[Accommodation Review] Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel (Opera Suite), Bangkok, Thailand (13 – 17 May 22)

The Location

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel sits along the main artillery road in Bangkok – Sukhumvit Road, which leads towards the city centre. The hotel is located about 5 mins walk from Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, and there are numerous food and shopping options surrounding the hotel. Despite not being situated in the heart of Bangkok, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit is wedged between two BTS stations – Nana and Asok stations, and both are around 5 mins walk from the hotel, making exploring the city of Bangkok via public transport a breeze. Although the two stations are equidistance from the hotel, I prefer to walk to Asok station (despite being one station further to central Bangkok than Nana station) via the covered walkway with a direct link to the hotel that sheltered us from the hot sun in Bangkok. Besides the BTS, the hotel is also very well located within 6 mins walk to Sukhumvit MRT station, which gives us the additional choice of transport for exploring Bangkok.

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel façade

The Opera Suite

We originally booked the Prestige Suite and were given an upgrade to one of the three Opera Suites upon checking in due to my friend’s Diamond status with Accor. The 104m2 Opera Suite is spacious and decorated with both Thai elements and French themes in different parts of the suite. I like the small balcony attached to the suite, which gave us a spot to look out into the Bangkok skyline around the Asok area.

Living Room

The entirety of the living room unfolds before our eyes from the entryway the moment we enter the suite, where we get our first glimpse of the spaciousness of the suite. The wooden floorings and the dark brown dining table graced the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel with a sense of cosiness. The huge dining table furnished with four chairs sits near the entrance of the Opera Suite, providing ample space for the occupants to feast. Besides this for dining, we mostly used this table to place the things we bought. A marble-laid powder room next to the entrance to the suite provided us with additional toilet facilities, which also prevented the awkwardness of guests of the occupants of the Opera Suite having to bash through the bedroom to use the toilet.

Large dining table with four leather-clad chairs

The lounge area, located after the dining table, occupies most of the space in the living room. I like how Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel only furnishes the Opera Suite with practical furniture instead of over cluttering the space, giving the suite a sense of spaciousness and certainly more space for its occupants to move around. The lounge area is furnished with one five-seater couch, an armchair and an ottoman-like chair. I also find the dark brown wooden coffee table the right size and not unnecessarily large. The LED TV mounted by the wall seems to be a tad too small for the size of the living room. There are numerous channels (over 50 channels) on the TV catering to international guests. I find the TV channels boring as there are limited English channels on the TV (they do not even have Discovery Channel and the only National Geographic channel is in Thai). Most of the channels on the TV in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel are in the Thai language, and a few more are in various European and Asia languages.

The lounge area in the living room of the Opera Suite is very spacious
View of the entire living room of the Opera Suite in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel
The TV in the Opera Suite looks a tad small for the suite

The mini bar is placed inside the Thai-style wooden cabinet under the TV. The mini-fridge, well-stocked with overpriced drinks and snacks (as with most hotels), is hidden in the right-most cabinet. While cups, glasses, and tea are found on the left cabinet. The hotel uses the Illy espresso machine and provides Opera Suite quests with three capsules per day, and I find it weird that the hotel charges THB150 per capsule for extra capsules. However, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is generous with providing drinking water, placing them in strategic spots throughout the suite.

A Thai-influenced cabinet that houses the minibar

A large glass-top work desk sits in one corner of the living room by the floor-to-ceiling window, farthest away from the main entrance to the Opera Suite. The chair with the work desk is comfortable enough for guests to work for hours. I like that Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel furnishes an armchair with a small side table in the other corner, opposite the work desk. This armchair provides guests with a place to read a book or chill while looking out into the Bangkok skyline.

A sizeable work desk sits in the living room of the Opera Suite

Balcony

The Opera Suite is one of the few rooms in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel that comes with a balcony. While the balcony is not a large space, it is a great spot that we used to look out into the Bangkok skyline. The balcony has two large chairs and a table, but we find the chairs to be a little dirty to sit on.

There is a small balcony in the Opera Suite.

