[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 as well as 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, which 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. The colour theme of this corridor, together with the soothing warm lighting, 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 main entrance to the suite. The white-grey marble-laden bathroom gives it a luxurious feel, hints of the main 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 larger than it actually 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 personal toiletries on the black marbled countertop. 

Opposite the sink area, on the left of the bathroom entrance 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. In the foreground of the wet area is the walk-in shower area, fitted with both a rain shower and regular shower head. 

Wet area in the bathroom of the Signature King Saloon Suite

Further into the bathroom, past the sink area is where 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 couch, 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 place 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 do 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

There is only one TV in the suite that is mounted on the wall opposite the king bed. The 55″ LED TV in the Signature King Saloon Suite is fitted onto a mount that can be swivelled to face the bed or the couch area depending on where guests wanted to watch the TV from. There are plentiful local and international channels on the TV to keep guests entertained during their stay at Fairmont Singapore. Most of the hotel information can also be found on the TV.

The Signature King Saloon Suite is furnished with a 55″ LED TV that has plentiful international and local channels

The wardrobe in the Signature King Saloon Suite is fixed onto the wall next to the king bed, in the sleeping area. The wardrobe has a large open space and two slim enclosed space on either side of the open wardrobe space. The use of glass doors for the enclosed wardrobe space makes the wardrobe looks contemporary. Guests would have hung their clothing in the open space at the wardrobe as the space in the enclosed wardrobe is very limited. A small drawer is fitted into one of the two enclosed wardrobes. A ledge in the open wardrobe area provides space for guests to stow away their baggage. There are two drawers below this ledge, however, the large drawer is occupied by the in-room safe, leaving the smaller drawer the only drawer for guests to use. Overall, I thought there are limited spaces for guests to put away their items in the Signature King Saloon Suite.

The wardrobe in the Signature King Saloon Suite has a large open closet area

The work desk is tucked in the furthest corner in the Signature King Saloon Suite. The work desk is slim and long providing great space for guests to do some decent work on. A small drawer at the work desk allows guests to stow away small items. There are two power outlets and two USB charging ports conveniently fixed on the wall at the work desk area, ensuring the electronic devices that guests are working on the desk has sufficient juice to complete their work. I like that the work desk is placed facing the balcony into the Singapore downtown skyline, which makes it a very therapeutic space to do work. 

A sizeable work desk is tucked in one corner of the Signature King Saloon Suite

Balcony

There are two balconies in the Signature King Saloon Suite. These balconies are rather modest in size and are not being furnished. The balconies are accessible from the lounge area and the sleeping area and are not connected. The balconies provide a space for guests in the Signature King Saloon Suite to take in the skyline of downtown Singapore.

Service

Despite the limited contact time with the staffs at Fairmont Singapore, the exceptional service from the hotel staff can still be felt during our stay at the hotel. The good service at the hotel started on the day of my check-in when I called the hotel to request for early check-in. My call was answered by James who not only granted me early check-in, he also listened and understood my concern with the confusion on my booking. I originally booked the Signature King Saloon Suite back in November 2020. I subsequently received an email stating that all the Signature King Saloon Suites are located in the South Tower, which Fairmont Singapore used for guests serving quarantine as such my room was changed to Signature King Suite. I received an email in early March 2021 stating that my room type was changed to Signature Gold King Suite, to which I was given Gold Lounge access. I was informed by another staff that the Gold Lounge is closed as it is located in the South Tower. When I raised my concern to James regarding giving me lounge access that is close seem to defeat the purpose. James listened with empathy and even got his colleague to investigate the confusing booking status. I was warmly welcomed by James at the hotel, who processed our check-in. Not only did James took the initiative to arrange for late check-out, but he also acknowledged the confusion in the booking system. James also gave recognition to my friend’s Accor Platinum status during our check-in. We were pleasantly surprised to receive a call in the suite from one of the staff explaining the reason for the confusion in the booking status.

