Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my recent staycation at Furama Riverfront.
It has been quite some time since my last hotel review – with borders opening, I found myself taking quick trips to JB or other SEA countries (Bali, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, etc) instead of doing staycations domestically. After all, I haven’t travelled for over two years. Furthermore, with tourism back in boom, prices have also drastically gone up for local hotel stays.
I was looking for a hotel to celebrate my birthday at and decided upon Furama Riverfront due to a few reasons. Firstly, it was relatively affordable. Secondly, it was situated centrally, with certain rooms granting a view of the river. Lastly, I had a pleasant enough stay at Furama City Centre, which I hope would be replicated at Furama Riverfront. Let’s see how my stay went.
Furama Riverfront – Youtube Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay, do check out my Youtube review of Furama Riverfront below:
Furama Riverfront – the Brand
Furama Riverfront is actually the older sibling of Furama City Centre, having first opened in 1972. A four-star establishment, it boasts 615 rooms and was last renovated in 2020.
Currently, the mid-level Deluxe room can be booked for around $170. Given the full facilities on offer, the central location, and the relatively large room size, I’ll say that’s actually pretty reasonable – most 4-star hotel rooms cost upwards of $200 now. The “tropical” rooms look more modern and were recently renovated in 2020, so I decided to book a stay in one.
Furama Riverfront – Check-in
The lobby area of Furama Riverfront was one of the largest I’ve seen for a four-pearl establishment.
There’s certainly a sense of grandeur when you walk into the lobby. Marbled floors, gilt walls, and a bar-like gift shop in the middle makes for a strong first impression.
There’s a large work area for guests (with plenty of power ports), while a line of vending machines ensures that you will never run out of late-night snacks (interestingly, they dispense condoms too).
There’s even a Starbucks machine (payable of course), as well as a large waiting area that’s filled with sofas.
However, despite the sheer size of the lobby, there are only two check-in counters, which resulted in a sizeable queue/waiting time. They certainly have space for more counters, so I assume the bottleneck is the lack of staff.
The hallway leading to the tropical rooms is decked out in bright yellow – cheery, to say the least.
Furama Riverfront – Deluxe Tropical Room
Initial impressions were good, with the room feeling bright, airy and modern.
I was immediately struck by the wooden tones of the room, which reminded me of the Deluxe Premier Room of Goodwood Park Hotel, albeit less upscale. It’s also fairly large at around 30 sqm, so the room didn’t feel cramped at all.
Situated on the left of the room entrance is a fairly large wooden wardrobe, which includes essential equipment such as a pair of bathrobes, an iron and ironing board, a safe, as well as a couple of hangers.
The refreshments provided are basic – expect Nescafe 3-in-1 coffee and Dimah tea sachets. In a sustainable move, Furama has forgone plastic water bottles and instead now uses a reusable glass bottle that’s (presumably) filled with distilled water.
There’s also a mini-fridge, which comes in handy for cooling said bottle of water.
A full-length mirror is strategically placed next to the toilet, so you can check yourself out after coming out of the shower (or before heading out).
The main bedroom is spacious, and it really does feel recently renovated. I appreciated the wooden flooring, which feels cleaner and less icky than say, the heavily carpeted Mayfair Room of Goodwood Park. I suspect the bright decor is divisive – either you love it or hate it – but I appreciate the cheeriness it brings to the room.
The room I was assigned to came with twin beds. The beds were decently comfortably – nothing much to complain about, though not exactly memorable either. The sheets and pillows were also clean without any stains.
An analogue phone as well as a notepad can be found on the bedside table. There are also a pair of power ports, as well as USB/USB-C ports – a clear sign of its recent renovation.
The same can be found on the opposite side too, so partners/roommates don’t have to fight over charging ports here. Lighting controls are also easily accessible – a thoughtful touch.
The room is equipped with a 32-inch Samsung Smart TV. There’s nothing wrong with its picture quality, though I do think it’s a tad small for a ~30sqm room – not the best for a night of Netflix binging, that’s for sure. There’s also a workstation, though it’s not optimal for long hours of work. There are power ports available, but the table isn’t the biggest and the chair isn’t an ergonomic one. There is a mirror though, so it can double up as a vanity desk for ladies.
A hairdryer can also be found underneath the desk.
In keeping with the tropical theme, a yellow sofa chair can be found next to the window. I can definitely imagine reading a book by the window in the morning, with the natural light filtering in.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much of a view. That was a shame, especially considering that I partially booked Furama Riverfront for a view of the river.
And as compared to the main bedroom, the toilet felt a tad cramped and less modern with its 90s-era tiling.
Toothpaste and toothbrush were provided, though it’s the cheaper, fluoride-free A.ME toothpaste. A shower cap, cotton buds, sanitary bag, and a shaving kit were also provided.
There is a bathtub, but it’s combined with the standing shower – a practice I’m not a fan of. There’s also only a single bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and body soap, so if you desire a more luxurious showering experience do bring your own toiletries. The bathtub was also on the smaller side, so if you’re planning to have a romantic time in the tub then it’s going to be a squeeze.
To my dismay, I found numerous stains and chips on the bathtub. As such, I promptly requested a room change.
