I’ve finally pulled the trigger on this one.
Apart from the fact that I work nearby and hence locale is nothing exciting to me, I’ve always consciously avoid properties which does not have a club lounge or accord any elite benefits (alcohol please?). But since I was embarking on a staycation binge, how can I miss what is supposedly the best staycation breakfast ever?
Price – $245++ = $288nett booked on the HSBC WOW Weekend Deal where the 1st 50 bookings gets to enjoy this special deal. The process to getting this booked was quite painful (website crashing, technical errors, inventory not loaded) but anyhows the rate inclusions made it all worth it:
- Breakfast for 2pax
- $88 dining credits (valid for use in hotel-managed restaurants: 15 Stamford, The Bar@15 Stamford, Frieda, La Scala, Broadway American Diner and Berthold Delikatessen)
- Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from mini bar
- Guaranteed early check in @ 11am and late check out @ 3pm (for Mon-Thur stays) though this will not matter if you have GHA Black which entitles you to 9am check in and 6pm check out.
Location – In the middle of City Hall happenings, including sheltered access to City Hall station (NS25/EW13) and 3 major shopping malls. Good for the city peeps!
Pre-arrival – I received their pre-arrival email from the Lady In Red 5 days prior which asks you for 2nd pax information, room preference, etc including if you prefer still / sparkling water (will this be in the mini bar? hehe). 2 days prior to my stay, I received another email offering a 9am check in as a GHA Black and acknowledgment of my special occasion.
Getting There – If you are being dropped by, do take note that the official hotel drop off lobby is only accessible via Hill Street (you’ll see the signage if you are passing by). This makes it somewhat exclusive but getting picked up can be an issue if the driver is not familiar with the area or refuse to follow the guided map (Hello GoJek).
Check In – I arrived bright and early at 10am on a weekday morning and the driveway was empty with no one to welcome or help with bags. The Lady In Red, Stella, in the lobby seems surprised when I walked in but quickly recovered when I said I was checking in. Once seated, it took 5mins before I was offered to be walked to my room for an in-room check in. Stella was very efficient and professional throughout and upon reaching the room took time to explain the room features, breakfast, and completed the formalities via a tablet. I was also informed that all non-alcoholic beverages in the mini bar is complimentary. All seamless and I was done in 15mins point to point.
I have actually never been to the lobby proper and I really like how pretty it is!
Room – I was given a triple upgrade from the booked Classic King (32SqM) to a Terrace Room (45SqM) located in the Stamford Building – so named due to the existence of a little terrace to look out from. Room 449 was facing Chijmes / Raffles City stretch and offered a partially blocked view of the landscape.
Can I first say how cute their square key cards are?
Otherwise, the room is really pretty! The dark wooden tones and glossy varnishes exudes classic elegance and gave a warm cosy feeling to the space, complemented by the choice of warm lightings. As you enter, you’d get your mini bar (got sparkling water!) to your right, and cupboard / wardrobe to your left.
The main squarish space contains a super comfy king bed with 2 bedside tables / lamps – each accompanied by control panels for lights and curtains / blinds (wired to automatically withdraw whenever you enter the room). There is also a cushy chair in one corner, then a work desk and chair in another – this is also where your in-room phone, in-room menu, charging ports are.
The Terrace Room is so named due to the existence of a tiny terrace, but I did not find the space very useful as it was too hot during the day and mosquitos tend to really favor me as a meal at night. I’d much prefer the Grand Deluxe room which has more indoor space at 50SqM.
The very smart TV comes chrome-cast enabled, Apple Airplay, and Android Mirroring functions (this should be the standard of all good class hotels!) It even has a bill preview function which enables you to see how much mortgage you need to take at the end of the stay.
My special occasion amenity consists of a cake, a fruit basket, and personalized notes – quite nice!
The bathroom is super nice too – separated by sliding doors from the bedroom. A fancy lux bathtub (with TV!), double sinks, and separate toilet and shower. Your ‘care pack’ of 2 individually wrapped masks are also placed here. Toiletries are Salvatore Ferragamo Convivo series which was kind of okay for me with only the body lotion making an impression.
Please let me pay tribute to this Kempinski bathtub which is the only tub so far that made me want to lush bomb. I spent some mins over the next 2 days playing in bubbles smelling like fruits but I think I am too short because I had to grab on to the handrail in the tub so I don’t drown myself in the process. Would have given a whole new meaning to the phrase Lady In Red.
Breakfast @ 15 Stamford (menu here) – Breakfast is served form 6:30am-10:30am and no reservations is needed. The ala carte buffet concept also means you can order as much as you want, as many times as you want if you so wish.
The the staff who attended to me, Chaplin, was all warm friendliness. He offered many interesting nuggets of information about the property while I waltzed around taking pictures and was more than happy to entertain my special orders for breakfast. First at breakfast at 7:30am on a weekday also means pictures!
Prawn Soup (no noodle!) with all the ingredients was my choice of main to start, followed by their home-made muesli and granola. The infamous wagon trolley offered multiple spreads (dark chocolate is good!) and a whole honeycomb which makes quite an eye catching accessory. Your choice of carbs is also offered by a smiley chap and of course you can pick enough to go into carb coma if you like. Food quality was okay with the best being the Prawn Soup.
Other Dining – I spent my dining credits on the following:
Broadway American Dinner: a typical American diner space offering burgers and stuff located at Arcade at Capitol. Had the beef and mushroom burger ($18++) and it was delicious! They also kindly swapped the fries for a simple salad upon request (I didn’t ask for no buns too because. judgement).
In-room dining: Nasi Goreng ($26++): I actually had high hopes for this and while my kosong test was successful, the dish came disappointingly flat and chicken wings super oily so I didn’t finish it. In-room dining here means a staff carrying the super heavy silver tray with your food (and other accompanying stuff) on it and coming into your room to place it or you – no fancy tray of sorts.
In-room drink: Taittinger Brut Reserve ($31++)
Facilities – the Saltwater Pool, Fitness Centre, and Spa are all located on level 4 and you go through a meandering corridor along the Stamford Building to get to it. Bookings can be made via the front desk.
The pool was exactly the same in other review pictures – you probably can’t really swim in it as its quite compact but I guess that’s why it’s called the relaxation pool.
The Fitness Centre is similarly compact but if you are doing purely cardio, it’ll do.
Service – While Stella and Chaplin provided superb service, there were some unfortunate minor lapses during my stay too. My request for my in-room tray to be cleared took a long while to be fulfilled, and I waited one hour for my order of a glass of Brut on my check out afternoon before I called to ask (it came soon thereafter).
Check Out – Painlessly completed in less than 10mins with a promise for an e-folio to be emailed. Still waiting for it.
A great stay in a fabulous room and mostly excellent service – though the crappy Nasi Goreng was a huge disappointment for me. Nonetheless, it was still a huge tick off my list and I can see why a 2-night stay wouldn’t feel too long. Maybe next time?