“Enter a world of eclectic extravagance” says the website.
Big words, but I expected nothing less from the Garcha Group who also owns The Vagabond Club, Duxton Reserve, and Maxwell Reserve all of which I have experienced. I am admittedly not the biggest fan of their design of the properties but I never miss an opportunity to staycay at a new property heh.
Address – 301 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218224.
Contact – Tel: +65 6797-2850. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location – The location of this property is somewhat a little unusual – right smack the Little India /Farrer Park neighborhood which accords plenty of ethic sights and eats to offer those who are keen. Otherwise, there is City Square Mall about 5+ mins unsheltered walk away for those who need the comfort of a mall. The closest public transportation option is right across the riad, Farrer Park Station (NE8), which gets you quite close enough to the city centre.
Price – $228++ = $270nett booked for a Royal Classic, 2 Twin, under the Member Flexible Rate. It is not cheap but at this stage probably the cheapest Bonvoy property in Singapore to clock double elite nights.
Pre-arrival – I received the below pre-arrival email 3 days prior – including what must be one of the strictest stipulated dress code I’ve seen. I also confirmed verbally that they do not offer any evening cocktail replacement like the other Garcha properties do so that’s quite a bummer (not even 2 drinks?).
Getting There – there is no driveway so if you are taking private cars so you got to drop off at the kerbside and make your way through a fancy corridor to get to the main entrance.
Check In – I arrived to an empty lobby at 1:30pm on a weekend and was promptly attended to.
Check in took a quick 15mins including explaining of elite benefits which basically just means choice of welcome amenity – I picked breakfast instead of points obviously. I was also informed I had been upgraded to a Royal Deluxe which is the same room but queen beds instead of twin. A bummer that there was no further upgrade as a Titanium when all their Suites were still selling.
I also got a shock when I was informed that they do not take paywave, offer online payment options, no accept credit card details manually. They cannot even deduct from the card used to make the booking which was a first in my experience. So I actually have ot trek all the way home just to grab my physical card to chekc out with. Argh.
The lobby is visually grabbing like all Garcha properties) and makes for very colorful shots.
Room – My Royal Deluxe, 2 Queen (18 SqM), 506, was as cosy as expected. And the love-it-or-hate-it bunk bed is right there in the middle of the space in its full glory once you get past the short hallway and your hangers (no wardrobe and no slippers here!).
While I agree that the concept of a bunk bed is somewhat interesting, it does not make for a practical setting especially with kids as I can imagine the horrors of having to maneuver safely up and down the ladder, and especially if someone upstairs have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night! The upper bunk is also precariously close to the roof so only short people are allowed on the upper deck it seems.
That being said, the bed itself is super firm which I liked very much. However, bedside charging here meant having to unplug my lamp to plug in my 3-pin charger as the other 3-pin port is not working. Otherwise, a USB port is available.
But the design of the space meant if you are TV-ing in bed, the top part of the TV will be blocked by the bed frame so you have to not mind. And forget about watching TV from the upper deck.
Aside from this centrepiece, there is a small desk+chair set up in a corner containing your mini bar (nespresso!), fridge, safe, and the only wastebin in the room. Tried to watch TV from this spot but alas, blocked by a pillar of the bed.
The bathroom is actually quite nice, cosy but adequate for 1pax. Limited countertop space though. Toiletries are Balance Nurtient branded which were not bad.
Shortly after check in, a chilled fruit platter was delivered to my room.
Breakfast – served from 7:00am-10:30am at their yet-to-open-to-public F&B, Gup Shup located at the basement of the hotel. The decor is expectedly Garcha of course and a rather colorful spot
The breakfast menu sees the usual offerings with some Indian cuisine options which was a nice touch. If you picked breakfast as your welcome amenity or have a breakfast-inclusive room, you may pick from one of 3 sets on the top of the menu, with the other items chargeable. I decided to go for the Local Indian Fare and it was delicious – had to restrain myself from finishing everything on my plate. Midway through, the staff brought out a chef special of potato stuffed Indian pancake (masala prata?). Very weak coffee though which was disappointing.
Check Out – Seamlessly completed on a weekend afternoon – I also gave feedback about the acceptance of payment method and mentioned that it would be really nice for them to offer Elites at least drinks in the evening perhaps? The friendly staff noted and said they will pass the notes on to management.
Glad to check off this property at a decent price point, especially for double elite nights. This is currently the cheapest Bonvoy property in Singapore, but it may not stay this way for long I suspect.