In today’s article, I’m chronicling my recent staycation over at Goodwood Park Hotel.
After staying at 3-star hotels such as Hotel Royal and Champion Hotel, I was in the mood for a bit of splurging. One of the hotels that I’ve always wanted to try was Goodwood Park Hotel. I’ve actually eaten at Alma’s (a Michelin-starred restaurant located in the hotel), and was wowed by the hotel’s colonial aesthetic. It reminded me of Raffles Hotel, but at a significantly more affordable price point. After some deliberating, I decided to take a leap of faith during one of Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales. Here’s how my staycation at Goodwood Park Hotel went!
Goodwood Park Hotel – Video
Those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the hotel can check out my Youtube review of Goodwood Park below:
Goodwood Park Hotel – the Brand
First opened in 1947, Goodwood Park Hotel is one of Singapore’s oldest hotels. Built in the 1900s as a clubhouse for German expatriates, the heritage hotel was known for being the first to boast a swimming pool, as well as an air-conditioned wine cellar.
It’s so architecturally significant that the Tower Block of Goodwood Park Hotel has actually been gazetted as a national monument back in 1989. Those interested in knowing more about the history of the hotel can visit its Wikipedia page here. The fact that Goodwood Park Hotel has its own Wikipedia page speaks volumes – how many hotels have their own Wikipedia page?
Alternatively, the hotel also takes pains to elaborate upon its long history. Those taking a walk through its sizeable grounds can find artefacts and exhibits educating guests about the heritage of Goodwood Park Hotel.
Goodwood Park is also known for its multiple award-winning restaurants. Aside from the aforementioned Michelin-starred Alma’s, other notable establishments include Gordon’s Grill, which was awarded the Michelin Plate (just a tier below the coveted star). I understand that it serves some of the best steaks in town.
Those with more Asian tastebuds can flock to Min Jiang. Like Gordon’s Grill, it was awarded the Michelin Plate for distinguished Cantonese/Sichuan food. With a trio of Michelin accredited eateries on its grounds, it’s safe to say that you don’t have to worry about a lack of gourmet food options if you’re staying at Goodwood Park Hotel. Best worry about your wallet (and waistline) instead!
With its storied heritage and acclaimed dining options, Goodwood Park captured my attention. When I saw prices drop to $140 during Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales, I immediately booked a stay. I’ve never seen prices for Goodwood Park dip below $150, so $140 for a heritage, 5-star hotel of such stature seemed like a no-brainer.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Check-in
Located about 10 minutes away from Orchard MRT (it’s beside Far East Plaza), Goodwood Park Hotel is located right at the tail end of the Orchard Road shopping district.
Decked out in marble, the lobby of the hotel felt cosy, with must-haves such as chandeliers and a piano present. As I was checking in on a weekday, there was no queue, and I was assigned a room within minutes.
Though there are multiple lifts in the hotel, I elected to take the stairs to my room (it was on the second floor anyway). There’s something about the architecture that feels delightfully colonial, and I loved taking it all in.
Access to the residential areas is controlled through keycard-activated doors. The corridor was wide, with a distinct villa-esque feel. There’s still that hint of colonial touch as well – you feel as though you’re transported back in time, but in a good way.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Deluxe Mayfair Room
A porter took my duffel bag and escorted me to the Deluxe Mayfair Room, which was located in the Mayfair wing that’s tucked deeper inside the hotel.
First impressions of the room were great. The room felt spacious (more spacious than the stated 31sqm on paper suggests), and even came with a balcony. There was a sense of heritage touches (e.g ceiling fan) mixed with modern design (e.g marble tabletops), and it felt like a good mix of past and present.
The main bedroom is imbued with slight colonial influence – the most obvious of which is the monochrome wallpaper at the back. There’s a sizeable workstation, a large King bed, a pair of bedside tables, and even two armchairs. It’s quite a stately room, and I was initially impressed that this was the entry-level category at Goodwood Park.
Despite being the oldest room category (the Deluxe Mayfair rooms were last renovated in 2013), a variety of ports were available. In particular, there’s even a physical LAN cable provided, so you don’t have to worry about finicky hotel Wi-Fi if you’re having an important Zoom call, or perhaps gaming. There’s also an HDMI port (which suggests you can connect your own devices to the TV), as well as complimentary masks and hand sanitiser – always welcomed in these COVID times.
