[Accommodation Review] – YotelAir Singapore Changi Airport (Premium Queen Cabin), Singapore (4 – 5 Sep 21)

Location

YotelAir is located on level 4 of Jewel at Singapore Changi Airport. This hotel primarily targets transiting passengers who have extended layover time. The location within Jewel gives its guests the convenience of assessing all the amenities within Jewel without leaving the shopping mall. There are tons of shopping options within Jewel, ranging from international food to clothing and even luxury items. In addition, there are some paid attractions at level 5 of Jewel and an indoor garden where transiting passengers can kill some time with. Then there is the famed indoor fountain in the heart of Jewel, where guests can enjoy complimentary light and sound shows at certain hours of the day.

Entrance to YotelAir Changi Airport
YotelAir Changi Airport is located in Jewel.
Reception (termed as Mission Control) in YotelAir Changi Airport

The Cabin

We checked into the Premium Queen Cabin (all the rooms are termed cabins), which is a little tight at 10m² of real estate space. However, the small space is sufficient for transiting passengers to catch a snooze, freshen up before catching their onward flight.

Sleeping Area

The cabin is tiny that I can see the entire cabin the moment I open the door. The cabin is only large enough to house two adults before feeling cramp. The cabin’s set-up is straightforward and only has the essentials sufficient for travellers who need a space to snooze before their onward flight. There are no windows in the cabin, but the clever use of mirrors and glass to partition between the bathroom and the sleeping area does not make me feel claustrophobic. The first item that comes into my sight is the Queen Bed, occupying most of the space inside the cabin. The unique feature of the bed is that it can be adjustable to an angle that suits its occupant’s preference. The bed is topped with a memory foam mattress and is very comfortable to sleep on. However, the pillows are a tad too soft for my liking. Even with the adjustable angle for the bed, I find it hard to find an optimal angle for me to sleep on. There is some storage area under the bed that seems to fit a 28″ luggage.

The queen bed in the cabin occupies a good amount of space in the cabin

There is a large LED TV mounted onto the wall next to the main entrance to the cabin. I was able to find cable channels akin to those found in 5-star hotels on the TV. There are no closets in the cabin, and I had to hang my clothing on one of the two hangars found on the wall next to the door. There is some shelving space mounted onto the wall next to the bed, where I could place some small items. These shelving spaces are not the most generous that one can find. However, given the tight space, I thought this is sufficient. Beneath the shelving is a small table, which can be folded away if not in use. I used this table to charge my lifestyle devices. I found a luggage rack, which I could use as a stool for the table nicely tucked next to the bed.

The TV in the cabin has lots of cable channels.
Shelving in the cabin that provided me with some storage space

Bathroom

Behind the Queen Bed is a small area dedicated to the bathroom area. Forget about finding a bathtub here in the bathroom. Due to the amount of space, the bathroom is fitted with the bare essentials. There is hardly any space on the sink for me to put anything on. Lucky, there is some shelving by the sink where I was able to stow some toiletries on. Pass the toilet the walking shower is tucked to the end of the bathroom. Despite the size, YotelAir Changi Airport can still fit both a rain shower and a regular shower head in the shower area. Most of the bathroom is enclosed in glass with a curtain for privacy.

The toilet and the walk-in shower in the bathroom

Service

The service at YotelAir Changi Airport is decent as there are not many touchpoints with the staff at the hotel. The only touchpoint we had with the team is during check-in, where the staff readily sprung into action once we were spotted at the entrance to the hotel. Our check-in was processed with much efficiency. The team briefed us on the open facilities and how to get the complimentary coffee at the lounge. Check-out was also done swiftly by the efficient staff.

Hotel Facilities

Gym

There is a small gym next to the reception of YotelAir. Guests at the hotel can do some decent workouts at this small gym equipped with cardio machines such as treadmills and stationary bikes. The gym is also equipped with some weight machines and free weights. Unfortunately, the gym is closed at the time of my visit due to government restrictions to curd COVID-19.

Komyuniti

There is a small lounge area at YotelAir Changi Airport where guests can get complimentary coffee and tea at all times (have to request a cup from the reception). Due to the pandemic measures, there are only two tables in the Komyuniti. Guests are also welcome to pack their food from the numerous restaurants within Jewel and dine here or purchase a set of meals from the reception at YotelAir. Komyuniti is also where guests can snack their purchase from the vending machine at the reception area that sells overpriced snacks, drinks and instant noodles. I can imagine guests enjoying the range of snacks available during tea time on the numerous tables at the Komyuniti during regular (non-pandemic) times.

Lounge area in YotelAir Changi Airport that where guests can get complimentary coffee
Limited menu up for purchase at a reasonable price
I find the prices in the vending machine to be a little steep

Overall

I thought YotelAir Changi Airport is not ideal for staycations. There are not many facilities on the hotel premises, and the cabins are tiny. After all, YotelAir Changi Airport is mainly targeted at transiting travellers. The mattress on the bed is comfortable, but the pillows are not to my liking. Even though the cabins are closely located to each other, the soundproofing in each cabin is excellent. The service is also very minimal as there are not many touchpoints with the staff.