We met another staff, Katherine during the first night at the reception. As we have forgotten to bring our key card out, Katherine quickly issued another card to us. When I brought up the issue of getting a soft foam pillow, Katherine quickly jumped into action and arranged for housekeeping to send up a firmer foam pillow within minutes of us reaching our room. We met Katherine during check-out who processed it with much efficiency and we were checked out within 5 mins.

The staffs at Willow Stream Spa whom I had most contact with during my stay at Fairmont Singapore, always made us feel welcome. The staffs helped us booked the usage of the swimming pool and gym facilities despite short notices. When check-in for facilities usage, they are always warm and welcoming. 

The staffs at the Royal Service line were always ready to ensure that our stay is comfortable. Our calls to the Royal Service were always being answered without having to wait for too long and our requests for toiletries are promptly arranged and delivered to our suite by the housekeeping staffs in a relatively short period of time. I am pleasantly surprised to see the fitness kit that I requested waiting for us in the suite. Other than the usage welcome fruit platter in the suite, we were pleasantly surprised to find a cake waiting for us in the suite.  

Care kit provided by Fairmont Singapore

Hotel Facilities

Breakfast @ Prego

During this pandemic period, breakfast at Fairmont Singapore is served at the Prego Restaurants. Breakfast at Prego comes with one breakfast set, coffee or tea and a glass of fruit juice. Guests with breakfast plans can only choose from one of the sets from the breakfast menu, guests will have to pay extra for any additional sets they ordered. Prego was very empty on both days we were there for breakfast. Breakfast was served relatively fast on both days. I had the Full American Feast on the first day and thought it was fairly normal, and the Nonya Coconut Rice on the second day, which was a tad too wet. Unless the room rate comes with breakfast, I thought it is not worth the money to dine at Prego for breakfast. Moreover, there is no lack of options in the Raffles City Shopping Mall under Fairmont Singapore.

Swimming Pool

The Swimming Pool at Fairmont Singapore is located on the 8th Floor and can only be accessed from the 6th Floor due to the pandemic. There are two circular pools, one for adults and another for children, both of which are fairly small. Despite the size, guests can still get some decent laps out of the pool, thanks to the lane demarcation by the hotel. There are numerous deck chairs and three cabanas catering for families at the pool area. I did not have problems looking for space at the pool as it was not at all crowded at the time I was at the hotel. Fairmont shares the pools with the nearby Swissotel Hotel, but the pool is relatively empty during the period I stayed at the hotel. To prevent overcrowding and manage the capacity at the pool, Fairmont Singapore has in place a booking system for pool usage. Each room is allowed to book one 2-hour slot for the usage of the pool per day.

Swimming pool at Fairmont Singapore viewed from the Signature King Saloon Suite

Gym

The gym at Fairmont Singapore is located on the 6th floor of the hotel. The gym is large by hotel standards, capable for guests to do some serious workouts. The gym is segregated into a strength and conditioning area and a cardio area. The strength and condition area is located on the mezzanine floor of the gym and is very well equipped with machines, dumbbells and barbells that one can find in any fee-paying gyms. The cardio area is found on the lower floor of the gym equipped with cardio workout machines like spinning bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines. The gym is mostly empty at the time of our visit and the staff allows us to use the gym without any booking for the usage of the gym. Guests are allowed to use the gym for a maximum period of 2½ hour each day so to cater capacity for the other guests of the hotel to use.

Willow Stream Spa

Guests staying at Fairmont Singapore can use the jacuzzi facilities at the Willow Stream Spa, located on the 6th floor of the hotel. There are three warm jacuzzi pools and one cold dip pool at the Willow Stream Spa for guests to soak their stress away. The sauna and the steam room in the Willow Stream Spa are open for guests to use. There is even a relaxation room for guests to use after their soak in the jacuzzi. Prior booking can be made at the entrance of the spa for guests who wish to use the spa facilities and each booking is for a period of 1½ hours at the Willow Stream Spa.