The television is a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. No complaints whatsoever here – in fact, I’m surprised that such an ageing room has a relatively modern television.
For a full list of available channels, guests can refer to a channel menu, placed on the bedside table and next to the television remote. Rather conveniently, there’s also an alarm clock and analogue phone placed by the bedside.
The bed is a Simmons mattress, and it was predictably comfortable and firm – you won’t feel like leaving the bed once you’re in it. There’s also a selection of pillows available, with six different options such as buckwheat, neckcare and foam pillows.
Those looking for somewhere to rest (aside from the bed) can do so on the pair of armchairs, which flank a marble coffee table and standing lamp. There’s a clear colonial aesthetic to the furniture, or as we locals call it, atas.
Ladies will be pleased to know that there’s a sizeable vanity desk, with a full-length mirror that’s perfect for touching up make-up.
In terms of room amenities, the Deluxe Mayfair Room does feature one of the larger mini-fridges that I’ve seen – you will have no issues storing a bottle of wine here.
There’s TWG tea (as expected), but unfortunately there’s no Nespresso coffee machine, which I thought was a shame. Instead, coffee comes in instant Nescafe sachets, which cheapens the upscale vibe of the room.
While coffee lovers may be disappointed, alcoholics can rejoice, with a pair of wine and spirit glasses, as well as a bottle opener provided.
The cupboard is pretty big, and it comes with more hangers than you would probably need. Other useful items include iron and an ironing board, a flashlight, two pairs of disposable slippers, and a pair of bathrobes.
As my room was located in the deeper part of the hotel, it came with a balcony, where it overlooked a garden and other (presumably) condominiums. The balcony is actually quite spacious, and those looking for a breath of fresh air (literally) can certainly chill, have a cup of coffee/read a book here on the balcony.
The bathroom features extensive marble furnishing, which complements the atas vibe of the room. However, as compared to the spacious main bedroom, I did find the bathroom to be a tad cramped in comparison. In addition, some aspects of the bathroom do feel a bit dated, such as the traditional toilet bowl (instead of one with a concealed cistern), and the lack of a bidet.
Similarly, the bathtub is on the smaller side, and realistically only fits one – dashing the hopes of couples looking to spend some romantic time in the bathtub together.
I was also disappointed to find that the toiletries provided were generic in nature and manufactured under the hotel name, instead of a luxury label as would be expected of a proper 5-star hotel. For comparison, Hilton Singapore provides Crabtree & Evelyn amenities, while even One Farrer Hotel features toiletries from local skincare brand Fresh Skin Lab.
Similarly, the choice to use generic AM.E toothpaste (essentially a Colgate rip-off), is a huge let-down. I can forgive Champion Hotel (where rooms go for less than $50 a night) for providing AM.E toothpaste, but it’s unbecoming for a 5-pearl establishment like Goodwood Park Hotel.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Cleanliness Lapses
What was also unacceptable were the cleanliness lapses in my Deluxe Mayfair Room, which frankly left me aghast.
Firstly, I spotted food remnants stuck in the work chair, as well as hair, dirt and stains. It’s clear that the chair was not sanitised/wiped down prior to my checking-in.
Furthermore, there was sizeable debris and clumps of dust stuck in the recesses of the walls, right in front of the work desk. That’s a nightmare for those (like me) that are sensitive to dust particles. At the very least, it’s definitely an unwelcome sight – certainly not what you want to see while doing work.
The room is carpeted, which lends a posh feel to the room. However, the carpet itself is full of unsightly brown stains (see picture above).
I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t be walking around barefoot.
Stains seem to be a prevalent problem, with unwanted stains sighted in the mini-fridge…
The coffee cups…
As well as the wine glasses, where the stains were so prominent that it befuddles me as to how housekeeping could have possibly missed them. The only logical conclusion is simple – housekeeping didn’t bother to inspect/clean the utensils/furniture at all.
The last straw was when I found stains on the bedsheets as well. I can close an eye to dirty utensils, but I expect the sheets (where I’ll spend 7-8 hours sprawling on) to be immaculately clean. I immediately phoned the reception to voice my displeasure, and they sent someone to escort me to a different room after 10-15 minutes.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Deluxe Premier Room
It turns out that I was given an upgrade to the next category, the Deluxe Premier Room. Unlike the Deluxe Mayfair, the Deluxe Premier room was located in the Lobby Wing, which meant less walking upon entering/leaving the hotel.
