Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Naumi Hotel.
Naumi Hotel is billed as a luxury boutique hotel that’s “fuelled by the desire to be whimsical, experiential and innovative”. I’ve stayed at boutique hotels before, but those were at an affordable price point. I was curious to see if Naumi Hotel had what it takes to compete against the bigger, more established full-fledged hotels – ParkRoyal, One Farrer Hotel, etc – so I decided to book a stay to find out.
Naumi Hotel – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay at Naumi Hotel, do check out my Youtube review below:
Naumi Hotel – the Brand
Opened in 2007 before receiving a renovation in 2013, Naumi Hotel is a five-star “luxurious boutique hotel” situated in the heart of the city area. With just 73 rooms, the hotel is a small scale one, though with an admirably ambitious mission to “provide travellers with imaginative designs, bespoke services and unique micro experiences.”
Given its five-star status, rooms at Naumi hotel aren’t cheap, with the entry-level Habitat room costing a whisker under $200. Still, I was curious to try out the property – and it wasn’t an exorbitant amount – so I decided to take a leap of faith and book it anyway.
Naumi Hotel – Check-in
Naumi Hotel is situated right in the heart of the city centre – it’s within a stone’s throw from the esteemed Raffles Hotel. The closest MRT would be Esplanade, though it is also walkable from either Bugis or City Hall MRT.
As expected, the lobby of the hotel was decked out in all sorts of esoteric art, from expressive paintings to sculptures of the hippo, which I understand serves as the hotel’s spirit animal. However, I had to wait for about 30 minutes to check-in, and there was a lack of seating for waiting guests – I was told that the seats pictured above belonged to the restaurant, and was thus barred from sitting there unless I bought food/drinks. I thought that was a tad inflexible of hotel management, given that the restaurant was mostly empty (this was around 3-4pm).
Once my room was ready, a Naumi hotel staff escorted me to the room. She also pointed out the interactive displays at the lobby, which I thought was a cool gimmick to entertain the guests while waiting for the lift.
Naumi Hotel – Habitat Room
The staff not only escorted me to my Habitat Room, but she also took the time to explain each portion of the room, showing me where everything is, etc. The hospitable service separates Naumi Hotel from the cheaper boutique hotels – it definitely started my stay on the right foot.
Interestingly, the first thing one sees upon opening the door is the bathroom area. The Habitat Room features an open bathroom concept – with separate toilet and shower areas – while the sink can be found outside.
The toilet features a modern concealed cistern design, though unfortunately there was no bidet on the side provided. I also found some unsightly stains (more on that later) on the wall, which was a tad disappointing.
The standing shower area consists of both a rain shower as well as a handheld showerhead. Both fixtures are from the European luxury label Grohe, so water pressure was strong and the temperature wasn’t fickle. The shower stall is of a decent size too, and can fit two people with ease. However, toiletries come in the form of big pump bottles, and are generic – no luxury label there, which is a shame for a luxury hotel.
My Habitat Room comes with Magic Glass, which is a neat little trick.
With a flick of the switch, the glass of the toilet and shower stalls turn opaque – pretty cool to say the least. Due to the open nature of the bathroom, it’s also a practical feature to have if you prefer a little more privacy.
The sink area can be found outside the shower and toilet stalls. I’m usually not a fan of the sink outside toilet arrangement – because it means I’ll have to touch the doors, etc with dirty hands – but in an open concept bathroom such an arrangement works better. I also like the luminescent nature of the sink counter, which adds a dose of sophistication to the room.
A pair of hand towels, cups, hand soap and body lotion can be found neatly arranged – a nice touch.
More toiletries can be found in a drawer below – toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton buds, comb, shower cap and more can be found in individual packaging that have cute little quotes printed on them. It’s a small touch, but one that reinforces the whimsical nature of the hotel.
Interestingly, the mini-fridge can be found right below the sink. It comes pre-stocked with some complimentary refreshments, which is a thoughtful gesture. However, the mini-fridge was too small for my tastes, and failed to pass the wine bottle test – I couldn’t fit a wine bottle in it without removing the grilles.
A bevvy of refreshments can be found next to the sink, all neatly arranged on a retractable cabinet. There’s a kettle, a Nespresso machine, T2 Tea satchets, a wine opener, snacks in terms of Camel peanuts and truffle chips, a pair of wine glasses, and a total of three different types of cups (espresso, coffee, tea). Once again, the luxury side of Naumi Hotel is shining through – it’s definitely worlds above the bare-bones refreshments of YWCA Fort Canning that I reviewed last week.
The Nespresso pods aren’t the conventional ones either – those provided are from a local brand called Hook Coffee. I quite enjoyed the coffee, which tastes more authentic and less artificial than those from the regular Nespresso pods.
The main bedroom is of a decent size, and feel pretty bright and airy. The floor is decked out with contemporary wooden panelling – there’s also a rug – with the overall decor being that of boutique chic.
There’s a small workstation beside the bed, though a lack of ports made it less practical. The chair provided felt more suitable for lounging than getting work done too, so if you’re planning a workcation Naumi Hotel may not be the most ideal.