Bedroom

The bedroom of the Opera Suite in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is decorated with French elements, from the carpet to the bedside lamps. The bedroom occupies about 1/3 of the space in the Opera Suite, and the large king bed immediately caught my attention as I entered the bedroom. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent, together with the firm mattress and pillows that the hotel provides, taking away the fatigue from exploring Bangkok, leaving me refreshed the next day to explore the city. In addition, the powerful air conditioner in the suite contributes to the comfort, which took away the brutal Bangkok heat. However, I thought the available space on bedside tables was limited; despite being a fairly large table, the bulk of the table is taken up by the large bedside lamps and the telephone, which hardly works. Fortunately, the drawers at the bedside tables provided me with storage space for smaller items. In front of the king bed is a small sofa we can use to watch TV. However, we mainly use this bed foot bench to put our bags on.

The bedroom of the Opera Suite

Another LED TV is mounted on the wall opposite the king bed, which allows us to watch whatever we find entertaining on the channels in bed. This LED TV is the same size as that found in the living room of the Opera Suite, but the TV seems of the right size due to the size of the bedroom and the distance between the TV and the bed. The TV has the same entertainment options as that in the living room. An empty cabinet sits below the TV, providing additional space to put away our shopping from Bangkok.

The TV in the bedroom has the same channels as that in the living room of the Opera Suite.

The Opera Suite has three large wardrobes, ideally positioned outside the bedroom’s bathroom entrance. There are plentiful areas for us to stow away our clothing, and I think there are no problems with these wardrobes swallowing up to two weeks worth of clothes that guests might bring with them. In addition, the drawers in one wardrobe provided additional storage space for small clothing items. Here, we found the in-room safe, securely safekeeping our valuable items.

Bathroom

The Opera Suite bathroom screams luxury, using marbles from the floors to the sink counters. The first thing we saw when we opened the double-panelled doors to the bathroom was the oversized countertop with a double sink. I like the space at the sink countertop; despite the space occupied by bathroom amenities provided by the hotel, there is still space for us to put away the toiletries we brought for this trip. The additional drawer below the sinks allows us to put away our toilet bags. Extra towels are neatly folded inside the cabinets on either side of the drawer.

A glimpse of the bathroom from its entrance

The toilet and the other walk-in shower cubicles are located to the left of the sink. Beyond the glass doors is the porcelain throne in one cubicle and the shower equipped with rain and regular shower heads. The space at the walk-in shower is large enough for us to place our facial wash and glass with our toothpaste without feeling cramped. Sofitel Bangkok provides the luxurious French brand – Balmain shower amenities to guests of the Opera Suite.

The highlight of the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is the bathtub. The round bathtub is buried into the raised marble platform. Despite looking large, the practical space in the bathtub is rather small. Soaking in the bathtub allowed me to watch TV from the smaller TV mounted onto the wall or look out into the Bangkok skyline at the Asok area through the ceiling windows. Unfortunately, the remote for the TV was nowhere to be found in the suite at the time of our check-in. So we had to call the operator to request the TV remote.

The seemingly large bathtub in the bathroom of the Opera Suite
The bathtub may seem large, but there is a lot of wasted space in the design of the tub

Service

The Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel staff makes us feel welcome when we step out of the cab from the airport. The staff at the front door sprung into action like clockwork, opening the cab doors for us and unloading our luggage while another staff ushered us to the reception for our check-in. The queue at the reception was very light and was served by Ted, the duty manager, who processed our check-in efficiently and struck up a conversation with us on our visit to Bangkok. Ted acknowledged my friend’s Diamond status with Accor and accorded us an upgrade to the next category room. He took the effort to meticulously went through the details such as the timing and location for breakfast, the timing for afternoon tea and evening cocktail at Club Millésime lounge, and the location of the fitness facilities. Ted even provided information on the ideal way to the nearest BTS station.

