[Accommodation Review] – Pullman Singapore Hill Street (Studio Suite), Singapore (3 – 5 Nov 23)

As of this writing, Pullman Singapore Hill Street is the newest hotel under the Accor group in Singapore, having opened about one month earlier. The unique, rustic, copper-coloured 19th-century train travel theme can be seen throughout the hotel, from the entrance to the lounge and the rooms. At the main entrance, a train carriage first introduces guests to the theme. The two luggage-filled walls reinforce the theme right off the main entrance. Even Pullman Singapore Hill Street’s mascot plushy is a train.


Pullman Singapore Hill Street is located in the heart of the island Country of Singapore. The hotel’s entrance faces some old commercial buildings that do not seem to have any activities going on inside, even the shopping malls next to the hotel look like it was lifted from the 80s. However, there are some modern shopping malls facing the back of the hotel, accessible via one of the small alleyways, away from the main street where Pullman Singapore Hill Street is located. The nearest shopping malls within five minutes from the hotel are Raffles City Shopping Mall and Funan Centre. There are a few more shopping Malls, such as Suntec City, Marina Square and Marina Bay Sands, within walking distance from Pullman Singapore Hill Street. There are plentiful dining options within all these shopping malls, on top of various shopping options ranging from budget-friendly to high-end luxury goods. Pullman Singapore Hill Street is also a stone’s throw from attractions such as the iconic Singapore River, Merlion Park, Fort Canning Hill and the National Gallery. The hotel is well connected with buses, and the MRT system allows guests to reach anywhere in Singapore. The nearest MRT station, City Hall station, is just three minutes from Pullman Singapore Hill Street.

The Studio Suite

Pullman Singapore Hill Street essentially has only two types of rooms (although the hotel creates more categories based on the view and lounge accessibility), with the Studio Suite as the highest category and the only type of suite the hotel has. The 33m2 Studio Suite is a Junior Suite with a larger sitting area than the Deluxe or Executive rooms. The rustic train travel theme of the hotel is apparent the moment we enter the Studio Suite. The suite’s copper and brown theme is coherent with the main theme employed throughout the hotel. The small entryway in the Studio Suite at Pullman Singapore Hill Street was only fitted with a full-size mirror for guests to check themselves before leaving the room.

Entryway in the Studio Suite


The entrance to the bathroom is next to the main entrance to the suite. Decked in shades of grey, the bathroom decor feels luxurious and spacious. A standalone bathtub sits by the translucent wall behind the door to the bathroom. I thought the bathtub placement in this location was very smart in that it did not obstruct the walking space in the bathroom. The bathtub is of a good size and great for soaking. The bathroom is large enough for the hotel to fit with dual sinks, enabling both guests to use the sink simultaneously without the need to fight over who to use first. The large mirror by the dual sinks enhances the sense of spaciousness in the bathroom. Pullman Singapore Hill Street treats its guests with the luxurious and fragrant-smelling American brand C.O.Bigelow bath amenities and a full set of toiletries, easing the need for guests to bring their own.

The standalone bathtub in the bathroom

The toilet with bidet functions and the walk-in shower is tucked furthest into the bathroom. The toilet is placed behind a small wall, which serves the function of segregating the toilet/shower and the sink area and hiding the toilet away to give the bathroom a more classy look. The walk-in shower, fitted with rain and regular shower heads, is enclosed in glass, effectively creating a wet and dry area. I like the large walk-in shower, which did not result in an elbow battle with the walls and the glass while showering. I thought the small shelving space on either side of the shower panel was a great addition, as it gave us space to place our dental kits and facial wash.

Lounging Area

The lounging area peeks at guests from the moment the Studio Suite guests enter the suite. The lounging area occupies half the space in the suite and is furnished with a three-seater fabric couch with a small side table, which is ideal for placing small items like drinks or snacks while being entertained by the only TV in the suite. The couch is very comfortable to sit or laze on. Instead of a coffee table, Pullman Singapore Hill Street placed a small round dining table between the couch and the large LED TV mounted onto the wall. The round table serves the dual function of a coffee and dining table. Another single-seat armchair is placed by the floor-to-ceiling windows next to the dining table. This armchair creates additional sitting space for guests and doubles up as an alternate work area, where guests can work on the table.

