just wanted to get rid of me at the check-in. Her attitude is bad and seemed to be impatient with my enquiries. Information received from her is scatty. Such attitude seemed to be echoed by the other staffs at the reception. There was an instance I left my room key in my suite and wanted to get one. There is a separate queue at the reception that states “collection of key only”, when approached I was told to join the queue for check-in. I asked the staff what’s the purpose of having a queue for key collection, only at this point I was directed to the lounge which entertains VIP check in. When at the lounge, the staff there was puzzled why I was directed to her. Despite that, she gladly processed my key.
Service at the restaurant is almost non-existence. The staffs are not interested in providing any form of service, other than showing guests to their table and clearing the table. At the egg station, the staff seem to be reluctant to take any orders for eggs, only when asked than was my orders taken. There are no smiles from the staffs throughout the restaurant, which seemed consistent with the service I have received from the reception.
The only ones that provided any form of service are those running operations from behind the scene. My room was being made up by Ken, whom by far provided the best service in the entire hotel. He not only made up my room conscientiously, when bumped into Ken along the corridor while heading out for breakfast, I request Ken to put extra towels, he gladly does that with a smile. My room was well made-up my Ken. Another staff whom I received good service is the duty manager Cecilia. I had contacted Cecilia regarding the state of the room I first checked-in, she immediately attended to me and listened without being defensive. She told note of all the areas and had those remedied immediately.  Cecilia also changed a room for me within an hour, where she ensured the standards of the room is up to mark before arranging for me to move to my new room. Cecilia followed up on a call a few hours later to check if I was comfortable in the new room and if there are any other requests that I need. Cecilia ensured closure to the areas I have brought up and closed the loop with me.

Overall

Hotel Michael, despite being accorded 5-star, does not scream of 5-star from the deluxe room and other facilities such as the pool and the gym, and certainly not the service. While the location of the hotel is great, the suite that I checked into is good. However the same cannot be said of the deluxe room I initially checked into. The service standard is a far cry from being 5-star. Service is almost non-existence in the hotel, especially the reception, where the first contact with guests are being made. Staffs seemed to be impatient with guests and did not seem to realise what 5-star hotel means. They seem to be more interested in gossiping loudly amongst themselves than attending to guests. Despite the queue at the reception being light, they are seen taking their timing punching into their computers than lifting their heads to see if any guest is waiting in line waiting to be served. Restaurant staffs are always frowning and gave me an impression that guests ordering food is bothersome to them. Given the price the hotel charges for a night in a room or its suite, one can find better service, bigger rooms elsewhere. I would not recommend anyone staying here, unless one does not mind paying more for bad service and wanted to be close to the actions in Resorts World Sentosa.

[Hotel Review] – Capella Hotel (Seaview Premier Room), Sentosa, Singapore (8 – 10 May 15)

Location

Perch on top of a knoll, Capella is not too far from the entrance to Sentosa via the causeway. Despite its location, the entrance to Capella is rather inconspicuous. Guests to this hotel would have to look out for the entrance after driving pass the round about after the gantry at Sentosa Gateway. The driveway towards the hotel opens up to spacious beautiful garden and the hotel appears to be a jewel on a crown. The hotel lobby is situated in a colonial building that is part of Singapore’s history. The hotel is situated right smack centre of Sentosa Island, with the beach as its backyard, guests enjoy a direct access to the beach via the hotel’s back door. Despite its central location, guests are required to walk at least 10 mins to get to anywhere else on the island. The hotel provides shuttle service to Vivocity on mainland Singapore as well as Resorts World Sentosa, where one would find the theme park and casino. There are also regular beach tram service on the beach side of the hotel, accessible via the back door of the hotel.
Hotel Signage Outside the Lobby 
Lobby
Corridor Outside the Lobby
Around the Hotel
Around the Hotel
Around the Hotel
Around the Hotel
Around the Hotel

The Room

I had the opportunity to return to this hotel for my advanced birthday staycation, arranged by my friend, after my horrid experience last December. The room I checked into this time round is Seaview Premier Room. The room layout is similar to the Garden Premier Room I stayed in last December. The room combines functionality with contemporary theme and made use of technology.

Entrance to Room 417

Walk-in Wardrobe

The main door to the expansive 77m² room is oriented to the left of the room. The vanity cum walk-through wardrobe is situated to the right of the main door. The dual-sink massive vanity area with 2 mirrors and separate vanity lighting, stretches across the room. The counter-top where the sinks are located has sufficient space for guests to stow their toiletries. This is also where one would find a comfortable cushioned stool for ladies to sit on while putting on their make-up. One can also find the hairdryer here. Behind the vanity area is the walk-through wardrobe. I like the design of the open walk-through wardrobe, which not only saves space, it looked chic and is also functional. The open-concept wardrobe is convenient that give guests direct access to their clothing without having the need to open wardrobe doors. There is sufficient space for guests to store up to 2 weeks or more worth of clothing. There is also a couple of 3-tiered drawers for more storage space. There is a ledge on top of the wardrobe for guests to stow away their luggage when not in use.

 

Large Counter-Top with Dual Sink Vanity Area
Quality Aesop Amenities and Amenities Kit Pouch
Wardrobe
Double 3-Tier Drawer

Bathroom

To the end of the wardrobe is where one will find the toilet cubicle. Further into the room is where one would find the bath area. The open walk-in shower features both the rain shower and a massage shower head. There is a ledge at the walk-in shower where one will find quality Aesop bath amenities. Upon reading the wordings on the bottle, I realise the hotel chose its bath amenities very carefully. For example, the body cleanser, with Geranium scant is chosen so that guests can relax and fall asleep easier; the body balm is chosen with properties that hydrates guests’ skin and to prevent sunburn given the hot and humid climate of Singapore.  The non-slip walk-in area also have a stool placed in one corner for guests who needs to seat no to shower. The bathtub is situated opposite the walk-in shower, in front of a large window that overlooks into the balcony.This arrangement makes the bathroom feels bigger than it already is.
Toilet Cubicle
Shower Area
Panoramic View of the Bathroom
Bathtub by the Window
Paint Peeling on the Wall of the Bathroom
Bathtub

Sleeping Area

Further into the room, beyond the vanity area is the sleeping area of the room. Right in front of the vanity area is the king size bed. The comfortable bed with firmness level just right for my liking enabled me to sleep soundly throughout the night. The bed is large enough to sleep 4 adults comfortably. There are a couple of bedside tables on either side of the bed.  One can find a tablet that controls the lightnings, the blinds, etc in one of the bed-side tables. The bed faces a couch that can seat up to 5 adults without squeezing. The couch is situated in front of a large window that offers magnificent view into the hotel grounds. There is a coffee table between the bed and the couch. The view from the room that I was checked into indeed offers the best view in the hotel. It overlooked the 3-tiered hotel pool and the sea. One can sit by the couch and enjoy sunset with their loved ones while sipping coffee or even wine. The mix of greeneries and the waters is a sight that one can simply enjoy for hours.
King Size Bed
Artwork on the Wall
Bedside Table
I like the use of Technology. This Tablet Controls the Curtains and the Lightings
Very Thoughtful Housekeeping Staff whom took the initiative to coil up my wires so that it will not look messy. The attention to details is superb
Couch with a view
Welcome Fruit and Chocolate
This room has the best view in the entire hotel
View from the Room. I can see the 3-Tier Pool and the Sea