Every staff we met at the hotel made us feel welcomed, displaying the warmth the Thais are so famously known for. When we were at the pool, the only staff operating the pool area brought us some drinks when we were settled into our sundeck chairs. The housekeeping staff brought us the items we requested with the biggest smile. The staff at Voilà! greeted us with the warmest smile every morning we popped by for breakfast. Finally, the Club Millésime lounge staff took care of us when we were at the lounge for afternoon tea. They took the time to introduce the food available and kept a distance, being ready to jump in to assist us so that we could enjoy the quiet afternoon tea.

I approached Diamond, one of the duty managers, to notify her of some issues with the suite and table arrangement issues at Voilà! during breakfast before we head out to explore Bangkok. Diamond listened with empathy, immediately addressed our concerns, and got the issues fixed when we returned to the hotel in the evening. The service at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel was impeccable, and every staff took very well care of us at the hotel.

Hotel Facilities

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel is located on the 9th floor of the hotel. The pentagon-shaped swimming pool is excellent for hotel guests to do decent laps while holidaying in Bangkok. Perhaps due to the hot Bangkok climate, the water temperature in the salted pool felt just nice. I find dipping in the pool refreshing and is very effective in cooling off under the hot Bangkok sun. No trees or tall buildings surround the hotel so one can get a great tan anytime in the day. The swimming pool is very quiet at the time of my stay. Thus the number of sundeck chairs seems abundant. Thanks to the hotel’s mattress lying over the chairs, I find tanning on the sundeck chairs very comfortable. The chairs are so comfortable that I fell asleep while tanning. There are several cabanas around the pool, catering for families or couples who want to laze in the comfortable cabanas.

View of the swimming pool from the balcony of our Opera Suite

SoFit Gym

The resident gym – SoFit Gym, is located on the 9th floor in Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. The gym is rather sizeable and well-equipped with machines that allow guests to perform total body workouts. Strength conditioning machines work every part of the major muscle group in the body, and different cardio machines like treadmills, static bikes, and elliptical machines. In addition, there are areas in the SoFit gym dedicated to free weight and yoga training. A staff manning the gym, ready to provide any workout advice while keeping the gym spick and span.

Club Millésime

Guests staying in the Opera Suite are entitled to access the Club Millésime lounge, occupying the entire 31st floor of the hotel. The lounge has three areas- the dining area, the lounge area and an office area. The dining area occupies about half the lounge area, mainly furnished with two to four guests dining tables. The lounge area is mainly furnished with sofa seats giving this area a very comfortable vibe and feels perfect for guests to spend their time reading a book. There is even a bar counter in the lounge area, which is not manned on our visit. However, staff patrolled the lounge area, ready to assist guests. Between the dining and the lounge area is a small office area. A few workstations and a printer cater to guests who had to work during their stay in the hotel.

Club Millésime lounge at Sofitel Bangkok

Due to the pandemic measures, the Club Millésime lounge is only open during afternoon tea and evening cocking at 2.30 pm and 5 pm, respectively, where finger food and desserts are made available on a variety of alcoholic non-alcoholic drinks. We visited the lounge only during the afternoon tea and were warmly welcomed by the lounge staff when we stepped out of the elevator. The staff introduced us to the food before showing us to the seat of our choice. Besides a handful of choices for the savoury dishes, most of the food is desserts. The food is delicious and is certainly effective in filling up our stomachs.

Breakfast at Voilà!

Buffet-style breakfast is served at Voilà! Restaurant taking up the entire 2nd storey of the hotel. There are options for western, Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines for breakfast. A variety of bread is situated in another part of the restaurant, far from the main food section. Here we found a small chilled cheese room. The food tasted great with a slight variation on different days.

Overall

We had a pleasant four-night stay in the Opera Suite at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. The suite is large and comfortable and has everything found in a home. I particularly like the large dining table, which allows us to consume the take-aways and provides additional space. The sleep quality on the king bed is excellent, and we had no trouble falling asleep every night. The facilities in the hotel are very well maintained, we particularly like the swimming pool on level 9. The service rendered by the staff at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel makes our stay even more pleasant. We were immediately met with welcoming staff at the reception, and whenever we requested items, it did not take the staff too long to send them to our Opera Suite. The hotel’s location is excellent, making it a great base for exploring Bangkok and an ideal place to rest for anyone visiting Bangkok.

