[Accommodation Review] Conrad Centennial Singapore (Centennial King Suite), Singapore (25 – 27 Mar 22)

Location

Conrad Centennial Singapore is very well located in the heart of Singapore in the Marina Square area. The Marina Square Shopping Mall and Suntec City Shopping Mall offer visitors tons of shopping and dining options within a stone’s throw from the hotel. Nearby the hotel, visitors can find the famed Marina Bay Sands Shopping Mall and Raffles City Shopping Mall within mere minutes of walking from the hotel, adding to the long list of shopping and dining options for guests at Conrad Centennial Singapore. In addition, there are two MRT stations, Promenade and City Hall MRT stations, within a 3 to 5-minute walk from the hotel, making connectivity to the other parts of Singapore convenient for guests at the hotel. Conrad Centennial Singapore was renovated in 2018, giving the outdated rooms and suites a refreshing and relaxing feel.

Conrad Centennial Singapore Façade

The Conrad Centennial Suite

The refreshed 63m2 Conrad Centennial Suite was renovated in 2018, exuding a minimalistic and clean vibe throughout the entire suite. Gone were the outdated and clustered furnishings that made the suite feels smaller. The last time I stayed in the Conrad Centennial Suite was in 2014 (read about it here), where the décor feels outdated even for 2014. I liked this refreshed feel of the suite, which brings out the true size of the Conrad Centennial Suite.

The Living Room

The living room is the first part of the suite that greets us as we enter through the main entrance to the Conrad Centennial Suite, which is undoubtedly the largest part of the suite where first impressions are formed. Gone were the ugly yellow walls with dated furniture, replace them are the more contemporary beige coloured walls and minimalistic lounging furniture. I like the refreshed living room, exuding a comfortable and modern vibe. The hotel did a fantastic job in using space in the suite.

The living room in the Conrad Centennial Suite

The minibar area is flushed into the walls, which in no way hampers entry into the Conrad Centennial Suite. It also makes the entryway look cleaner and neater. The minibar area has your usual suspects as what one would find in any hotel establishment, a fridge, coffee machine and kettle. I like using the drawer-styled mini fridge (which, unfortunately, struggles to chill our drinks). Convenient for us to access our drinks. Above the fridge is another drawer where we would find cups, tea and coffee. Nespresso coffee machines seem to be the gold standard in most hotels these days, and the more posh hotels would equip their suite with higher-end Nespresso machines. Conrad Centennial Singapore is no exception. An entry-level (good enough) Nespresso machine sits on the minibar area, providing me with the caffeine I need in the mornings. I like the empty shelving opposite the mini bar area, which provided ample storage space for the snacks we brought for this staycation.

Now to the main part of the living room. I thought flushing the furniture against the wall was a clever way for the hotel to create space in this part of the suite. Tucked in one corner is a large work desk for me to do some work. The space-saving study light provided additional illumination without taking up too much space. The only power outlets in the living room are located on the study table, which allows me to charge up my laptop while rushing my assignment.

Work area in the living room
The chair is comfortable for me to spend hours in the suite completing my assignment.
Real estate on the work desk

The bulk of the living room is occupied by the extra-long day bed cum sofa that runs along the entire length of the living room. The use of remote-controlled blinds and sheers, when opened up, lets a lot of daylight into the living room with an unobstructed view of the surroundings. The sofa is very comfortable to sit on and certainly very comfortable to laze on while watching the numerous channels on the 55″ LED TV mounted onto the wall. The inclusion of the L-shaped ottoman provides more sitting space, but it is also perfect for one to laze on. We requested extra pillows and blankets from the hotel to make ourselves comfortable lazing on the sofa and watching TV (the aircon is very strong in the living room). I like using a single movable table in place of a coffee table light enough to be shifted along any part of the sofa, allowing us to “customise” how we want to use the sofa space. There is no need for another coffee table, which will spoil the minimalistic Japanese Zen vibe. It will also be a waste of real estate in the living room. I also liked the running lights underneath the entire length of the sofa. It provides illumination but gives the entire living room a clean and comfortable feel.

The main living room
View of the Marina Square area from the living room

Conrad Centennial Singapore can fit a small dining table in the living room with the clever use of space and the thoughtful choice of furnishing. I find the dining table is of the right size, large enough for two to enjoy a decent meal on and yet not taking up too much space. I particularly like the dining table as it doubles up as an additional workstation should both need space to do our work.