[Accommodation Review] – Fairmont Singapore (Signature King Suite), Singapore (7 – 9 Aug 21)

Location

Fairmont Singapore is situated in the heart of Singapore. It is very well connected to other parts of the city-state by public transport. For a starter, the City Hall MRT station, one of the main interchanges of the subway system, allows guests at the hotel to explore other parts of Singapore via the subway system. Being in the heart of the country, Fairmont Singapore is also very well connected via the bus system in Singapore. Fairmont sits right on top of Raffles City Shopping Mall, where we had no trouble finding food options on top of shopping options. For those of us who wanted to explore other shopping malls, there are shopping malls within 15 mins walking distance from the hotel. In terms of attractions, Fairmont Singapore is located within a minute walk from the Civic District of Singapore, one of the places with historical significance in the country.

The Signature King Suite

This is the second time I have stayed at Fairmont Singapore this year. I stayed at their Signature King Salon Suite back on Apr 21 (read about it here). As there is a long weekend in Singapore, I took the chance to check out the other suite configuration in the hotel open for guests. Fairmont Singapore has five types of suites, ranging from Junior Suites to President Suite. Most of these suites are situated in the South Tower designated for COVID-19 quarantine purposes. As of this review, the only two types of suites in North Tower open for stays are the Signature King Suite and the Signature King Salon Suite. Both these suites are of the Junior Suite category and have the same floor area of 56m2. The critical difference between the two suites is in the decor where the Signature King Salon Suite has been renovated.

Being the Junior Suite, the Signature King Suite adopts an open concept. The lounge area is integrated into the suite. The Signature King Suite is very well appointed. However, the decor looks a little dated. It can be segregated into three main areas: Lounge Area, Sleeping Area and the Bathroom. This review will be done in the order of places in the suite as I walk through from its entrance.

Entryway

The entryway in Fairmont Singapore’s Signature King Suite extends from the entrance to the central part of the suite. I like the way Fairmont Singapore maximises the utility of this part of the suite. Other than serving as a walkway into the suite, the hotel fitted a couple of cabinets next to the suite’s entrance. One of these cabinets functions as the minibar. A Nespresso coffee machine, kettles, tea bags and mini-fridge is located in the suite. The other cabinet provides additional storage space where I put the snacks we brought for this staycation. Unlike the Signature King Salon Suite’s entryway, which is decorated with artworks, the entryway in Signature King Suite feels plain and empty. I also thought the zigzag entryway in the Signature King Suite has the additional function of providing its guests with some degree of privacy as people outside the suite cannot see directly into the suite. The bathroom and wardrobe of the Signature King Suite are located along the entryway corridor.

Bathroom

The entrance to the bathroom in the Signature King Suite at Fairmont Singapore is found along the entryway corridor. There is a stark difference in ambience comparing the entryway to the bathroom in terms of lighting. While the entryway uses warm lighting, the lighting in the bathroom is brighter. I thought the bright lighting is one contributing factor in making the bathroom feels more extensive than it is.

The entrance to the bathroom and wardrobe is further in the corridor from the entryway.

The bathroom in the Signature King Suite is clad in white and black marble, giving it a luxurious feel. Although the bathroom in the suite is on the small side compared to the Junior Suites in some other hotels, it seems like the hotel devotes more space to other parts of the suite. The bright tiles and lighting, coupled with the large mirror that extends to the entire wall space by the sink, makes the bathroom feel spacious. The bathroom in the Signature King Suite is equipped with one sink. However, I appreciate the additional space at the sink countertop where I brought the toiletries.

I very much dislike how the shower area is organised in the bathroom of the Signature King Suite. Instead of having a separate walk-in shower area, a shower/tub combination arrangement for the shower area is furnished in the bathroom. The bathtub is quite sizeable and is relatively deep, which makes soaking in it very much relaxing. However, this is problematic when getting in and out of the bathtub when showering. The deep bathtub can potentially cause its user to slip. To top the problem with the shower area, while a semi-open glass panel is installed to keep the bathroom dry while one shower, this glass panel also make turning on the tap to fill the tub difficult. I had to step into the tub to turn the water to fill the tub. Equipping a rain shower and a regular shower head for showering is the only saving grace for the shower/bathtub area. The water pressure from both shower heads is quite good. Despite the flaws in the design of the shower/tub area, I find the placement of the porcelain throne in the bathroom to be perfect.

The toilet is placed between the sink and the bathtub.

Wardrobe

The wardrobe in the Signature King Suite is situated next to the bathroom entrance, making it very convenient for us to grab our clothing before heading for a shower. However, the size of the wardrobe is a bit on the small side. There is only one wardrobe in the Signature King Suite where Fairmont Singapore also cramp the in-room safe, a two-tiered drawer, and the ironing equipment. Although the addition of the drawers created additional space, it also takes up half of the available space in the wardrobe. The area in the closet is sufficient for us to put away the amount of clothing that we brought for this two-night staycation.

The wardrobe in the Signature King Suite is situated next to the entrance of the bathroom.

Lounge Area

The end of the corridor from the entryway opens up to the spacious L-shape layout suite. At the end of the “tunnel” from the main entrance sits a reasonably large work desk. Besides using it to work, which has sufficient space to put our laptop and some working files onto, we also use the work desk as a dining table. Unlike the Signature King Salon Suite, the work desk in the Signature King Suite is furnished with two chairs. I like the power outlet placement next to the work desk, making it convenient to charge our laptops. However, despite having an HDMI socket next to the power outlet here, we did have problems connecting our laptop to project on the TV in the suite (we had to connect directly to the TV).

