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Old 26th December 2020, 11:29 AM   #46
yflyer
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I crossed Esplanade Drive...



...and the Anderson Bridge (Circa 1910)...



...towards Victoria Memorial Hall...



I turned right and jogged along Connaught Drive...



...past the Cenotaph, before turning left and cutting across the Padang...



I headed across the huge expanse of green that was the Padang...





...enjoying views of the Singapore Cricket Club, with the CBD skyline as a backdrop...



...as well as the National Gallery, with the Singapore Supreme Court's flying saucer hovering in the background...


Last edited by yflyer; 26th December 2020 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 26th December 2020, 11:40 AM   #47
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The final leg of my run took me past the Raffles Hotel, festooned with Christmas decor, and looking pretty as a cake...



I crossed Beach Road and re-entered the South Beach Complex...



Total distance that day: 5km...



Not the most accurate GPS route map (Note the route distortions around Marina Bay on account of the CBD skyscrapers messing with the GPS signal...), but a very pleasant running route for both locals and visitors to Singapore.
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Old 26th December 2020, 11:53 AM   #48
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Back in our Marina Bay Suite at the JW Marriott, I took a quick shower before joining Mrs yflyer and the rest of our party at the Executive Lounge for evening drinks and hors d'oeuvres...



This was a pretty extensive menu, which might be sufficient for dinner for smaller eaters...





The cocktail and beverage menu was quite impressive as well...





We began with glasses of wonderfully refreshing Prosecco...



The hors d'oeuvres were brought to our table...



...with hot selections delivered separately by a roving chef...



This was quite a feast!

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Old 26th December 2020, 11:53 AM   #49
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We decided to sample their cocktails, beginning with a Pink Rose, made with vodka, pink grapefruit juice, 7-Up, and lychee syrup...



Very refreshing!

Next up, an Earl's Old Fashioned and In Love with Rosemary....



...which both hit the spot.

To finish, we asked to sample two of the Bourbon whiskies on offer: the Buffalo Trace and Evan Williams...



This was quite a spread, and as expected, was sufficient to serve as dinner for almost everyone in our party (Almost everyone...I felt I had room for a little more to eat. More on that later ).
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Old 26th December 2020, 12:01 PM   #50
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We decided to head outside for a walk...

By that hour in the evening, the lobby was quite serene and quiet...none of the throng of guests of earlier in the day (Although I have to say that the staycation check-in queues were quite well managed by the JW Marriott staff, with queues never becoming excessively long throughout the day).



I particularly liked the decor, which comprised suspended candles...these really looked very convincingly like real flickering candles...



Outside, a wonderland of lights...





F&B outlets were fairly well patronised (In a socially distanced way...)



These decorations were a popular spot for photos...





Across the street, the Raffles Hotel was beautifully lit as well...



After snapping even more photos, we headed back up to our Suite...

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Old 26th December 2020, 12:25 PM   #51
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Back in our Suite, the night-time views from the bedroom were quite spectacular...





I was still a little peckish, so I decided to take a look at the room service menu.

There was a single sheet menu, which listed just a few of the in-room dining options available...



The full in-room dining menu was accessible on the internet via a QR code...



...and this turned out to be quite an extensive menu indeed, comprising both Asian and Local selections...

On one of the pages, I noticed several local dishes, including a 32-dollar Char Kway Teow...



Now everyone knows that a hotel char kway teow (CKT) will never be as good as the real thing in a hawker centre or kopitiam, available at a fraction of the price.

Just writing these words, I am already starting to salivate at the thought of such memorable hawker stalls as the Outram CKT at Hong Lim Complex, or Hill Street CKT at Bedok South Food Centre.

"Thirty two dollars? They better give large, good quality hum"...Mrs yflyer remarked.

"Errr...no hum in this version, although there are prawns and scallops", I replied. I think the health risks of garnishing this dish with raw cockles a la the hawker version would be too much for any hotel to take on...

But still, there is something to be said for digging into a plate of comfort food, delivered to your hotel room late in the evening.

I dialed room service and ordered a plate of char kway teow...

I just couldn't resist. Maybe it was to relive happy memories of all those late night room service meals I had in hotels over the years...

Not long after, the doorbell rang, and my CKT was delivered by a young, well-mannered staff member. "Enjoy!", he said. I wished him good night, then turned my attention to the tray before me...



I dug in...this was quite delicious...flavourful and piping hot...



Was this as good as the illustrious hawker versions I mentioned before? Of course not! But that wasn't the point of the exercise...it was somehow just very satisfying to devour a large plate of CKT in a cool, comfortable hotel room on a staycation...no regrets!

To be continued...
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Old 28th December 2020, 12:46 PM   #52
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Continuing with the TR...

The next morning, we work up early for our 7.45am breakfast slot at the Beach Road Kitchen.



We decided on an indoor table...





This was an a la carte buffet, with continental breakfast items and cold items brought to your table...



...and a choice of local and international hot breakfast mains...



Some kids' selections...



Coffee, tea and juice...



Cheese and cold cuts...



Fresh fruit...



...and bread basket...



I thought the continental breakfast items were so, so, and no match for a full pre-COVID19 buffet spread...
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Old 28th December 2020, 12:47 PM   #53
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The mains were more satisfying...