A small dining table in the living room

Bedroom

While most of the changes to the Conrad Centennial Suite in Conrad Centennial Singapore are done in the living room, the bedroom received some subtle updates. The first noticeable change in the bedroom is the doors. Replacing the 80s styled wooden doors are the modern sliding doors that would become “invisible”, freeing up space for the hotel to get creative with the space in the suite. The use of the colour tone in the bedroom is coherent with that of the living room, giving the bedroom a very comfortable and cosy feel. The use of mirrors on either side of the bed not only made the bedroom looks larger it also allowed guests of the Conrad Centennial Suite to tidy their attire before heading out. I like the clean headboard by the bed, making the bedroom look simple and clean. The king bed looked like two twin beds combined into a king bed, which is still very comfortable and provides great sleep quality. To ensure guests get better sleep, Conrad Centennial Singapore offers a menu of 14 pillow types for the guests to choose from (I opted for the Cuddle “U”, Japanese Tatami and buckwheat pillows). A couple of bedside tables stood guard beside the king bed, equipped with power outlets on top for us to charge our lifestyle devices.

The bedroom in the Conrad Centennial Suite at Conrad Centennial Singapore
A comfortable king bed
Controls and power outlet on the bedside table
Very extensive pillow menu offered by Conrad Centennial Singapore

The biggest update to the bedroom in the Conrad Centennial Suite is the wardrobe space and the TV placement in the bedroom. The TV used to be housed in a cabinet, placed in one corner of the bedroom, making it difficult to watch as it is angled. Although the new placement of the TV sacrifices the view of the city from the bed, I find this sacrifice is a great decision. After all, who will be lying on the bed looking out into metal buildings? In addition, the TV placement directly in front of the bed makes watching TV on the bed more pleasant.

Despite blocking the view of the city, I find the placement of the TV here makes getting entertainment more pleasant.
View of Suntec area from the bedroom

The biggest update to the bedroom in the Conrad Centennial Suite would have to be the wardrobe space. The renovated bedroom sees the inclusion of two huge wardrobes with a dressing table sitting in the middle. Compared to its pre-renovated predecessor, these wardrobes can swallow weeks of clothing. One of the wardrobes comes with drawers and a huge safe tucked in one of the drawers, giving more space to put our stuff. The other wardrobe houses the ironing gears and can use purely for the hanging of clothing. The top of the dressing table can be opened to reveal a mirror with LED lighting and houses the hairdryer. But for those who do not find a dressing table useful, this table can double up as a place to put some items or even for work.

Wardrobes in the bedroom got the biggest upgrade

Bathroom

I thought the bathroom received the least updates of the three main areas in the Conrad Centennial Suite. The sink, the bathtub and the toilet are where it was before the renovation. Despite not having many changes, the bathroom feels luxurious with the use of marble. The bathtub sitting at the far end of the bathroom is huge, and the water pressure ensures this huge tub gets filled up with water in no time. The walk-in shower enclosed in glass with regular and rain showerheads is at the end of the bathtub. The toilet still sits in the same corner with only the walls painted light grey. Perhaps the biggest change in the bathroom is the sink area. It still comes with dual vanity with the same amount of countertop space, but the sinks feel larger and more contemporary, totally in sync with the design throughout the suite. I find it disappointing that Conrad Centennial Singapore ceased to provide Shanghai Tang bath amenities (which is a fragrance I liked very much). The hotel also ceased giving its guests options on the bath amenities they prefer (I guess all in the name of saving the earth and reducing wastage).

The bathroom in the Conrad Centennial Suite

Service

Most of the staff in Conrad Centennial Singapore feels friendly and warm. They are not stingy with their greetings and certainly are not shy in engaging in small talks with their guests. Our first interaction with the great service around Conrad Centennial Singapore is at the check-in. While Fatimah was processing our check-in, she still managed to engage in small talk with us. Upon learning that we were returning to the hotel after eight years, Fatimahcan immediately recalled the suites before its renovation and how she agreed the suite required a make-oven. This talking does not seem to slow her efficiency in processing our check-in. She still manages to process the check-in without having us wait too long. Fatimah was very detailed in providing us with information on the lounge timings and the breakfast timings. She helped us book the time slots for afternoon tea and evening cocktail hours. I was pleasantly surprised that Fatimah could recognise me and greeted me by my last name the next day when I walked past the reception despite interacting with so many guests in between. Her greetings feel like a friendly greeting another when bumping on the streets.

