Help Me Decide Where to Stay in SIngapore for 4 Nights

Discussion in 'Asia' started by gleff, Jun 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
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    4 nights sounds like a lot, but it's really just 2 full days.

    msgleff and I had a great visit to SIN earlier this year, we stayed at the Intercontinental which I'm a bit non-plussed about even though we were upgraded to their Diplomatic Suite. Room was huge was really quite dated, unimpressive furnishings, bed wasn't all that comfortable. The lounge was waaaay too busy in the a.m., though I was always greeted and walked to a table and coffee order taken, flagging anyone down to bring me a second cup of coffee was near impossible.

    So despite good Royal Ambassador treatment (and on a cheap F&F rate no less), I want to change it up a bit.

    I've got Hyatt DIamond status to work with, the Grand Hyatt is rather pricey at over US$300/night. I could burn a confirmed suite upgrade. But it's a bit more than I want to come out of pocket for. I do have a couple of free suite nights from the VIsa card, it feels like a waste to use them here and especially since i"d still need a couple more nights which I'd need to pay for and burn a suite upgrade on so as not to downgrade.

    I've got Hilton Diamond status to work with, the Conrad seems dated though perhaps I'm misinformed. And for four nights I'd really rather have a suite which I can hardly bank on through HHonors. I'd probably do an AXON award here.

    No longer an SPG Plat, so probably should give St Regis a miss.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    St Regis is likely to be much more than US$300 a night, but check on the goodies. As a SPG Plat, in addition to the upgrade, I got breakfast (huge Western and Eastern buffets in nice dining room, IIRC until about 11 or poolside Italian bistro cafe also possible on weekends, with hot items to be ordered and served), a complementary wine tasting hour every day (about eight whites and eight reds were offered, including some extremely good wines such as a first growth chablis, a Chateau Margaux, and a Chateau d'Yqem, although some of the others were barely drinkable and the California choices were laughable) and a complementary drink in the bar or poolside Italian bistro (including French champagne or a cocktail) every day. Some of these--at least the wine tasting I believe--are for everyone, not just SPG Plats, and the breakfast is included in some rates, so you might want to consider it.

    Depending on your airline and flights, you might also want to use the T3 transit hotel for one or two nights and then do more of a splurge on a hotel for the other nights. For example, if you're coming from the US and arriving around 1 am, plan to stay in the airport when you arrive, sleep and shower before going into town in the morning (which also avoids all of the post-midnight taxi surcharges). I think I paid about $70 for ten hours in a single room with a large bed, a window looking out on an A380, and a private bath with rain shower only. This is easier if you don't have checked bags. If your departure involves an early SQ flight, consider doing a late check out and going to the airport late the previous day. SQ allows you to check in up to 48 hours before your flight and go through passport control. (Some USA carriers don't open the airport check in until about three hours before the flight and OLCI plus printing the boarding pass with no luggage to check still doesn't permit you to go airside to the transit hotels before check in opens for your flight.) Again if you're on SQ (not sure about partners that let SQ handle the check in and there might be a different rule if you're departing on a nonstop to the USA), you can use the transit hotel before your early flight (some folks would sleep in lounges, but I wouldn't) and not rush so much in the morning. Once when departing in SQ FC, I had an 8 pm checkout, then a late dinner in TPR (which I wanted to try in the evening hours, not just in the morning) and I returned to TPR for a quick breakfast the next day before my flight. Personally, I hate the idea of paying for four nights in a luxury hotel when I'm really able to enjoy it only for two days.
     
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  3. jbcarioca
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    I have much the same decision process every time in Singapore. My next trip is in August and i chose the Sheraton Towers on Scotts Road, but that was because I will spend much of my time with a client right next door. If the location works the Conrad is one of my favorites. I do not find it dated at all and always (four times) have had a very nice suite upgrade with Diamond status. I stay at the St. Regis whenever I can deal with Tanglin Road and got a S$375 rate for August, but chose the Sheraton because of location. The Sty. Regis, as MSPeconomist commented, makes a spectacular spread and I like it best of these options. I know nothing of the Hyatt options.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    Despite it's shortcomings, I've been a fan of Raffles and I generally like to stay there. I like the location much better than the Orchard Road area. However, I know gleff wouldn't like it (dated rooms in a historic property without flat screen TVs unless they've been changed in the last four months and even "historic" bathrooms) and it's expensive, so I didn't mention it.
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    What's your max budget per night?
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    If you don't mind not accumulating or burning points, how about the Fullerton Bay? It's a ravishing new and modern boutique hotel.