Facing the window, to the right of the couch is where one can find the work desk. The desk is large enough for one to do some decent work on. The hotel provides standard stationeries, placed neatly in a box on the desk. There is a 2-plug power point on the desk. The desk has 2 drawers, creating more space for storage. The in-room save can also be found in the cabinet under the work desk. To the left of the couch is where one can find the minibar and in-room entertainment. 3 cabinets tucking away the complementary mini-bar, Nespresso capsules, tea and electric kettle. The Nespresso machine is placed on top of these 3 cabinets, together with Bose sound system and iPod dock. Here is where one can find a 46″ flat screen TV, mounted on a rack that allows guests to swivel to allow one to watch cable channels on the TV on either the couch or on the bed. One feature I like about the room is the automatic blinds. Somehow the sensor in room would detect prolong periods where guests are not in room, upon entering the room, the blinds and curtains automatically draws up to allow light into the room.

Work Desk with Stationeries
Entertainment Area with Nespresso Machine and Bose System
Complementary Wine
Contents of the Minibar are Complementary. The Staff already placed my birthday cake with complements from the hotel in the fridge prior to my arrival.
Coffee and Tea
Electric Kettle and Ice Bucket

Balcony

Between the Bathroom and the entertainment area of the room is the doorway to the balcony. The balcony has a single seater armchair and a 2 seater long couch for one to enjoy the sea breeze. The balcony in this room is rather small, nonetheless it is still a great spot to chill out or even smoke from.

 

Seating in the Balcony
View from the Balcony

The Library

The Library is the lounge of Capella, which is located on the floor above the lobby. Guests are invited to enjoy and chill out in the Library regardless of the type of room one stays in. The Library is rather cosy and is decorated that gives one a homely feeling, more akin to a posh study room in a mansion. There are 3 areas in the Library, one where guests can find a considerable amount of reading materials, including major newspapers. This is the area where one can help oneself to the beverages, which included coffee, tea and soft drinks. This area has basically 2 sitting areas, catering to larger crowds. The next area in the Library has more natural light. This is where one can find some finger food and during High Tea timing, one can find pastries being placed in a buffet style for guests to enjoy. Other than a couch, most of the seating here are for 2. On either side of the wings of the Library is the outdoor seating with seating that are as comfortable as the ones indoor.

Library Signage
The Library is located on the Second Level
Cosy feel inside the Library
Couch in the Library
Books in the Library
Complementary Drinks in the Library
Finger Food for High Tea

Swimming Pool

Capella has a 3-tiered infinite pool that overlooks into the sea. The top two tiers featured a free form pool and the lowest tier features a lap pool. The pool is a great place to soak in the sun on the sunny island of Sentosa. I did not utilise the pool on my previous stay as it was raining most of the time. This time round I had plenty of time to relax by the pool. The pool on the top tier is an adult only pool, while the middle tier is more of a family pool, with a shallow end for children to swim in. There are no lack of deck chairs around the pool. The water in the pool is not too cold and provided us a great place to cool off the scorching sun during the period of my stay. The pools are not too deep (1.2m), which is rather “friendly” even to those who are not strong in swimming.

Gorgeous Pool
Panoramic View of the Pool

Gym

The gym in the hotel is located next to the spa. The gym, though small has all the necessary equipment that tones one’s body from abs to arms to legs. There are also treadmills and stationary cycles for one to burn off those calories. There is only one toilet and no changing room in the gym, however I spotted a sign that directs guests to the changing room next door where the spa is (I subsequently checked with the staff at the spa and was told to use the toilet in the gym for changing). Despite the small size and its emptiness, there are drinks such as plain water and 100 plus for guests to keep themselves hydrated after a good workout. There are also cold towels for guests to use.

Small but well equipped gym 
Small but well equipped gym 

Business Centre

The hotel also caters to business travelers. There is a Business Centre in the hotel where one can surf internet and get work done as well as printing facilities. The Business Centre has 2 rooms for guests to get their work done. There are also some meeting rooms in the Business Centre where guests can utilise for their meetings.

Signage of the Business Centre
Reception Area in the Business Centre
Facilities inside one of the rooms
Outside the Business Centre
Outside the Business Centre

Service

The service I received this time round is impeccable and different from my last experience. This time round the service rendered around the hotel truly reflects its 5-star status. I was well taken care of by the staffs in the hotel and almost everyone is friendly and warmth.

Prior to my checking in, I received a call from one of the personal assistance, Jayce. She checked if there are any special occasion during my stay in the hotel and my preference of the room. I mentioned that I will be in the hotel for my birthday celebration and that I would like a room that faces the swimming pool and the sea. I also requested for firmer pillows from Jayce and to my delight, these pillows where found in the room waiting for me when I checked in. Jayce called back a few days later to inform me that she has gotten the best view room in the hotel. She even checked the timing that I will be at the hotel so that the room can be ready. Indeed when I reached the hotel, the room was already ready for my occupancy. Jayce took the initiative to arrange for a birthday cake and a bottle of wine in the room with complements from the hotel for my birthday. Jayce not only followed through my requests and even went above and beyond my requests.

I met with Emanuel who was the duty manager at the time of my arrival at the hotel. Emanuel greeted me with the warmest smile.  The efficiency of processing my check in by Emanuel ensured that I will be in my room in no time, comparing to my previous experience this is heavens and earths apart. Emanuel personally showed me to my room and took the pains to explain the features of the room. Emanuel repeatedly requested me to call front desk if there are anything they can do to make my stay more comfortable. A few occasions I walked pass the front desk and met Emanuel, he checked with me if the room was alright and if there are anything else that they can do to make my stay more comfortable. Whenever I walked up to the front desk and met Emanuel, he would address me by my family name, taking note of me as a guest in the hotel. This gesture shows that Emanuel bothered to remember his guests by face and addressed them by their family name. This has made me felt welcome and somewhat important.
Daniel is the Front of the House Manager and remembered me from my previous stay. He ensured that I was well taken care of by his staffs and my requests are being attended to almost immediately. I brought to Daniel’s attention that the air-conditioning in my room was did not seem to be working well. Without delay Daniel personally sees to it and brought a technician staff with him to my room to investigate the air-con issue. Daniel has done what most managers of other hotels has not, he actively engages his guests and ensured that all are felt welcomed in the hotel. Whenever I bumped into Daniel, he would always ask how was my day and how’s the stay so far. Daniel shared with me the architecture of the hotel and the different rooms there is in the hotel. He even volunteered to show me some of the other category rooms, unfortunately I was not able to visit these other rooms due to clash in schedule. Daniel displayed what being customer centric is all about and went all way to ensure that my stay is fantastic.
I met Sherwin at the Library, whom is one of the personal assistants in the hotel. Sherwin recognised me and my friend and addressed us by our family name whenever we visited the Library. This small but warmth gesture made us felt welcome. Sherwin would always asked how was our day and initiate conversation with me. There was this instance we met Sherwin at the Library, he immediately recognised me (my sister and brother-in-law popped by the hotel to visit and was pleasantly surprised at the impeccable service Sherwin rendered). My sister is very impressed with the service that Capella has rendered through the acts of Sherwin. He even brought us freshly baked pastry from the kitchen before it is being displayed during high tea without asking. This thoughtfulness and the passion in customer service is being embraced by Sherwin.
I called up in-room dinning at 11.30pm as me and my friend wanted to have some fish and chips. Michael took the call and ensured that we got the fish and chips that we wanted despite this dish is not in the in-room dining menu. The fish and chips that was delivered to our room is fresh and tasty, thanks to Michael, who went all out to meet our request. In some establishments if the item is not in the menu, the food will not be made available. However Michael did not do what the others would, instead he checked with his colleagues and made it happen for us.
When we were at the pool, Jani, one of the staffs working at the pool, saw us laying towels on the deck chairs and immediately brought two buckets of ice with bottled water in it for us to drink while we were at the pool. This was done without asking. The pool area is always tidy as I had witness Jani cleaning up after guests left the pool tirelessly. Jani even did his rounds with complementary apple and cranberry juice for guests at the pool to enjoy.

There are however one instance of service lapse and this time is in the Knoll restaurant, where breakfast is being served. I was at the juice bar wanting some freshly squeezed juice. The bar was not manned and I waited for around 10 mins. Numerous staffs walked passed me without even acknowledging my presence. I was left hanging until one of the staff, who was responsible for the tables in the area I was seated, saw me standing and there was no one serving me. She quickly asked what I would like to have and the drinks would be delivered to me. Almost immediately after I returned to my seat, the fresh juices were delivered to me.

Overall

The hotel has great hardware as can be seen from the room and the facilities. The room is spacious and comfortable. What I like most about the room is view that overlooks the pool and the sea. In terms of service, it is 180 deg from my experience in December when I first stayed in Capella. This time round it felt like an old friend returning the hotel for a stay. At the end of the stay, my friend and I agreed that we do not feel like checking out. We will definitely return to try out the other category accommodations. The services that was rendered this time round truly reflects the 5-star status of Capella.

[Hotel Review] – Equarius Hotel (Deluxe Room), Sentosa, Singapore (1 – 4 May 15)

Location

Equarius Hotel, one of the few hotels managed by Resorts World Sentosa is located on the island of Sentosa, famed for its sun and sea. It is also home to Universal Studios theme park as well as casino in Singapore. The hotel is located at near the theme park and casino, but in a more isolated corner as compared to other hotels like Hard Rock Hotel and Festive Hotel, which is closer to action. It will take around 15 mins walk to the theme park, luckily the hotel provides regular shuttle service connecting to the other parts of Resort World Sentosa. The hotel is situated right in front of Adventure Cove water theme park, where there is a direct access to the theme park from the hotel.
Hotel Signage in the car park
Hotel signage by the main entrance of the hotel
Facade of the main building
Hotel lobby with simulated waterfall
Hotel lobby and check-in area

The Room

The room that I checked in is the expansive 51m² deluxe room, located in the main building of the hotel. The decor of the room, as with most hotels, is rather contemporary. To get to the rooms, guests would have to take a 3 mins hike through a maze of rooms to reach the lift that will ferry you to the floor that your room is located. Entering the room, the wardrobe area is located on the left of the main entrance. There is a ledge for guests to stow their luggage just before the wardrobe. The wardrobe is of a good size, allowing 2 to store about 5 days worth of clothing. There is an ironing board stowed away in the wardrobe and 2 bathrobes. The safe is located inside the wardrobe was well, placed on a 3-tiered drawer, providing more space for guests to stow away their clothing.
Storage space for luggage
Wardrobe

Bathroom

Opposite the wardrobe is the entrance to the bathroom. Decked in marble, the spacious bathroom has both a toilet cubicle and a walk-in shower, featuring both rain shower head and regular shower head. What I like about the bathroom is the ledge in walk-in shower, with sufficient storage space for guests to stow their bathing equipment. There is a quirky chair in the toilet cubicle, which seemed out of place. The bathroom has dual sinks and a lot of counter top space for guests to put their facial products on. At the far end of the bathroom, just next to the walk-in shower is the bathtub. The bathtub is large enough for 2 to comfortably enjoy a romantic soak. There is also a 14 inch TV in the bathroom, however the TV is tucked away into the wall of one corner of the bathroom that does not allow guests to have a good view of it whilst soaking in the tub. There is a glass panel right by the sinks that allows guests to peek into the sleeping area of the room. There is a switch by the TV that controls the blinds to this glass panel providing more privacy for guests who desires it.
Dual countertop sinks
Large Tub for 2
Toilet Cubicle with the quirky chair
Walk in shower with sufficient space for personal toiletries
High quality ESPA bath amenities
Switch to control the blinds in the bathroom
Oddly placed TV inside the bathroom

Sleeping Area

Further into the room, next to the wardrobe is the minibar area. There are complementary instant coffee (this room does not come with the Nespresso Machine which is common for hotel these days) and premium TWG tea bags. The bar fridge is located under the shelve where the electric kettle and the cups are located.  There is a L-shaped couch next to the minibar area, where guests can relax onto or simply entertain their friends who come visit them. The couch is large enough to seat 4 guests comfortably. Facing the TV in the room, the couch is a good place to relax into while watching TV on. There is a marble coffee table in front of the couch. I reckon the placement of this couch and the coffee table is excellent. Though sizeable, the couch is tucked into a corner of the room which does not obstruct or make the room feel cluttered. I particularly like the modern chandelier that hangs above the coffee table, providing more lighting to guests.
In room fridge
Couch tucked in a corner of the room
Modern lighting perched above the couch area
The centrepiece of this room would be the King size bed. The bed is large enough to sleep 4 adults comfortably. Placed just right beneath the glass panel in the bathroom, the bed is very comfortable to sleep in. The mattress is of the right firmness, coupled with the comfortable sheets, guests are ensured to have a great night’s rest in it. I do find the pillow a tad too soft for my liking. There are also a couple of bedside tables on either side of the bed, providing space for guests to put small items such as mobile phones. There are also a couple of powerpoint by the bedside tables for guests to charge their electronic gadgets. The room has no lack of powerpoints for guests to charge their electronic gadgets.
Very comfortable King Size bed
King Size bed in the room
Tucked to the other corner of the room, opposite the couch is a decent sized work desk, where one can do their work. This area also has more powerpoint. A 42″ TV can be found mounted on a swivel arm on the wall by the study desk. However the reception of the TV is rather bad for the room that I checked into. Opposite the bed is a floor to ceiling glass panel and a door leading to the balcony. The balcony overseas the Adventure Cove water theme park and can be rather noisy in the day. In the balcony there is only one chair and one table, guess the balcony can only allow one person to relax, while watching activities in the theme park. The flaw with this part of the room is that guests are not able to control the blinds electronically, to draw the blinds one would have to do it manually.
Work Desk and 42″ TV
Balcony
View from the balcony