Overall

Despite being allocated for COVID-19 quarantine, our stay at Fairmont Singapore felt safe. The hotel has an excellent process to ensure the safety of its guests. The recently renovated Signature King Saloon Suite is very spacious and contemporary. There are sufficient furnishing in the suite to ensure the comfort of its occupants, yet not too many that makes the suite feel cluttered. The earthy theme that runs throughout the suite makes staying in the Signature King Saloon Suite feel very relaxing. The service at Fairmont Singapore is great with staffs readily to ensure its guests enjoy their stay. The breakfast quality at Prego falls short of expectation and gives me the feeling dining at this restaurant for breakfast a tad unworthy. I would not pay extra for the breakfast if not for my staycation plan comes with breakfast. I would return to Fairmont Singapore again for another staycation once the entire hotel is up and running to experience another suite category.

[Accommodation Review] – Hilton Hotel Singapore (King Hilton Family Suite), Singapore (26 – 28 Feb 21)

Location

Hilton Singapore sits at the fringe of Singapore’s famous shopping district – Orchard Road. This is where one can find shopping malls and big department stores. The hotel has been at this location since its opening in the 1970s. There are no lack of shopping options in nearby the hotel in Orchard Road to suit everyone’s budget, ranging from luxury boutiques to budget $2 shops. There are also several 24 hour convenient shop next to Hilton Singapore as well as tons of dining options within mere minutes walk from the hotel. Hilton Singapore is a mere 3 mins walk from the largest upscale shopping mall in the country – Orchard Ion, and 5 mins walk from the nearest MRT station which visitors can use to explore the country. The location makes Hilton Singapore a great place to stay when visiting Singapore.

The Family Suite

I originally booked the Executive Suite for this staycation and was assigned to the Family Suite upon check in. The two suites are the same except for some subtle differences. The Family Suite is furnished with a sofa bed in the living room instead of the usual couch and the work desk is located in the bedroom instead of the living room compared to the Executive Suite. Other then these, the two suites are the same. The newly renovated Family Suite in Hilton Singapore has a massive floor area of 69m², occupying the corner of each floor.

An elegant entryway greets the occupants of the Executive Suite as one steps into the suite. The entryway separates the living and the sleeping space in the suite. A marble top small wooden table is placed at the entryway, which is ideal for guests to place their keycard or place small items such as their masks. The addition of a single drawer in the wooden table by the entryway provides extra storage space for guests in the Family Suite at Hilton Singapore. A powder room is located next to the table in the entryway. This huge marble laid powder room serves as a guest toilet and is furnished with one toilet bowl and a single basin. Incidentally,  guests in the Family Suite can find the only wall power socket for shavers (which is is not available in the main bathroom). The design of the powder room screams old school despite the suite was being renovated a few years ago.

The elegant entryway in the Family Suite at Hilton Singapore
Marble laid powder room next to the entryway

Living Room

The living room in the Family Suite is located to the left from the entryway. Here is where guests can find the minibar, a dining area and a lounge area. Opposite the powder room, etched into wall is where the minibar is located. This is where guests can find a Nespresso machine, coffee capsules and TWG tea on the bar top of the cabinet. The electric kettle can also be found placed neatly on the marble cabinet top. Other than a couple of mugs and glass, the drawers where the other glasswares such as champagne flute and wine glasses remains empty due to the pandemic. This gives rise to additional storage space for residents of the Family Suite in Hilton Singapore. Guests can find an empty mini fridge nicely hidden in one of the cabinets at the minibar area. I like the idea of the empty fridge which allows guests to bring their own beverages without having to consume the overpriced hotel drinks. I used this fridge to chill one of the six bottles of water found throughout the suite.

Diagonally cross from the minibar area, placed by the wall of the powder room rests the dining area in the suite. The glass top round dining table, furnished with four comfortable chairs, is perfect for guests to enjoy takeaways from one of the nearby restaurants or from the room service menu. The dining area is well lighted thanks to the individual hanging light over the dining table. The inclusion of a full length mirror at the dining area not only make this part of the suite look bigger, it also serves for guests to tidy themselves before heading out to explore the sunny island of Singapore. There are however, a lack of trash bins in the entire Family Suite for guests to trash their leftovers or the packaging. The only placed in the living where a trash bin is found is in the powder room (the other two small trash bins are found in the bedroom and the bathroom).