View from our Studio Suite

A work desk is placed between the couch and the king bed. I saw this work desk as the boundary between the lounging and the sleeping area. The black marble top work desk is of a good size, allowing guests to place their work stuff on the desk, yet it does not take up too much space. The thoughtfulness of Pullman Singapore Hill Street was apparent in the design of the work desk, where we found three power outlets with two USB charging ports each (yes, a total of six) fitted onto the desk, making it convenient for guests to keep their laptops and lifestyle devices full of juice. The only flaw with these power outlets is the narrow space afforded, which did not provide sufficient space for my huge Macbook power brick.

The mini bar area is fitted into the wall space next to the work desk. The mini bar area is elegantly designed with a two-tier open shelving. I like how Pullman Singapore Hill Street places sufficient equipment on the open shelving without making it too cluttered to be useful. A top-of-the-range Nespresso machine and a redundant kettle are placed on the open shelving of the minibar area. The hotel does not provide bottled drinking water. Instead, a slim distilled water machine was placed in the mini bar area, capable of providing hot and cold water in an instant. The machine was so useful that I did not even bother using the kettle to boil water for the Dilma tea the hotel provided. Cups and glasses are neatly placed in the drawer in the mini bar area. The mini fridge is nicely hidden in the cabinet in the mini bar area. The hotel provides its guests with non-replenishable complimentary drinks of juices and sparkling water in the mini-fridge.

Sleeping Area

The centrepiece of the sleeping area is the large king bed sitting in the centre of this area. The king bed, facing the large TV in the lounging area, was comfortable to sleep on. However, I did not get good sleep quality owing to the soft pillows that Pullman Singapore Hill Street provides, which are a tad too soft for my liking. These soft pillows gave me a stiff neck after a night’s sleep. It does not help that Pullman Singapore Hill Street does not have a pillow menu to cater for the pillow firmness preferences of its guests. The idea of mounting the bedside lamps onto the headboard was excellent as it afforded more space for guests to use on the bedside table. Speaking of bedside tables, those in the Studio Suite at Pullman Singapore Hill Street were rather sizeable, and I found no problems placing my mobile phone and Apple watch charger. I like how Pullman Singapore Hill Street fitted two additional USB charging outlets on all its power outlets, which are also found on either side of the king bed. A wireless charging dock is found on the alarm clock on one of the bedside tables.

The sleeping area in the Studio Suite

Perhaps the wardrobe space was the biggest flaw in the Studio Suite at Pullman Singapore Hill Street. I get that, given the space allocated to the suite, which does not allow the hotel to fit doors to the wardrobe, making the open wardrobe concept ideal. However, it is the lack of shelving and drawers that bugged me. This meant that we would have to leave our smaller garments on the ledge of the open wardrobe. It does not help that there are only two drawers at the lower part of the wardrobe, where one was taken up by the in-room safe and the other for shoe amenities like shoe shine, shoe horn and in-room slippers. Having said that, the open wardrobe is large enough to hang up to one week’s clothing for two guests, but the number of hangers the hotel placed limits the amount of clothing we can hang.

The wardrobe in the Studio Suite


My first impression of the level of service rendered by the staff at Pullman Singapore Hill Street was cold and unwelcoming. At the time of my check-in, the staff seemed uninterested in engaging guests or even making eye contact to acknowledge the presence of guests. Staff were loitering around the hotel premises, either engaged with their mobile phone or staring into the blank. Smiles hanging on their faces seem like a rare commodity. When we checked out the rooftop pool, we found the staff at the rooftop bar were not welcoming, and they were seen engaging in small chats amongst themselves instead of acknowledging guests and providing assistance.