    There's also a boutique hotel with reputed spotty service and small rooms in Chinatown that some people love, but I'd be cautious about picking it. I don't remember the name at the moment.

    Another boutique hotel, IIRC named something like the Nadi, is located on the street at the back of Raffles. Once I walked into their lobby and asked for information, but I had a negative impression and it seems very expensive for what it is.

    Ritz-Carlton? I'm not a fan and I don't like the location, but it sometimes has good rates.

    Fairmont (former Raffles the Plaza) at Raffles City? Usually good rates and could make sense if you have status with Fairmont. Someone stayed there in a suite during the last SIN DO as a romantic getaway with wife (perhaps Sean the Pilot) and seemed to like it.

    Sands Casino Resort? I'm sure I wouldn't like it and early reports complained of horrible service, including long lines to check in, but I'd love to have access to their roof top pool, which requires a stay.
     
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  7. cennas
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    That would be the Naumi :)
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    Thank you. Have you ever stayed there?
     
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  9. cennas
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    Not yet. I visited it once back in 2008 with a female colleague who would like to enquire about their "ladies-only" floor, but found the staff had this condescending, "we're too hip for you" attitude that we found very off-putting.

    I used to stay quite often at the IC which is within walking distance with the Naumi and for what it's worth, the hotel does look nice from the outside.

    What negative impression did you have?
     
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  10. MSPeconomist
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    Mostly staff attitudes, but also the rooms seemed very small and rather plain, although stylish, perhaps even form over function. The hotel didn't seem to offer much in the way of facilities, not even a small pool, and food services seemed very limited too. If it were inexpensive, this hotel could have still been an interesting option, but their price point seemed awfully aggressive then (don't know whether this is still true) to the point of almost being offensive, perhaps yet another symptom of the attitude problem.
     
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  11. gleff
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    See, I don't really know.

    I mean, I had the Diplomatic Suite at the Intercontinental for around US$200/night. At the Conrad I might use points. The Grand Hyatt just feels expensive to me ~ US$320/night++ but then it may simply be my expectations that are off.

    I guess I'm just looking for the best overall price-value combination, throwing into the mix top-tier status with Hyatt, Intercontinental, Hilton, Accor.
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    What are the prices at the St Regis and other places for your dates? To me, GH seems expensive at that rate. You might be able to get RC, perhaps even with lounge privileges for five feedings a day, for about that rate, although who wants to eat in the RC when in Singapore?
     
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  13. gleff
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    Fairmont $305, I could apply a confirmed suite upgrade as FPC Plat
    Intercontinental $171 on F&F, I'd buy up to a higher room and then get upgraded as RA, but I'm not keen to
    Shangri-La, $344
    Regent Four Seasons, $243
    Grand Hyatt, $336
    Conrad, $293
    Ritz, $413
    Mandarin Oriental, $372
    St. Regis $400

    Mind you I haven't checked Amex FHR rates or Virtuoso.

    I don't really want to spend > $300. So St. Regis I'd consider points, but it's too expensive at cat 6 even for cash & points. Don't really care about the lounge other than in the morning, unless it's a really impressive experience, I'll eat out and about I just like breakfast in the hotel and really good easily accessible coffee. Of course on a cheap rate I could pay for that so I'd veer off of where I have status if the rate/hotel was right. But on a 4-night stay with my wife I do prefer a suite or at least an oversized room. I tend to prefer modern rather than classic design.

    Thanks for all the input :)
     
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  14. Jslo
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    Great thread! Really nice primer on SIN hotel options. I have stayed at some of them, but can't comment on all. Last time thru was the Conrad, I might differ ever so slightly with an earlier post on how dated it is. It was fine, but hardly cutting edge or anything that stood out. Enjoy the trip!
     