The Habitat Room comes with a King bed, which features Naumi Hotel’s high 300 thread count Egyptian cotton bedding. Honestly, it’s one of the most comfortable beds that I’ve ever slept in at a hotel. In addition to the plush pillows, a bolster is also provided, which just makes the stay more homely. This is definitely one of the best beds I’ve slept in, that’s for sure.
Conveniently located by the bedside is an analogue phone, a desk lamp, a notepad and pencil, in-room dining options, and even earplugs, should the nightly activities of your neighbours prove too disruptive. Once again, small touches like the earplugs are what separates Naumi Hotel from more affordable boutique hotels, or even mid-priced boutique hotels like Wanderlust – it’s the details that count.
A host of lighting switches can be found on the other side of the bed, along with a single power port. I would have liked for more power ports to be available – that was one of my pet peeves for the room. However, drinking water was thoughtfully provided in an elegant glass bottle, along with refined glasses to drink out of. And yes, that’s the fifth type of glass in the room.
The Habitat Room features a modern 40-inch flat-screen Samsung TV. The picture and sound quality were decent, though nothing particularly outstanding. A variety of cable channels were available, and I watched Indiana Jones cavalier about on HBO for a while.
However, what I really appreciated were the accessories that came along with the TV.
The room comes with Apple TV, so you’re able to screen anything from your Apple devices (iPhone, Macbook, etc) without any issues. It’s actually the first room I’ve been in that has Apple TV – another detail that separates it from its competition. There’s also a Samsung blu-ray player, though I’m not quite sure who still watches blu-ray in this day and age…
Unfortunately, the view was less impressive – you see part of the hotel facade, as well as some nondescript shophouses and construction work. Given that Naumi Hotel is known for its views, the lack thereof was a slight disappointment.
Since the view was really nothing to look at, I found myself lowering the blinds and the sheers for a more intimate ambience. This is done electronically via the bedside switches, similar to those found in One Farrer Hotel.
Oh yes – there’s also a safe that’s tucked away in a drawer on the bedside desk.
Naumi Hotel – Cleanliness Issues
Unfortunately, what let the stay down were some cleanliness issues that shouldn’t be present at a five-pearl hotel.
Firstly, mould was conspicuously growing on the exterior of the window, thus making an average view less-than-great. Sure, it’s something housekeeping can’t rectify in between guests, but it shows that it’s probably been some time since the hotel had an exterior cleaning.
I also found a bunch of splattered stains next to a power port – it looks like the remnants of a previous guest’s drunken night. It was off-putting, to say the least.
Lastly, there was also mould growing on the ceiling of the room. The same happened during my stay at Hotel Bencoolen. However, the difference is that Hotel Bencoolen is a three-star budget hotel, while Naumi Hotel is a five-star luxury establishment – it’s inexcusable for a hotel of this stature.
Naumi Hotel – Amenities
Despite being a boutique hotel, Naumi Hotel does have a variety of amenities on its premises.
Firstly, the hotel has two small gyms – one for cardio, and one for weights.
The gyms are pretty spartan, but they have all the basic necessities. However, both gyms are situated on different floors so moving in between the two will be inconvenient.
One of Naumi Hotel’s main attractions is its rooftop infinity pool, which the hotel claims provide guests with a bird’s eye view of the city. It’s nice, but let’s be honest – it’s no MBS. For one, the pool is fairly small, with a maximum occupancy of just 8 guests at one time. That makes me more of an “Instagram” pool rather than one for actual swimming. In fact, whilst I was there I mainly saw couples taking selfies/photos in the pool. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s something to take note of in case you were planning to do actual laps. And as for the view, it’s nice, but nothing breathtaking due to its height – as seen in the photo above, it’s dwarfed by surrounding buildings. The reason why the MBS Infinity Pool is so stunning is that it provides you with the “top of the world” feel, which you don’t get at Naumi Hotel’s rooftop pool. Still, it’s a decent place to unwind and chill at, and there’s even a rooftop bar should you require some alcohol to help you let your hair down further.
Conclusion – so Naumi Hotel “shiok” or not?
I would say that my experience at Naumi Hotel was a mixed bag. There were certainly certain elements where I felt the “luxury” side of the hotel shine through – the atas refreshments, the superb bed, the Apple TV, the variety of cups available, small details like a bolster and earplugs being provided, etc. It’s definitely a step above the boutique hotels that I’ve previously visited, such as Wanderlust or even lyf Funan. However, there were certain areas where it just fell short. These were mainly in terms of cleanliness – mould and stains were prevalent in my Habitat room – while the rooftop pool felt slightly underwhelming as well. While I don’t regret my stay at Naumi Hotel, I’m not sure if I would pick it over full-fledged options such as Parkroyal Pickering or One Farrer Hotel. Perhaps if I had stayed at one of Naumi Hotel’s higher-tier rooms (such as the Oasis Room) my opinion would be more positive, but as it stands the entry-level Habitat Room still has room for improvement.
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.
Naumi Hotel Location: 41 Seah St, Singapore 188396
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.
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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.