We had a great time knowing Dila, who was at the swimming pool. Dila is a staff at the swimming pool and came across as bubbly and cheerful. We knew we would enjoy our time at the pool when we bumped into Dila. She was not shy in striking a conversation and felt genuine when she asked how our day was. I was surprised that Dila remembered our name and room number the second day at the pool. The moment we were at the pool, Dila warming welcomed us to enjoy the pool. I even overheard her telling her colleagues our room number and that she had verified our booking slot. Other than Dila, the staff at the swimming pool were great. They helped us look for a perfect spot for suntan and even brought us a nice cold drink. In addition, the pool staff were attentive and were seen patrolling the pool to top up water for guests.

We were well taken care of by Charmaine, the staff at the Executive lounge. Charmaine found us a great seat with an excellent view on the first day we were at the lounge for afternoon tea. After settling in, Charmaine checked with us about our food allergies and ensured this message was passed to her colleagues. after getting our orders for drinks, Charmaine brought the food to us and took the time to introduce food to us. She even popped by to check if we needed more food and how we found the food.

Most of the staff we met at the Conrad Centennial Singapore were pleasant and welcoming, less one of the reception staff. Approached the reception to check for late check-out, the said staff only granted us an extension of 30 mins as a form of “late check-out”, stating the suite was already assigned for the next guest. When I asked to speak to the duty manager, the staff, instead of getting her manager approached her colleague standing next to her. after 5 mins, we were told the hotel could extend the late check-out till 3 pm, “but just for this time”, she told us. The staff came across as condescending, and I wondered if I had not asked the duty manager, she would not have taken the initiative to find a solution for my late check-out. What appeared to be easily resolved by her colleague was not done by her. We left the reception feeling being patronised.

I managed to speak to the duty manager about the staff. Manolo came across as empathetic and listened to my feedback without being defensive. While he attempted to explain the action of his staff, he did not come across as finding excuses and was apologetic the whole time we conversed. the way that Manolo handled my complaint showed how he deserved to be a manager. He was professional and keen to find out from the staff what the shortfall was and help her improve her people-to-people skill. Despite the small incident, we found the staff at Conrad Centennial Singapore were generally welcoming.

Hotel Facilities

Executive Lounge

Our stay in the Centennial Suite entitles us access to the Executive Lounge. The hotel adjusted the lounge operation timing due to COVID-19. The lounge provides afternoon tea from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm and evening cocktails from 6 pm to 8 pm, where bite-size snacks are served. After which, the lounge would only serve drinks up to 10 pm daily. The Executive lounge is perched on level 31 of Conrad Centennial Singapore. The ambience at the lounge is relaxing and provides a great view of the hotel’s surroundings. The food served during the afternoon tea and evening cocktails was delicious. The Executive lounge in Conrad Centennial Singapore offers a great variety of drinks. It is a good place to chill.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool at Conrad Centennial Singapore is located on level 4 of the hotel. The swimming pool is fairly small but still allows guests to do some decent laps. The pool is furnished with ten pairs of deck chairs and four cabanas. There is access for younger guests at the side of the pool; however, as the pool was built for laps, there are no shallower areas suitable for younger guests to play by themselves. Due to the COVID-19 rules, the number of visitors to the pool is very tightly controlled, making getting a spot in the pool very easy. Guests are entitled to one booking of 2 hours per day at the pool. In addition, the absence of high rise buildings and vegetation around the pool makes the swimming pool a great spot for getting some vitamin D.

Gym

A small gym is housed at level 4 of Conrad Centennial Singapore, next to the swimming pool. Similar to the swimming pool, the usage of the gym is limited to one slot of two hours per day per room. Despite the gym’s size, it is well equipped with machines that one would find in any fee-paying gym. Other than the cardio machines like treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes, there is an area in the gym dedicated to weight training with both free weights and machines. Guests would be able to get a good workout at the gym.

Breakfast at Oscar’s

Guests staying in executive rooms and suites are entitled to breakfast. However, due to the pandemic, instead of serving up breakfast at the Executive Lounge, suites guests would get their breakfast at Oscar’s. There is quite a huge food selection for breakfast, ranging from cold cuts to hot local and international food. The food is delicious, and the hotel made some minor changes to the breakfast menu daily. Breakfast is served in assisted buffet style due to the pandemic, which is very close to pre-pandemic times. Therefore, guests are at liberty to eat as much as they want. Breakfast is served between 6.30 am to 11.00 am on weekends. We found the ideal time for breakfast was around 10 am when most of the crowd had already left during our stay. Food was seen being topped up, despite operating at the last hour of breakfast.