[Accommodation Review] Fairmont Singapore (Royal Suite), Singapore (15 – 17 Apr 22)

Location

Fairmont Singapore sits conveniently on top of the Raffles City Shopping Mall in the heart of Singapore. There are plentiful shopping options and food options within the shopping mall, perfect for staycationers. The hotel is also located within proximity of other shopping malls such as Marina Square, Millenia Walk and Suntec City, offering guests of Fairmont Singapore a lot more shopping and food options. The City Hall MRT station under Raffles City Shopping centre, being one of the interchanges, can take guests at Fairmont anywhere in Singapore. In terms of attractions, the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Flyer, and the historic Civic District are all within 15 mins walk from the hotel.

The Royal Suite

The rooms and suites at Fairmont Singapore are housed in two towers. Most of the rooms are located in South Tower, with their Junior Suite being the highest category in the South Tower, and the larger suites are situated in the North Tower. The Royal Suite, one category below the Presidential Suite at Fairmont Singapore, is located at the North Tower, which has better views of the Marina Bay area of the two towers. The Royal Suite we checked into is perched on the hotel’s top floor and has a generous 152m2 of real estate property. The spaciousness immediately wowed me in the Royal Suite offers when I opened the doors to the Suite.

Entryway

The entryway to the Royal Suite reveals an earthy and cosy tone to the suite. I like how the earthy tone in the Royal Suite makes the suite look contemporary while adding a sense of luxury at the same time. A bronze coloured metal table topped with a classy marble lamp provides illumination to this part of the suite and doubles up as art decor. A huge portrait of a black and white photo of Gardens by the Bay was found on the entryway walls, adding life to the otherwise cold wall. Such portraits are found throughout the Royal Suite and feature landmarks nearby Fairmont Singapore. Further down the entryway, before it opens up to the spacious living room in the Royal Suite, a door opens to the powder room that we missed the first time we were in the suite. We only noticed the powder room when we spotted the door handle.

The addition of this simple marble lamp brings a sense of luxury to the Royal Suite in Fairmont, Singapore.
I like the controls in the Royal Suite, which are both contemporary and easy to operate.

Powder Room

The powder room provided us with additional toilet facilities in the suite. Its convenient location in the entryway, behind the couches in the living room, meant we did not have to use the toilet in the bathroom. The use of light grey coloured marble, complete with a black marble sink countertop that seems to float in the air, portrays a sense of luxury in this power room. The powder room is simple yet functional. Other than the sink, we found a toilet and a Hollywood-style mirror with LED light here.

The Living Room

At the end of the entryway to the Royal Suite, what caught our eyes was the massive living room, occupying a bulk of the real estate in the suite. The fan-shaped layout of the living room in the Royal Suite is furnished with not one but two couches capable of sitting up to five adults comfortably on each couch. The grey coloured fabric couches complemented the colour theme in the Royal Suite very well. Furthermore, each of these couches comes with its coffee table (yes, there are two coffee tables in the enormous living room), allowing the occupants to host many guests. And as if these two couches were not sufficient, the huge black velvet ottoman in front of the couches provided more sitting space. In addition, the brown leather single seat armchair is furnished on the side of the couch, while another single-seat dark grey velvet ottoman sits on the other side of the other couch, providing even more sitting space. Finally, I like the inclusion of the two marble top black round side tables by the couches, which offer functional space for guests to place their drinks and add a sense of luxury to the living room area of the Royal Suite.

The living room in the Royal Suite is both functional and luxurious

In front of the couches and facing the entryway, placed by the wall, is a huge black wooden cabinet with gold trimmings. When opened, this huge cabinet reveals a huge LED TV. Although the hotel’s website listed 55″ IP TVs equipped in the Royal Suite, this TV in the living room must have measured at least 72″. The TV is where we got most of our entertainment in the suite and can be swivelled to face the dining area or the work desk in the living room. There are numerous local and international, both free to air and paid cable channels to entertain guests of the Royal Suite 24/7. The addition of four cabinets beneath the TV gave us more options to stow our knick-knacks.