My favourite part of the Signature King Suite is the lounge area, wedged between the King bed by the corner and the word desk area. I find the L-shaped sofa very comfortable to laze on while watching the numerous cable channels on the 55″ TV. I spend most of my staycation with Fairmont Singapore, lounging on this very comfortable sofa binge-watching the TV. The sofa is so comfortable that we took the extra pillows from the bed and requested an additional blanket from the hotel to laze on the couch. The TV perched on a classic wooden TV console can be swivelled to face the work desk we did while having dinner in the suite or facing the bed. I like how the lounge area placement feels very spacious, thanks to the balconies in the suite when the curtains are opened up. A small coffee table between the TV console and the sofa is perfect for us to put our snacks while being entertained by the options on the TV.

The main lounge area in the Signature King Suite

Sleeping Area

I like how Fairmont Singapore managed to find a conducive and private spot in the open Signature King Suite to snag the King bed. The King bed, marking the sleeping area, is tucked in one corner of the suite, providing us with privacy in an otherwise open concept suite. The King bed is very comfortable to sleep in, but I find the pillows a tad too soft for my liking. Despite the hotel’s best efforts in finding the firmest pillow they have, I still have trouble sleeping with the pillow. That said, the firmness of the mattress on the bed is superb. The use of down lighting in the sleeping area, lightly decorated with a Peranakan motive hanging above the headboard that gives a Singaporean touch to the suite, is very comfortable and not glaring to the eyes. The bedside table provided us with generous storage space to put away our lifestyle devices, while the power outlet by the bedside allows us to charge our devices.

We had restful nights on this King bed.
Bedside table next to the King bed provided us ample space to stow our lifestyle devices

Balconies

Like the Signature King Salon Suite, the Signature King Suite also comes with two sizeable balconies to look into the City and get some fresh air. The suite we were assigned to has views of both the Bugis area and the Marina Centre area. The addition of the balconies allows some form of indoor-outdoor space and makes the suite look larger.

Service

I was impressed with the service at Fairmont back on Apr 21 when I stayed with them. This time around, it was no exception. The hotel recognises the Accor programme, and we were granted check-in as early as 9 am and late check-out of 5 pm (due to our platinum status with Accor). The staff are very welcoming the moment we were at the reception during check-in. During check-in, we were thoroughly briefed by the reception staff on the measures that the hotel took due to the recent government measures resulting from the spiking COVID cases in Singapore. In addition, we were brief on the facilities that were open and how to order breakfast. The staff at check-in also helped us book the swimming pools slots and checked with his housekeeping colleagues to ensure the suites are ready before passing us the keycards to the suite. The service we received at the reception during check-out was equally pleasant. The staff efficiently managed the check-out process, and the staff thanked us for staying with Fairmont Singapore.

Despite the best efforts of the hotel to provide outstanding service to their guests, there are some minor hiccups that we faced during our stay. Most of the time, especially in the evening and at night, we would have to wait more than 15 mins when dialling the one-stop service hotline on the hotel’s phone. At times I would give up waiting and resort to dialling the spa hotline to get someone to attend to our requests.

There was also the issue of breakfast delivery. Due to the government restrictions prohibiting dine-in, Fairmont Singapore arranged breakfast to be delivered to the rooms. Unfortunately, our breakfast on the first day was delayed by 45 mins without anyone calling to inform us that the breakfast would be late. To make matters worst, the breakfast had turned cold by the time we received it. I highlighted the issue to the hotel, and to my surprise, the supervisor of F&B called to explain the situation (which I did not expect them to address our feedback) and assured us that the breakfast would be delivered the next day time (which they did). Furthermore, after receiving the breakfast, the supervisor checked with us to ensure that we have received our breakfast. I thought the F&B supervisor very well handled the issue of the breakfast. Instead of being defensive, she took responsibility for the situation and followed up with a call after our initial complaint and personally see to it that our breakfast was delivered on time the next day.

I can feel the efforts of the staff at Fairmont Singapore in providing service at Fairmont Singapore, despite minimal contact with the staff and the hiccups we experienced. Staffs at Fairmont are always very welcoming whenever we walk past them in the lobby.

Hotel Facilities

Due to the recent government restrictions, the spa facilities and the gym at Fairmont Singapore were closed. As a result, only the swimming pool remains open during our stay.

Swimming Pools

The swimming pool at Fairmont is accessible from the spa entrance at level 6 of the hotel. Fairmont Singapore has excellent control over the number of guests at the swimming pool as part of the restriction by the government. The staff at the spa reception will diligently verify the booking for our time slot before allowing us to enter the pool area. The swimming pool is shared with their sister hotel, Swissotel, next door. Despite the shared services, the number of guests at the pool is kept very well controlled. The swimming pools at Fairmont caters to both adult guests and young guests. My nephew enjoyed himself at the wading pool, where we took a swim at the adult pool, which has lanes demarcated for guests who wanted to do their laps. I like the plentiful deck chairs for us to choose from at the poolside, where we can choose the spot where we get maximum sunshine for our tanning sessions.

