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Old 1st December 2020, 12:43 AM   #1
ycp81
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Default Singapore Staycation Series 2020

With all the travel restrictions in place this year, there is no way that I would be flying anytime soon. To curb my travel urge, I decided to spend some of my travel dollars supporting our local hotels. Hence, this series shall briefly review the various local hotels I stayed in 2020.


#1
Warehouse Hotel
River View Room


The first hotel I stayed in after the Circuit Breaker period was Warehouse Hotel in early August. According to the hotel website,

The Warehouse Hotel was built in 1895 along the Singapore River as part of the Straits of Malacca trade route. At that time, the area was a hotbed of secret societies, underground activity, and liquor distilleries. Today, while much of that history has disappeared, The Warehouse Hotel has been meticulously restored as a modern 37-room boutique hotel, focusing on heritage and local culture.

Open as of January 2017, it delivers thoughtful hospitality with historically-detailed rooms, classic local dishes and craft cocktails and curated partnerships in the vibrant neighbourhood of Robertson Quay. The Warehouse Hotel is the inaugural hotel of renowned Singaporean hospitality firm The Lo & Behold Group and is part of the prestigious Design Hotels™ portfolio.


The Warehouse Hotel is a beautifully restored warehouse along the iconic Singapore River.








Entering the hotel, I was greeted with a quaintly designed lobby and lounging area.




The hotel’s flagship restaurant, Po, is at the lobby too.




Our Lobby Bar’s craft cocktail programme reflects the three key eras of the property’s past. Representing its incarnation as an 1895 warehouse, known in Asia as a godown, are rustic infusions that transport you to the heart of the old spice trade such as the Singapore Sazerac – raisin bourbon, pandan bitters, rye, cognac, absinthe.




I stayed in the 34sqm River View Room, which 'look directly out over the Singapore River, evoking its past as a hub of shipping activity and the spice trade. They have ample space and light, are located on the ground floor of the hotel, and are fitted with a king-sized bed and ensuite bathroom.'

Entering the room




The room size and design was pretty good, looking modern and comfortable






Some hotel info materials.




Decent sized toilet with wonderful rainshower. There is no bathtub though. Amenities are by the New Zealand brand (and NZ-made) 'Ashley & Co'. This brand is definitely not cheap in Singapore!




Last edited by ycp81; 3rd December 2020 at 12:08 AM..
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Old 1st December 2020, 01:00 AM   #2
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Minibar area with complimentary coffee/teas.




The view out the window is the Singapore River.




As this stay included F&B dining credits, we used it for some light in-room dining. In-room dining was by the hotel's restaurant.








We ordered some of Po's famous dishes, including Iberico Pork Satay, Kurobuta Char Siew and Carabinero Prawn Konbu Mee. All were wonderful!








At night, the lit up exteriors gave it a very nice atmosphere.






Included in the rate was 2 cocktails of your choice:

SINGAPORE SAZERAC
raisin bourbon, pandan bitters, rye, cognac, absinthe,
spiced demerara



FORBIDDEN FRUIT
gin, kumquat, pink peppercorn, rum, lemon, orgeat, pink salt

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Old 2nd December 2020, 11:39 PM   #3
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Great pics, ycp81! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd December 2020, 12:03 AM   #4
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Lobby and bar from above.




Breakfast was served ala-carte buffet style at Po Restaurant. The selection and quality of the breakfast was very good, and above the standards of the big hotel chains.






Bakery items and salad to start, along with a morning latte.




A huge breakfast spread, including the English Breakfast, Chicken curry, Congee and Pork Bone broth. Excellent in both presentation and taste. Service by the hotel and restaurant staff were top-notch too!












Hanged out at the pool around noon. As per the norm in the Covid era, pool reservations has to be made in advance, and only a maximum of 2 persons (or a room) is allowed to use the pool. Allowed numbers might be raised now. Needless to say, we had the entire pool to ourselves!






It was definitely a very enjoyable staycation at Warehouse Hotel, which provided a very different experience from the major hotel chains. Surely recommended and worth a stay.