I was wowed when I first entered the room. While the Deluxe Mayfair room felt like it came out of the past century, the Deluxe Premier room came across as much more modern with its wooden furnishing. It’s good interior designing, and when I get my own apartment I’ll probably model it in a similar style.
The main bedroom area still felt spacious, though oddly a tad less so than the previous Deluxe Mayfair room due to the lack of a balcony. Though smaller, the room had a homelier vibe – it could have passed off as a studio apartment of a new condominium. I later found out that the room just underwent a renovation earlier this year, helmed by acclaimed architect Ernesto Bedmar. I really liked what he did to the room, which ranks as one of my favourite designed rooms that I’ve stayed in.
Like the Deluxe Mayfair room, the Deluxe Premier room has a Simmons bed that is utterly comfortable to snuggle up in. Due to the high ceilings, white lighting and walls, the room feels bright and airy, while the dark wooden floors and headboard add a touch of sophistication. I particularly liked the bedside hanging lamps and the ceiling fan, which enhanced the perception of height in the room.
The room also features a sofa bed, which can double up as an additional single bed.
Gone are the ageing armchairs, and in its place is a premium lounge chair that features elegant white leather upholstery. It was thankfully devoid of the stains that plagued the previous Mayfair room – in fact, it looked as good as new.
The white leather upholstery extends to the office chair, which complements the white marbled work desk perfectly. I found the chair to be quite comfortable, though it’s no Herman Miller. I liked the design of the table lamp too, which is congruent with that of the standing lamp and the suspended bedside lamps. It’s a little detail that goes a long way.
The room also came with an unobstructed view of the hotel’s main swimming pool – quite a nice sight.
Other room amenities remained the same as the Deluxe Mayfair room. Despite this being an upgrade, there was still no coffee machine available.
Curiously, the mini-fridge in the Deluxe Premier Room is slightly smaller than the one found in the previous Deluxe Mayfair Room. I did find it a slight squeeze putting my items in, though I think a bottle of wine (my barometer for mini-fridges) should still just about fit.
The bathroom has benefitted from the contemporary makeover as well. Although the size remains similarly small, the bathroom of the Deluxe Premier room feels brighter and less claustrophobic due to its use of light earth tones. However, the toiletries remain lacklustre – AM.E toothpaste, generic shower amenities, etc.
The toilet bowl certainly feels more modern, sporting a concealed cistern design. However, there still isn’t a bidet, which is a shame – one would assume the recent renovation would have included that.
A notable feature of the bathtub/shower was how it’s enclosed by a glass partition, thus preventing the rest of the bathroom from getting wet. However, the actual bathtub is still relatively small, and only suitable for one. And in a more premium room (the word “premier” is literally in its name after all), I would have expected separate bathtub and shower areas. If a cheaper establishment such as Orchard Hotel can fit both a standing shower and bathtub in a smaller room, I don’t see why Goodwood Park can’t.
The bathroom was also confoundingly uninsulated. Make the slightest sound in the bathtub, and whoever’s in the bedroom can hear it as clear as day. If you get up in the night to use the toilet, you will almost certainly wake your companion up unless he/she sleeps like a log.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Amenities
Given its 5-star status, Goodwood Park Hotel does feature several amenities on its grounds, including not one but two swimming pools.
The gym is open 24 hours daily. Though bookings are technically required beforehand, access is controlled by a keycard reader that can be opened by any room keycard. There’s no staff in the gym to enforce safe distancing rules, though the maximum capacity is stated to be 3 vaccinated individuals.
That being said, I’ve noticed that the gym was rather empty (at least during my stay), probably because most of the equipment were either out-of-order, or cordoned off due to pandemic measures. If you’re looking to do a quick workout the gym will suffice, but I honestly expected better from a 5-pearl establishment.
However, I did like that the towels were wrapped in cling wrap – always a good sign in these times. There were also headsets available, hand sanitiser, bottled water, and a phone to call reception should you require anything.
The highlight though had to be the main swimming pool, which offered a nice view of both the hotel as well as the skies. I visited the pool during the evening, and watching the sun go down from the pool was actually quite therapeutic.