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in the hotel is located about 2 minutes walk from the hotel building. It is located where the pool villas are situated. The free form pool is rather large, but it felt more like a pond then a swimming pool. The pool is rather quiet at the time of my visit, which could be partly due to the distance from the hotel building. There are limited deck chairs by the pool, which means limited amount of guests can use the pool. What I dislike most about the pool is the grass patch where the deck chairs are placed on. To access the pool, one would have to step onto the grass patch, which can be thorny for those with sensitive skin. The saving grace for the pool is that guests staying in Equarius Hotel can use any of the pools under the management of Resorts World Sentosa. I had the chance to visit the pool at Hard Rock Hotel, which is a better pool, however with the amount of guests coming to this pool, it can get very crowded.
Pool at Equarius Hotel
Pool at Hard Rock Hotel

Gym

I walked pass the gym on my way to the swimming pool. Although I did not enter the gym, I did had a peek into the gym. The gym looks large and well equipped. As with most gyms in hotels, the gym at Equarius Hotel looked under utilised. The in-house spa – ESPA is located next to the gym.
Entrance to ESPA, located next to the gym

Forest Restaurant

Breakfast is served at Forest Restaurant. Ran by a celebrity chef in Singapore, the food offering for breakfast is rather limited in variety and the variation each day remains minimal.
Outdoor sitting at Forest Restaurant

Service

Checking into the hotel was not a good experience. The check-in is slow despite the queue being short and many counters around to help check-in guests. My checking in took around 15 mins, with staffs checking and checking and excused himself for around 5 mins into the office behind the check-in counter, processing some stuffs that seemed to be a mystery for guests checking in. I was left hanging for this period of time, wondering when will the staff get back to me.
The room does not seemed to be ready for my checking in. Upon arriving at my room for a mere 30 minutes, a staff from the dining department knocked onto my door and came into the room to check if there are items missing from minibar. I thought this should be done before the room was ready for occupancy and not when the guest checked into the room.
There seem to be other service lapses as well. I called reception to request for additional towels and bath amenities, it took them about 1 hour to have the items delivered to my room. I had to call several times to check on the status of my request.
The only saving grace was the chamber maids who was cleaning the rooms on the level I stayed. I approached the staff to get some bath amenities. Despite being disturbed whilst in the midst of getting another room ready, the chamber maid still smiled and asked if they are sufficient. I apologised to her for disturbing her work and the reply I gotten was that I was not disturbing her at all and the staff told me not to put it to heart.

Overall

The room in Equarius Hotel is large and comfortable, allowing guests to entertain their friends. The bathroom is large and the balcony provides a good spot for people watching and relaxing in. The bed was comfortable and large. However the other hardwares such as the swimming pool and the variety for breakfast in the restaurant is rather limited. There are more misses than hits in terms of service. Nonetheless the hotel room provides guests with a rather comfortable stay.

[Hotel Review] – Capella Hotel (Garden Premier Room), Sentosa, Singapore (26 – 29 Dec 14)

Location

Capella Singapore is an ultra luxury hotel located in the heart of Sentosa Island. Despite its central location on the holiday island, the hotel remains isolated from the rest of the island. One is expected to walk a good 10 – 15 mins to Resorts World Sentosa. The hotel also allows guests to access to the Palawan Beach via the back door. The hotel provides daily shuttle service to Resorts World Sentosa (however only 2 trips per day each way) and numerous services to Vivacity Shopping Mall on mainland Singapore.
Part of the building of the hotel
The hotel building

The Room

The Garden Premier Room, which I checked into has an expansive 77m² floor area, very large for a standard room in comparison with most other hotels. The room can be divided into 3 main sections: the bedding area, the bathroom and the outdoor area. The room shall be reviewed in the order of bathroom, bedding area and the outdoor area. I checked into room 203, located on the second floor. To access to the room, guests would have to take a flight of stairs down from the lobby (the lobby is located on 3rd storey). This room remains isolated from the rest of the room and does provides guests checking into this room maximum privacy being a corner room.

Wardrobe

Upon entering the room, a vast open styled wardrobe greeted us on the left side of the main door. This open wardrobe, also doubles up as a walk-in (more like walk-through) wardrobe spans the entire length of the room all the way to the toilet area. The huge wardrobe allows guests to stow away at least 2 weeks of clothing, it also comes with a tie cum belt rack which is lacking in most of the hotels. On the base of the hanger bar, one will be able to find a couple of short cabinets with 3 drawers each. The addition of these cabinets allow guests checking into this room more storage space. As the cabinets are rather short, it does not intrude into the hanging bar right above it, allowing guests to hang their pants and evening gowns. There is a single shelving on top of the hanging bar, where one will find a couple of additional pillows. This area also provide guests additional storage space, ideal for their luggage. In front of the wardrobe is where one will find the sink area. The dual sink, with vast space for one to store your personal toiletries, is ideal as guests do not have to fight over the sink in the mornings. There are vanity lighting on each side of the 2 mirrors in front of the sink, which adds a certain classiness to the style of the room. There are more storage space beneath the sink area (under each sink), a large comfortable stool is stowed away in the space between the 2 sinks for ladies guests to rest while putting on make up.
The expansive Walk-through wardrobe
Dual sink and double mirrors
View of the bathroom area
Amenities placed between the 2 sinks
The amenities bag consists of dental kit, cotton pad, cotton buds, comb,  emery board, and shower cap

Bathroom

Further down the sinks, on the right is where one will find a huge door (in fact bigger then the main door). Behind this door is where the toilet bowl is located. However there is no lock on this door, making this room ideal for couples and honeymooners. Past the toilet area is where one will find the bathing area. To the right is where one will spot the open walk-in shower, featuring both a rain shower and a regular shower head. There is a stool placed at the shower area to provide for guests who wish to rest their legs after a long day of exploring Sentosa Island or mainland Singapore. Opposite the shower area is where a huge bathtub greets guests. 3 knobs on the side of the bathtub controlling the hot and cold water output as well as a switch for guests to choose between running water for the tub and the shower head, which is located next to these knobs. The bathtub is placed in front of a huge glass panel, allowing guests to look out into the balcony while taking a soak, giving guests a feeling of soaking in the open.
Huge toilet
Walk-in shower featuring rain shower and regular shower head
Huge bathtub
View of the bathtub looking out into the balcony area
Aesop bath amenities used essential oils such as geranium, bergamot for a more relaxing shower