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Old 5th December 2020, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default #2 One Farrer Hotel

#2
One Farrer Hotel
Skyline Studio


The second hotel I stayed in August, over the National Day holidays, is the One Farrer Hotel.

One Farrer Hotel is the leading 5-star urban hotel-resort in Singapore defined by an intuitive and trend setting approach towards lifestyle and hospitality. It is situated in one of Singapore’s heritage districts, Little India, with Farrer Park MRT station right at its doorstep. An award-winning permanent collection of over 700 pieces of original contemporary abstract art from across Greater Asia, the largest of its kind in Singapore, takes pride in the hotel. Spanning over 20 Levels, residents can also explore 15 water and tropical gardens, including a fully operational Farm.

Encompassing three ‘hotels within a hotel', the Urban Hotel, Loft Apartments and Skyline Hotel & Sky Villas, the 249 chic contemporary rooms, studios, apartments, suites and villas were designed to meet and exceed the expectations of the discerning traveler. In addition to many thoughtful amenities, complimentary Wi-Fi is also offered throughout.


The room I would be staying in is the Skyline Studio, which is one of the premier rooms situated at the highest floors and with lounge access. The Skyline Studio is is very spacious and modern.






Bathroom and dressing area was very luxurious.






Illy coffee and TWG teas (feels like SQ?) were available in the room






The room offered a sweeping view of the city skyline.




Skyline guests were provided with access to the Skyline Lounge, offering 5 meals/refreshments a day. The lounge is simply designed and functional, with great service provided by the 'SQ-trained' lounge staff. For those missing the SQ service, go pay a visit to the Skyline Lounge for service style straight out from the SQ-textbook with some personality thrown in.






Just after check-in, we were in time for afternoon tea, which consisted of a selection of sweet and savoury pastries, along with selection of non-alcoholic beverages and coffee/tea.




Some nice views from the lounge.



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Old 5th December 2020, 12:32 AM   #6
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There is a private pool for Skyline guests beside the lounge.




Or you may head to the Olympic-length main pool below.




A less-known benefit is the free access for hotel guests to the onsen in the hotel spa. A taste of Japan in Singapore.




Similar to afternoon tea, dinner was offered ala-carte style and you may request for top-ups if desired. Food was generally tasty, though not of posh restaurant quality. For dinner, a selection of wines were available.








Back to the room to watch the National Day TV broadcast, and also having a great vantage point for the fireworks at Marina Bay.






Then it was back to the lounge for the final meal of the day, some delicious desserts accompanied with a pot of TWG Vanilla Bourbon tea.




Lounge breakfast the next morning was also pretty generous and of good quality.






After some gym workout (forgot to snap a photo of the gym) and lazing at the pool, it was the last meal at the lounge (lunch) before checkout.




Overall a pretty comfortable and value-for-money stay at One Farrer Hotel. Luxury at not-so-luxury price, and well worth a try.
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Old 8th December 2020, 12:24 AM   #7
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Default #3 The Fullerton Hotel

#3
The Fullerton Hotel
Quay Room


In September, I booked a weekend stay at one of the hotels which I had always wanted to try, The Fullerton Hotel. The package I bought included a stay in the Heritage room, breakfast, early check-in at 11am, late check-out at 4pm and $150 dining credit, all at a very attractive price.

The magnificent Fullerton Building is a grand neoclassical landmark built in 1928. Gazetted in December 2015 as a National Monument, it was once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, the Exchange Room and Exchange Reference Library, and the prestigious Singapore Club. For nearly a century, it played a pivotal role in Singapore’s rich history. Today, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has been transformed into a stunning 400-room heritage hotel in Singapore.






It was my first visit into the hotel, and it certainly had an old world charm.






Upon check-in, we were upgraded to the Quay Room.

The Quay Room offers charming views of the historic Singapore River and is a popular choice of accommodation with our guests.

Entering the room, we were first greeted by a hallway leading to the closet area and a huge bathroom.