Overall

I like the refreshed Centennial Suite in Conrad Centennial Singapore. The suite feels clean and cosy and not too cluttered. The sleep quality on the king bed is good, coupled with the hotel’s extensive pillow menu. Service is top-notch, and some staffs even go all out to remember guests’ names and preferences. In addition, the facilities at Conrad Centennial Singapore make it a great place for staycations.

[Accommodation Review] Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa (Villa Du Jardin), Singapore (24 – 26 Dec 21)

Location

The location of Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa feels somewhat secluded from the hustle and bustle of the popular Sentosa Island. The hotel is located in central-eastern Sentosa, which tourists would not visit due to the absence of attractions around the hotel. However, those staying in Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa would find peace and tranquillity on the hotel premises, partly due to the beautiful gardens within the hotel. There are no convenient stores or restaurants nearby the hotel, and the nearest “civilisation” is located around 20 mins walk from the hotel, at Resorts World Sentosa. However, Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa does provide regular transport to the nearby shopping mall in mainland Singapore for guests to top up their supplies or dine.

Entrance of Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa

Villa Du Jardin

I have stayed at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa on multiple occasions and stayed in almost every room configuration on the hotel premises. We checked into one of the three massive 300m2 2-bedroom Villa Du Jardin during this staycation. The villa has two parking lots right at the doorstep and a private pool. Although the villa from the entrance did not look luxurious, a simple single-storey building mainly in white, our impression changed when we opened the main door into the villa.

Entrance to our assigned Villa Du Jardin
Parking spot in front of Villa Du Jardin

Living Room

We were immediately wowed by the amount of space the Villa Du Jardin offers as we entered the villa. The living room open concept design looks very spacious, coupled with the high ceiling and the glass doors that gave us access to the private pool area that created an indoor-outdoor living concept, impressed us with a vast amount of space in the villa. The use of wood and dark red colour scheme in the living room with subtle hints of French-inspired decors makes this part of the villa feel cosy and classy at the same time. Our eyes were caught by the elaborate crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, giving the villa a luxurious feel. A couple of red fabric couches occupies the main bulk of real estate in the living room on top of a huge carpet. One of the couches faces one of the three 47″ LED TV in the villa, and the other faces the main entrance to the villa. The living room is where we gathered most of the time, getting entertained by the numerous local and international channels the TV offers. I like the large knee height marble top coffee table in the centre of the couches, which is functional and practical. This coffee table did not obstruct the view of the TV and gave us ample space to place our snacks on while watching movies on the TV. We can see the hotel’s efforts in creating a Christmas atmosphere in the villa with the Christmas decorations, from the real Christmas tree by the main entrance to the balloons to the Christmas Wreath at the front door.

The open living room in Villa Du Jardin at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa

The TV sits on an open wooden cabinet at perfect eye level when watching from the couches. On the back of the TV, we found a generous amount of 36 bottled water that the housekeeping staff at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa placed to keep us hydrated during our stay. The hotel did not skimp on topping up these bottles of water during housekeeping. A large work desk is perfectly placed in front of the powder room on the right side of the living room, which gave us space to do some work. As this is the festive period, we used this work desk to place some of our stuff instead of working. Sitting on one side of the work desk is an egg-shaped beer dispenser. The first capsule of the beer is provided complimentary to guests in the villa. Perhaps the most peculiar thing about the villa is that none of the villa’s telephones works. We called the reception and were told the staff would deliver a hotel iPhone to call them to communicate with the hotel.

The TV in the living room

Pantry & Dining Area

We have a small pantry in the villa, mainly houses a sink and a small fridge for us to chill our drinks. We find it peculiar that given the size and the number of people the villa can accommodate, it is only equipped with a standard mini-fridge found in their standard suite rooms. Even their Imperial Suite, which accommodates two, is furnished with a full-sized fridge. In addition, the villa is equipped with a top-of-the-range Nespresso Machine to make lattes and cappuccinos. However, we thought the lack of storage space for the cups and glasses in the pantry made it look messy, and it is a shame that the pantry does not offer us any utility for us to place the snacks we brought.

The pantry looks messy with the glasses and cups.

Behind the TV console is a dining table where we had our meals. I like the non-obstructive placement of this small round dining table in the villa. We also thought dining in this corner gives us a cosy feel, thanks to its placement and the small hanging lighting. However, it is a tad weird that Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa only furnished the dining table with three chairs when there is space for a fourth chair and that the villa can accommodate up to six guests.

The dining area in Villa Du Jardin is furnished with only three chairs.

Powder Room

There is a Powder Room next to the main entrance to the villa. The half bathroom houses a toilet and a sink. We like the convenience of this bathroom in the living room, as we do not have to walk to the bathrooms in the bedrooms during a movie from the TV.