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  15. roadwarrior365
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    I have stayed at the FS, Hyatt, and Mandarin Oriental. I wasn't impressed with the service at the Four Seasons and wouldn't return. The Hyatt is perfectly fine and using a suite upgrade leads to a decent suite. The service is flawless and I personally like the location of the hotel. The MO is my favorite hotel in Singapore and I probably would stay there everytime, if I would be able to collect points there. I have only heard great things about the St. Regis and know several locals that think its the best hotel in town.
     
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  16. gleff
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    Given that I'm sorta non-plussed by the options am considering Conrad, 34k HHonors points per night isn't a terrible (though not phenomenal) redemption value, should be decent and hope for a Diamond upgrade. Just to try something different. But I'm not excited by that prospect, 4 nights there with my wife I'd like it to 'pop' a bit more than that likely will. None of these options are bad of course just not exciting :) Sorry so ambivalent! :p
     
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  17. MSPeconomist
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    $400 is a quite good rate for the St Regis. The butlers serve good complementary coffee upon demand and I had a coffee maker in my room too. However, it's not really modern style. I recall clear Venetian glass chandeliers, wall moldings, and classic style furniture. The bathrooms are dramatic. It's easy to find pictures. However, the first floor bar and second floor pool area are very modern.

    Have you considered Sentosa Island? I would assume you don't want to stay here, but there are supposedly some more luxurious properties there with spas, away from the tourist crowds. A problem is that it's a long and expensive trip into downtown Singapore. Did the W there ever open?

    They're not chain properties, but check Sands and Fullerton Bay. Both are modern, although Fullerton Bay (not the Hotel Fullerton) is more eclectic with parts of the lobby not seeming modern at all. It seems to be a popular hot spot now, especially their roof deck bar.

    Finally, there's a new and very modern boutique hotel along the river but in the more quiet part close to some galleries. It's on the side of the river opposite to the Grand Copthorne Riverfront and a block or two closer to Clarke Quay.
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    I'll throw out four that I'd consider, and the reasons why.

    The Fullerton. http://www.fullertonhotel.com/default-en.html I'm not sure what your dates are, but they have some pretty attractive specials for suites on some days (ie: half off) over the summer. This property has one of more unique buildings for a hotel in Singapore. Though I don't think you'll get hotel points at any program you care about (though I'm not 100% sure), this is a property I quite enjoy.

    The Fairmont. I haven't stayed at this property since it was reflagged (from raffles the plaza), my last stay was April 2007. However, if you can get a fpc confirmed suite in the new tower (I forget if it's north, south, east, west, or something like that...it has a name other than new) for $305, you'll be pleased. I found the spa - called Amrita the few times I visited - to have very reasonable prices (even by Singapore standards). With the FPC certificate, this will be far and away the best qpr option for you.

    Ritz carlton - though not the best location, if your wife likes to luxuriate in the bath tub, I find this property has the nicest tubs- with nice city views from the tubs. If your wife is into that sort of thing, she will really like the rooms here. I think they all have windowed tubs. This was my honeymoon stopover property (enroute to mle) for this very reason. It won't disappoint if that's her boat.

    Marina bay sands. I haven't stayed here yet, but it seems you need to stay here at least once if you end up in Singapore periodically. (I sort of remember you posting a review of is property, in which case you've ticked this box.) I suspect this is a box you just need to tick once...but the roof pavilion makes this property worth staying at at least once.

    Please let us know (as I'm sure you will) what you end up doing.
     
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  19. leeivan86
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    If you do not mind staying on sentosa island, the best hotel in singapore imho is the Capella Hotel. The hotel itself has a wonderful setting(like some of the bali hotel's setting), a casino on the island too but the downside is a little bit more hassle of getting into the city if you require too.

    http://www.capellahotels.com/singapore/

    Room rates are at least 600SGD(~450USD) a night but the basic room is already at least 70sqm in size and you get a personal assistant too :)

    edit: they seem to be having a promotion of $100 room credit a day, daily breakfast,10% off rates from the kiwi hotel collection until end of Aug
     
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  20. DeltaExpert
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    No longer a SPG Plat? Why the change of heart?
     