Closet contained bathrobes, slippers, ironing board, shoe mitt and safe. There was also an extra pillow available.






Bathroom was huge, with a separate tub and shower stall. There is also an 'intelligent' WC (no photo of it), where the cover will automatically open once you approach, along with various functions similar to a Japanese WC.






Amenities by Atkinson, though we are not a fan of the scent.




There is a short flight of steps to the bedroom, which was spacious, charming and comfortable. Even with the King bed, there was still a ton of space.



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Old 9th December 2020, 12:00 AM   #8
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Room was furnished with a sizable TV, speaker, workdesk and a tablet for browsing the hotel offerings, in-room dining and other service requests.




Mini bar area with Nespresso coffee and TWG teas available.




View of the Singapore River from the room.




As our package included a $150 dining credit, we decided to use part of it for a Yum Cha lunch at the hotel's Jade Restaurant. The wide selection of high quality dishes made it a very enjoyable and exquisite yum cha experience.
















The historical hotel looked very grand when lighted up at night.



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Old 11th December 2020, 12:57 AM   #9
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The next morning, breakfast was served at Town Restaurant. We got a table overlooking the Singapore River.




There were 3 seatings for breakfast, which was served ala-carte buffet style. Selection was the standard breakfast fare, nothing too impressive for a hotel of Fullerton standard. Quality was fine, but nothing too outstanding as well.




Starting with some yoghurt and bakery items, followed by fresh fruits.






For mains, we selected the scrambles eggs set, laksa, dim sum and nasi lemak.






After resting a bit, we went to the gym. Both the gym and pool needed pre-booking of slots, as is expected for almost all staycation hotels now. Gym was well equipped, with some workout machines being blocked off for social distancing.




After gym, it was pool time. A pool with a very majestic backdrop and scenic view.






Spent the rest of the dining credits at The Courtyard for lunch, where we ordered a Butter Chicken bento and a Japanese bento. The bento dishes were quite tasty.








Overall, it was a very relaxing and 'foodie' staycation at The Fullerton. The package deal certainly was very worthwhile (though last checked recently, it is not available now). A memorable experience staying at the historical hotel.
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Old 17th December 2020, 01:07 AM   #10
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Default #4 Mandarin Orchard Singapore

#4
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
Meritus Club Room


I had 3 staycations booked in the month of October, with the 1st stay at Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

As an award-winning hotel on Orchard Road, Mandarin Orchard Singapore makes for an ideal base to explore the city’s shopping and entertainment district. ​Mandarin Orchard Singapore is an icon of world-class Asian hospitality in Singapore. The hotel’s 1,077 guest rooms and suites offer views of the city skyline, complemented by bespoke amenities, versatile meeting facilities, and a vibrant lineup of restaurants that includes two Michelin-star Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro. Right on the doorstep of Mandarin Orchard Singapore is the high-end shopping destination, Mandarin Gallery, making for an all-encompassing retail and hospitality experience for guests of the hotel.

I booked a Meritus Club package for this stay at a rather attractive rate, with access to the Meritus Club Lounge and breakfast included.

On the day of check-in, the check-in lobby was rather busy with the Staycationers. It seemed that Staycations is now the 'in' thing for us Singaporeans.




Even though the check-in area was busy, we were processed and checked in within 15min. Mandarin Orchard only opened one of its wings for Staycationers, with the other separate wing used for arrival quarantined travellers. Meritus Club rooms are located at the higher floors (can't remember which floor mine was).

Measuring 28 sqm/301 sqf, the Meritus Club Room is an ideal sanctuary for the business traveller. Guests can enjoy unsurpassed standards of tailored services and preferential privileges in the exclusive Meritus Club Lounge.

As expected, the rooms at Mandarin Orchard are quite dated even though they are still well-maintained. Room design and layout is functional, nothing too exciting.






TWG teas and instant coffees are available.




The toilet was sizable, with a separate shower stall and bathtub.






Massage shower in the shower stall.




Bath amenities were by Etro.




Additional standard amenities available at the sink.




View from the room was great!