Dining Area in the living room of the Family Suite in Hilton Singapore

Further into the living room, past the dining area is where the lounge area is located. I find the decor of the living room a tad boring due to the golden halfway design facing the couch., This part of the living room feels sparsely furnished, partly due to the size of the suite and partly due to the lack of paintings and TV consoles. The centrepiece of the lounge area in the living room is a three seater couch, which I find a tad hard compared to other sofas. This three seater couch is a sofa bed, which can be turned into a queen size bed for families with kids. Initially I am rather disgruntled about the hotel assigning a Family Suite instead of the Executive Suite due to the hardness of the sofa. As I spend my time in the suite, I came to appreciate this sofa bed. We found additional pillows in the bedroom and also requested duvet and blanket. We turned this sofa bed into a day bed, which is very comfortable for us to laze on in the day while watching the numerous programs (about 55 local and overseas channels) from the 55″ LED mounted on the wall in the living room. A small coffee table is placed in front of the couch, which is light enough for residents of the Family Suite to move without much effort. The absence of a TV console, replacing with a trunk looking stool makes the entire living room look sparse. This stool, which was placed beneath the TV doubles up as a stool for the residents of the Family Suite to entertain more guests. 

The living room from the entryway
The lounge area in the living room of the Hilton Singapore’s Family Suite
TV in the living room

Beside the three seater couch, tucked in the far corner of the living room and in front of the floor to ceiling glass in the suite sits an armchair which a whimsical lamp behind it. Guests in the Family Suite can choose to watch the TV from this armchair or read a book from here or simply laze on this chair and watch life passing by Orchard Road below.

View of Orchard Road from the living room

Bedroom

The bedroom of the Family Suite in Hilton Singapore is roughly the same size as the deluxe room. The decor of the bedroom has a retro vibe with the choice of the furniture, guests can also find hints of contemporary in some of the furnishings. A leather cushioned fixture sits quietly to the right of the entrance to the bedroom, acting both as a place for guests to stow their luggage and as a seat where guests can rest on while putting on their shoes before heading out.  Further into the bedroom, a large King bed occupies the bulk of the real estate in this part of the Family Suite of Hilton Singapore. The King bed is no doubt comfortable with the right firmness, however the pillows that accompanies the bed is a tad too soft for my liking. Those who prefer softer pillows are assured of a good night sleep on the bed, while those who prefer firmer pillows who struggle to find excellent sleep quality. Hilton Singapore uses two different styles of bedside table in the bedroom. The left bedside table is modern and minimalistic, while the larger right bedside table looks retro. There are more storage in the right bedside table, being a larger of the two. Guests would find no problems in getting their lifestyle devices charged at either of the bedside tables. There are USB points and power outlets with international sockets on both side of the bedside tables. I like the way Hilton Singapore designed their reading lamps, being part of the headboard of the King bed, this design frees up space in the bedside table for guests to stow more items.

Peeking into the bedroom from the entryway in the Family Suite of Hilton Singapore
The centrepiece of the bedroom in the Family Suite – The King Bed

There is a large three panel wardrobe to the left of the entrance to the bedroom, tucked onto the wall beside the bed. Clad in dark brown colour, the wardrobe with two door panels allows guests to hang ample clothings during their stay in the hotel. Hilton Singapore provides generous amount of hangers in this part of the wardrobe for guests to hang their clothings. The in-room iron and board is neatly stored in this part of the wardrobe. The right single panelled wardrobe with open four-tier shelving provides more space for guests to stow away small items and additional clothings. However, only three of these shelving can be use as one of the shelve sits the in-room safe.

A retro wooden cabinet is strategically placed opposite the King bed in the bedroom of the Family Suite. This cabinet provides additional storage space for guests to put away small items. The wooden stand along cabinet also doubles as a TV console where the second 55″ LED TV, same as the one in the living room of the Family Suite, can be found. The placement of this TV allows guests to watch the same 55 local and overseas channels as the one in the living room comfortably on the King bed.