Sleeping Area

The biggest area on the room gotta be the bedding area. Walking past the vanity mirrors, which doubles up as a partition segregating the bathing area and the bedding area, the room opens up to a massive bed room. Located right in front of the partition for the bathroom is a large King bed. The bed is large enough to sleep 3 adults comfortably. The sleep quality of the bed is fantastic and has the right amount of firmness to the mattress. Sleeping on this bed will also not disturb the person sharing the bed due to movement. The only downside to this bedding is the pillows. They are too soft for my liking and gave me neckaches. There are bedside tables on each side of the bed. The one on the left side (where the main door to the room is located) has a tablet embedded into the drawer. The inclusion of this table serves the function of controlling the lighting in the room, the curtains and blinds, the air-conditioning and even the notification such as the “Make-up room” and “Do not disturb” lights as well as any messages that the reception left for the guests. I thought this tablet is a very nice touch and unique to Capella. Looking in from the main door, a working desk greets the guests. The table is of a good size. Capella is rather thoughtful in the placement of stationery in a leather box for guests to use, which adds to the elegance of the room. The is another box placed on the table where one will find 2 powerpoint outlets in the Singapore standard 3-pin plugs. Only one of the outlets has a multi pin adaption. Despite have 2 outlets, the one in the room that I checked in only has one functional. I highlighted this issue to the hotel staffs, but yet nothing was being done about it. Beneath the working desk is a 2-tiered cabinet, with the upper tier being home to the safe.
King size bed with bolster
Another view of the bed
Tablet to control curtains, lightings, air-conditioning and door signals
Tablet nicely tucked into the bedside table
Work desk
On the other end of the area is where one will find the mini bar area. This is where one will find the Nespresso machine being placed on top of the table. One thoughtful gesture I though Capella has is that when I checked into the room, the water tank of the Nespresso machine is already topped up. Most of the 5 star hotels in Singapore does not do that for guests. Beside the Nespresso machine is another box, identical to the one on the working desk, where one can find 2 powerpoint outlets. However one of the outlet is plugged to the coffee machine, leaving only one free for guests to use. Despite that the room does not suffer from insufficient powerpoint outlets. One can find an outlet on each side of the bed, semi-hidden behind the bedside tables. On the minibar table is where the hotel placed a DVD player as well. This is player is connected to the huge 46 inch LCD TV, mounted on a swerving panel, that allows guests to swing the TV to angled for watching on the bed. However there are no connection ports on to the TV on either the working desk or the minibar desk. To connect one’s computer to the TV, one would have to plug it directly behind the TV, making this a losing point for Capella compared to other 5 star hotels in Singapore. Underneath the minibar table, one can find a well stocked fridge with complementary non-alcoholic beverages, sets of glasses and cups for coffee and tea in the room, as well as an electric kettle. In between the working desk and the mini bar table is a nice comfortable couch that spans across the room. This couch faces the large wall to wall window in the room, allowing one to relax in the room looking out into the hotel grounds. It is a pity that the room I was assigned has a depressing view of a huge tree. It can be chilly on this couch as it seemed that the air-conditioning is directly blowing onto the couch. Between the couch and the bed is where the hotel places a rather solid coffee table for guests to place their drinks and snacks.
Mini bar area with Nespresso Machine
View of the mini bar desk and entertainment area
Complementary drinks in the fridge
Nespresso Capsules and Gryphon tea bags are provided in room
Ice bucket and electric kettle
View of the bedroom area from the toilet
Nice comfortable couch between the 2 desks

Balcony

The room I was assigned has a larger than usual outdoor area. Compared with the rooms above me, where one has only a balcony, Room 203 has an outdoor area that spans to the front of the room. There are a elongated couch and a single seater armchair placed beside the door, in front of the glass where one can look into the bathtub. There is also a table for guests to place their stuff on. Right around the out door area, in front of the room is another stone chair for guests to relax one while looking into the somewhat depressing view of a tree. This area can be dark at nights as there are no lighting in the night to illuminate the outdoor area. One would have to rely on the somewhat dim lighting from the room at night. On the whole, the design of the Garden Premier Room in Capella is classy and provides guests a comfortable stay, though there are still some rooms for improvement.
Outdoor sitting
The outdoor area extends to the edge of the building