My impression of the service changed when I met Syed at the Executive Lounge. Syed’s warm and bubbly personality brightens up my stay at the hotel and offers a glimmer of hope for good service at the hotel. Syed was very welcoming and great to engage in small talk with. He was knowledgeable in his job and the hotel industry, and I learned a fair bit about the hospitality industry while chatting with him. Syed was very welcoming, whenever he spotted us walking into the lounge, he’d approach us and check our drink preferences. Syed is also seen to be observant and diligent in helping us clear the empty plates and glasses when we are at the lounge during evening canape hours. He even brought us hot food options during our stay at the lounge during evening cocktail hours.

I had the opportunity to meet Belina at the restaurants on Level 1. Belina welcomed me with the warmest smile and was patient in recommending food options at the hotel when I had issues deciding what to eat. She took the time to explain the options and oriented me in the different parts of the restaurant. I also spotted Belina engaging other guests during breakfast service to seek feedback and ways to improve the service offerings around the hotel.

Then, there were the porters at the main entrance of the hotel. I had the opportunity to meet Kel, who was always smiling and greeted us whenever I headed outside the hotel for a smoke. Despite the humid weather, Kel and his colleagues always stood by at the main door, reaching for the door to ensure guests gained access to the hotel without lifting their fingers.

Indeed, my impression of the service by the Pullman Singapore Hill Street staff changed during my stay at the hotel (we had a lot of time wandering around the hotel for this staycation). The staff warmed up, and we were greeted with smiles everywhere we went. Staff were seen ready to jump in and provide assistance whenever they saw us looking lost. The staff seemed to take some time to warm up to the guests.

Hotel Facilities

Executive Lounge

The Executive Lounge at Pullman Singapore Hill Street is located on level 3 of the hotel. Despite the lounge being a tad small, it feels very cosy. The Executive Lounge is decorated with the train travel theme and has a more rustic vibe, with the unique seethrough tungsten bulbs chandelier. There are several seats with a section resembling a train’s booth seats. A small section at the rear end of the lounge is where food is served buffet style. There is an outdoor sitting area for guests who want to chill by the pool and a hot food section where the chefs prepare a small selection of hot food during the evening cocktail. The Executive Lounge serves evening cocktails from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Breakfast at Madison’s

Breakfast is served at Madison’s, located on Level 1 of the hotel. The restaurant mainly serves Western cuisine during breakfast, with only one station serving local food. The food is organised into warm food, a pastry and salad bar, cold food, and three stations that offer ala-minute cooked food. The food options were tasty but not impressionable, as the offerings were your standard run-of-the-mill breakfast that many hotels serve. Guests have to self-serve the coffee during breakfast using the commercial Nespresso machine.

Breakfast is served at Madison’s on Level 1

Swimming Pool

There are two swimming pools at Pullman Singapore Hill Street. The main pool is located on level 3, outside the reception area. Three cabanas and eight sundeck chairs dotted around the main pool, providing spots for guests to relax while using the pool. However, due to the layout of the hotel, guests wanting to get a good tan are only limited to 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The main pool is of good length, allowing guests to do some decent laps. There is also a wading pool to cater for those with young children. A jacuzzi can also be found opposite to the wading pool.

The other pool is located on the rooftop level, with great sun throughout the day due to the obstruction in the pool area. This pool is smaller than the main pool but still allows guests to do some decent laps. However, those who want to get some tan will find it challenging here as there are no proper sundeck chairs, and guests would have to make do with the furnishings at the rooftop pool. On top of that, guests would have to patronise the Mexican bar to use the pool. I like this pool better as it affords guests a better view of the Marina Bay area, aside from the unobstructed suntanning opportunities.


There is a small gym at Pullman Singapore Hill Street, located on level 3 of the hotel, next to the main pool. There are two parts to this gym: the indoor and outdoor sections. The indoor section of the gym is rather small and is equipped with very basic and limited workout machines. The workout equipment in the indoor gym section is limited to three treadmills, two cycling machines and one strength workout station, along with some free weights. I find the outdoor section a little interesting. This is the first time I have seen a hotel use the empty spaces outside the gym to expand the gym facilities. The outdoor section has more strength and cardio stations like a roping station and a rowing machine. On top of these, there are a couple of punching bags for guests to practise their MMA moves and a rack filled with medicine balls.