The powder room in the living room

Master Bedroom

Both bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the villa, far from each other. The master bedroom is at the end of the left corridor from the living room. I like the not-over-the-top French theme that extends into the master bedroom. The motifs on either side of the headboard bring some French chich into the cosy bedroom. However, I do find the master bedroom to be poorly maintained. From the missing aircon cover to what seems to be missing furnishings to the non-functioning power curtain buttons, the master bedroom seems to require some serious upkeeping. The bulk of the master bedroom is occupied by a large King bed which provides excellent sleep quality, but the standard pillows provided by Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa are too soft for my liking. Fortunately, the hotel provides a pillow menu that offers us firmer pillows. I find it weird that the master bedroom is furnished with only one bedside table near the entrance to the master bathroom. It seems that the purpose of the bedside table is for the hotel to install the phone that does not work. There seems to be sufficient space for another bedside table in the master bedroom next to the floor to ceiling glass panels. The only power outlet at the king bed is at the side without a bedside table, which we were unable to use these outlets to charge our lifestyle devices due to an absence of a bedside table. In place of a bedside table, we found a single armchair tucked awkwardly in this corner of the bedroom.

The master bedroom in Villa Du Jardin

A dressing table next to the bathroom entrance is great for guests to wear make-up or stow their belongings. However, the lack of a dressing chair makes me feel the dressing table does not serve the purpose it is meant to serve. In the master bedroom, mounted on the wall opposite the king bed, is another 42″ LED TV with the same entertainment options as the TV in the living room, which we could enjoy while lying on the comfortable king bed. I like adding a table under the TV that provides additional storage space.

Master Bathroom

Through a couple of wooden doors in the master bedroom, we found ourselves landing in the master bathroom. The contemporary master bathroom feels larger compared to the master bedroom, which I think is attributed to the open space concept employed in the bathroom. The first thing that caught my eyes as I entered the master bathroom was the dual sinks on either side of the bathroom. I like how Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa placed the sinks as it means we can both use the sinks without fighting over them, and the separate sinks also meant we do not have to fight over real estate space while using the sinks. However, I find the countertop space a tad too tight, leaving us not much space to place our toiletries. I particularly like the fountain the tap design, very befitting of the resort theme of the hotel. At the sink area, we find a couple of wardrobes by each side of the sink area that doubles up as a walk-in closet. The placement of wardrobes makes sense as we can have access to clothing after showering. Having two wardrobes here also means we can have a wardrobe each. There is also space to place our baggage on the ledge between the wardrobe and the sink.

Master bathroom in Villa Du Jardin

The walk-in shower and toilet cubicles are located further into the master bathroom after the sink areas. The walk-in shower has both rain and regular showerheads, with sufficient space for us to place the bath amenities and even two glasses with our toothbrushes. However, perhaps due to ageing or poorly maintained shower heads, I found water leaking from the regular shower head despite switching to the rain shower head. There is a bidet in the toilet, but we could not find any controls for the bidet. It seems like the hotel did not maintain the bidet function in the toilet.

Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa provided luxurious Balmain bath amenities for villa guests.

Sitting at the far end of the bathroom is a large jacuzzi tub. The standalone bathtub provided us with a good soak, and the water jet massage function in the tub is strong. I had a good soak in the jacuzzi tub. Covered by one of the wooden blinds is a door that leads to the outdoor walk-in shower. Unfortunately, the power blind control buttons do not work in the master bathroom, so we discovered this outdoor shower area until the second day.

I like soaking in the jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom
The light in the bathtub makes me feel as though I am in some spa.

Second Bedroom

Turning right from the living room, past the work desk, we found ourselves strolling into the second bedroom at the other end of the corridor. The layout in the second bedroom differs from the master bedroom very slightly. The second bedroom is originally furnished with twin beds, and we had requested the hotel to configure it into a king bed with a mattress topper. The bed is still comfortable, thanks to the thick mattress topper the hotel has installed. The second bedroom has a simpler décor coupled with the earthy colour scheme, making it feel cosy. The second bedroom is furnished with two bedside tables provided us with space to put our lifestyle devices. I like the cosy armchair at the corner of the bedroom, with the ottoman, it makes sitting here feel relaxing. The second bedroom also has a small dressing table. Like the master bedroom, there seems to be a missing one at the dressing table. The 42″ LED TV mounted onto the wall opposite the bed provided entertainment while lying on the bed. A glass top table is placed under the TV, giving us more space to stow our stuff.