Another 55″ LED TV in the Family Suite found sitting on the retro-looking cabinet in the bedroom

A glass top work desk sits solitarily at the end of the bedroom just short of the floor to ceiling glass windows, which is not obtrusive in the bedroom. The way Hilton Singapore furnishes the work desk area makes sense, which is rare in most hotels. The minimalistic work desk is free of clutter that maximises the amount of desk top space for guests of the Family Suite to do their work on. In fact the other other things that are on the work desk is a telephone and a desk top lamp. The work desk in Hilton Singapore is larger then what one would find in some other hotels, coupled with fast and reliable wireless internet enables guests of the Family Suite to do their work. The very well situated power outlets by the wall next to the desk provides power for guests to charge up their laptops. Hilton Singapore pampers guests who wants to get some work done in the suite by furnishing the work desk with Herman Miller ergonomic chair.

An elegant glass top work desk with the ergonomic Herman Miller chair is placed in a corner of the bedroom the suite

Occupying the other corner of the bedroom by the same floor to ceiling glass windows in the bedroom is a retro looking armchair, accompanied by a large floor lamp that shines directly over the chair. This armchair is perfect for guests to read a book on or watch the TV from as it is angled to face the TV.

A retro-looking armchair is placed at the other corner of bedroom with a floor lamp ideal for guests to read a book
View of Orchard Road from the bedroom

Bathroom

The main bathroom in the Family Suite is very spacious and can only be accessed from the bedroom. It is this bathroom that shows the age of the hotel. Despite being very well lighted, the entire bathroom is laid with different shades of brown marble that was popular for luxury hotels from yesteryear. The first thing that caught my eyes as I entered the bathroom is the double vanity sink top with a huge mirror. In the centre of the mirror is large round vanity mirror with built in light. The space on the sink top is not overly huge, but is still decent enough for guests to place their toiletries on. I always like dual vanity sink tops as both guests do not have to fight over who to use the sink first. The weird thing about the bathroom is that there are no power sockets for guests to plug in their shavers or the hairdryer found in the suite.

Overview of the bathroom in the Family Suite
Dual vanity sink top with a light-up mirror in the bathroom

The bathroom is well segregated into bathing area and toilet area. To the left of the sink area is the bathing area, where guests can locate a bathtub and a walk-in shower. The bathtub is rather small and shallow, that seems to be a fixture from yesteryears. I did not enjoy my soak in the bathtub due to the shallowness. The walk-in shower on the other hand is very spacious and is equipped with both a rain shower and a regular shower head. The toilet is located to the right of the sink area that is hidden behind a wooden door and is very spacious compared to other hotels in Singapore. It is the toilet that shows the age of the hotel. Other than a toilet bowl, Hilton Singapore still retains the separate bidet instead of installing an integrated bidet. Hilton Singapore provides its guests with bath amenities from Crabtree & Evelyn, from shampoo to shower gel to body lotion and even the dental kit, that leaves guests feeling refresh and smelling good.

Service

The service rendered in Hilton Singapore is generally good, except for some black sheep in the Hilton team. The staffs at the front office are generally welcoming. I was checked in by Hung, the Assistant Duty Manager, who rendered exceptional service during my entire stay. Hung was very detailed in explaining the amenities and the measures that was in place due to the pandemic. He even gave us a call after we were in the suite to check if everything was okay. Hung would always check with us if we were comfortable in the suite and strike up a conversation whenever we see him in the lobby. I raised my concerns in the cleanliness of the suite when I spotted a lump of hair in the walk-in shower and a strand of long hair that clearly does not belong to us as well as the in-room slippers that seemed to be reused to Hung on the second day before we head for our breakfast. I showed Hung photos of the problematic areas, instead of being defensive, Hung was empathetic and listened to my concerns with patience. He organised the housekeeping team to do a thorough deep clean during housekeeping, and offered to upgrade our reservation for our second night to the suite (we booked the deluxe room for our second night stay). Hung even personally brought a couple of cakes to the suite and apologised for the condition of the suite during our check-in. During one occasion, I requested for a blanket from Hung so we can use the couch in the living room as a day bed, Hung took the initiative to organised the housekeeping team to bring up a duvet as well as the blanket, which made us feel very comfortable when lazing on the couch watching TV.