One of the two swimming pools at Fairmont Singapore

In-Room Breakfast

Due to the government restriction on dine-in, Fairmont Singapore adapted to the situation by serving our breakfast in-room. We were given a QR code during check-in for our orders for breakfast. However, due to the hiccup on the first day, the F&B supervisor recommended calling and place our order. We were given a choice of mains from American, Lifestyle, Singapore, Malaysian and South Indian Breakfast. Fairmont also serves up a bread basket and fruit together with a choice of mains for breakfast. We opted for the American Breakfast for both days, and I find the food served was sufficient to get us going for the day, not exactly that impressionable.

We opted for American Breakfast for both days
Breakfast option at Fairmont Singapore

Overall

We had a pleasant staycation with Fairmont Singapore. I like the lounge and sleeping area of the Signature King Suite over their recently renovated Signature King Salon Suite. However, I thought the bathroom was disappointing with the shower/bath combination set-up. Despite the reduced interaction with the staff, we received great service at every touchpoint we had with the staff. Our comments on the Breakfast at the hotel was addressed efficiently by the F&B Supervisor. I can’t wait for the hotel to be fully open to experience the other suites in the South Tower.

[Accommodation Review] – Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa (Imperial Suite), Singapore (15 – 16 May 21)

The Location

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is situated in a relatively isolated part of Sentosa, an island in the southern part of Singapore. The location makes it an ideal destination for staycationers and guests who wanted a quiet time during their stay in Singapore. There aren’t any eateries or shops within the vicinity of the hotel. The nearest food place is located at Resorts World Sentosa, a 20 mins walk from the hotel. Guests without cars would have to rely on the hotel’s shuttle service to get around Sentosa for dinner or confined to the restaurants on the hotel premises. There is a flight of stairs at the hotel’s swimming pool that grants hotel guests access to Tanjong Beach located below the hotel.

The Suite

This is my fourth time staying in Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. For this staycation, I checked into both the Prestige Suite and the Imperial Suite. I have reviewed the Prestige Suite previously, and this review mainly focuses on the Imperial Suite. The decor of the Imperial Suite in Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa takes inspiration from the  Orient-Express train service, embodying the epitome of luxury and travel that once ran from Paris to Vienna. The spirit of Orient-Express is well translated into the Imperial Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. There are elements of train travel, and Orient-Express found in some of the doors and furnishings of the 190m² one-of-a-kind Imperial Suite in the hotel. The expansive L-shaped Imperial Suite spreads across five to six luxury rooms at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. It has elements of a typical Presidential Suite (although the hotel does not name this suite as a Presidential Suite) and is the highest category Suite in Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. With impeccably designed rooms and halls of old-world charm, the Imperial Suite screams of luxury and opulence for its guests. 

The Grand Foyer

I was wow-ed by the grandeur of the Imperial Suite the moment I opened its main doors. The Grand Foyer, laid with dark blue marble topped with a carpet that ends just short of the powder room in the suite, screams of luxury and opulence. The warm yellow lighting from the chandelier hanging from the antique-gold ceiling shines onto the dark blue oversized carpet with “Orient-Express” embroidered onto it, coupled with the wooden doors from the study at the side, makes me feel as though I am being transported back in time onto the Orient-Express. A couple of cabinets on either side of the Grand Foyer provide additional storage space for guests of the suite. Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa tastefully decorated the cabinets with art pieces that breathe sophistication into the Grand Foyer.

We were welcomed by an oversized Orient-Express carpet from the entrance to the suite

The Study

The Study is the first room that guests of the Imperial Suite see when entering. Located on the right side of the Grand Foyer, this enclosed space is a great space for one to do their work. The wooden French doors at the Study provides guests privacy and solitude for their work. The parqueted flooring and the choice of brown-toned furniture at the Study give it an earthy vibe. At the centre of the Study is a work desk that is sufficiently large for guests to place their laptops and documents while working. The Study is also furnished with two comfortable fabric armchairs allowing the residents of the Imperial Suite to host guests at the Study and provide an additional option for residents of the suite to read a book. The decor in the Study is by no means bland, exuding a heavy sense of French elements from the small table lamp to the decorative table placed in one corner of this room. The Orient-Express theme is also found in the Study from pictures of the train hanging on the wall in the Study. With such sophistication in its decor, guests will find working in the Study of the Imperial Suite a pleasure.

The Study in the Imperial Suite

Powder Room

I like the inclusion of a Powder Room in the suite as it gives its residents the convenience of using this toilet while they are in the Living Room or Dining Room. On top of that, residents of the Imperial Suite can maintain their privacy if there are guests over in the Suite. These guests would not have to go through the Bedroom to use the toilet. The Powder Room location is very well thought through during the design of the suite, and it is situated straight from the main entrance down the Grand Foyer just before the Bedroom entrance. The Powder Room is very functional and only equipped with a toilet and a sink with huge mirrors. Despite the minimalistic design of the Powder Room, it still looks luxurious with the wood colour walls and the green marble tiles used in the Powder Room. The toilet in the Powder Room does not come with a bidet function (unlike the one in the main Bathroom).