The second bedroom in Villa Du Jardin

Second Bathroom

The second bedroom has an ensuite bathroom but feels smaller than that in the master bedroom. There are a couple of his and her sinks on either sink of the wall to the bathroom, which means we did not have to fight to use the sink in the mornings. Like the master bathroom, the countertop space at the sink is a tad tight here. The wardrobes in the second bedroom are also found in the bathroom, which gave us the convenience of accessing our clothing after a shower. There are also two wardrobes in the second bathroom, providing us ample space to hang our clothing. Like the master bathroom, there are also ledges to stow our baggage next to the wardrobes.

The second bathroom

The walk-in shower and the toilet cubicles are situated beyond the sinks. The walk-in shower is equipped with both rain and regular showerheads. The toilet is a regular toilet and does not come with a bidet. In the centre of the two cubicles sits the bathtub, which is not equipped with a jacuzzi function. However, we had problems turning on the tap in the bathtub initially. The maintenance staff told us that the tap would leak, and the hotel was procuring a tap to fix the issue. We were advised to wrap the tap with a towel to prevent more water from flowing into the bathroom when filling the tub with water.

The second bathroom is furnished with a regular bathtub.

Private Pool

One of the Villa Du Jardin highlights is the private pool in the villa in the outdoor area, with the deepest part in the centre of the pool measuring 1.7m. Looking out into the private pool area from the villa’s living room makes us feel like we are holidaying in a forest oasis, thanks to the thick vegetation that provided us with privacy. My 5-year old nephew was thrilled when he saw the pool and wanted to jump in immediately when we entered the villa. He loves the pool so much that he would swim a few times in the day and hang out by the poolside even if he is not swimming in it. The pool is sizeable enough for us to do a few decent laps and, at the same time, large enough for all of us to have a great time in the pool. The poolside is furnished with two sun deck chairs to suntan by the pool, a sofa and day beds to chill by the pool. We also spent time at night around the small table and five chairs by the poolside, which kind of reminded us of our trip to Bali when we stayed in a private pool villa. We spent most of our time in the pool, and we did not need to visit the main pool or the pool at Sofitel Spa.

Our very own private swimming pool in the Villa Du Jardin
Sofa bed by the pool

Service

The service at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa is nothing short of impeccable. We felt that the hotel went all out to ensure we were comfortable during our stay. Our experience started with the warm welcome by the staff at reception during check-in. Check-in took longer than usual due to the numerous questions we posed, which the staff patiently answered. Samantha, the duty manager we interacted with during our previous stays, recognised us and welcomed us back to the hotel. The One-Touch team promptly answered all our calls, seeing to our numerous requests from plates to room amenities. We called One-Touch several times as we found some defects in the villa, who promptly sent staff to rectify these issues.

During breakfast, the service we received was good, although most staff seem to be youngsters working during their vacation break. Our orders were delivered promptly, and the attentive restaurant staff immediately cleared empty plates.

The housekeeping staff were amazing. Not only did they tidy the massive villa in a relatively short amount of time, but all amenities were also being topped up without us asking. During turndown service timing, upon knowing we did not need to turn down, a housekeeping staff took the initiative to ask if there was anything that we needed to top up. The cleanliness of the pool and the outdoor area was being kept by another housekeeping staff, who diligently cleared the fallen leaves in the pool and the poolside and ensured we had a clean environment to enjoy our stay.

During check-out, I highlighted some of the defects in the villa that I observed to the staff processing our check-out. Instead of being defensive and cooking up a slew of excuses, the staff listened attentively, and she was seen taking down notes to have their maintenance staff look into the defects brought up.

Welcome fruits waiting for us in the villa

Hotel Facilities

Swimming Pool

Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa has a huge free form swimming pool next to the hotel’s lobby. We did not need to use this pool as we used the private pool in the villa throughout our stay. The main pool is one of the deepest pools I have seen so far in the hotels I stayed in Singapore, with the deepest end of the pool measuring 2.5m deep. We were made to feel safe in our previous stays due to the well-demarcated lanes and the ever-vigilant lifeguard on duty keeping watch of all guests using the pool. The shallower end, where the lifeguard is stationed, is marked off for children to use. Due to the pandemic, the hotel has a strict pool usage policy. Guests wanting to use the main pool would have to make prior bookings, and each room is entitled to a 2-hour use each day.

Gym

There is a small gym next to the main pool in Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, which felt a little make-shift. The gym in the hotel used to be bigger but in a more isolated location, next to Sofitel Spa. The old location of the gym has made way for the construction of the Raffles Resort Hotel. I like the current location, accessible to guests wanting to workout in the gym. The gym is fully equipped with machines to do a full-body workout despite the small size. Like the main pool, guests would have to make bookings before heading to the gym.