Pullman Singapore Hill Street operates a 24-hour gym


Pullman Singapore Hill Street is the newest hotel in Accor Group’s list of hotels in Singapore at the time of this writing. There are still facilities that are not ready for operation, but 90% of the hotel is ready to welcome guests. I find the train travel theme around the hotel to be unique and refreshing. I thought the Studio Suite was a tad small but comfortable. Thankfully, Pullman Singapore Hill Street did not place unnecessary furniture inside the suite to clutter the space. The sleep quality on the king bed could be better due to my preference for firmer pillows, which were unavailable in the hotel. The service at the hotel was bad at first, but as our stay with the hotel lengthened, we found the staff were friendly and helpful. Kudos to stars like Syed, Belina, and Kel, who made our day whenever we bumped into them.

[Accommodation Review] – Angsana Velavaru (Deluxe InOcean Pool Villa), Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives (26 – 30 Aug 23)

Angsana Velavaru signage by the reception on the main island


Angsana Velavaru is located on Dhaalu Atoll, about a 40-minute seaplane ride southwest of Male International Airport. Like most Maldivian resorts, Angsana Velavaru is very isolated from the rest of the Maldivian resorts, and access to the resort is only by seaplane or about a 3-hour long ferry ride. The InOcean villas are separated from the main island at Angsana Velavaru via a 5-minute scheduled boat ride from the main pier of the InOcean Villa cluster.

Map of Angsana Velavaru

The Villa

We checked into the spacious 232m2 Deluxe InOcean Pool Villa facing the sunset side of the atoll. The villa has two storeys of space that guests can utilise, and most of the livable space is located on the first level of the villa, where we spend most of our time.

Key to our Deluxe InOcean Villa
The villa feels more spacious when the doors to the bedroom and bathroom are opened.

The Living Room

We were greeted by a small living room when we entered the Deluxe InOcean Pool Villa. Despite being the smallest area in the villa, the living room provided a great place to chill and relax without stepping into the bedroom. With the huge wooden doors wide open, we could see into the interior space of the entire villa. I find the furnishing in the living room to be just about right, not too sparse nor cluttered with ornamental furniture. A four-seater couch rests by the floor-to-window panels, with the blinds drawn up, this spot enabled us to see into the sea and marine life beneath. A knee-height coffee table, coated in the same colour as the couch and the rest of the furniture in the living room, is perfect for us to place our drinks on while obtaining entertainment from the numerous international and local shows from the 65″ LED TV. The cabinet the TV is placed on provides us with additional storage space in the living room. On top of the TV channel, Angsana Velavaru Maldives also provided guests with complimentary movies.

The minibar is located next to the main entrance and is stocked with soft drinks, beer and hard liquor, all complimentary to guests. The soft drinks and beer in the minibar are stocked once daily, but the resort would top up the hard liquors, which are unlimited upon request. Placed on top of the minibar cabinet are the usual coffee and tea and an electric kettle for guests who opt for hot beverages. A small dining table paired with two chairs is found by the glass door to the veranda, allowing guests to dine with a view of the Indian Ocean.

The Bedroom

The bedroom is relatively sparsely furnished compared to the other parts of the villa. The centrepiece of the bedroom is the large king bed that faces the Indian Ocean. Unlike other hotels, the bedroom is not furnished with any TV, as though the resort intends for guests to rest well after a day’s water activities or take in the beauty of the ocean. The bed is very comfortable and gives us excellent sleep quality. Despite not having a pillow menu, the resort was able to provide us with firm pillows for a better night’s sleep. Large bedside tables with open designs are on the sides of the king bed, which offers plentiful storage space for guests to stow lifestyle devices. The resort thoughtfully fitted two international power outlets and USB outlets on each side of the bed so guests can charge their lifestyle devices. Besides the large table lamp on the table, the hotel also fitted a couple of reading lights on each side of the bed to provide additional bedside illumination. There is a sofa in front of the bed for guests to sit and look out into the ocean, but we mainly use this couch to stow our bags.