Dining Area

I like how Fairmont distinguishes the dining area from the living area without breaking the flow in the living room space. A black wooden waist height shelving, which looks like storage for wines, segregates the living room from the dining area. With six comfortable light grey fabric chairs, the dark brown dining table allowed us to dine in comfort in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore. The added golden tip legs to the dining chairs continued the elegant theme in the entire suite. I find the size of the dining table to be just right and not overly huge. The dining table is large enough to seat six pax comfortably without having us engaging in elbow wars to fight for space at the table. The classy industrial styled glass and brass chandelier above the dining table serves more like a luxurious touch than illumination (the dining area is already very well illuminated by the ceiling lights).

Dining area in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

Pantry

Most of the 5-star hotels in Singapore only equip a pantry area in their Presidential Suites. We were elated to find a pantry in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore, rather rare. The pantry area is sizeable and gives a homely touch to the Royal Suite. The purpose of this pantry area function as a space for us to get our drinks and heat food rather than being a kitchen. Fairmont Singapore pampers its Royal Suite guests with top of the range TWG tea bags and a Nespresso coffee machine in the pantry. The kitchen island between the dining area and the pantry provided additional space to stow our snacks and drinks. A counter occupies the bulk of the pantry with a deep kitchen sink, which we used to wash our cups and mugs. There is massive storage space in the pantry area, which we underutilised. I thought the foldable wooden doors that conceal the pantry area very well were a clever idea as it blocks out the mess in the pantry when occupants of the Royal Suite hosts guests to dinner in the dining area.

Pantry in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

Apart from the coffee and tea, we also get our water from the in-suite water dispenser in the pantry, which provides hot and cold water and sparkling water. There is no need for an electric kettle in the Royal Suite (which we did not find) as the water dispenser can dispense hot water. As part of Fairmont Singapore’s green efforts, one-time-use plastic bottles are replaced with glass bottles where we can top up water from this dispenser are provided in the suite. There are no cookers installed in the pantry area. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised to find a microwave oven in the pantry area. A full-size fridge sits quietly inside the pantry, providing ample space for us to cool the 1.25l coke we bought from the supermarket. We also found another entrance to the Royal Suite in the pantry. I guess this is where the chef gains access during in-suite catering.

Work Area

A leather-clad large work desk sits at the other end of the living room in the Royal Suite, past the lounge area. Matched with a comfortable leather chair, the work desk overlooks the living room and is a great spot for guests to catch up on some work. The area where the work desk is placed is very well illuminated thanks to the two ceilings that provide lighting directly above the work desk, rendering having a desk lamp redundant. There is a power outlet accessible from the surface of the work desk that provides power for guests to charge their laptops. However, I found little utility for this power outlet, as it is not deep enough for me to plug in my MacBook power brick.

Work desk in the living room of the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

Media Room

I was pleasantly surprised to find a small room in the living room of the Royal Suite dedicated to binge-watching TV. The media room, sparsely furnished with a sofa and a TV, resembles a movie theatre. To add icing to the cake, the sofa in the media room can be converted into a daybed which we have left in a bed mode throughout our stay in the Royal Suite, where we spent hours and hours lazing on getting entertained by the numerous channel on the 55″ LED TV. Fairmont Singapore has created a cosy media room by installing lighting controls that have a relax mode, ideal for binge-watching. I thought the tastefully furnished wall shelving, decked out with artefacts and books, brings a sense of homeliness to this media room. There is even a small coffee table in the media room for guests to place their drinks or popcorn while watching movies from the movie channels. This media room can be isolated from the rest of the Royal Suite by closing the sliding doors.