Toilet in the powder room just outside the bedroom in the Imperial Suite

The Bedroom

Further into the Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa from the Grand Foyer, past the small corridor that houses the Powder Room, guests will arrive at a double panelled wooden door. Behind the French style doors lies the Bedroom of the Suite. As soon as I walked into the Bedroom, my attention is drawn to the King Bed and the two-seater couch, sitting on top of a red carpet with a floral design that occupies a large real estate in the Bedroom. The decor in the Bedroom is more contemporary elegant, but with hints of French chic in some parts of this room. The choice of gold colour theme in the bedroom adds to the luxurious feel in the room. From the king bed base to the headboard, this room’s gold colour is not too overly used. The king bed, placed by the part of the wall in which the entire wall is the headboard, is comfortable and offers residents of the Imperial Suite an excellent sleep quality, recharging them with good night sleep. I find the pillows on the bed too soft for my liking. However, the hotel does provide firmer pillows upon request though there are no pillow menus in the suite for guests to choose from. On the sides of the bed are two reasonably large side tables. These tables, decorated with retro French-themed glass lamps which illuminate the bedside gently at night, provide guests with ample space to place their lifestyle devices with the abundant charging ports and power outlets by the bedside table. The addition of the two-seater couch in front of the king bed provides an additional option for guests of the Imperial Suite to laze on being entertained by the TV in the bedroom or to read a book. Guests will find comfort being warped by the goldish brown fabric on this two-seater.

Bedroom in the Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa

In front of the king bed, next to the Bedroom entrance, sits a TV console topped with a 46″ LED TV that offers numerous international cable and local channels that keep occupants of the Imperial Suite entertained throughout the night. I find the TV console’s height a tad too short that when lying on the bed, one can only watch the TV at a certain angle. The couch also hinders the signal from the remote control, which can only control the TV at a certain angle. The TV in the bedroom is the same size as that found in the Living Room with the same entertainment options.

A 46″ LED TV in the Bedroom

Residents of the Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa will be surprised to find a large walk-in closet in the bedroom. The walk-in closet is located behind a wooden door next to the king bed in the bedroom and provides ample space for residents of the suite to hang their clothes with hanging bars around this space. A reasonably large cabinet inside the walk-in closet offers ample space for guests ample space to stow the largest luggage one can find. As the walk-in closet is a tad far from the bathroom, I used this space mainly to put away the bags that I brought for this staycation.

There is a smaller work desk in the Imperial Suite, tucked by one corner further in the Bedroom just by the entrance to the Bathroom. The glass top with metal frame in gold colour work desk, fully equipped with power outlets by the wall behind it, allows guests to do some work in the Bedroom. The accompanying fabric work chair is very comfortable to sit on with its ample cushioning. A single armchair by the other corner of the Bedroom with an accompanying small side table provides guests with another option to read a book from. Together with the art pieces displayed on the shelves next to them in this part of the Bedroom, these furnishings further complement the luxurious French theme felt throughout the suite.

The Bathroom

Further into the bedroom, past another double panelled wooden doors between the work desk and the armchair, one would arrive at the main Bathroom in the Imperial Suite. Laid with a parquet wooden floor and carrying an earthy tone, the Bathroom in the suite is enormous. It is segregated into a wet and dry area. The dry area is the area nearer to the entrance to the Bathroom, where guests would find two sinks separated by the access to the wet area of the Bathroom. Each sink sits on a sizeable marbled countertop that provides ample space for the hotel to place the luxurious French branded Balmain bath amenities on each of the sinks and guests to place their toiletries on. Each sink area is furnished with a large mirror that covers the entire length of the wall. This is the first suite I have stayed in where I find not one, but two couches in the Bathroom, showing the expansiveness of the Bathroom in the Imperial Suite.

Entrance to the bathroom from the bedroom in the Imperial Suite
Double vanity sinks in the Bathroom of the Imperial Suite
Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa provides Balmain bath amenities for its Imperial Suite guests

Behind the sink area is where guests can find two additional closets for them to hang their clothes. I thought having extra closets in the Bathroom is an excellent idea as it provides greater convenience for guests in the Imperial Suite to access their clothing after a shower. Guests also do not have to walk to the walk-in closet in the bedroom to gain access to their clothes. These closets, together with the four-drawer cabinets inside the closets, are large enough to stow a week’s worth of clothing. Both closets are almost identical, except for the in-room safe being installed in one of the closets. The iron and ironing board are also tucked inside one of these closets.

Beyond the sink areas are the wet area of the Bathroom where guests do their showering. Tucked in the windowed corner of the wet area is an oversized Jacuzzi tub that gently massages the stress away using bubbles. The use of bamboo blinds at the window gives the tub area a spa feel to it. To take the boredom away when soaking in the tub, Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa install a small TV by the Jacuzzi tub to entertain guests. However, the cable and international channels found in the other TVs in the suite is missing, and this TV is only limited to local channels.

Standing Jacuzzi tub in the wet area of the Bathroom
There is a small TV by the jacuzzi tub in the Bathroom of the Imperial Suite

Opposite the Jacuzzi tub is where the toilet and walk-in shower cubicles are located. The white marble in these two cubicles gives it a luxurious feel. The toilet in the Bathroom is equipped with bidet functions, while the walk-in shower has regular and rain shower heads with perfect water pressures. I like the small ledge installed in the shower cubicle, which has sufficient space to place the bath amenities provided by the hotel and still has room to place personal toiletries and even a glass to place your toothbrushes in.

