I wouldn’t normally review a hotel, to be honest I rarely stay in top notch, five star properties, but my stop at the Swissotel The Stamford was such a memorable one I had to tell you about my visit.
Singapore hotels can be extremely pricey, however for a five star high rise property in one of the best locations, it represented excellent value for this tropical city-state. So when the rate dropped from AUD$310 to AUD$255 per night for a classic room a few days prior to my arrival – and still not having a room booked for my one night stay – I took advantage of the discount and, on a work colleagues recommendation, reserved a classic room – the lead in room type.
After arriving into Changi Airport on Scoot Airlines ScootBiz – Review: Scoot Airlines Sydney to Singapore ScootBiz – I caught an efficient and rather quick taxi from the airport to the hotel for a VERY affordable SGD$18 (AUD$15.57) – you’d be lucky to get between airport terminals in Sydney by taxi for that! – and was being welcomed to the hotel by Christian, a dapper dressed blond European, the concierge, within about 20 minutes. My bag was whisked away by a porter and due to a lengthy line at the reception desks, Christian radioed ahead and had me checked in via a more discreet and relatively quiet area behind the main reception. Another warm greeting from a front desk staff member who also took genuine interest in my travel to Singapore, advised me I had a complimentary upgrade to a King Grand Room on the 47th floor – Fabulous!
I wont repeat what words came out of my mouth again and again when I opened the door, walked down the hall past the bathroom, and into the main 50 square metre room with separate working, sitting and sleeping areas and twin balconies – but it sounds like ‘duck’ 😉
The blond marble bathroom, located off the main hall near the entry, included a full bath and amenities by Pürovel Spa and Sports, Swissotels own brand based on European Alpine treatments.
With a 2 seater couch, 2 armchairs, coffee table and tv, the room was well appointed.
The king bed, tucked away in its own alcove was sublimely comfortable and was just far enough away from the sitting area to feel like its own room yet not too far to enjoy the flat screen 81cm tv.
Again, those naughty words were exclaimed, but this time sounding more like ‘dark’, when I opened the balcony door and saw the view although it was anything but dark – it was a beautiful sight of sparkling and iridescent colours all moving, twinkling and almost swaying to the gentle hum of the city below. To enjoy this moment, I cracked open a piccolo of wine from the mini bar fridge – SGD$14 (AUD$12.11) – but alas it was red wine! (from the fridge?) so, I cracked open another piccolo – I’m a white wine drinker – and stepped out onto the balcony to absorb the view.
The following morning, although a bit drizzly, the scene from the main balcony was just as spectacular with the architectural brilliance of the 3 tiered Marina Bay Sands hotel, the fun and joyful looking the Singapore Flyer ferris wheel and the bizarre looking Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, appearing as a pair of fly’s eyes – looking up at me. Coupled with ships offshore, waiting to load up or unload their goods for Singapore and the Malay peninsula – this ‘set’ was stunning.
The view from the 2nd balcony, near the bed, although not as spectacular, afforded an insight to the other side of the city – apartments, gardens, office blocks – Singapore’s real heart beat. I wandered between balconies for a while, peering out, looking down, I contemplated having another wine to soak up the view but decided breakfast was a more sensible option. Although the property has 6 restaurants and 4 bars, I opted for room service, to make the most of my surroundings.
The compendium of hotel services sitting on the large work desk included the extensive room service menu with around 3 pages dedicated to just breakfast itself. It took awhile for me to decide but I settled on the Classic Western Breakfast – any choice of two eggs with choice of breakfast chicken sausages, turkey ham or turkey bacon – SGD$21 (AUD$18.17) – I chose poached eggs and turkey bacon.
Service was efficient and in no time at all, my breakfast was delivered and placed on the table in the sitting area. The tray, garnished with 6 halves of toast kept warm in a starched napkin, included a rack of jams and spreads, salt and pepper, cutlery and a glass of iced water. As I lifted the cloche of the main dish I was delighted that the eggs and turkey bacon also came with grilled tomato halves, toasted and buttered English muffins that the two puffy and silky looking poached eggs sat on and a side of Roesti like fried potato hash. The eggs, although perfect in texture with the right amount of goey runny yolk that flowed out like glowing lava across the muffins after a prick from my fork, did have a tinge of a vinegary taste – which I often find when eating poached eggs at a restaurant or hotel, I don’t use vinegar when poaching eggs at home for this very reason – it distracted and overpowered the flavour of the egg. The turkey bacon was slightly rubbery, but an interesting item I hadn’t tried before, however the real winner here was the potato hash – smokey, crispy on the outside yet soft inside with the right amount of seasoning, it was a real winner, I could have eaten a whole plate of this!
After breakfast It was time to hit the gym and have a swim before checking out of this glorious hotel and spending the day exploring Singapore. The pool, which I had spied from the second balcony a whole 41 floors above, was located on the 6th floor as was the gym. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the gym as there were a few people working out and it may have come across a little weird.
A dip in the pool was completely refreshing in the tropical Singaporean heat and although a few kids were annoyingly splashing around and making noise, I enjoyed the half an hour or so I spent there and the view was just as amazing.
Check out was a breeze and I left my suitcase with the hotel while I went on a shopping spree and lunched in the shopping centre below the hotel. Upon returning and retrieving my suitcase in order to repack and stow my newly acquired purchases, it was a smiling Christian, the dapper concierge that had greeted me the previous evening on arrival, who helped me with my luggage and arranged a taxi that quipped “such a short stay with us? What a shame! I hope we will see you again here at the Swissotel” – You will, I replied, you certainly will!
So there you are, my first hotel review and it was top notch, five star – the hotel that is 😉