Service

Having a rack rate of SGD1,000++ a night in the Garden Premier room without breakfast (at the time I stayed), the services render does not match up to 5 star standard. There are a huge gap between the services one would expect from a ultra luxury hotel from the actual service delivered when I was there. 2 days prior to my checking in, I received a call from the hotel confirming my checking in date as well as to check if there are any special occasions that I will be celebrating during my stay at the hotel. This is a very nice gesture and certainly adds a nice personal touch from the hotel. The first impression given by the hotel is befitting of its stature. I requested for an anniversary cake for my sister and her fiancee, who will be visiting me in the hotel during my stay. The staff took note of my request and informed me that it will be delivered at the timing of my request. I took the chance to check if early check-in is possible. I was informed that it is too early for the staff to determine, ad the staff offered to call me back the next day (which is Christmas Day) to confirm early check-in with me. However the next day I did not receive any calls from Capella, hence I waited another day, thinking the hotel might be busy due to the festivity. On the day of my check-in there are still no calls from the hotel. I decided to call back at around 1130am to enquire about the early check-in. When contacted the staff asked what time I would like to check-in and I asked if 1 pm is possible. I was pleasantly informed that the hotel will have my room ready for check-in at 1pm.
I reached the hotel at around 1.30 pm and proceed to reception for checking-in. A staff took care of the check-in and another staff promptly appeared with welcome drinks and wet towel. This is a very nice gesture and I was impressed with the level of details in service the hotel paid attention to. The pleasant experience seemed to take a dive from here. I was informed by the staff who was processing my check-in that she would need 15 mins to check with housekeeping if the room is ready and invited me to the Library (their lounge) for refreshment, while waiting for our room. The staff even mentioned that she will look for me at the lounge in 15 min’s time. However I waited at the lounge for a little more than 30 mins before heading back down to the reception to check the status of my room. I was disappointed to find out that another set of staffs who were at the reception had no idea about my checking-in. I was made to wait for another 10 mins, while they check with housekeeping and re-process my check-in. By the time I reached my room it is already 2.15pm. There is a time lapse of more that 1 hour as promised by the hotel.
Complementary High Tea at the Library
Coffee and tea area in the Library
Hot water dispenser
Only Coke Light and plain water is available other then coffee and tea
Cosy Lounge area
I called the reception the next day at around 8.30am the next morning to request for extra bath amenities. I told to staff to send 3 sets in case we ran out of them later in the day so that we would not have to trouble their staff to make a second trip again. I was informed by the staff that the third set is chargeable at $45. I find this arrangement ridiculous as guests paid $1000++ a night staying at a normal room in Capella (with this price, one can get a suite in some other 5 star hotels in Singapore), the hotel still charges for extra amenities set. When I sounded my unhappiness with the staff whom I spoke over the phone stating how ridiculous that sounded, the respond from the staff was “I agree it is ridiculous, it is what it is. Shall I proceed to charge the room $45 for the bath amenities?”. I later got to find out from the manager of the hotel that there is no such policy in charging guests for extra amenities. Only at this point I found out I was being lied to by the staff of Capella.
The bad services I encountered did not stop there and continued to be manifest themselves at the lounge. The hotel provided complementary high tea between the hours of 3 to 5 pm. I went to the lounge for high tea on the first afternoon of my stay. The staffs at the lounge seem to be sitting behind a glass wall, where they do not even bother to take notice of guests coming to the lounge. There were no greetings, no staffs even bothered to check with guests their preference for beverages. No greetings were offered even when the staff walked past the guests. It seem to suggest that the hotel staff do not seem to be bothered to establish a relationship with the guests, which is certainly not the way a 5-star hotel staff should behave. The attitude of the staff remains the same throughout my stay at Capella. When I was waiting for my room to be ready for occupancy, I saw an ashtray at the outdoor area of the lounge, with cigarette butts in it, giving me an impression that the area is a smoking area. When I was at the lounge this time round, I did not see the ashtray and requested for one from the staff at the lounge. The staff seemed to be irritated by my request and told me that there is no smoking allowed in the lounge. When I explained that I am smoking at the outdoor area of the lounge, the staff insisted that smoking is not allowed. When I mentioned that I saw an ashtray outside the lounge just a few hours ago and pointed out to her that if smoking is not allowed, the ashtray shouldn’t even be there in the first place. This is when the staff barged and brought me an ashtray. I was bemused by the attitude portrayed by this staff.
Discriminatory services was also apparent in the lounge by the staff there. When I was there for high tea the next day, I witnessed a Caucasian guest at the drinks station trying to make a pot of tea (all along no staff offered any guests any drinks). A member of the staff walked past and offered to help the guest with the tea. She even invited the guys tot take a seat and would deliver the tea to him once she had made them. While she was preparing the tea, an Asian guest came up to the drinks station. The same staff asked how can she help. The Asian guest mentioned that he wanted hot water to top up his cup of tea. The reply from the staff was simply out of the world. She told the guest where the water is and to help himself. I was astounded by the response from the staff. It seemed that she is willing to serve the Caucasian guest with drinks and not offer the same service to her Asian guest!
The only saving grace regarding the service at Capella is from the staffs at the Knoll Restaurant, where guests have breakfast everyday. The service at the restaurant is impeccable and is the only place in the hotel that I have found service befitting of 5-star. The restaurant staff welcomed all guests tirelessly at the door every single day without fail. Empty plates are never left uncleared and the staff even took notice at the low levels of my coffee and asked if I would like more coffee, without even asking them for it. The restaurant offered specials menu every day, where the staff would volunteer them without asking about it. Throughout my stay in the hotel, I witnessed a couple of heart-warming situation where excellent service was being rendered without even asking for them. I saw a chef (later found out that he is the Executive Chef of the restaurant) prepared something for a guest to sooth her throat. It seemed that the Chef had noticed that the guest had irritation to her throat and took the liberty to prepare something for her throat. A little later, I saw another guest whom seemed that he was about to depart the hotel, coming to the restaurant to tip and bid farewell to the Chef. The Chef must have done something extraordinary for the guest that he felt the need to tip and bid farewell to him prior to his departure. The staffs at Knoll were welcoming, and warmth which is directly opposite to the rest of the staffs in the hotel whom I have came across.
Knolls Restaurant where breakfast is served daily

Overall

The location of the hotel does provide guests a peaceful and quiet stay, with it seemingly isolated from the hustle and bustle of Sentosa, yet it is close to the actions on the Island. The hotel has rather great hardware, although there can be some improvements to the infrastructure of the room to better enhance and bring more convenience to guests. The view from my room is a big let down, with a huge tree blocking the view, doesn’t really scream “garden view”. The biggest let down is the service of the staffs throughout the hotel, with staffs literally lying to guests. The service that I have experienced during my stay in Capella is certainly not even worthy of 3-star standard, letting alone 5-star. The only place I can find 5-star service is only limited to the Knoll Restaurant. Despite the non-changing daily breakfast menu, the food quality is good and most importantly the service one would receive at this restaurant is truly 5-star. To spend $1000++ a night for such service is certainly not worth the money. I will not return to this hotel whose staff would lie to guests.

[Hotel Review] – Conrad Centennial (Executive Suite), Singapore (18 – 19 Oct 14)

Location

Conrad Centennial is located next to the Millennia Walk Shopping Mall and Suntec City Shopping Mall. It is within minutes walk from Marina Centre Shopping Mall. The hotel is a great place to stay for those who prefer a convenient location and links to shopping malls and subway stations.

The Suite

Entrance to the Suite

I checked into the Executive Suite or the Chancellor Suite as named by the hotel. The suite was huge, measuring a good 104m². As I entered the somewhat classic looking suite, decked out with several pieces of artwork, a corridor leads the way into the suite. To the right of the corridor is where the powder room is located. This room equipped with a toilet bowl and a sink, which can double up as a second toilet. This suite allows one to entertain visitors and allow visitors to use the toilet without intruding into the sleeping area of the suite. To the left of the main entrance of the suite is another door, which can be opened using the same keycard as with the main door. This door leads to the sleeping area of the suite.

Chancellor Suite 
Powder Room
Some Artwork in the suite

Bathroom

Past the door that leads into the bedroom, on its left is where one can find a rather spacious wardrobe. The generously spaced 2 compartment wardrobe is sufficient for 2 pax to unpack their one’s week’s clothing into. One can find more storage space on the other compartment with 4 drawers for one to unpack into. To the right of the door, opposite the wardrobe, a marble laden bathroom greets guests. The spacious bathroom has a generous countertop on the sink area. Further into the bathroom, at the end of the bathroom, is the bathtub. Next to the bathtub is the walk-in shower. Tucked to the right of the door to the bathroom is where one will find the toilet bowl. The orange lighting in the bathroom, coupled with the marble material used to decorate the bathroom, gives one a feel of class in the bathroom.

Wardrobe
Walk-in Shower and toilet 
Sink and Bathtub

Bedroom

Passing the bathroom the area opens up into the bedroom. A cabinet housing a LED TV, nicely stowed away when not in use. There are a couple of drawers on the base of the cabinet where one can store more stuffs in. There is a dresser on the right of the entrance to the bedroom, with 3 drawers guests can ensure more storage space in the whole suite to stow away more items. Right across the room, by the window, is where one can find a study desk. The study desk has all the amenities where one needs to do some work. Next to the study desk is where a single seater couch lies. Placed at angle facing the TV, this is where one can relax into while watching TV or simply read a book. The centrepiece of this area of the suite is the king bed. The bed is placed opposite the TV for guests to lie onto while watching TV. The sleep quality on the bed is excellent, with extremely comfortable linens, one can be ensured with a good night’s sleep. The hotel also provides a menu of pillows for one to choose from should the standard issued pillows does not fit one’s liking. This area of the suite is large with ample storage spaces, this part of the suite does not feel claustrophobic and the space in this part is rather generous.

