I’m back to this property after …16 years. Gosh.
I still remember spending NYE at their lobby, having slightly drunken fun with their balloon drop at the stroke of midnight. Ah, those youthful days where I don’t fall asleep before midnight.
It would also be my first stay as an I Prefer Elite so am excited to see what it’ll accord me.
Address – 1 Fullerton Square, Singapore 049178. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 6733 8388. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location – This iconic building is located one a prime plot in the CBD area where immediate access to many many office buildings can enjoyed. It is also located by the waterfront, right beside the historic Cavenagh Bridge, the only suspension bridge in Singapore. Staycay right beside a national monument!
Price – $255++ = $300nett under the HSBC WOW Weekend Deal where the 1st 100 bookings by email gets to enjoy this special rate. The rate inclusions are:
- Complimentary upgrade to Heritage Room (from Premium Courtyard)
- Breakfast for 2pax
- $100 dining credits per stay
Pre-arrival – I received my email 5 days prior to my stay and it requires you to complete their online form. The email also listing some activities (both paid and complimentary) which you want to consider as an in-house guest.
Hotel Interiors – Its been a while since I stepped into Fullerton and I forgot how nice the interior actually is. The hardware seems very well maintained and I can see where the ‘luxury’ banner comes from.
Check In – The front desk area was surprisingly occupied at 1230pm on a weekday afternoon – I was lucky to snag an available counter before a small line formed behind me. I was not ushered to the sitting area to be checked-in as other reports say and the process took a good 15mins with the various formalities.
I was given an option of an un-refurbished room with marina views or a refurbished room with courtyard room – I picked the new room of course as the old rooms are bleh. I didn’t get the upgrade to Heritage room for some reason and it was never mentioned as well so I didn’t push it since I was only there for 1 night. I was also granted a late check out of 3pm upon asking.
I was also impressed that they kept their data long enough (16years!) to know I was a return guest. Wah.
The good impression didn’t last long though.
It was only later when I returned from work that I recalled that my I Prefer elites are supposed to get upgraded upon availability and also a welcome amenity. So I trotted over to the front desk again at 5:30pm to ask about them – and got ……polite nonchalance.
Without any acknowledgement that the elite benefits should have been proactively offered, but now clearly missing, and no apologies, the staff said he’ll check if there are any available rooms. After 1 min of cursory tapping, he politely said “sorry mdm all the higher tier rooms are fully booked”,
At this point, the hotel website was showing availability for Heritage, Quay, and Marina Bay View Rooms. Plus Suites:
He then proceeded to say I can either choose a fruit basket or soft toy for the welcome amenity. I picked the soft toy which turned out to be the Fullerton Bear (bathrobe edition) and was passed to me quickly.
Room – Premium Courtyard Room (42SqM) with Atrium View, Room 316, was actually quite nice. A very nice update from the older version indeed! The dreary yellow brown tones have been replaced by soothing pastel colors and newish brown tones.
The King bed is super cushy and accompanied by hanging bedside lamps which I quite liked.
The circular work desk and work chair did quite a good job for my WFH except for the fact that the powerpoints were located kind of hidden at the bottom of the TV console which took abit of finding.
The mini bar was actually fitted out unlike the mini bars I’ve seen so far – prices are viewable on the Samsung table at the TV area.
Speaking of which, the in-room Samsung tablet is supposed to replace the typical info booklet with in-room dining menu, restaurant menus, etc. However, mine has issues with non functioning tabs and pdf menus which turned out to be blank pages. Had to call for assistance and they sent a junior staff to come see the issue, then his supervisor to come and see it again + made a call, then he bought it away to ‘fix it’ and thereafter replaced it with a working one but that too hanged after a while. So I gave up.
It honestly was a bit annoying because if the rooms are supposed to be “paperless” (to quote them) and techie, then the tech better work!
The bathroom didn’t look too refurbished but completely adequate with a sink, bathtub (a tick for some), separate shower and toilet (have bidet!). Toiletries are Atkinsons Amber Empire which was quite nice!
Breakfast – Town Restaurant was surprisingly crowded at 9am on a weekday.
My orders were quickly taken and served a bread basket and a good strong black coffee soon. Unfortunately, the food was barely functional – the scrambled eggs were definitely not made-to-order and the sausages were crappy. So I mostly ate the bacon. You can order unlimited mains so I tried dim sum too but they were mushy and bland. Ugh.
Then I ordered Laksa without noodle and was told that special orders take a longer time – but I was okay with it. After 45mins, this appeared. ONLY GRAVY. Nothing else was inside. The chef took “kosong” to a whole new level indeed.
To be fair, staff was all smiles and you can tell they are trying their best to keep up. I cannot imagine this place on a weekend though. I can actually hear them telling each other they are so swamped.
Dining – I spent my $100 credit on in-room dining and the same items for dinner and lunch the next day.
I did my Satu Kosong kosong test and the Nasi Goreng ($31++) was not bad (received additional satay and chicken wings in place of the rice) but nonetheless overpriced. My glass of Merlot ($12++ being ‘special price’ when you order this with any asian or western main) was good! And I liked it that they pour a fresh glass from the bottle on the spot (including one very generous pour).
Facilities – I went back to peek at the pool and gym (bookings are required) – both located on level 2 but be prepared for a meandering stroll through the corridors depending on which lift you take. Didn’t manage to check out the spa but was told they have steam room and sauna facilities.
Service – Housekeeping requests took a while to be fulfilled, though in-room dining came within 30mins. But I do have issues with the lack of Elite recognition and then lack of apology for missing them. If the property doesn’t want to fulfil benefits for their top tier members, then why participate in the first place and create expectations? The worst is the pretense to check and then blatantly lying about the room availability.
Also, I noticed a couple of mattresses along the corridor when I arrived, and they were STILL there the next morning. I wonder if they can air their mattresses somewhere else instead of right outside a guest’s door? They make the corridor look so untidy and honestly I wondered if they were clean ones. Ugh. I later called to ask why and was told that the one right outside my door is an extra bed for a guest who is checking in after me.
But….. why can’t this wait until AFTER I leave? I mean, it doesn’t exactly make me feel very welcome if you are already preparing for the next guest on my day of arrival.
The Duty Manager later called to ask for feedback and he gave me the same spill about the room upgrades being subject to availability. But but but…they WERE available? In any case, he did also confirm what I was told about the mattresses were not true and granted me a late check out til 5pm for my inconvenience. He also offered to upgrade me to a Quay Room the next time I return. I was honest and said I will find it hard to want to return but thanked him for the offer and will keep it in mind.
Eventually, before I left, I saw they had moved the mattress right outside my door…..to the next door where an existing mattress was. So now some random guest has TWO mattresses outside HIS/HER door.
Check Out –
a nice room and I do like the whole heritage flair thingy and I wished there were more to make me give this property a pass but alas, there is nothing else about my experience which will make me want to return.
Basic staycation expectations aside, the non-existent elite recognition is really sad. It feels like the hotel doesn’t really care about guest experience and running on the fact that their ‘heritage’ reputation is enough.
It is not.
[UPDATE] Following the publication of my review on TripAdvisor, the property has reached out to offer service recovery alongside assurance that the feedback will be reviewed seriously.