The bedroom in the Deluxe InOcean villa, as viewed from the living room

The Bathroom

The Deluxe InOcean Villa has a large bathroom, almost the same size as the bedroom. The first thing that caught my attention was the standalone large bathtub beside the floor-to-ceiling window, allowing guests to soak and enjoy the ocean scenery. There are blinds next to the window to provide privacy to guests soaking in the tub. The sink countertop seems to be the centrepiece of the bathroom. Instead of having them flushed by the walls, the hotel uses a standalone design for the dual sink countertop. The black marble countertop extends from the wall, with sinks placed diagonally opposite each other and a mirror acting as a partition between the two sinks. This design afforded guests lots of space to place our facial products on the countertop. There are two power outlets on the wall side of the countertop for guests to charge their shavers or use the provided hair dryer.

Angsana Velavaru’s Deluxe InOcean Villa bathroom

The open wardrobe is fitted onto the wall at the end of the sink countertop. I was not too fond of this wardrobe design as it not only limits the number of clothing we can hang but also makes accessing clothing cumbersome. Fortunately, there are some open shelving and drawers on either end of the wardrobe where we can stack our clothing. I like how the hotel fitted a space for guests to stow their luggage at the bottom of the open shelves, unlike most hotels I have stayed at, where I struggled to find a space for my luggage after unpacking. The in-room safe is nicely hidden in the shelving space near the shower.

Flushed to the wall, furthest away from the windows, are where the walk-in shower and toilet can be found, placed inside the frosted glass doors. The walk-in shower is large and has a rain and a regular shower head. The water pressure and temperature were excellent in our assigned villa. There is a frosted glass window (up to the calf level) at the shower stall for guests who want to shower and see the marine life below the villa. The toilet cubicle is also rather sizeable.


Angsana Velavaru’s Deluxe InOcean Villa has a huge outdoor veranda. The centrepiece of the veranda area is the private infinity 1.3m deep swimming pool. Despite not being large enough for guests to do lap swims, the pool is sufficient for those who want to play in the pool or take beautiful sunset pictures. A four-posture day bed sits right in front of the pool, where we relax and enjoy the sunset. I like the addition of a small dining table on the veranda, where we could enjoy the views of the Indian Ocean with our drinks and snacks provided by the hotel. A trampoline-like hammock sits at one corner of the veranda for guests to laze on with sea views beneath. The hotel staff also told us we could use the hammock like a trampoline, which is quite fun.

View of the outdoor area of the Deluxe InOcean villa from the rooftop terrace
Our private swimming pool in the villa

What sets the Deluxe InOcean Villa apart from the InOcean Villas is the pier-like structure that extends further into the sea. Another four-posture large day bed sits at the end of this structure, bringing guests closer to the sea and the sunset it faces. A staircase at the end of the structure gave us direct access to the sea. There are beautiful coral reefs with an abundance of marine wildlife just a short swim from the villa. The current can be pretty strong from here as the villa faces the ocean directly with little shelter. We did not have to swim far to spot fishes as some corals were directly beneath the villa, steaming with small fishes. We even spotted a stingray while snorkelling near our villa.

Rooftop Terrace

Perhaps one of the most underutilised spaces in the villa is the rooftop terrace. Throughout our stay, we were perhaps the only ones using this space. The views of the Indian Ocean from the rooftop terrace were amazing! Access to the roof level of the villa is via a set of staircases behind a wooden door next to the villa’s main entrance. There is another day bed up top, placed under a pavilion-like structure to shield guests from the strong Maldivian sun, for guests to laze on or admire the magnificent views of the turquoise ocean. I like how Angsana Velavaru placed another small coffee table next to the day bed, enabling us to place our drinks or even a book.

Sitting in the centre of the rooftop terrace is another dining table with another two dining chairs. It would be a great place to enjoy dinner, especially during sunset. The resort seems to know that the best place to get a good Maldivian tan is on the rooftop terrace, which is free of obstructions. They placed two sundeck chairs at one corner of the rooftop terrace for guests to get a good tan. We enjoy the views from the rooftop terrace, and this is the only place we can view both sunrise and sunset from the sunset villa we were assigned.


