Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my recent staycation experience at Fairmont Singapore.
It’s been some time since I’ve done a staycation review – almost half a year. However, hotel and travel-related reviews seem popular on Wah So Shiok, so I’m pleased to announce that I’ll continue with hospitality-related content (including airport lounge and even overseas hotel reviews) for next year. As the first step in that direction, I’ve decided to book Fairmont Singapore to celebrate my recent birthday. Let’s see if it’s any good.
Fairmont Singapore – the Brand
Fairmont Singapore needs no introduction. As one of Singapore’s first five-star hotels, it opened in 1986, but was renovated as recently as 2019. With two towers and 778 rooms total, the property boasts full-fledged amenities such as two outdoor swimming pools, a spa/sauna, outdoor tennis courts, and a fitness centre, though it shares most of these facilities with sister hotel Swisshotel. It also has a grand total of 12 restaurants on its property, so dining options will certainly not be a worry.
Being an Accor member comes with the privilege of a free night’s stay. Naturally, the most “worthwhile” stay would be at one of its five-star properties, where a single night costs at least $400. I chose Fairmont Singapore, where my free stay netted me its lead-in room, the Fairmont Room. However, the Fairmont Room is in the North Tower, and I wanted to try the recently renovated South Tower.
During check-in, I was presented with the option of upgrading my room to the newly renovated Deluxe Room in the South Tower for $40. I tried to angle my way for a free upgrade, but the staff were pretty firm on the paid upgrade – perhaps as I was already “freerolling” on my complimentary night. Eventually, I decided the $40 fee was a small price to pay (literally 10% of the room’s usual rate), though I was surprised to see GST and even a service charge added to the upgrade fee. This was not made clear to me upon check-in, and while it was a relatively small amount (just $7.50), I believe the additional charges should have been highlighted before I paid.
Fairmont Singapore – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the hotel, check out my YouTube review of Fairmont Singapore below:
Fairmont Singapore – Check-In
Fairmont Singapore is located next to Raffles City Shopping Centre, making it eminently accessible via all modes of transport.
The lobby is grand and spacious, with plenty of resting areas for weary guests. More importantly, there were also multiple counters, which facilitated check-in speed greatly. I appreciated the decor – tasteful, but not dated.
Being an Accor member also granted me complimentary drinks, which can be redeemed at one of the bars onsite. I decided to redeem it at Anti:Dote, and had a delicious cocktail.
Fairmont Singapore – Deluxe Room
After the welcome drink, it was time to check out the room.
The corridor leading to my room was decked out in tasteful decor, with what appeared to be Native American artefacts scattered throughout. It feels upscale, and was a great first impression.
I was allocated room 2427. Again, I’m a fan of the dark wood exterior – it’s tasteful without being ostentatious.
The dark wooden aesthetic extends – quite literally – into the room itself. It’s clear from the modern furnishing that the room was recently renovated.
Another clear sign is the touch controls positioned near the entrance. The left console allows one to signal with housekeeping, while the right console allows the guest to toggle lighting options.
Opposite the touch controls is a cabinet that houses an iron and ironing board, which might come in handy for business travellers.
Next to it is a trifecta of mirrors, allowing you to check yourself out from various angles.
Plenty of nice wooden hangers are also provided, as well as plush bathrobes.
The bag rest area is sufficient, though not spacious. A shoe horn, shoe shining kit and an in-room safe are also present.
Lastly, a hair dryer and a pair of in-room slippers are also provided.
However, I was most impressed by the room’s refreshment options, which are stored inside a luxurious leather-fitted cabinet. There’s a Nespresso machine (with three capsule choices), an ice bucket, a kettle, and a hot/cold water dispenser. Tea cups, water glasses and wine glasses are also available, allowing guests the ability to use the appropriate receptacle for their preferred beverage. Unfortunately, the snacks are chargeable, so don’t touch those if you don’t want to get fleeced.
All drinks inside the mini-bar are also chargeable, though guests are allowed to remove the drinks to make space to store their items.
The Deluxe room comes with a King bed, and I’m pleased to report that it’s one of the most comfortable beds that I’ve slept in. Everything about it was frankly perfect – it was spotlessly clean (without any tears/holes in the linen), of the right firmness, and the duvet was just thick enough to provide the optimal amount of smugness without being smothering.
Laundry bags and the TV remote are conspicuously placed in a leather tray positioned on the bed. It’s a nice touch that reinforces the five-pearl reputation of Fairmont.
On the left of the bed are a bevvy of bedside lighting controls, as well as ports to charge your mobile devices. The room phone and a notepad are also conveniently placed on the bedside table, should you require anything from the front desk.