In terms of amenities during this pandemic period, I was surprised to found out from Hung that Hilton Singapore does not provide care pack (usually comprises disposable masks, a small bottle of hand sanitisers and disinfecting wet wipes) like the other hotels that I have stayed so far during this COVID period.

The team of housekeeping staffs that serviced the floor I was assigned to were very pleasant. They would voluntarily greet us whenever we bump into them along the corridor. The warmth and personable can be felt even though everyone was wearing a mask. One of the housekeeping staff left a deep impression on me. Eswari who cleaned up our suite during our stay was very friendly. I arranged for housekeeping at 1pm on the second day and Eswari was there ready to clean up our suite. Eswari kept our suite clean and even helped to tidy the sink top. When we returned to our suite, not only we were happy with the cleanliness of the suite, we were also pleasantly surprised at the towel art Eswari took the effort to create. We did not bear to destroy Eswari’s creation until the day of our check-out.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a couple of towel art created by the housekeeping staff, certainly made our day

The staffs at the Executive Lounge rendered great service during our visit, it is a pity that I did not get their names. We were warmly welcomed by the staffs and was promptly shown to our seats the moment we entered the lounge. The staffs sprung into action bringing out the canapés as soon as we settled into our seat. They took the time to explain what each item was and also took the time to recommend drinks for us. The observant staffs quickly offered more drinks the moment they saw our glasses are empty. They took note of our comments on how we enjoyed drinks and offered to pack some for us to enjoy in our suite. The staffs packed lemongrass drinks and two cans of coke for us to enjoy in our suite.

It is a shame that the level of service rendered by Hung, Eswari and the team at the Executive Lounge was not replicated by the staffs at Opus Bar and Grill, where breakfast was served. The service at Opus Bar and Grill is dependant on who we met at the restaurant. We had good service on the first day during breakfast where the staff voluntarily brought us bread and fruits while we wait for our breakfast. Our orders were taken promptly and we did not have to wait for too long for our food to be served. However, the breakfast experience was not the same on our second day. We had to wait for 20 mins after being seated before any staff came and took our orders for breakfast. Food was slow to be served and I observed some other tables were served their food before us despite these guests were seated after us. There were no bread and fruits offered until these were being requested, even the condiments we requested did not come. Requesting items from the staff feels like we are bothering them, who seem impatient. We were not impressed with the service at Opus Bar and Grill on the second day of our visit.

Hotel Facilities

Breakfast@Hilton

The suite that we booked comes with complimentary breakfast. The famed Breakfast@Hilton was served at Opus Bar & Grill situated on the ground floor, next to the check-in lobby. Guests can choose only one of the sets in the menu, unlike other hotels where breakfast is served ala carte buffet style. Despite stated in the menu that unlimited rounds of continental selections can be chosen, the staffs seem to be too busy to retake orders. There isn’t any changes to the breakfast menu, I opted for the Nasi Lemak set in the first day and the Signature Hilton Breakfast set on the second day. Although I am no foodie, I do find the breakfast to be a tad mediocre. The rice in the Nasi Lemak set is a tad too damp and the so-called Signature Hilton Breakfast set to be a tad too normal with nothing specular about it. There was some inconsistencies in the breakfast service, on the first day we were served with fruits and bread, while on the second day, there was no fruits and the bread comes on request.

Breakfast is served at Opus Bar & Grill

Executive Lounge

The Executive Lounge in Hilton Singapore is located on 23rd floor in the hotel building. Due to the pandemic, the Executive Lounge is only open during evening cocktail timing and guests who have access to the lounge are to make their booking for lounge access from one of the two evening cocktail slots at the lobby. The Executive Lounge feels very earthy and cosy with the brown themed decor and is a great place to relax during the day. The ambience at the Executive Lounge in Hilton Singapore is perfect for guests to wind down and relax, especially in the evening with the excellent choice of warm lighting and the colour theme in the lounge. It is ashamed that the lounge is only open to guests during two hours of the day. The choices of food offering during evening cocktail is a tad limited. The friendly staffs at the lounge served up a platter of small bites during our visit with a choice of drinks to choose from. I am not too sure if the food can be replenished, but the drinks are indeed free flow, which the friendly staffs are happy to top up for guests. 