The service at Angsana Velavaru was phenomenon! Every staff we met in the resort, especially those at the InOcean villa cluster, seemingly going all out to ensure we enjoyed our stay. They are very well trained in their job and made us feel very welcome. Every staff we met always greeted us with the warmest Maldivian smile that any guest could ask for. The excellent service began when we stepped off the seaplane and were transferred to the InOcean villa cluster. We did not even have to worry about our luggage as they would magically appear in our villa after we sorted out check-in procedures and were escorted to our villa. I liked how Angsana Velavaru set up a WhatsApp chat group with us to transmit vital information for our stay.

Of all the staff we met at Angsana Velavaru, we interacted with Ayaaz the most, who contributed the most to us enjoying our stay at the resort. Ayaaz was already at the pier of the InOcean villa cluster, ready to welcome us the moment the boat docked. He gave us a detailed orientation of the surroundings and what our package included as he escorted us to our villa. Although the villas at Angsana Velavaru did not come with a personal butler, the level of service and assistance Ayaaz rendered gave us the impression that he was our personal butler. He was always responsive to our enquiries over the WhatsApp chat. We knew we could trust Ayaaz to help resolve issues or check information. Ayaaz was very efficient in getting things sorted for us, such as reservations or even requests for housekeeping. Ayaaz would check in with us every morning and recommend activities that we could do daily. We would meet Totti whenever we were at the Azzurro restaurant. Totti always greeted us with the warmest Maldivian welcome whenever we saw him, regardless of whether we were dining at Azzurro. With only one interaction, Totti knew our preferences and always brought us our favourites. He even remembered where we preferred to sit and always set the table ready for us to dine. Totti would always share his local knowledge about Maldives and was very generous in sharing his knowledge with us. Upon learning that we were sunburned, Totti even shared a local remedy and got us a bowl of yoghurt to help us soothe the sunburn, which is very effective. Seeing Totti every morning at Azzurro certainly brightens our day.

Zahran, who worked at the Kuredhi Pool Bar, would always greet us with a smile and crack some jokes while taking our drinks orders. He would always find the best seats at the pool bar and pop by at the right moment to check if we needed more drinks. Whenever we were at Kuredhi, Zahran would know what we wanted without us even telling him. Then there is the unsung hero, Irey, the housekeeping staff who tirelessly kept our villa clean and tidy daily. He was meticulous in his job, kept every corner of the villa clean, and even took the initiative to tidy and arrange our toiletries on the sink countertop. Irey always knocked on our door every evening to check if we needed to top up anything in the villa. We met Silvia, the dive instructor working at the dive centre, who was very cheerful and always struck up a good conversation about the marine life around the resort. Being a marine biologist, Silvia was generous in recommending the snorkelling spots around our villa and the places at the beach where we can get a high chance of seeing certain marine animals.

Hotel Facilities

Main Pool

Despite having private pools, the resort has a main pool located on the beachfront of the main island. The resort’s main pool is relatively small but sufficient for guests to do some decent laps. But most of the time, I saw parents playing in the pool with their children. There are heaps of sundeck chairs around the pool, which is sparsely utilised, perhaps due to the low season at the time of our visit. Guests can order drinks from the bar, which the resort provides complimentary from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Dive Centre

The resort’s Dive Centre is on the main island, where we sort out most of our sea activities. This is where we could borrow a snorkelling set for our stay at the resort. Before the Dive Centre loans out a snorkelling set, guests must take a swimming test with the snorkelling set to show the instructor our swimming proficiency. The test is relatively simple: wear the snorkelling set and swim about 50m to the shore. The Dive Centre is also where the resort assists guests in enrolling in scuba diving trips, snorkelling trips and even whale shark snorkelling trips. The Dive Centre also teaches guests scuba diving.

The dive centre is next to the main reception on the main island, a stone’s throw from the pier.

Sea Sports Centre

The sea sports centre is also on the main island, where guests can engage in various sea sports such as banana boat rides, jet skis and kayaks. Only kayaks are complimentary; motorised sea sports are chargeable. We tried to get a kayak on our fourth day at the resort. However, the current was so strong that the staff advised against kayaking.