The gym is obscured amongst the vegetation.

Breakfast

We had breakfast in two different locations on both days during our stay. Due to the high occupancy rate over the Christmas period, breakfast was served at the nearby ballroom where weddings are usually held. I like the buffet breakfast setup at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, which the hotel tries to restore some sense of normalcy of the pre-pandemic days. Despite being a buffet, we were not allowed to handle the food directly; staff will prepare the food behind plastic screens according to our requests. I wish more hotels followed what Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa is doing, instead of going the cost-cutting measure of limiting to one breakfast set per pax. Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa serves up local and international delights during breakfast. Breakfast on the second day is served at the resident restaurant- Kwee Zeen, offering similar options with just very minor changes to the menu. The breakfast served at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa is delicious and certainly kept us full till the evening.

Overall

We had an enjoyable stay at the Villa Du Jardin over this Christmas period. The villa is spacious and feels very self-contained. The bed is comfortable, and I like the jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. We particularly enjoyed our time at the private pool, which meant we could choose to swim whenever we wanted and not have to book and limit ourselves to one 2-hour slot per day. However, we did find the villa to be a little poorly maintained, which did not deter us from enjoying the villa. We also thought the staff at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa was very eager to ensure that we enjoyed our stay at the hotel with the service that we received. We understood from the staff that the Villa Du Jardin are due for renovation soon and look forward to returning to the Villa Du Jardin after the renovation.

[Accomodation Review] W Hotel Sentosa (Marvellous Suite), Singapore (4 – 7 Nov 21)

The Location

W Hotel Singapore sits on the eastern end of Sentosa island, on the prestigious address of Sentosa Cove. This part of the island used to be out of bounds to non-residences when it was initially built. With the removal of this restriction, Sentosa Cove is a perfect place to give Singaporeans, who have been cooped up in the country due to the pandemic, an out-of-country feel. Despite the isolation, the numerous restaurants, a supermarket and a 24-hour convenience store mean staycationers do not have to leave Sentosa Cove to get their essentials. In addition, W Hotel Singapore provides a regular shuttle service between the Hotel and the nearest shopping mall on mainland Singapore for those of us who want to have more dining and shopping options.

W Hotel Singapore Facade

The Marvellous Suite

This is my third time staying at W Hotel Singapore and my second time staying in the Marvellous Suite. I like the Glowing Jungle themed design throughout the Hotel, giving the Hotel a quirky personality. W Hotel Singapore does not appear to be your standard run of the mill luxury hotel. The purple floral theme plus the use of dark coloured LED light funks up the Hotel. The design language is also present in the spacious 80m2 one-bedroom Marvellous Suite that I checked into.

The floral theme is very pronounced in the entire Hotel.

First Impressions – Entryway

The earthy theme from the entryway gave a sense of familiarity to the suite, transporting me back to three years ago when I first stayed in the Marvellous Suite. It is here where the floral motifs start to populate the entire suite subtly. The absence of furniture makes the entryway feel bare, but this clean furnishing allows me to peek further into the suite to fuel what the Marvellous Suite has to offer. The minibar area is placed by the entryway, well hidden amongst the cabinetry, easily missed when not exploring the suite. I thought hiding away the minibar would remove the clutter that this area would otherwise present. Instead, opening the cabinetry at the minibar reveals shelves where a Nespresso machine and a kettle, along with the ever overpriced drinks and snacks, sit to entice impulse buying to the suite occupants.

The main entrance to the Marvellous Suite at W Hotel Singapore

Emergency Relive Room – Powder Room

A door right by the main entrance reveals the powder room, which houses a toilet and a sink, great for guests to relive themselves before heading out. This powder room also doubles as an emergency room should the other guest occupy the main bathroom. The inclusion of this powder room also provides convenience for me to top up water for the Nespresso machine and the kettle. In non-pandemic times, where we can host guests, the powder room allows our guests to relieve themselves without needing to bash through the bedroom to gain access to the toilet in the bathroom.

The powder room has a floral design and feels classy.

Hang Out – Living Room

Compared to the Marvellous Suite that I stayed in three years ago, this Marvellous Suite that I was assigned has a “same same but different” feel. The general layout and the furnishings are the same compared to the other suite from my previous stay. Even the purple floral-themed decor that dominated both suites are present. The view is different. Previously I was treated to a Marina view, which feels liberating. This suite gave me the view of a wall, which felt a little claustrophobic. There is also an addition of a black foam armchair in the living room. Although I am not a fan of an empty living room, other than serving the practical purpose of providing additional sitting space, this armchair somehow makes the living room feel lively.