Eggs Benedict with spinach...



Eggs with sausages (sans tomato, at Miss yflyer no.2's request)...



The Asian breakfast selections were great...

Mrs yflyer ordered nasi lemak...



I had a bowl of wanton noodle soup...



...which was delicious...



The waffle was excellent too!

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Old 28th December 2020, 01:00 PM   #54
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After breakfast, it was time to head to the pool for a swim...

We first headed up to the Flow18 pool for a quick dip.



The views were great from up here on the 18th floor, but boy was it windy and cold at that hour in the morning!



After a few minutes in the pool, we decided that we would be missing something if we did not also check out the other swimming pool at the JW Marriott, which was located on the 6th floor, at EBB6.

A quick chat with the staff member at Flow18 confirmed that the EBB6 pool was not full, and that we were ok to use the remainder of our allocated 45 minutes of swimming pool time in the other pool.

We dried off, put on our robes, and headed back down the lift. We crossed the 2nd floor walkway to an adjoining block, then caught another lift to the 6th floor, where EBB6 was...



It felt warmer, and lot less windy at the EBB6 pool...



The waters looked inviting...



We waded in...



This was great!



This was a slightly larger, and longer pool, with a great vibe. I thought the views from this pool were great too...



I could have spent all day lying on that wooden recliner!



There were also a couple of rocking chairs where one could relax and enjoy the view over the 6th floor balcony...


Last edited by yflyer; 28th December 2020 at 06:06 PM..
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Old 28th December 2020, 01:34 PM   #55
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After our morning swim, there was a little more time to chill out in our room, and have a final soak in the tub, before checking out before 12pm.

Guests were encouraged to use the express checkout facilities, either via an express checkout slip or via the app.

I simply used the Bonvoy iPhone app to check-out, and dropped my keys with a staff member on the ground floor -- no queuing required.



Parking was complimentary for guests (A coupon was provided for one entry/exit per day), which was great since parking at the South Beach complex was not cheap.

We could already see the next wave of Singapore staycationers arriving at the hotel...I wished I was among them: the last 24 hours had simply gone by in a flash...perhaps our next staycation at a yet unnamed hotel should be for a two night stay...
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Old 28th December 2020, 01:47 PM   #56
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Impressions of this segment of the staycation...

I love the JW Marriott South Beach. The rooms are superb. While the Premier King was excellent for a regular room, I was really most happy with the Marina Bay Suite, which really made the staycation more memorable.

The location of the hotel is ideal for exploring Singapore on foot. It is close to many main attractions, and those further out can be easily reached by bus, taxi/Grab, or MRT.

The hotel staff were excellent, especially the front desk and lobby staff, who handled the check-in/out traffic very efficiently, and were unfailingly courteous.

As for F&B and the Exec Lounge, I think COVID-19 restrictions did impact the guest experience, since the timeslots for meals and lounge access were really quite tight and regimented. It was not ideal to have to plan our schedules to be at the restaurant or lounge at very exact times to dine. 45 minutes does not make for a leisurely breakfast, and 1 hour each for tea-time and evening drinks and canapes also felt a little rushed...we could easily have lingered for another 30 minutes. I could have spent a lot longer lounging in the swimming pools too!

But I guess everyone is just making the best of a difficult situation, and I for one was very happy and thankful that the exec lounge and pools were open for guests to use.

I think the JW Marriott South Beach is a really fine hotel, and one of the best in Singapore, taking all things into consideration. Within the Marriott family, perhaps the St Regis has the edge in service and ultimate refinement, but the location of the JW Marriott South Beach is far preferable.

As for comparing the JW Marriott with the W Sentosa Cove, I prefer the rooms at the JW Marriott, whose rooms manage to be even more stylish than the W rooms, but of course the W Sentosa Cove has the advantage of being on Sentosa, which somehow conveys the illusion of being in a different country than Singapore.

____

A few days after our staycation at the JW Marriott, we happened to visit the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, located at NUS. By coincidence, one historical photo at the museum showed a view of the Civic District and Marina Bay from around 1977, which was very similar to the view from our hotel room at the JW Marriott.



In the photo, we could see the NCO Club, as well as the original swimming pool that was there. The Singapore skyline in 1977 looks so different from the skyline we saw during our staycation...

1977 photo...



In Dec 2020, taken from our Marina Bay Suite on the 17th floor...



As for Marina Bay, this was still freshly reclaimed land in 1977...



And the view today...



Singapore has come a long way since the 1970's!

Last edited by yflyer; 1st January 2021 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 28th December 2020, 01:53 PM   #57
yflyer
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Final Reflections

Overall, a wonderful pair of hotel stays, with huge contrasts between the Duxton Reserve and the JW Marriott South Beach -- both of which are worth a visit, but for very different reasons.

Hotels aside, quite a lot done as well, not least a great meal at Rhubarb, a wonderful bar experience at Live Twice, and a great Orient Express exhibition (Coverage here), which is not to be missed.

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by yflyer; 1st January 2021 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 28th December 2020, 02:38 PM   #58
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Brings back memories of serving my National Service in beach Road Camp! Thanks!
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Old 1st January 2021, 12:35 PM   #59
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Thanks for reading, 9V-SIA! It must have been fun to do your NS at Beach Road Camp!
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