The sea sports centre is where guests can borrow kayaks or rent ski jets

Fitness Centre

There is a small fitness centre, also located on the main island of the resort. The 24-hour fitness centre is relatively small and basic, only equipped with treadmills and some free weights. However, the equipment will suffice for guests wanting cardio and strength workouts. Usage of the fitness centre requires guests to be in sports shoes.

Meal Time

Azzurro Restaurant & Bar

Azzurro Restaurant & Bar is the only eating establishment at the InOcean Villa cluster and is included in the all-inclusive package for guests staying in the InOcean villas. This is our go-to place mainly for breakfast and lunch due to its proximity to our InOcean villa. Breakfast was served in a buffet style that has minor menu changes daily. There are options catering to Western guests as well as Asian guests daily. Eggs are made ala minute, and drinks can be ordered from the restaurant staff. Lunch is a little more upscale in a typical menu-styled setting. The lunch menu is mainly Western, with a few items that are Maldivian. We had dinner on our last night at the resort. There is a small selection with more opulent options not covered under the all-inclusive package. The staff at Azzuro was happy to make some minor changes to the food we ordered. We could also pop by Azzurro anytime from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for some beverages covered under the all-inclusive package. We could choose from an extensive menu of beverages ranging from hard liquours to cocktails to mocktails. Overall, I find the food quality at Azzuro is better than Kanni Restaurant on the main island.

Kaani Restaurant

Kaani Restaurant is located on the main island of the resort and serves mainly buffet options for all three meals. The all-inclusive meal options for beach villa guests on the main island are limited only to Kaani Restaurant. In contrast, InOcean Villa guests can dine at Kaani Restaurant on top of the Azzurro. We mostly had our dinners at Kaani Restaurant, which served up different theme dinner buffets daily. The themed buffets were merely small stations with food cooked ala minute according to the ingredients guests chose. There were also the main cooked food options, mainly Asian cuisines, served at the restaurant. Compared to Azzurro, the food quality at Kaani seems inferior; perhaps the food is mainly cooked in large batches. Nonetheless, the food at Kaani was still tasty, with daily menu changes to its cooked food section.

Kuredhi Pool Bar

Our all-inclusive dining package also included drinks at Kuredhi Pool Bar, where we could get the same drink options as those found at Azzurro. This is our go-to drinks bar after dinner while waiting for the scheduled boat back to the main island. Of all the mocktails (my go-to drinks besides Coke), I liked Angsana Cooler and Velavaru Beauty (the resort’s signature drinks) the most. There is also finger food served at the Kuredhi Pool Bar, but we did not try any food here as we were always full when we visited the bar.


We had an enjoyable time at Angsana Velavaru. The Deluxe InOcean Pool Villa was very well appointed, with a separate living room and a bathroom. I liked the extended pier-like structure in the villa that brought us closer to the end of the reef and is a great place to watch the sunset over the horizon. We also liked the abundance of marine life beneath our villa, which meant we did not have to swim too far into the ocean. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent, restoring our energy and getting us ready for activities the next day. Service was impeccable, and the staff were amiable. They went all the way out to ensure we had an enjoyable stay. Ayaaz was a fantastic host, despite the resort not providing a personal butler, Ayaaz was like our personal butler and was always ready to answer our questions. Angsana Velavaru ticked all the boxes we wanted for our maiden trip to the Maldives. We were even considering returning to the resort the next time we visited Maldives.

[Accommodation Review] – Royal Caribbean – Spectrum of the Seas (Junior Suite #13722), Singapore (18 – 22 May 23)

Spectrum of the Seas anchoring off Phuket Port

The Ship

Spectrum of the Sea has been touted as the largest cruise liner in Southeast Asia, operated by Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean had previously deployed smaller cruise ships to Singapore, like the Navigator of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas. However, the company started to deploy one of its larger cruise liners, Spectrum of the Seas, to Singapore in Apr 2022, replacing its sister ship Quantum of the Seas. Spectrum of the Seas, consisting of 2137 cabins with 16 decks of accommodation, dining and entertainment options, is built for China market and has been deployed to Singapore due to the pandemic. This 5-day, 4-night cruise that we booked sailed from Singapore to Penang and Phuket and back.