King Bed in the bedroom
View from the bedroom

Living Room

Exiting the bedroom into the main part of the suite, after the powder room, is where one can find the lounge area. Decked out with a 2 seater couch and a couple of arm chairs, this lounge area is where can relax and enjoy either the view from the floor to ceiling window behind the couches or watch a show on the 46″ LED TV.  Beside the couch, one can find a side table, where the hotel has placed a complementary place of tropic fruits and a couple of boxes of chocolates for guests to enjoy. In front of the couch is a coffee table. Placed opposite the couches is where one will find a cabinet with the TV on top of it. There is also a Nespresso Coffee machine on the same table top as the TV. Beneath the TV is where one can find a DVD player, which doubles up as radio. The entire suite was decked out in classical music from one of the radio stations to give guests a relaxing feel upon our entry to the suite. In the same cabinet, one can find a mini bar well hidden from sight. There are a few drawers where glassware for one to enjoy drinks from the mini bar.

Lounge Area
Lounge Area
Complementary Chocolates
Huge TV

Dinning Area

Further to the right (from the main door) of the lounge area is where the dinning area is located. This is a large area, where one can entertain guests for in-room dinner. The large round dinning table, with 6 dinning chairs allows one to just do that. The one thing good about this suite is the bedroom can be isolated from the general area, which allows one to entertain guests without compromising one’s privacy. In this area, one can enjoy the views of the nearby Suntec City shopping mall and a glimpse of the Kallang area. This is also where one can find a Chinese-themed cabinet with more storage space or simply for decoration. I would reckon the cabinet fits into the decor of the entire suite, despite being the only furniture with a  Chinese-theme. One on corner of the suite, next to a door which allows the suite to be converted to a 2 Bedroom suite, is another desk area for one to do their work on without entering the bedroom.

Dinning area
Dinning Table
More Artwork

Executive Lounge

Staying in the Executive Suite entitles its guests the access to the Executive Lounge. The lounge is a great place to wind down and relax, with refreshments available. The spacious lounge is bright and the floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light to enter the lounge, making it more lively. There are a few good spots in the lounge. The one that I particularly like is that which faces the Marina Bay area. It looks into the bay area and the financial centre of Singapore. The only flaw with this view is the nearby hotel only offers partial view of the bay area. Nonetheless, this is still a great spot to relax in. There are food available at certain times of the day. The evening cocktail is when one will find more food options put up for guests to grab a bite with.

Executive Lounge
Snacks on offer
Snacks on offer
View from the Executive Lounge
View from the Executive Lounge
View from the Executive Lounge

Service

The service I received during my stay at Conrad this time round was impeccable. 4 outstanding staff that I have encountered during my say attested to the core principle of the hotel and what made Conrad a hotel worth coming back for. The first staff was Minh, the Assistant Front Office Manager. I arrived at the hotel and wanted to check in at the lounge instead of the reception, I approached the concierge, where Minh happened to be there. She went all way to ensure that I was well taken care off from the little non-intrusive gestures. I approached the front desk with the purpose of gaining access to the lounge, Minh escorted me all the way up to the 31st floor lounge area. She even offered to lend a hand with my baggage, which I declined. She ensured that I knew where to go and that her colleague at the lounge knew my purpose of visiting them.

The next staff that displayed outstanding service standards is Michelle, the Lounge Manager. I did not realise her position in the hotel until the day of my checking out, when she introduced herself. Michelle processed my check in swiftly and not wanting to let me wait for longer then I should. Michelle also took the initiative to engage in a conversation. She also reassured me to call the lounge should I need any assistance. Close to the time of my checking out, I received a call in the suite. It was Michelle who called and enquired how my stay in the hotel has been thus far. She also took notice that I did not appear at the lounge and showed concern if I was alright. It seemed that she felt relieved to find out that I have probably missed her during my visit to the lounge. It is during this phone call that I realise she is the Lounge Manager.

My suite was kept in a tip top condition by the hardworking background housekeeping staff. Theresa ensured that all the supplies were promptly topped up and the suite was maintained to the highest standard. From the way my suite was being maintained by Theresa during turn down in the evening and the make up room the next day (despite my checking out at 6pm on the same day), the suite was never in a shabby condition. Most hotels do not offer make up room on the day of checking out, even if they do, they would make up the room with the bare minimum standard which seem to echo the room will still be made up after the guest has checked out. None of these attitude was portrayed by Theresa. It can be seen that on the day of checking out, the suite I was staying in was made up to the same condition as when I first checked in.

On the next day, I woke up rather close to the time where the breakfast service ends. I quickly freshen up myself and found that I have only 15 mins to go when I reached the restaurant by the pool for breakfast. I apologised to the staff there – Grace, whom told me to take my time, and don’t rush. Her reassurance cannot come in a better timing. I was served coffee and egg and had a hearty breakfast. Despite being the last guest to enter the restaurant and despite the need to prepare the restaurant for lunch service, I was not even pressured by Grace or any of the other staffs at the restaurant. Grace kept the food at where they were for guests and only cleared them when I was done eating.

The lounge staff was fantastic this time round when I stayed with Conrad, which is a stark difference from my last stay in Conrad. The staffs were warm and was seen in engaging with guests. The staffs will always look out for the seat with the best view every time I visited the lounge. In one particular instance the lounge was full, the lounge staff housed me at the meeting room, which is isolated from the lounge. Despite the spatial distance, staffs at the lounge popped by frequently to clear my plates and checked if my drinks needed topping up. I had a chance to chat with Siti, who was very knowledgeable in travels and hotel stays.

Overall

I had a very pleasant stay in Conrad this time round. The suite assigned had really great views and the sleep quality is excellent. The suite is large enough for one to host up to 5 other guests, and the very fact that the bedroom was segregated from the lounge and dinning area makes hosting business meetings possible. The decor of the suite looks timeless and yet not tired. However as with my previous comments on this hotel, in terms of electronics there are some room for improvements. The powerpoint outlets seem limited and was positioned in inaccessible areas of the suite. The input to the TVs also needs upgrading to HDMI port instead of the existing VGA port. In terms of service, the hotel staff truly understands what customer service is all about. The staffs gave me a feel that they are willing to go all way out to ensure customers are comfortable during their stay with Conrad. Conrad has the hit the right note in terms of both hardware and software with customers, coupled with the convenient location, Conrad is an ideal spot for both business and leisure travelers.

[Hotel Review] – Conrad Centennial (Centennial Suite), Singapore (18 – 19 May 14)

Location

Conrad is located next to the Millennia Walk Shopping Mall as well as the Suntec City Shopping Mall and a stone’s throw from the Marina Shopping Centre. The hotel is a great place to stay for those who prefer a convenient location with links to the subway stations and lots of shopping around. The subway station is accessible via Suntec City Shopping Mall.