Furama Riverfront – Executive Suite
I was extremely lucky to get upgraded to the Executive Suite as a result.
The Executive Suite is located on the top floors of the main tower. The corridors certainly look more dated, and the worn mattresses lining the hallway weren’t the most welcoming sight.
Thankfully, the first impressions of the actual suite room were much better. The suite is essentially a standard bedroom with an additional living area – sofas, tables and an ergonomic chair are present – so if you’re planning to host parties (as I did) this would be ideal.
There’s also a huge cupboard with multiple shelves – perfect for storing luggage. Elsewhere, the refreshments and the mini-fridge are identical to those of the Deluxe Tropical room.
What’s different is the TV, which is more modern and larger than that of the Deluxe Tropical room. Those planning to host Netflix parties in the living area won’t be disappointed.
And while it isn’t of the riverfront, the view from the living area is at least a tad more scenic than that of the Deluxe Tropical room.
The bedroom area is mainly identical to that of a regular Deluxe room. In other words, it’s more refined, but also slightly passé as compared to the Deluxe Tropical room. Instead of the wooden flooring, there’s a carpet (that’s thankfully devoid of stains), as well as a posh quilt headboard.
The smallish 32-inch Samsung TV makes an appearance again, giving guests an option to Netflix in bed. There’s also a large work desk, as well as an ergonomic chair. I’ve tried the ergonomic chair, and I have to say that it’s much more comfortable than the chair in the Deluxe Tropical room. If you’re planning a workcation, go for the Executive Suite – or the standard Deluxe room – over the Deluxe Tropical room.
And as compared to the Deluxe Tropical room, the Executive Suite has a standing lamp as well as a sofa chair with a separate leg rest for that added touch of luxe.
The view from the bedroom is also decent, consisting primarily of the various hotels in the area. It was nice to see cars/people milling by, especially at night – you really feel like you have a birds-eye view of a busy intersection.
In addition, there’s a wardrobe in the bedroom. It has the exact same equipment but is puzzlingly smaller than the one in the Deluxe Tropical room. There’s also a decently sized bag rest beside the cupboard.
Perplexingly, the Executive Suite also has significantly fewer bedside power ports as compared to the Deluxe Tropical Room. In fact, there’s only one – good luck fighting with your partner/guest for that.
On the other hand, the bathroom in the Executive Suite is decidedly larger than the one in the Deluxe Tropical room. Like the bedroom, it appears more posh and modern and even has a separate standing shower cubicle.
Unfortunately, the toiletries are identical – just one bottle for both the hair and body, which feels like a small letdown for a suite.
The toilet is also of the traditional sort instead of the more modern concealed cistern design – another missed opportunity in my books.
Though not larger in size, the bathtub here feels slightly more premium simply due to the omission of the standing showerhead. I like how it was nestled in the corner of the bathroom, making it more conducive for prolonged soaking.
The bathtub here is thankfully in better condition, without the stains and chips of its Deluxe Tropical room counterpart.
Furama Riverfront – Amenities
Aside from two different restaurants, the main attraction of the hotel would definitely be its swimming pool.
The swimming pool is an open-air one and is fairly big – ideal for doing laps. Just don’t expect MBS-esque views.
There’s also a hotel gym that’s equipped with basic equipment. Though not much, it has everything one might need for a quick workout.
Conclusion – so Furama Riverfront “shiok” or not?
I definitely enjoyed my stay at Furama Riverfront. I appreciated the levity and the modern touches of the Deluxe Tropical Room, and loved the sheer size and upscale touch of the Executive Suite. And as compared to Furama City Centre, Furama Riverfront’s amenities (pool, gym, lobby, etc) are better maintained too despite being around the same price. It’s also situated in a central area, with plenty of food options (Great World City is just a stone’s throw away) and drinking places (it’s near Clarke Quay) around. Granted, it’s not at 5-star standard – I would have liked better quality toiletries, as well as more bedside power ports in the Executive Suite – but it’s undoubtedly bang-for-buck.
And as the icing on the cake, the service was top-notch too. When I feedbacked on the bathtub of the Deluxe Tropical Room, the service manager Mae immediately apologised and offered an upgrade to the Executive Suite room as service recovery. As I’ve indicated in advance that it was meant to be a birthday celebration, she even gifted me a cute Furama branded lion plushie. It’s a small gesture, but one that speaks volumes about the service standards at Furama Riverfront.
Those interested in booking a stay can do so on the Traveloka app. Traveloka constantly has some sort of ongoing promotions, with prices so ridiculously low that I’ve personally booked about 90% of my staycations on Traveloka. Just for my readers, you guys can use the promo code “WAHTVLKSRV” (if you’re using SRV) and “WAHTVLK” (non-SRV) for 10% off any hotels bookings (up to $30 off, with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels bookings (with a minimum spending of $50) for existing users. The codes are valid till the end of 2022. Here’s a pro tip: keep a lookout for Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales which occurs every Friday to Sunday for the lowest prices! However, this post is not sponsored – I paid my own dime to book and review my staycations.
Furama Riverfront Location: 405 Havelock Rd, Singapore 169633
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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.