The Junior Suite

The Junior Suite onboard Spectrum of the Seas has various configurations and sizes. Cabin #13722 is located at the starboard aft of the ship, with a floor area of 26m2 in the cabin. We picked this cabin due to its quietness and larger balcony space. The moment we opened the door to the cabin, we were greeted by a long corridor that led into the actual living space in the cabin. I thought the long corridor was a wasted space, there is nothing much Royal Caribbean can do to utilise this space.

Sleeping Area

At the end of the corridor, we spotted a dressing table that doubles as a work desk. The space afforded by the table was tight, and Royal Caribbean placing a tray consisting of an electric kettle and mugs on here further eats into the available space here. Despite the limited space, we found sufficient space on the table to place a laptop. We also used this space to charge our mobile devices with its three power outlets and two USB charging points. The minibar comes in the form of a cabinet beside the table housing a Lavazza coffee machine and an empty mini fridge.

Passing the table, we were greeted by a king bed capable of being converted into two single beds. The sleep quality on the bed was very comfortable (partly due to the ship’s motion), and we got excellent sleep quality every night. Two tiny bedside tables were fitted next to the king bed, where we found sufficient space to charge our mobile devices. However, only the right bedside table is fitted with a power outlet. In addition, the smaller open cabinets on the bedside tables created additional space for us to stow away smaller items.

The Junior Suite cabin has two large wardrobes, one next to the king bed and another opposite the bed, next to the bathroom. These spacious wardrobes allow us to stow all our clothing for this four-night cruise with much space left. I like how Royal Caribbean was generous in providing lots of hangars for its passengers to hang their clothes in the wardrobe. The wardrobe next to the bed hides away the in-room safe and has two drawers below for us to put away smaller clothing items, while the wardrobe opposite the bed allows passengers to hang longer clothing, such as an evening dress. This wardrobe has sufficient space for us to stow away our cabin-sized luggage.

Tucked in one corner next to the bed, before the entrance to the balcony, is a two-seater couch (my sister was staying in another Junior Suite, and their couch was larger). As the placement of this couch was a tad weird, we mainly used this couch to place our backpacks. The coach serves as an alternate sitting area for passengers who want to look out into the sea but do not want to step out into the balcony. I thought Royal Caribbean was very clever in the use of the space in the cabin, the furnishings placed in the cabin made it very liveable. A small coffee table and two chairs are placed between the bed and the wardrobe, giving additional seating space. I thought the placement of these chairs and tables was a tad weird. They were placed in the middle of the walkable cabin space, facing the corridor and the bathroom, instead of facing the TV mounted on the wall. Despite its placement, the chairs and table here did not obstruct our movement further into the cabin or the use of the wardrobe. The TV in the cabin provided us with limited but sufficient entertainment options. Unlike the other suite my sister was staying in, the TV in our cabin was mounted on a fixed bracket which did not allow us to swivel to face the TV or the couch.


Despite being the smallest space in the Junior Suite, the ensuite bathroom is small but functional and does not feel cramped. The sink counter is fitted on the left of the entrance to the bathroom. The sink is of a good size. Despite the limited sink countertop space, Royal Carribbean fitted little shelves on the wall of the sink area that allowed us to place our toiletries. I quite like this design which fully utilises the limited space in this area of the sink. A large drawer at the bottom of the sink countertop provides us additional space to stow our gear. The bathroom is fitted with a shower/tub combination. Although the bathtub is rather sizeable, soaking does not feel cramped. Royal Caribbean provided its passengers with the in-house Salt+Breeze range of bath amenities available for its suite passengers, fused with coconut and sandalwood smell. I like the shower amenities; they made us feel refreshed and smell nice.


Our Junior Suite comes with a slightly larger balcony (compared to the Junior Suite next door). The balcony faces the aft of the ship with an unobstructed view of the ship’s wake and gives us maximum privacy. The balcony has two deck chairs, footrests, and a small table to relax and drink coffee from the Lavazza coffee machine while watching the ship sailing. I find the balcony a great hang-out place to get some breeze and watch sail aways or port arrivals.