The media room in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

Bedroom

Perhaps the most awkward part of the Royal Suite would be the bedroom, which does not seem to be an extension of the Royal Suite. The bedroom in the Royal Suite is essentially Fairmont Singapore’s Deluxe Harbour View Room, giving the hotel the flexibility of selling the room as a deluxe room when isolated from the rest of the Royal Suite. The bedroom still carries the design theme in the rest of the Royal Suite. The bedroom has everything that we wanted for a comfortable stay. A bulk of the bedroom is dedicated to the sleeping area, where a standalone king bed sits in the centre of the bedroom. I like the cocoon design of the headboard, which I feel further enhances the sleep quality I had on the already comfortable king bed. The standard pillows felt a tad too soft for my liking, but thankfully, Fairmont Singapore has a pillow menu from which we could choose firmer pillows. The placement of the king bed made full use of the advantage of the stunning view where we were able to lie on the bed and look out into the unobstructed view of the night scene of the Marina reservoir area.

Bedroom in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

The side tables are built into the headboard, giving us space to charge our lifestyle devices with the power outlet installed into the headboard. The real estate of the bedside table is not the best, but sufficient for us to use for charging our mobile phones. One of the bedside tables is furnished with a wireless charger where we can charge our iPhones. I like how the reading lights are fitted onto the headboard, freeing up space on the small side table surface. The controls for curtains, lighting, and privacy switch are conveniently fitted onto the headboard, where we can control aspects of the bedroom without getting out of bed.

Room control on the headboard above the bedside table

We found an L-shaped fabric couch furnished in one corner of the bedroom, giving us an additional option to watch the TV. The couch is fairly large and very comfortable to sit on. In addition, I like the inclusion of the brown wooden table, which can be used as a coffee table or a place where we can have meals while watching TV in the bedroom. Together with the table, the couch provided us with the option to watch TV; they also gave us more space to place our bags. A 55″ TV, with the same entertainment options as those in the living room of the Royal Suite, is fitted in the bedroom, mounted onto the side of the wall in order not to obstruct the view of the Marina Bay area from the king bed. At first, we thought this design was a little strange as this limits the “watchability” of the TV from the King bed. Then, however, we discovered the swivel mounting that allowed us to angle the TV facing the bed.

The 55″ TV in the bedroom is mounted on the side of the wall.

Another work desk in the bedroom extends out of the wall where the TV is mounted. I like the placement of this work desk, as it faces the fantastic view of the Marina Bay area. Working on this desk looking out into the Marina Bay area allowed me to consolidate my thoughts while staring into the view, especially at night. This work desk has a certain elegance, coupled with the brass table lamp that sits quietly at one corner of the desk, serving more as an ornamental piece than providing illumination. The lighting on the ceiling, shining directly onto the work desk, provided sufficient lighting in this area. The power outlets completed with USB charging outlets at this work desk are built onto the walls, providing me with the power to charge my MacBook while working on it.

There is another minibar cabinet in the bedroom. The minibar and filtered water facilities are housed in a piano black with gold trimmings cabinet. The materials used for this cabinet, especially the gold trimmings, made the cabinet look posh. The tan-brown leather covering the cabinet’s interior gave it a luxurious feel. Other than the usual cups and mugs, we found another Nespresso machine and a tap with filtered water on the top shelving of the cabinet. Only the left side of the bottom half of the cabinet can be open, where a functioning mini fridge sits quietly, cooling our drinks. Despite having the convenience of getting our coffee fixed and chilling our drinks without the need to leave the bedroom, we found little to no utility in this minibar area as we got most of our drinks from the pantry in the living room the Royal Suite. Moreover, the filtered water tap in the bedroom did not seem to work.

The wardrobe in the Royal Suite is found behind the king bed, placed along the entryway to the third door into the suite. The dark brown coloured wardrobe was beautifully designed to resemble a showcase with both enclosed and open space. Two slim cabinets are enclosed in glass panelled doors on either side of the wardrobe. The storage space in the slim cabinets are limited, and only one side of the cabinets has an additional drawer to put away smaller clothing item. At first glance, the slim wardrobes might not provide sufficient space for guests with more clothing. Fairmont Singapore catered an open wardrobe space for us to hang more clothing between the two slim cabinets. Beneath the open part of the wardrobe, we found an additional drawer to stow smaller clothing items and a larger drawer that houses the in-room safe. We spotted another cabinetry further down the entryway, closer to the door to the suite. This cabinet, which can be missed easily if not for the handle, houses the ironing equipment.