The Suite

Living Room

I checked into the One bedroom Executive Premier Room, also known as the Centennial Suite. Once entering the suite, a small corridor decorated with sculptures by the walls leads guests into the living room. The first thing that caught my eyes is the study desk. Here is where one can find a couple of powerpoint outlets to charge their electronic gadgets. Making a turn to the right, one would find the living area of the suite. The chich living room is the home of a 2-seater couch decked in maroon colour, coupled with 2 single seater olive coloured armchairs. Behind the 2-seater couch is where one can find the floor to ceiling windows that peeks into Suntec City Shopping Mall. Right between the 2 armchairs is a coffee table and a side table, decked with welcome tropical fruits. There is also a small wall side table behind the armchair that is closer to the door to the bedroom.
Study desk by the main door
Living room of the suite
Living room of the suite
Welcome fruits and chocolate with their signature Conrad Bear, one for each guest staying in the suite
In front of the 2-seater couch is a large cabinet housing the entertainment system., The minibar and glasses are hidden on the right side of this cabinet. On top of the cabinet is a large 46″ LCD TV. The TV is controlled by a all-in-one remote controller that also controls the radio, the DVD player as well as PC connections. One can also find a Nespresso Coffee machine on the cabinet. The living area is a great place to hang out and laze around. There are extra blanket and pillows inside the wardrobe in the living room. This part of the suite feels rather cluttered as the living room is a tad too small to fit the amount furniture. Having said that, one can still find space to move around the living room.
Entertainment system in the living room

Bedroom

Between the wall side table and the TV cabinet is a door leading into the bedroom of the suite. Here is where one would be ushered into slightly more space. Upon entering the bedroom, a 3-drawer dressing table greets guests. Next to the dresser is a single seater armchair, placed in front of the floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom. The centrepiece of the bedroom is a king-sized bed. The firm mattress provided me with a great night’s sleep. The hotel also provides a menu of pillows for guests to choose from for an excellent night sleep.
Comfortable king bed in the bedroom
Bedroom
There is a TV cabinet in the bedroom, which is placed in an awkward position. The placement of this cabinet does not allow guests to watch the TV properly. Next to the TV cabinet is the wardrobe. The wardrobe is rather modest in size, however the presence of the dresser ensured ample space for guests to unpack their clothing into.
TV in the bedroom
TV and wardrobe in the bedroom

Bathroom

Between the bed and the wardrobe is a door that opens up into a large marble decked bathroom. Most of the amenities can be found in the sink area. There are ample space for one to place their toiletries and cosmetics onto. The hotel provided 3 brands of bathing amenities for guests to choose from. I prefer Shanghai Tang, which is available only upon request. Opposite the door to the bathroom is a large bathtub. Conrad Hotel also provides bath salt, which is topped up daily by the housekeeping staff. There is also a rubber ducky provided for guests to play with while soaking in the luxurious feel bathtub. Next to the bathtub is a walk-in shower, which is very spacious and comes with a massaging shower head. The toilet bowl is found in a separate room within the bathroom, next to the walk-in shower.
Bathtub and walk-in shower in the bathroom
Sink area
Bathing amenities
Bathing amenities
Bathing amenities
Bathtub
Sink area
Toilet
The suite is very comfortable and is a right size for a party of 2. However the suite is not without its flaws. The powerpoint, other then the one on the study desks, are positioned in rather odd places in the suite. Heavy users of electronic gadgets have to plan a charging schedule in order to be able to continue using them. There are no powerpoints in the bedroom, other than that used for to power lamps and TV.  There are also no external HDMI connections other than that found on the back of the TVs. Only outdated VGA port is found on the TV cabinet in the living room.

Executive Lounge

Guests staying in the Centennial Suite are entitled access to the Executive Lounge located on the 31st floor of the hotel. The lounge has a strict dress code of smart casual for guests to abide by. There are limit seats in the lounge, however Conrad Hotel opens up the library and the meeting room to cope with the guest volume when needed. The lounge serves afternoon tea and evening cocktails daily. The lounge is open for guests to pop by and enjoy complementary beverages and snacks outside the afternoon tea and evening cocktail timings.
View from the Executive lounge
Executive Lounge
Food area in the lounge
Afternoon tea
View of the Executive Lounge
View from the lounge

Service

The service standard seem to vary during my stay at Conrad Centennial Singapore. Guests staying in the Executive Premier Suite can opt to check in at the Executive Lounge. Check in was a breeze and I was promptly served by the professional staff during check in. The hotel website stated late check out is available to 6pm. When I checked with the staff, I was told that late check out can only be extended to 2pm. Upon checking with the staff, on the 6pm as stated in the hotel’s website, she reluctantly mentioned that she will get back to me. However a good 8 hours passed and my late check out request seem to turned to deaf ears. I resorted to check with the reception on the ground floor and was promptly granted late check out at 6pm.

As I was celebrating my birthday during my stay at Conrad Singapore, the treatment for my birthday seemed underwhelmed, a stark contrast to what I had read on TripAdvisor. There wasn’t special greetings during check in, despite my friend highlighted the purpose of our stay weeks prior to arrival at the hotel. The hotel provided a very small birthday cake, which is only good for one person.

 

Very small cake

The staff at the Terrace Cafe does not seem too interested in building relationship with guests. I been to the cafe 3 times, none of the staffs bothered to greet me despite appearing doing nothing. They also appear to be disinterested in assisting my choices for food. I am sure that the staffs saw me when I was in the cafe, and all the times I was met with cold shoulders.

My initial impression of the staffs at the Executive Lounge was negative. During my first few visits to the lounge, none of the staffs offered to help me and my friend in getting a seat. These staffs did not even approached us to take orders for our drinks. We had to help ourselves and figure out where the drinks are located in the lounge. All these while, the lounge was not crowded at all. During afternoon tea and evening cocktails, our table was overflow with plates and none of the staffs bothered to clear our table. We had to signal to the staffs to make space for us on our table. Staffs at the lounge are seen standing around like statues or chatting among themselves.

There are some staffs that made a difference during my stay at Conrad Centennial Singapore. We met a housekeeping staff, Mdm Goh who was friendly and ensured the supplies in our suite is sufficiently topped up. We were pleasantly surprised that she offered to make up our suite on the day of our check out, which most hotels do not even offer. Mdm Goh never failed to greet us with a smile and checked if our supplies are sufficient in the suite for our usage. She also never fails to check if we are sufficiently comfortable during our stay whenever we bumped into Mdm Goh. There are also a few staffs in the Executive Lounge that also make a difference. Stacia, with her bubbly personality, jumped into action and quickly offered us drinks during one of our visits to the lounge. She constantly popped by our table to see if there are empty plates on our tables and promptly clears them. At the sight of our drinks are finishing, Stacia would appear to offer us more drinks. Another staff from the lounge, Christine, was fun to chat with. She was knowledgeable on the hotel and shared with us the numerous art pieces in the hotel. During our check out, Christine even sent us off from 31st floor to the ground floor.

Overall

Conrad Centennial Singapore is well appointed in terms of its location. The suite was comfortable and I had excellent sleep quality. The suite despite being chic, seem outdated in the gadgets. The service I have experienced is mixed and seem to be dependent on which staff we met in the hotel.