Toilet and walk-in shower in the wet area of the Bathroom

The Living Room

The Living Room in the Imperial Suite is located to the left of the Grand Foyer and is one of the largest areas in the entire suite. The use of mahogany coloured walls with an antique gold ceiling, coupled with yet another chandelier hanging from the centre of the ceiling, screams of poshness.  The French style highback couches furnished in the Living Room reminds residents and guests of the Imperial Suite the French root the Sofitel brand entails. The Living Room in the Imperial Suite can further be separated into entertainment and reception areas. Upon entering the Living Room, a two-seater highback purple French couch catches the attention of occupants of the Imperial Suite. Placed in front of the 46″ LED TV, this couch is very comfortable to sit on while enjoying the numerous international and local channels on the TV mounted on the feature wall that separates the Grand Foyer from the Living Room. The addition of a table beneath the TV provides additional space for guests to stow small items and snacks.

The living room of the Imperial Suite

Behind the purple couch lies the central part of the Living Room. The set of large golden brown French-style couch set furnished in this area compliments the chandelier and the purple floral designed carpet to exude classic French charm. The comfortable fabric highback couch set, comprising a three-seater couch and four armchairs, provides ample seating in this area of the Living Room for residents of the Imperial Suite to host guests. Right in the centre of this couch set is a large dark-brown wooden coffee table that adds to the grandeur of the Imperial Suite. The addition of numerous art pieces elevates the sophistication and luxury vibe in the Living Room. I find the number of art pieces in the Living Room is just right and not too accessive. The only thing I find a tad disappointing is the size of the TV in the Living Room. Due to the spaciousness of the size of the Living Room, having the 46″ TV here seem a tad too small, especially for guests who are sitting on the three-seater couch, which is placed furthest from the TV.  Looking out from the window in the Living Room, residents in the Imperial Suite can get a commanding view of the resort grounds and even the sea afar.

The inner Living Area for residents of the Imperial Suite to host their guests
The art pieces placed in the Imperial Suite gives it a luxurious feel
The 46″ LED TV looks a tad too small for the Living Room in the Imperial Suite
The Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa has a commanding view of the hotel gardens and even the sea

The Dining Room

The Dining Room, located behind the Living Room of the Imperial Suite, continues the French-inspired theme throughout the suite. The two French wooden style doors on either side of the entrances to the dining room provide its diners with the privacy they require. When all the doors in the Dining Room in the Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa are closed, it resembles a dining car on the Orient-Express thanks to the colour theme on the walls green carpet. The addition of the chandelier hanging on the antique-gold coloured ceiling, together with the art pieces, makes the Dining Room feel elegant. In the centre of the Dining Room sits a long dark brown table and six comfortable fabric chairs. The size of the dining table is large enough to be able to sit eight to 10 people. Despite being one of the smaller parts of the Imperial Suite, the use of mirrors on the Dining Room walls makes this space feel larger than it actually is and adds to the luxurious feel radiating in the Suite.

The Dining Room in the Imperial Suite

Kitchenette

Past the Dining Room, guests of the Imperial Suite will come to a kitchenette. This small space houses some common kitchen appliances that one can find in a typical hotel room on top of the mugs and glasses. The kitchenette is furnished with a mid-size fridge, the top range Nespresso machine with frothing functions and even double sinks. There is even a wine rack in the kitchenette. Opposite the entrance to the kitchenette is a second entrance to the suite, where staffs can access from for in-room dining. However, during our stay, this door was not used by the staff.

Sizeable kitchenette in Imperial Suite with wine rack

Service

During this stay at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, the service received during this stay is impeccable and a stark difference compared to my last visit in Dec 2020 with the hotel. The excellent service started even before we stepped into the hotel. Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa honoured the Platinum status of my friend with an early check-in at noon. As soon as I stepped into the hotel grounds walking towards the reception, I was warmly welcomed by Aaron from the concierge team. He diligently ensured that all guests entering the hotel grounds did their check-in and had their temperature taken. Aaron then showed me the way to the reception for the reception team to process my check-in.

The service at the reception was nothing short of excellent. I witnessed what makes great teamwork during check-in. I was initially served by Synedrella (I hope I got her name right), who greets us with warm welcomes. As our room arrangement is a tad complicated (we had two suites for the first night and another night in the Imperial Suite), seeing that she was overwhelmed, Synedrella’s colleague, Timon, standing at the next counter immediately jumped in and helped her to process the check-in for one of the suites. Timon and Syndrella split the check-ins amongst themselves to not have to wait too long for the check-in process to be completed. As the arrangement for my stay involves switching suites the next day, Wai Wai stepped in to help out with the complicated arrangement. Wai Wai even went the extra mile to check if the Imperial Suite is being occupied at the time of our check-in and offered to upgrade us to the Imperials Suite if available, so we do not have to go through the trouble switching suites during our stay. As there is only one Imperial Suite at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, Wai Wai apologised for the inconvenience of making us go through the hassle of switching suites (although by no means was her fault). She also offered to send help with our luggage during the suite swap the next day, which we declined as we did not have a lot of baggage. Wai Wai promised a seamless suite swap the next day. Wai Wai honoured the benefits of Platinum Accor member status and gave us a late check-out for the Imperial Suite. The suite swap was seamless the next day, and keycards were brought to our suite when the Imperial Suite was ready for us to move into.

The service at Kwee Zeen was also significantly improved from our last visit. This time around, we were welcomed by Kour at the front of the restaurant, who immediately got us seats and even helped us swap seats when my nephew insisted on indoor seating. The staff at the restaurant were observant and immediately cleared the plates when we are done with the food. The team at each buffet counter were superb and always ready to serve up the choice of guests during breakfast.