Consistent with the design theme at W Hotel, the living room is dotted with floral motives that do not feel too cheesy.

I spent most of my time lazing on the white curved shaped leather couch in the living room in the Marvellous Suite, binge-watching programs from local and international channels on the 40″LED TV mounted on the wall. The low height of the coffee table makes lying on the couch watching TV easier. W Hotel Singapore fitted Bose sound system as part of the entertainment suite, giving me a near cinema feel while watching movies in the living room. Unfortunately, the light controls in the living room of the Marvellous Suite cannot be dimmed (there is only on and off) despite having a “dim lighting” control. It would be perfect if the lighting controls allowed me to turn on the purple LED above the TV.

The comfortable white leathered couch in the living room of the Marvellous Suite

I also spent a reasonable amount of time at the work desk catching up on my studies. I like the spaciousness of the work desk, which allow me to spread out my stuff while studying. The wifi in the Marvellous Suite is excellent, which will enable me to attend online classes without any problems. I particularly like the study lamp as it can charge my phone and air pods wirelessly at its base. However, the chair at the study table feels a tad uncomfortable.

The Elongated study desk in the Marvellous Suite at W Hotel Singapore makes working on it a breeze

The Snooze Affair – The Bedroom

The design language throughout the Marvellous Suite is very coherent. The floral theme gives a soft and comfortable feel to the bedroom. The sleep quality on the king bed is superb, giving me excellent sleep quality night after night. W Hotel Singapore has an extensive pillow menu. The few hotels in Singapore offer buckwheat pillows in this pillow menu (sleeping on soft pillows gives me neck issues and headaches). I like how W Hotel Singapore placed the TV console, housing yet another 40″ LED TV with the same entertainment options as the TV in the living room, off-centre, giving me unobstructed views of the Marina whilst lying on the conformable bed. The Egg-shaped hanging chair is someone you don’t see in many hotels. I find the storage space on the side tables is limited; after placing my charging station, there is hardly any space to put anything else.

I had an excellent sleep on the king bed in the bedroom.
View of the bedroom

Instead of your usual closet, W Hotel Singapore installed a walk-in closet in the bedroom. Although not occupying a lot of the real estate in the suite, the space in the walk-in closet feels sufficient, elevating the prestigiousness of the suite. The three-tier drawer (essentially, only two drawers can be used) houses an in-room safe and provides additional storage for nick-nacks. W Hotel is one of the very few hotels in Singapore that is generous with allocating hangars in the closet. W Hoel is the first Hotel in Singapore that I find the hangars situation to be sufficient (I wish more hotels in Singapore be like W Hotel that doesn’t skimp on hangars).

The small walk-in closet in the bedroom

Soaking Up with a View – Bathroom

One of the selling points in the Marvellous Suite at W hotel Singapore is its white marble bathroom. The bathroom feels very spacious due to the empty spaces and partly due to the two floor to ceiling window panels in front of the jacuzzi bathtub. I thought this would be a perfect place to enjoy bubbly moments if not for the untinted window panels, which lacks privacy. However, I was still able to enjoy the bathtub (with the blinds down) while getting entertained by the 26″ LED mirror TV (aptly named by W Hotel Singapore) that hangs from the ceiling. There is remote control by the bathtub, but weirdly this remote control only turns on the TV. This TV is linked to the TV in the bedroom and mirrors whatever channel on that TV. No wonder W Hotel Singapore calls this a mirror TV.

The bathroom has fantastic views.
Bathroom from the bathtub

Many suites in hotels have dual vanity sinks, and this is no exception in W Hotel Singapore. What is different is there are tons of countertop space in the sandstone coloured vanity area. There are your standard hotel provisions in the toiletries department. But I thought W Hotel Singapore went one step further to cater for their guests truly. Besides the common showering, dental and vanity amenities, W Hotel Singapore is perhaps the only Hotel that provides face wash and lint roller for their guests. The Hotel has recently changed its toiletries to Momo. I thought the bottling of these amenities looked cheap at first glance, but as I was using the toiletries, I realised these bottles could be recycled as travel-sized toiletries when borders reopen—what an ingenious way to care for the earth. I also found that the amenities provided by W Hotel Singapore are of excellent quality. Take the loofa, for example, which is not too rough, unlike those offered by some other hotels in Singapore.

Dual vanity sinks that have loads of countertop space