Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Hotel Royal @ Queens.
I previously stayed at its older sister property, Hotel Royal @ Newton. I was sufficiently impressed with my stay at the Newton property that I decided to check out the newer (and better furnished) Queens hotel as well. Let’s see how my stay went.
Hotel Royal @ Queens – Video Review
For those who are interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the stay, do check out my Youtube review of Hotel Royal @ Queens below:
Hotel Royal @ Queens – the Brand
Hotel Royal @ Queens first opened in 2000, making it significantly younger than its Newton counterpart. It also recently got a refresh last year, with rooms in particular having been renovated. With a total of 235 rooms, Hotel Royal @ Queens can be considered a 4-star property (Hotel Royal Newton in comparison is only 3-stars).
Prices at Hotel Royal @ Queens are about 20-25% higher than the Newton property, with the lead-in Executive rooms generally available for just under $100. For a hair under $100, it looked to be a compelling package, especially with the renovated spacious rooms and bathtub. As such, I decided to book a stay to see if it is truly better than its older counterpart.
Hotel Royal @ Queens – Check-in
As its name suggests, the hotel is situated on Queens road, which is just a stone’s throw away from Bras Basah MRT.
Despite checking in on a weekend, there was little to no crowd, and I was assigned a room within minutes. This was significantly better than my experience at Hotel Royal @ Newton, where I had to wait 45 minutes to check in. Despite having lesser rooms, the lobby boasts twice the amount of counters of its Newton counterpart, resulting in a speedier check in process.
The corridor of Hotel Royal @ Queens looked refreshed and upscale, a welcome change from the dated and slightly eerie corridors of the Newton property.
Hotel Royal @ Queens – Executive Room
The wide hallways reflect the spaciousness of the room, which has definitely benefitted from the recent renovation.
The layout of the Executive room is a dead ringer of the Deluxe room of Hotel Royal @ Newton, though the vibe of the room feels more refined.
Located on the left of the entrance is a sizeable wardrobe. In it, one can find an iron and ironing board, with extra pillows – thoughtfully stored in protective plastic – also available.
There are also a ton of wooden hangers, a safe, and laundry bags provided.
Directly opposite the wardrobe is a full-length mirror, so you can ensure that your outfit is on fleek before heading out.
There’s also a generous bag rest, with a pair of disposable room slippers provided.
In my review of Hotel Royal @ Newton, I stated that the room “looked/felt like an old HDB apartment”. In comparison, the Executive room of Hotel Royal @ Queens feels like a condo apartment instead. The carpeted floor lends a posh feel, while the sleek monochromatic wooden tones give the room a sense of sophistication. And at 28 sqm big, the Executive room is one of the more spacious options one can find under $100.
The Executive room features a King bed. It was decent enough for a good rest, though the mattress and pillows were nothing remarkable. A pair of bedside lamps, power ports and bedside tables flank the King bed, so both parties can charge their phones/access the lighting switches on their own sides conveniently.
There was a complimentary fruit platter offered on the table. However, with the absence of knives or any other cutlery I ended up mostly ignoring it. It’s the thought that counts though, right?
The Executive room boasts a 43 inch Samsung Smart TV, which is presumably one of the benefits of its recent makeover. The picture quality was good, with a variety of cable channels available. I could also connect to Netflix without any issues.
The room also has a mini-fridge, which was spacious enough for me to store a bottle of wine as well as a small cake. That’s pretty good, all things considered.
Refreshments are standard budget fare, which means Super coffee and Dilmah tea. An electric kettle is provided, though it was unfortunately dirty (something I’ll elaborate on later) and therefore unusable.
The workstation comprises a generic wooden chair, which was uncomfortable to sit in for long durations. The marbled desk was nice to work on however, while the multiple power ports were definitely appreciated. There’s also a large mirror, so it can technically function as a make-up desk as well.
Just like its Newton counterpart, a book on the teachings of Buddha as well as a Bible can be found in the desk drawer.