The new government measure of dine-in restriction occurs during our stay, the F&B team at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa were ready to comply with the new restrictions. I am impressed with the readiness of the hotel team in complying with new government policies. We received a call from Kour on the second night, informing us of the new measures and to take our orders for breakfast and the timing for our breakfast to be delivered to our suite. Kour was patient during the call and answered all my queries on the food arrangements. As the Imperial Suite has a proper dining table, the initial setup was for my sister’s family’s breakfast to be delivered to our suite to dine together. However, close to 11 pm, my sister told me that they wanted to have their breakfast in their suite. I called the One-Touch service to alter the breakfast arrangement. The team helped us change the arrangement, and the breakfast was delivered correctly and on time the next day.

On top of the great service we experienced with the staff at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, the hotel’s hospitality is also felt when we entered our suites. We were pleasantly surprised to discover a high tea set (which was not common in hotels) was placed in the Imperial Suite waiting for us, on top of a fruit platter and a bottle of wine. Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa also provided its guests with care kits comprising sanitising wipes and sprays, and hand sanitisers in each room to ensure guests stay safe during the pandemic.

Hotel Facilities

Breakfast @ Kwee Zeen

Guests staying at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa will be having their breakfast at Kwee Zeen restaurant, located opposite the reception. Unlike most of the hotels in Singapore that I have stayed so far during this pandemic, I am pleasantly surprised to find that breakfast is served as a buffet-style instead of pre-determined sets. Each station has a plastic shield and is manned by a staff readily serving guests’ choices at their station. There is a good spread of local and international options for breakfast at Kwee Zeen. Due to the new COVID-19 measure of banning dine-in announced by the government, which starts on the second day of my stay at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa, breakfast was served to guests in the room. Each guest is entitled to one set of the pre-determined breakfast sets, which was promptly delivered to the suite during my stay.

Our order of in-room dine-in breakfast for the second day of our stay at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa

Swimming Pool

There are two pools in Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa. The main pool is situated in the heart of the hotel grounds, near the hotel’s lobby. The black tiled pool is large by any hotel standards is segregated into three parts catering for families with children and guests who wanted to do a few laps in it. It is also one of the deepest pools in any hotels around Singapore, with the deepest end of the pool measuring 2.3m deep. This is one of the few hotels in Singapore that has a lifeguard on duty. There is no lack of sundeck chairs and cabanas around the pool for guests to laze their day away. As part of the COVID-19 measures, Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa control the crowd at the pool very well. Guests wanting to utilise the main pool are to make a booking for the usage of the pool. Each room is entitled to a 2-hour time slot per day. The other pool at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa is located off-site at the SO Spa premises. Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa offer its suite guests staying complimentary access to the facilities at SO Spa. As the SO Spa is somewhat out of the way, I did not use the pool at SO Spa during my stay.

A swimming pool at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa

Gym

There is a small make-shift gym on the hotel premises, occupying the lawn space next to the pool. The gym in Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa is a tad small compared to other hotels or the SO Fit that it once occupies. Despite its petite area, the gym at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa is well equipped with machines and gym equipment that allows guests to do a decent workout. However, the gym was close due to new government restrictions to curb the rising COVID-19 infections in Singapore. When the gym was operational, guests are entitled to a daily 2-hour booking slot per day.

Overall

We had a wonderful stay at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa. The Imperial Suite is tastefully designed with old world charm that blends the essence of Orient-Express and classic French elements. The suite is very comfortable in every part of the suite, from the Living Room to the Bedroom. I am most impressed with the Jacuzzi tub in the suite that relieved the stress and provided a great night sleep in the king bed in the bedroom.  The service is nothing short of excellent from the moment we stepped into the hotel to the time we leave the hotel. The hotel is also agile in complying with the new governmental pandemic restrictions. The only room type in Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa that I have not stayed in is their villa, which might be on my list the next time I return for another staycation.

[Accommodation Review] – Fairmont Singapore (Signature King Saloon Suite), Singapore (2 – 4 Apr 21)

The Location

Fairmont Singapore is located right in the heart of Singapore, within walking distance to nearby attractions such as Esplanade Theatre, the Merlion Park and Gardens By the Bay. Fairmont Singapore is very well connected by the MRT subway, sitting right above City Hall MRT station, allowing guests to explore the Island state by subway. There are tons of shopping options in the vicinity of the hotel. Right below the hotel is the Raffles City Shopping Mall, where restaurants and boutiques are located. Guests at Fairmont Singapore do not need to leave the hotel premises to fulfil their food and shopping needs. Nearby the hotel is the Bugis Junction Shopping Mall, Suntec Shopping Mall and Marina Centre Shopping Mall, where more shopping and food options are available for guests at Fairmont Singapore.

Fairmont Singapore Lobby
Reception in at the lobby of Fairmont Singapore

The Suite

I booked this staycation for the Good Friday long weekend during the Black Friday Sale last November, where I bagged a deal on their Signature King Saloon Suite for 40% off and comes with breakfast arrangements. Fairmont Singapore has a total of 778 rooms and suites spread across both North and South towers. Due to the pandemic,  the South Tower, where the higher category suites and rooms with superb views and the Gold Lounge are located, is closed for guests serving their quarantine upon arriving in Singapore. Only the North tower is open to receive guests for staycations. The highest category suite Fairmont Singapore has in the North Tower is the Signature King Suite, which essentially is a Junior Suite with a total floor area of 56m². Fairmont Singapore has two configurations of Signature King Suite – The Signature King Suite and the Signature King Saloon Suite. The former is older and has a Peranakan theme, while the latter has been recently renovated with a contemporary theme. Fairmont Singapore has only one Signature King Saloon Suite in the North Tower. 

Entryway

The Signature King Saloon Suite is renovated with an earthy theme decked in dark brown colour flooring and furnishing, together with the yellow lighting in the entire suite makes guests feel relaxed during their stay in the suite. The earthy tone of the suite can immediately be felt the moment its occupants enter the suite at its entryway, owing to the dark brown wooden wall panel on the left wall of the corridor that leads into the suite and parquet flooring laid throughout the entire suite. Together with the soothing warm lighting, the colour theme of this corridor exudes a sense of claim and relaxation to its occupants. A large mirror fitted on the right side of the wall not only makes this area of the Signature King Saloon Suite at Fairmont Singapore feels larger, but it also allows its occupants to do last-minute checking of their attire before heading out. 

The earthy tone in the Signature King Saloon Suite can be felt from the entryway
Main controls at the entryway

Bathroom

The entrance to the bathroom in the Signature King Saloon Suite is found along the entryway, mere steps away from the primary access to the suite. The white-grey marble-laden bathroom gives it a luxurious feel; hints of the central theme in the Signature King Saloon Suite are still subtly present in the bathroom in the form of wooden panels by the sink area. A bulk of the walls in the bathroom is fitted with large mirrors, making it feels more extensive than it is. As guests enter the bathroom, guests can find the sink area on the right of the entrance to the bathroom. Due to the size of the bathroom, fitting it with a single sink gives guests of the Signature King Saloon Suite more space to stow their toiletries on the black marbled countertop. 

On the left of the bathroom entrance, opposite the sink area, is a partially enclosed wet area behind a single glass panel. The wet area did not come with a door, which I initially feel the water from the wet area might get into the dry area of the bathroom. However, after three days of usage, I did not find any water getting into the dry area. The wet area of the bathroom in the Signature King Saloon Suite is where guests can find a deep bathtub sitting by the wall in the wet area. The foreground of the wet area is the walk-in shower area, fitted with both a rain shower and a regular shower head. 

Wet area in the bathroom of the Signature King Saloon Suite

Further into the bathroom, past the sink area, one can find an open toilet area tucked in one corner of the bathroom. The placement of the toilet is well hidden behind a wall panel, giving guests greater privacy. The toilet did not come with bidet functions. I do find the bathroom lack hooks to hang one’s clothing.

The porcelain throne is well hidden in the bathroom

Lounge Area

The end of the entryway opens up to a spacious main area of the Signature King Saloon Suite, which can be further segregated into the lounge area and the sleeping area. At the end of the entryway, a couch sitting at a corner of the suite welcomes its guests. The fabric beige coloured couch is capable of sitting three to four guests comfortably. A leather armchair placed next to the sofa, short of the floor to ceiling window panel, adds more space for guests to rest into. A small black colour side table is placed between the couch and the armchair, allowing guests to put small items on it. A larger wooden oval shaped coffee table, lacquered in black colour, is placed in front of the couch.

The couch and armchair in the lounge area is placed by the wall in the suite to create more space inside the Signature King Saloon Suite

Placed by the wall in the lounge area of the Signature King Saloon Suite in Fairmont Singapore is a black wooden cabinet in gold trimming, housing the minibar in the suite. A Nespresso machine, complete with six capsules and TWG teabags, is stored in the left top cabinet, while a tap with both hot and cold water and mugs are found in the right cabinet. The Signature King Saloon Suite in Fairmont Singapore does not come with plastic bottled water. Instead, a couple of empty glass bottles are found at the minibar. Guests can use the tap at the minibar to store water in these bottles. As this tap also has hot water functions, there is no electric kettle in the suite. A small fridge is well hidden in the left bottom cabinet at the minibar. Due to the pandemic, no beverages are stored in the fridge.

Sleeping Area

Further in the Signature King Saloon Suite, past the lounge area, is the sleeping area. The centrepiece in the sleeping area is the King bed placed by the wall in the suite. The king bed has a design that resembles an airlines Business Class pod with the headboard curving out slightly. The bedside tables are designed to extend out from the sides of the headboard, complete with a small drawer on each side for guests to stow small items. The bedside is also very well designed with convenience features such as light controls, curtain controls, and international power outlets, as well as USB charging ports for guests to charge their gadgets. However, I find the bedside tables a tad too small, leaving not much space for guests to put their stuff on as they are being furnished with the hotel phone on one table and an alarm clock on the other table. Above the bedside tables are a couple of lamps that were fixed to the ceiling, freeing precious space on the bedside tables. The bedsheet used by Fairmont Singapore on the King bed, together with its firm mattress, makes it very comfortable to sleep. However, sleep quality would be better if the pillows are firmer. Despite being given a firm pillow that I requested from the hotel, I still wake up with a stiff neck on the first-night stay at the hotel. 

The king bed in the sleeping area of the Signature King Saloon Suite in Fairmont Singapore