The right side also has power ports and lighting controls. Interestingly, there’s also a digital alarm clock that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker – an eminently useful gadget to have in the room.
The room also comes with a L-shaped sofa chair and a small table, where guests can sit and mingle. The lounge softa makes the room perfect for hosting an intimate gathering like a small birthday celebration, and was one of the main reasons why I decided to upgrade to this particular room.
There’s also a large work desk, and a smart flat-screen TV that had no issues connecting to Netflix. However, it is placed in a rather awkward position relative to the bed, and I found myself craning my neck when I wanted to watch the TV while in bed.
However, I did like the personal message that was prominently displayed on the TV upon arrival. Again, it’s a small touch that speaks to the detail-orientated nature of Fairmont.
As part of the hotel’s sustainability efforts, the room also features a recycling bin and one for general trash.
As luck would have it, my stay coincided with the 15th birthday of Accor Live Limitless loyalty programme, with guests getting free macarons as part of the festivities. And as I’ve preemptively indicated that the stay was for a birthday celebration, the hotel also provided a complimentary 250g chocolate cake – a thoughtful touch.
The room also benefits from plenty of natural lighting – quite literally brightening up the room. There’s also a small balcony area that was kept surprisingly clean.
Though not the more desirable “harbour view”, my Deluxe room still gave a pretty decent view of the surrounding CBD, including of Raffles Hotel just next door.
The luxurious fittings of the main bedroom are also reflected in the bathroom, which was fully fitted out in resplendent marble.
The main attraction of the bathroom is its spacious free-standing bathtub, where the water tap is located in the middle. This means that two can soak in the bathtub comfortably – perfect for couples seeking a steamy (pun intended) time.
There’s also a separate shower, allowing one to easily rinse off after taking a bath. One gets to choose between the overhead rain shower, as well as a handheld showerhead. Fittings are by Grohe, which means consistent water pressure and temperature.
And as the icing on the cake, the toiletries are from the esteemed perfume label Le Labo. I found all the options (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion) a joy to use, and beautifully scented. I also like that the toiletries come in big pump bottles, instead of tiny travel-sized ones that I have to fumble around to use.
A complete set of grooming accessories is also provided, including Le Labo hand soap.
My only criticism of the bathroom is the lack of a bidet, which is a glaring misstep given the room’s recent renovation and otherwise complete and luxurious offerings. I’m not even asking for a smart toilet bowl (a staple in countries like Taiwan and Japan) – a bidet should be the bare minimum in a five-star hotel.
Fairmont Singapore – Amenities
Being a five-star hotel, Fairmont Singapore has a wide range of facilities to keep its guests occupied.
For starters, it has two swimming pools, though they are shared with sister hotel Swissotel.
There are plenty of day beds by the pool too, and I saw numerous guests simply suntanning and lounging about. There’s also a poolside bar, allowing you to lie back, and unwind with a book in one hand and a drink in the other.
Fitness enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the gym at Fairmont Singapore is simply humongous – it’s by far the largest hotel gym I’ve been to. It’s bigger than most Anytime Fitness outlets that I’ve been to.
The gym has two levels, with weights and machines on one, and cardio equipment on the bottom floor. If you’re looking for a workout, Fairmont’s gym will certainly fit the bill.
However, my favourite aspect of the hotel has to be the Willow Stream spa, where guests enjoy complimentary access. This is quite rare nowadays – I haven’t encountered one since the Adeva Spa at One Farrer Hotel closed.
Guests get to enjoy a host of hot and cold pools, as well as a sauna and a steam room. It’s not much, but it does set Fairmont apart from other five-star hotels.
Conclusion – so Fairmont Singapore “shiok” or not?
I loved my experience staying in the Deluxe Room of Fairmont Singapore – it is undoubtedly my best hotel staycation thus far. The room was tastefully decorated and replete with thoughtful amenities, while the hotel facilities were top-notch too. I also enjoyed the service, which was detail-oriented and speedy. If I were to nit-pick, I would wish for a bidet in the toilet, a more convenient TV position, and clearer communication regarding the upgrade fee. However, these were relatively minor missteps in an otherwise near-perfect stay.
With the curtains drawn, the Deluxe Room provided a warm and cosy atmosphere, allowing me to have a memorable birthday celebration. I’ll probably try out Fairmont’s sister property Swissotel next year – I’ll be doing more hospitality reviews from now on (hotels, overseas hotels, airport lounges, etc), so do tune in to all my socials to be notified when such articles release.
Fairmont Singapore’s Location: 80 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189560
P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.
P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.