  21. gleff
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    Giving the SPG meeting planner points to others in the office who will use the status (SPG gives out a Platinum membership for every $100k in meeting spend) and I can only use so many statuses effectively.
     
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  22. DeltaExpert
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    Interesting that you wouldn't want to keep SPG...
     
  23. gleff
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    Not really, I'm not using it that much and I like the people in my office who can have it via our meeting spend.
     
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  24. TRAVELSIG
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    Hi Gleff,
    I visit Singapore quite frequently, and have stayed in the properties you are discussing.
    Suggestions are:

    Conrad sounds like a good price. Find out what the upgrade charge is in points or money to upgrade to the Executive Level- it has a very nice offering for food and beverage and great personalized service. I like the Conrad, and it has become my standard choice this year whether for cash or HIlton points stays.

    Shangri-La is excellent as long as you stay in the Valley Wing. I think the Valley Wing is really one of the best luxury choices in Singapore. Downside: It won't fit in your $300 USD budget, and it is not as convenient of a location as some of the others you are looking at.

    You mentioned you want to stick to a budget- Swissotel Merchant Court has a good location, usually very good rates, and is clean and good service. Not a luxury property- however nothing wrong here and you will not exceed budget.

    Fullerton- Yes, very nice, however hit and miss service. Best here is the Sunday brunch which is phenomenal (reservations essential).

    Grand Hyatt- Great location. Nice Hotel. Good F&B. I wouldn't pay >350 SGD to stay here however.

    St. Regis- Overpriced. Overrated. Service not consistent.

    Four Seasons- Sometimes a good deal through Virtuoso (especially if you can find a pay 2, stay 3 type of package)- needs to be rennovated however still excellent service. Location very similar to the Shangri-La (they are almost next door to each other). I have never stayed at the Regent operated by Four Seasons- however I have been told it is really in need of rennovations.

    Ritz Carlton- See St. Regis. One big plus on the Ritz Carlton is the club level f&B offerings (excellent). The bathtub overlooking the harbour through a window may win big prizes however- it is pretty impressive. Shame about the overall service. Great Japanese restaurant (bring money- not a little bit to have fun here).

    Fairmont- Unless I am confused, I stayed here when this was a Westin- 1200+ rooms (I get confused as there are two different hotels connected together- one with the Raffles name however not connected to Raffles- one withouth- in any case the size= difficult personal service). The lounge on the top floor (I think it is called Vertigo IIRC) offers the best views in this part of the world. Pop up for a quick drink and photos- great views of Malaysia. Amazing for the view. Go for a predinner aperitivo so you don't get stuck waiting for an elevator.

    I wouldn't stay at Sentosa- way out of the way of everything except a theme park adored by Singaporean children.

    Avoid also the Sheraton "Luxury Collection"- dated, very dated.

    Your idea for the IC isn't bad- if you trawl around the internet travel boards there seems to be a very good synopsis of what you will receive as a Royal Ambassador (can't help you as I am a lowly non-royal ambassador).

    Some people also really like the Marriott- next door to the Grand Hyatt essentially. Seems to be a very reliable choice and sometimes great prices.

    Marina Sands- very large, very impersonal, huge queues....

    One last option to throw in the mix- the Pan Pacific next door to the Conrad isn't too bad either.
     
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  25. gleff
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    Thanks again for all of the input, as a HIlton Diamond I'll no doubt receive an executive floor room or at least lounge access at the Conrad, there's even a chance of a suite and I suppose if I could guarnatee it with a modest upcharge I'd do so on a points stay.

    Otherwise the Grand Hyatt with confirmed DIamond suite upgrade is still tempting even though it's more $$$ than I want to spend and too many points for the prevailing rate (and then without suite upgrade, and I wouldn't pay 50% more points for the suite).

    As I say, the Royal Ambassador treatment at the IC is good and I can't complain about my treatment aarlier this year I just wasn't impressed by the property.

    I did visit the Sands for dinner and while an impressive structure it's too big and impersonal, I"m not all that interested in a stay.

    The Fairmont thought with confirmed suite upgrade is a good one, I'm not there yet.

    The Ritz, I don't need the club benefits because I want to avail myself of all the food SIN has to offer... :)
     

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