The earthy themed Executive Lounge in Hilton Singapore

Swimming Pool

Hilton Singapore as a rooftop swimming pool. The swimming pool at Hilton Hotel Singapore is situated on the 24th floor of the hotel and can only be accessed from the 23rd floor of the hotel via a dimly lighted flight of staircase. The swimming pool is a tad small is seemed aged. Nonetheless, the pool still allows guests to get some decent laps out of it and is very well maintained. Due to the pandemic, the hotel has limited the number of guests that can use the pool at any one time. There are limited number of sundeck chairs, all well-spaced out at the pool. The swimming pool at Hilton Singapore is a perfect spot for guests who wanted to get a good tan, thanks to the rooftop placement at the absence of trees and shades. Guests using the pool are to make booking via scanning a QR code upon check in. Guests are allowed one booking of 60 mins of pool usage per day.

Swimming Pool at Hilton Singapore
Rooftop Swimming Pool at Hilton Singapore

Gym

The gym at Hilton Singapore is located on 23rd floor of the hotel. The gym is one of the largest I have seen, occupying a bulk of the entire floor. The gym is well equipped with machines and equipment that one can find in a standard fee paying gym. From cardio machines like Elliptical machines, treadmills and spinning bikes to strength training machines and equipment as well as a corner for guests to practice yoga, the gym at Hilton Singapore ensures guests get a great workout. As with the swimming pool, guests at Hilton Singapore are to make booking from the QR code that will be presented during check-in and each room can only book a 60-minute slot per day.

Overall

Despite its age, we were very comfortable with the Family Suite. I was a little perturb initially when I found out that we were assigned to a Family Suite instead of the Executive Suite that we booked. However, the couch when made into a sofa bed in the living room proofs to be very comfortable, especially with the duvet and blanket Hung organised to be delivered into our suite. The Family Suite is very spacious and comfortable with functional areas despite its age and some minor flaws (such as no power socket in the main bathroom). The facilities in Hilton Singapore is fantastic, especially the large gym. Service is generally good with the staffs we met during our stay, however the service that I received at Opus Bar and Grill is inconsistent and is dependant on who we met. Overall I enjoyed my stay in the Family Suite at Hilton Singapore despite some minor hiccups.

[Accommodation Review] – Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa (Junior Suite), Singapore (24 – 27 Dec 20)

Location

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is located on Sentosa Island, a tourist attraction on the south of mainland Singapore. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is situated slightly to the southwestern part of Sentosa Island and is a tad far from the main attractions on Sentosa, which are mainly located in the central and eastern part of the island. Other than a golf course, there are no shopping or food options near the resort. Guests staying at the resort can only dine in the resort or take the island’s complimentary public transport and head to Resorts World Sentosa for more dining options. This isolation is great for guests who want to stay in a resort away from the bustlings of Singapore. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa provides regular shuttle service to mainland Singapore. 

The Suite

I stayed in the Junior Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa over the Christmas long weekend for this staycation. Occupying a total floor area of 55m², the Junior Suite has a strong French decor. Entering the main door of the Junior Suite, guests are greeted by a small entryway that also doubles up as a place to change to their shoes before heading out. There is a double-panelled wooden door that gives guests extra privacy from the main entrance. A whimsical 3D art piece, featuring a man climbing the wall, decorates the otherwise plain entryway. 

The entrylway that greets guests as we enter the Junior Suite
A whimsical 3D art piece in the entryway

The Living Room

Passing the double-panelled wooden doors, guests will find themselves in the living room of the Junior Suite. The living room occupies a bulk of the real estate in the suite. Emitting a strong French theme, the living room is decorated with furniture that is both functional and chic. I especially like the soft fluffy carpet that lies in the middle of the room. Despite the minimal furniture, I find the living room a tad cluttered.