Given the modern nature of the Executive room, I was surprised to find that the air conditioning controls were still analog instead of digital – the aircon was probably one of the aspects that were left untouched by the recent renovation.
The view is nothing much to shout about – one can see Carlton City Center hotel, Bras Basah Complex, and what I assume to be a public swimming pool.
However, the view was marred by conspicuous stains on the window. Thankfully, the stains were on the outside, though that also makes it harder for hotel management to clean.
Lastly, there’s also a sofa chair and a coffee table in the corner.
Upon first impressions, the bathroom of the Executive room was impressive. It’s more spacious than the bathroom of Hotel Royal @ Newton, and definitely looks much better – a clear beneficiary of the recent renovation. For the bathtub lovers out there, the bathtub feels new and is wider (two people could fit, though it was a bit of a squeeze) than the one I had at Newton. I would say that it’s the best bathtub I’ve experienced at the sub-$100 price point. Unfortunately, the toilet lacks a bidet, which is a shame.
There’s also a fancy looking sink and a newish hair dryer that worked well.
Interestingly, Hotel Royal @ Queens forgoes the colourful “Hotel Royal” toiletries found in the Newton property. Instead, toiletries here are individually packaged in plastic and are from Pob Vitalite. Don’t let the French-sounding name fool you however – it’s actually an in-house brand from a local hospitality supplier. I first encountered them in my Rest Bugis Hotel stay, and they can be often found in most 3-4 star hotels. However, there’s an additional bottle of body lotion provided here, something that was lacking in my previous encounters with Pob Vitalite toiletries.
Hotel Royal @ Queens – Cleanliness
One of the major weaknesses of Hotel Royal @ Newton was its cleanliness lapses. I expected Hotel Royal @ Queens to fare better, given that it’s newer and underwent a renovation just last year. While I would say that the cleanliness standards are definitely better than the Newton property, there were still multiple areas that fell short.
Firstly, I found conspicuous dirt and grime in the recesses of the bathroom, specifically between the bathtub and the wall. I’m not sure how the housekeeper could have missed that.
Despite the bathtub looking new, I was slightly taken aback at the gaping hole where the overflow cover is supposed to be. While it technically doesn’t affect the functionality of the bathtub, it’s definitely not aesthetically pleasing.
I also found stains on the bedsheets, which was disappointing.
There were also multiple stains on the armchair, which dissuaded me from sitting on it.
Further stains can also be found on the bedside table. Overall, it’s simply disappointing that the Executive room wasn’t as clean as it looked.
Hotel Royal @ Queens – Amenties
The hotel technically features both a gym and a rooftop pool. However, the gym is closed until further notice (I’m not sure why, given that the gyms in other hotels are open), while the pool is only accessible from 8am – 12 noon. Coupled with the pandemic restrictions of just 5 pax per time slot, that equates to a maximum of 20 guests being allowed to use the pool per day. Remember, the hotel has a whopping 235 rooms, so the chances of actually using the pool are slim. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to secure a slot (the hotel recommends emailing them in advance to reserve a slot), so I’m unable to comment/show the pool. I’ll say this though – with such restrictive opening hours, I’ll skip Hotel Royal @ Queens if soaking in a pool is absolutely essential.
Conclusion – so Hotel Royal @ Queens “shiok” or not?
I would say that Hotel Royal @ Queens was a decent stay – the room was certainly better than those at Hotel Royal @ Newton. However, there were still multiple cleanliness lapses, and access to the hotel amenities are heavily restricted. Service wasn’t ideal too. When I phoned the front desk for additional bottled water, I was curtly told that water would be chargeable, which is frankly ridiculous – even the cheaper Newton property had a water dispenser on every floor for guests. And at $99, Hotel Royal @ Queens faces stiff competition from alternatives such as Ramada Zhongshan, Orchard Rendezvous Hotel, and perhaps even the likes of Hotel G and Five/6 Hotel Splendour. The only thing it has going for it is its spacious bathtub, but unless that is a deciding factor it may be wiser to look elsewhere.
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.
Hotel Royal @ Queens location: 12 Queen St, Singapore 188553
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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.