Bathroom

The bathroom in the Royal Suite adopts a similar colour scheme as the powder room. The greyish-white marble walls and floor and the black marble sink countertop coupled with dark brown coloured wooden fixtures gave the bathroom a refreshing and luxurious look. The bathroom looks bright and clean with these colour combinations. Contrary to the lower tired suites such as the Ambassador Suite and the Governer Suite, the bathroom in the Royal Suite is a tad small for the size of the suite. Unlike the bathroom in both Ambassador and Governor Suites, which are equipped with two sinks, there is only one sink in the bathroom of the Royal Suite. Nonetheless, I felt the bathroom was very laid out, given the space allocated to this area of the suite. I thought the presence of mirrors in the bathroom made it feel larger than its actual size. The sink is immediately visible from the entrance to the bathroom, separating the wet and dry areas of the bathroom. I like how Fairmont Singapore did not fit in two sinks for the sake of doing so, which compromises the space available on the countertop. The single sink design created more countertop space, which is practical. A huge round mirror fitted with LED lighting hangs above the sink. Amenities like toothbrushes, comb, vanity kit, shaver and an additional set of bath amenities are neatly placed at the sink countertop. There is also a power outlet to charge electric shavers.

Bathroom in the Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore

Fairmont Singapore dedicated the wet area to the left of the sink, housing a standalone deep soak bathtub and both the rain shower and regular showerheads. I find it fascinating that despite the semi-open wet area, we do not find any of the water being splashed all over the place outside the wet area when showering. I also thought co-locating the bathtub, and the shower within the same space was a thoughtful design. It provided us with the convenience of stepping out for a shower after soaking in the tub and, at the same time, prevented unnecessary dripping of water in the bathroom. In addition, I like the generous space provided by the metal ledge by the showerheads, which gave us sufficient space to place our toothbrush set next to the bath amenities. The space to the right of the sink, also a semi-open concept, is where the toilet is found. The toilet spaced function without any unnecessary furnishings, generating more sense of space in this area.

Balconies

Of all the luxurious features in the Royal Suite, I like the great number of balconies. The Royal Suite at Fairmont Singapore has not one but a whopping four balconies spanning across the entire length of the suite. All the balconies in the Royal Suite have the same dimension. There is one balcony in the bedroom and dining area of the suite and two in the living room. The vast number of balconies in the Royal Suite enabled us to view the surroundings. The balconies in the living room and dining area in the Royal Suite that we were assigned mainly face the city. This is where we got a great view of the swimming pool, where we used to determine the crowd levels of the pool to decide if we should hit the pool. One of the balconies in the living room has a partial view of the Marina Bay Area. The balcony in the bedroom has the best view of the four balconies, which face the Marina Bay area, where we can see as far as Indonesia.

Night view of the Marina Bay area from the balcony in the bedroom
View from the balcony in the living room
View of the Marina Bay Area and the sea from the balcony in the bedroom

Service

Personal care kit in the Royal Suite provided by Fairmont Singapore

I can hardly find any fault for the service we received at Fairmont Singapore. Fairmont Singapore honours the Accor loyalty programme very well. As Accor’s highest tiered member, we were given early check-in and late check-out. The hotel staff came across as sincere and welcoming, especially those we interacted at the reception. We found a personal care kit in the suite, allowing us to disinfect the surfaces. However, I did find it peculiar that there were no welcome amenities such as fruits like in our previous stays with Fairmont Singapore this time around. Before arriving at Fairmont, I spoke with Amanda to clarify my doubts concerning our staycation. Amanda was personable and patient in answering all my queries. When we arrived at the hotel, Amanda immediately introduced herself to us.