I’ve been watching guests enjoy the pool from my room window for most of the afternoon, so I was excited to try out the pool for myself. It looked rather big too, and I was keen to put in some serious laps.
However, I was horrified to find quite a number of dead insects floating on the surface of the pool. I’ve been to plenty of hotel swimming pools by now, and I have yet to encounter a pool that’s anywhere as dirty as the main swimming pool of Goodwood Park. It’s off-putting, to say the least.
Luckily, the hotel has two swimming pools, so I quickly packed up my belongings and went to the smaller Mayfair pool. Surrounded by palm trees and villas, the Bali-inspired Mayfair pool has a cosier, more relaxed vibe. I checked the swimming pool water thoroughly before I got in, and was heartened to not find any dead insects floating on the surface, though there were a few leaves that were probably dropped by the surrounding flora.
However, due to the smaller size of the pool, it’s not exactly conducive for serious swimming. It’s also pretty deep at 2.5m, so you definitely want to be keeping a close eye on your kids here.
Goodwood Park Hotel – Service
The service of Goodwood Park Hotel was mixed. I’ll start with the positives. Upon checking-in, a porter introduced himself by name and escorted me to the initial Deluxe Mayfair room, and later ushered me to the Deluxe Premier room. When I complained about the cleanliness lapses of the former room, I was assigned a new (and upgraded) room speedily. The duty manager also gave me a call shortly afterwards, offering a fruit platter as a way of apology. And when I requested a slice of cake for a birthday celebration, the staff made it happen despite the last-minute notice.
However, there were times where the staff came across as untrained and rigid. When I enquired about the pool, I was informed by a young lady at the reception that the only access to the pool was through the lobby, past the lobby lounge (see photo above). At the time, I thought it was weird to parade through the hotel’s marbled lobby in my bathrobe, passing by couples sipping on their martinis and whispering sweet nothings to each other. Thanks to a housekeeper, I later found out that there was actually a door at the back of the Lobby wing where one can access the pool without dripping pool water all throughout the hotel lobby.
When I complained about the staggering state of the main swimming pool, the receptionist on duty simply told me to “return in the morning” as the main swimming pool is supposedly cleaned every morning. Clearly, that’s not a satisfactory response. At any rate, I tried out the main swimming pool the next morning after breakfast, but once again found dead insects and clumps of hair floating on the surface. Thank goodness I’ve already had my breakfast – otherwise I would probably have lost my appetite.
Speaking about breakfast, I actually topped up extra for “buffet breakfast”. I figured that a hotel with multiple Michelin-accredited restaurants should have a good breakfast offering, right? Alas, I was wrong. For some reason (staff simply stated COVID when I asked), there wasn’t a buffet, not even an a la carte one. During my stay, I was offered either an American or an Asian breakfast. My companion and I ordered one of each, and neither was inspiring. When I asked for seconds, I was told by the server that each guest was only entitled to one serving. It’s disappointing, to say the least – I wouldn’t recommend topping up for breakfast like I did.
Conclusion – so Goodwood Park Hotel “shiok” or not?
That really depends. The negatives are clear – there were several shocking cleanliness lapses across the hotel. From the multitude of stains and grime in the Deluxe Mayfair Room to the floating insect carcasses of the main swimming pool, I have to say that the cleanliness standard of Goodwood Park is by far the worst I’ve seen from a 5-star hotel. Its mistakes are far more egregious than even One Farrer Hotel’s, and a far cry from the Hilton, which I stayed just prior to Goodwood Park. Heck, even budget hotels such as Santa Grand and Rest Bugis Hotel had cleaner rooms and pristine pools. I came to Goodwood Park Hotel with high expectations, but the experience was underwhelming. The saving grace is the beautifully designed Deluxe Premier Room, though I wish the bathroom was bigger and more soundproof. If you’re specifically searching for a colonial-themed hotel, then I think Goodwood Park’s Deluxe Premier Room is acceptable, if you can find it under $150. Otherwise, there are certainly better options out there, even in Orchard – Orchard Hotel is cleaner, cheaper, and features separate standing shower and bathtub, though the interior design is a tad generic.
Those interested in booking a stay at Goodwood Park Hotel can do so on the Traveloka app. 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 or attractions purchase (with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels or attractions purchase (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 the hotel, and as you can see I’ve been honest in my review.
Goodwood Park Hotel Location:
22 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228221
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.S.S.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.