I finally managed to redeem my 2nd Accor Plus Stay Plus benefit!
Despite already experiencing Novotel Singapore on Stevens in April (my post here), I decided to redeem it at the same premise bearing both properties as it is still one of the newer Accor properties which I’ve never stayed at which offers a Club Lounge. Well, actually also because it is one of the more available redemptions at last minute notice (1 week!). I’m not complaining.
Address – 28 Stevens Road Singapore 257878. Tel: +65 6491 6100. Website.
Price – Complimentary due to my Accor Plus Stay Plus benefit, but a quick check on their official site showed SGD125++ for a Superior Room and $235++ for a Privilege Room.
Prior to arrival – I had informed the reservations team of an anniversary occasion and mustered up enuf skin to directly request for an upgrade to the Privilege Room, a double upgrade from my booked Superior room. Then I held my breathe. Only to see a disapppointing reply that all room upgrade requests will be granted upon arrival. Fine.
Check In – So I made sure I was there at 12:30pm on a less than busy Saturday afternoon. Thankfully, the nice Korean lady who checked me in at the Accor counter understood the importance of the upgrade and so yays to being upgraded to a Privilege Room! *cues sparkly comic eyes. But I found it strange that I was not given any details about the Lounge’s operating hours or benefits. Along with my key card, I recieved my Accor Silver welcome drink for 2pax and their shuttle bus timings.
Room – I was assigned Privilege Floor Room with 1 double bed on the highest floor, 1006. At 18SqM, it actually felt pretty okay, maybe because they managed to compact all the necessary functionalities into the space. One can definitely feel the difference compared to Novotel’s 24SqM but nothing major. Bathroom was understandably compact as well but hey as long as its new and clean, I have no complaints. The L-shaped sofa was a fun touch as well.
Premier Lounge (official details here) – Mercure was supposed to have a separate Privilege Lounge on Level 1 but I guess they decided that having a shared one with Novotel works fine too. The original Privilege Lounge is now an event space. But Privilege room guests have to hence change lifts to the 2nd / 1st floor and take the Novotel lift to the 10th floor to access the Premier Lounge. The lounge still looks the same as before but their cocktail hours of 6 – 8pm saw more variety of food served which was a nice change.
Having a shared lounge also means that the small place tends to fill up really fast so come by early to snag a window seat.
My only rant is – the staff @ the Lounge has to be one of the most inattentive Lounge staff I’ve seen. Even when I was the only table there, I was never once offered to be serviced any drinks – it was basically a greeting and then you are on your own to figure out what is available and what’s happening. I had to also request for help to clear my table when I was the only occupied table and even so, the staff would clear one plate and never came back for the rest that needed to be cleared. I have to ask thrice to help clear 3 plates. I was never once offered if I’d like anything / need any help – so it felt largely DIY. No service whatsoever at all. Disappointing.
They were not the most professional, preferring to huddle and chat amongst themselves and one male staff even sort of ‘bounced around’ in plain sight of us – he must have forgotten this is a Premier Lounge and not a playground.
Service – Except for the above, service was otherwise nothing to complain about.
Breakfast @ Winstone – A cosy affair compared to the mad rush @ Food Exchange where Novotel guests go. The Lounge was also not a preferred choice due to the poor variety. I’d prefer this anytime! If breakfast is not included in your room rate, it’ll cost $27++ per pax which I would think is fair value, especially if you are getting a 50% for 2pax with Accor Plus. Not that you have much breakfast options around the premise anyways haha.
Check Out – The team kindly accorded a 4pm late checkout from the originally granted 2pm which was really appreciated. But housekeeping came by @ 2pm because they didn’t get the memo. Stuff like this could have been easily resolved.
Shuttle Bus Service – Okay this is where it gets a little rough. You get a slip of paper showing their shuttle bus timings from Hotel to DSF Galleria and back. But when we tried to take the 9pm shuttle to DFS on Sat evening, we were told it has already left. Now this is bearing in mind that there was no need for pre-registration for seats and all that – you just need to not be late. Which we were not. But no bus because it decided to depart early.
So the Duty Manager kindly offered to cab us there, which we thought was a good service recovery.
The next day, we managed to get on the shuttle to head out, and decided that we would be early to catch the shuttle back to hotel for our check out. We arrived 2mins earlier, but was told again that the shuttle has left. It was really frustrating that the bus had once again departed earlier and we were left in the lurch again! This time, it took us a call to the hotel + transfer to 3 different people before the 3rd person said he will get the bus to pick us up soonest. The funny thing is, we were faulted for missing the bus throughout, from saying we should not be late (we were early!), the bus is not able to wait (we were not late!), and that the schedule is fluid depending on traffic (then perhaps don’t indicate a specific timing on the schedule!).
We had to ask to speak to the Duty Manager when we reached back and while he was civil about it and gave the usual spill blah blah blah, we didn’t feel he was sincere about it. He told us that the service is outsourced too – erm so maybe you can try to fix your communication with your vendor that its bad to depart earlier than scheduled and leave your hotel guests in the lurch?
There were so many ways they could have done service recovery right, but they didn’t on all counts. Sigh. An annoying blip on the experience for sure.
Final Thoughts – I do think the property offers great value for what it’s worth especially if you get a Privilege room. But have fun playing mouse with the shuttle buses 🙂