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Old 18th December 2020, 12:32 AM   #11
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The highlight of the Mandarin Orchard stay was the access to the Meritus Club Lounge.

Perched on Levels 38 and 39 of the hotel’s Orchard Wing, our Meritus Club Lounge at Top of the M features panoramic views of the city skyline and bespoke offerings for discerning guests.

Guests of the Meritus Club enjoy exclusive access to the sleek and contemporary Meritus Club Lounge at Top of the M. Located at what was historically the hotel’s iconic revolving rooftop restaurant, Meritus Club Lounge at Top of the M offers guests 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline from the lounge’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Complementing the uniquely stunning backdrop are bespoke offerings that allow Meritus Club guests to rediscover the pleasures of travel – from detailed attention and personalised service by Meritus Ambassadors, to elegantly prepared all-day refreshments by a dedicated culinary team.



Meritus Club Lounge benefits and privileges:

All-day coffee, tea, and refreshments
Complimentary Internet access
Complimentary local newspaper
Complimentary local telephone calls
Complimentary pressing or normal laundry of 2 pieces per day (non-accumulative)
Complimentary use of meeting room for 1 hour per day; subject to availability (non-accumulative)
Daily buffet breakfast at Meritus Club Lounge from 6.30am to 10.30am on weekdays and 7.30am to 11am on weekends and Public Holidays
Daily afternoon tea from 3pm to 5pm
Daily evening cocktails with hors d’oeuvres from 6pm to 8pm
Exclusive check-in and check-out
Welcome amenities

*To maintain the exclusive environment of the Meritus Club Lounge, guests under 18 years old are not permitted into the facility.


There are dedicated lifts which brings us up to the lounge's reception at Level 38.




An old-style binoculars at Level 38.




After a very warm welcome by the Meritus Ambassadors, we were directed to Level 39, which is the main lounge area. There are plenty of seating, with most seats offering great views of the Singapore skyline.










A shot to remember, as the hotel is going to be re-branded under the Hilton brand soon.




The lounge offers wonderful views during good weather.






Menu for Afternoon Tea and Evening Cocktail on display.

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Old 19th December 2020, 11:58 PM   #12
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Afternoon tea set was served, along with an order of cranberry juice and latte. Non-alcoholic drinks are free-flow. The tea set is quite simple and forgettable. However, service by the lounge staff were excellent.






Evening cocktail is served between 6pm to 8pm. During this period, alcohol beverages are available free-flow.




The spread for evening cocktail was of way higher quality. Seconds could be requested, and it certainly was sufficient as a light dinner.




Cheers to the evening.




View from the lounge after last light.




The package also offered 50% of in-room dining. And so we ordered a spread for late dinner.




Salted egg chicken wings




Satay




Bak Kut Teh pork ribs soup




Lobster laksa

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Old 20th December 2020, 12:14 AM   #13
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Famous Chatterbox Chicken Rice, and ending with a coconut ice-cream in husk.






The next morning, breakfast was served in the Meritus Club Lounge ala-carte buffet style.




We ordered various dishes for sharing, including the standard egg dishes with sides, congee with dimsum, and pancakes.










Had a short workout after breakfast. Gym access needed to be registered at the concierge, with access card provided. The gym was spacious and well-equipped. Did not get to visit the pool as only 5 guests can access the pathetically small pool at any time.








It was a rather pleasant stay at Mandarin Orchard. Even though the room was nothing special, the lounge experience made up for it. Worth a last visit before the hotel was taken over by the Hilton group and revamped.
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Old 20th December 2020, 07:57 AM   #14
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Not to alarm you, but the Mandarin Orchard was also hosting guests who were under quarantine.
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Old 20th December 2020, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilchster View Post
Not to alarm you, but the Mandarin Orchard was also hosting guests who were under quarantine.
Yes they are not the only hotel to do so. It was made known to staycation guests that SHN guests are housed in a separate building. Same for other hotels with separate buildings such as Fairmont, Grand Hyatt (which i will be reviewing next), Orchard Hotel, Carlton Hotel etc.
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