Living room in the Junior Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

A black slim-legged work desk coupled with a hard leather chair sits immediately to the left of the entrance to the living room from the hallway facing the TV. The desk does not have a lot of space on it and only allows residents of the Junior suite to do some light work on. There are no power outlets at the work desk which can be inconvenient for guests working on their laptops. The work desk was cluttered with drinking water and fruit basket at the time we checked into the suite. 

A small work desk in the living room of the Junior Suite

Running along the wall from the entrance to the suite, a couple of wardrobes and some spaces to stow luggage on sits tucked onto the wall. The placement of the wardrobe is somewhat unconventional as it is placed in the living room instead of the bedroom. I quite like the design of the wardrobe door, instead of the boring plain wood, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa decorated the wardrobe doors with brass art pieces. The wardrobe provides sufficient space for guests to put away their clothing either hanging or in one of the four drawers inside the wardrobe. This is also where the iron and ironing board is tucked away, out of sight, when not being used. The in-room safe can also be found in the wardrobe.  There is more storage space in the drawers and open shelving below the ledge where luggage can be stowed.

The wardrobe is found in the living room in the Junior Suite

Placed right in front of the work desk is a two-seater couch. I find the couch to be a tad soiled and there is even a cigarette burnt hole left behind by previous guests. Despite that, the couch is comfortable to sit on while guests enjoy a variety of local and international channels from the 47″ LED TV mounted on the floating wall that separates the living room from the bedroom. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa uses an unconventional hard leather top coffee table to add to the chic in the living room. The living room is also furnished with two purple stools, placed by the side of the coffee table, providing additional sitting space for guests of the residents in the Junior Suite. There is a small shelving space underneath the TV for residents of the suite to stow some small items. Sitting by the large windows in the living room of the Junior Suite is a rocking chair, which is very comfortable to sit on while watching TV or to read a book. There is an empty metal shelf placed in one corner of the living room, which would otherwise be decorated with books or ornaments if not for the pandemic. The empty metal shelf provides more space for guests in the suite to store their items.

The Living room is furnished with a two-seater couch and a couple of purple stools

I like the design of the minibar in Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. The mini bar in the Junior Suite is very well designed into a cylindrical stand that does not occupy a lot of space, yet have heaps of storage space for your usual minibar needs. The white and gold mini bar cabinet is nicely tucked in the corner of the living room. Guests can find an electric kettle and even a Nespresso machine in the minibar. Wine glasses and champagne flutes are stored on the right of the cabinet. There is even sufficient space for Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa to fit a fridge in the minibar cabinet. Due to the pandemic, the fridge is empty at the time of our checking-in.

Minibar in the Junior Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

The Bedroom

The bedroom in the Junior Suite at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is separated by a floating wall from the living room and is accessible via the openings on either side of the wall. The floating wall segregates the living room from the bedroom space and gives the bedroom a cosy vibe coupled with the use of purple carpet in this part of the Junior Suite. Unlike the living room, the bedroom is minimally furnished that makes it feel less cluttered, adding to the relaxed feel in this part of the Junior Suite. The lighting used by the hotel throughout the suite gives it a very warm and comfortable feel, which is especially pronounced in the bedroom. The centrepiece of the bedroom is the King bed, which occupies the main bulk of real estate in this area. The sleep quality on the King Bed is excellent, leaving me recharged every morning. Despite not having foam pillows or a pillow menu (perhaps due to the pandemic), I do find the pillows to be comfortable and not too soft. Instead of a traditional bedside table, a couple of ledges with a single draw is mounted on either side of the bed. Here is where guests can find bedside lamps as well as power outlets to charge their lifestyle devices. The mounting of reading lights onto the headboard of the King bed adds to the clean look in the bedroom. There is another metal shelf sitting by the entrance of the bedroom, providing additional storage space for guests of the Junior Suite in Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.

Bedroom in the Junior Suite of Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Mounted on the bedroom side of the floating wall is another 47″ LED TV facing the King bed. The entertainment options on this TV is exactly the same as that in the living room. Like that in the living room, there is a ledge beneath the TV that allows guests to put away some small items.