Alfie and Jean warmly welcomed us during our check-in. There were some issues with the floor allocation that we had requested. Both Alfie and Jean, instead of shrugging us off, understood the situation and immediately checked their reservation system to see if they were able to accommodate our request. This gesture demonstrated the hotel’s commitment to customer service. It did not take them too long to find a suite on the hotel’s highest floor, which we preferred. Alfie and Jean were patient with us, listened to our perspective on what was communicated with us the day before and resolved the issue of the floor allocation.

During turndown service timing, we were visited by the housekeeping staff, Myra. It is always pleasant to see Myra in the evenings when she checks if we need to top up any supplies or if we require housekeeping for the suite. Myra was warming and displayed a bubbly personality, despite the hard work she had to put into pushing the heavy housekeeping cart around. When supplies we require are not available in her cart, Myra offered to run to her store to ensure we had what we requested.

The Fairmont Gold Lounge staff were always welcoming and the reason our visits to the Gold Lounge are always enjoyable. I met Alfie at the Gold Lounge, who immediately recognised us earlier during the day from the check-in. Alfie always displayed a welcoming vibe whenever we bumped into him at the lounge. He would always get us the best sittings, ensure our time at the lounge was enjoyable, and often checked with us if we required more food and drinks. Syakirah tirelessly introduced the food that was being served. She checked with us if there were any dietary restrictions on the first day and remembered our restrictions every time we visited the lounge. Gems like Alfie and Syakirah made our stay in the Fairmont Gold Lounge enjoyable. Despite having a limited selection for breakfast, we felt food tasted better at the Fairmont Gold Lounge, thanks to the welcoming and warmth displayed by Alfie and Syakirah.

Unfortunately, the service at Prego left a sour note on our Fairmont experience, and it seemed service at the restaurant did not improve since our first visit one year ago. We were shown to our table during breakfast. The staff assumed we knew the breakfast ordering process and did not even bother giving us instructions for accessing the menu. Fortunately, another staff came around and took our orders minutes later. However, we were given a rude shock when we asked for more chilli sauce. Another staff gave us a saucer filled to the brim with chilli sauce. While we still had our breakfast, yet another male staff sneaked up to our table and replaced the QR code for the lunch menu without acknowledging our presence at the table. Staffs at Prego appear to be cold and unwelcoming.

We met James at the reception later in the evening to enquire about our late check-out timing, and at the same time, I related my experience at Prego to James. James always has the warmest smile, efficiently confirmed the late check-out timing and extended my keycard. When it comes to my experience at Prego, James came across as sincere and listened with much empathy. He was not defensive, nor did he attempt to cook up any excuse for the team at Prego. I was pleasantly surprised that Jame brought up our concerns to the Operations Manager at Prego, who called us the next day. Paolo was apologetic and took responsibility for the experience we had at Prego.

Hotel Facilities

Fairmont Gold Lounge

Guests in the Royal Suite are entitled to lounge access at the exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge, which is only accessible to guests staying in rooms and a suite with lounge access. The Fairmont Gold Lounge is not accessible even to the Accor loyalty programme’s highest tier members. The Fairmont Gold Lounge is located on the 25th floor of the South Tower, which was previously closed when we stayed at Fairmont last year as the hotel designated the South Tower for quarantine purposes. The hotel tightly controlled access to the Lounge, where we were required to use our keycard. This tight access control by the hotel makes the Fairmont Gold Lounge feels very exclusive. The lounge feels homely and cosy. Most of the lounge is dedicated to dining, and we found a small corner next to the entrance to the lounge with a fireplace furnished with a small number of couches, coupled with warm lighting making this section extremely cosy. I can stay here reading the book for a whole day while sipping beverages that the lounge serves up to their guests. The Fairmont Gold Lounge is very quiet and a great place to relax and unwind. The lounge’s dining area gave us a choice of sitting at a proper dining table or a table with couches. Due to its well-appointed location within the hotel, we could catch a view of the Marina Bay Area from the lounge. Guests with lounge access can opt to have their breakfast at the lounge, which is less crowded but with a limited food choice. We could also enjoy bite-sized food during the evening cocktails timing at Fairmont Gold Lounge between 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.

The cosy fireplace in Fairmont Gold Lounge