We visited Singapore for a couple of days on our round-the-world trip in March 2017. We booked the hotel using two free-night certificates from the signup bonus of Veronica’s Chase Fairmont credit card, and then applied a suite upgrade (also part of the credit card bonus) to get an even better room. We were very much looking forward to staying at this hotel, as I had heard great things about it.
The hotel is conveniently located at 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore, directly across the street from the famous Raffles hotel and close to the waterfront. It was an ideal spot for walking around and exploring the city.
Arrival & Check-in
We took an Uber from Changi Airport, which took about 20 minutes and cost 18 SGD (~$13.50). As soon as we pulled into the property’s driveway (it’s right off a busy street), we had the car door opened for us and were warmly greeted and led inside while our bags were retrieved from the trunk. As soon as we passed through the door, another member of the team asked our names and escorted us to the check-in counter (which was only about 50 feet away). While walking, she discreetly whispered our names into her earpiece and by the time we reached the counter the associate already had our reservation pulled up. She quickly confirmed the details, handed us the keys, and notified us that our bags were already in the room waiting. I’ve never experienced any check-in that was so smooth. They did an incredible job!
As I mentioned, we used a “suite upgrade” certificate to get our room upgraded to a standard suite, which was quite impressive. It featured a kitchenette, separate living room, a huge bathroom with two entrances, and a nice little balcony which overlooked the Raffles hotel across the street.
The hotel has three restaurants – Prego (Italian), Asian Market Cafe (Asian), and Mikuni (Japanese). The last two are at the Fairmont’s sister hotel, the Swissotel, which is attached to the Fairmont. We only ate at Prego for breakfast once, and it was awesome. They had one of the most extensive buffets I’ve ever seen!
The lounge was great. Because we were in a suite, we were allowed access and it was a huge benefit. As with some other lounges we have visited in Asia, they have attendants who meet you at the door and escort you to a table just like you’re in a restaurant. They also fetch drinks and just about anything else you want except for your actual food. I didn’t take many pictures,mostly because I was getting the stink eye from some of the folks there, but they had a nice breakfast buffet, drinks all day, and an evening “hors d’oeuvres” which had enough food for an entire meal (chicken, cheese, wine, vegetables).
One thing that became pretty clear as we hung out in the lounge was that we were the youngest people in there by at least 20 years. I guess this place is a bit of an “old money” haunt for those who didn’t want to pay the inflated prices of the Raffles next door! No problem for us, as this meant there weren’t any kinds running and screaming through the halls. I’m a bit of an old soul at heart anyway (get off my lawn!).
Gym, Pool, & Spa
At many, but not all, Fairmonts (so I’m told), they have what they call the “Willow Stream Spa”–a collection of spa and gym services and amenities offered to guests. They did indeed have a Willow Stream spa at this hotel, but we didn’t partake in a lot of their offerings both because we were short on time and because they were outrageously expensive. Veronica did get her hair done at the hairdresser and I used their fabulous gym a couple of times (read my review here!), but that was about it. We were very impressed with what we experienced, though.
Obviously, we got a ton of value out of this stay since it was completely free. Had we paid for two nights in a suite, we would have been out $1,145, so in that regard this was one of our best redemptions ever. Standard room rates were much more reasonable at about $250 per night, so had we not gotten the free certificates and suite upgrade, it’s possible that we may have paid for the standard room given the property’s amenities.
This hotel is definitely a place where you could spend your entire vacation without ever leaving the property. Other than the rooms being slightly old-fashioned and dated, I can find no fault with their service or amenities. This hotel is absolutely fabulous and staying here was a highlight of our trip and one of my best-ever travel experiences. Unfortunately the Chase Fairmont credit card is no longer available and so I don’t expect to come by any additional free nights for Fairmont stays. Despite that, I would definitely consider staying here again and will certainly look into booking at some of their other wonderful properties.
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Brandon Chase is a writer, endurance athlete, and guide based in Maine. He is a former Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and spent nearly a decade overseas serving at embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan.
Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand and South Africa. He also regularly competes in ultramarathons at the 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances.