Stunning lobby on 32nd fl, with high ceiling and view of sea
No, Westin Singapore hadn’t been at Raffles City for more than ten years. This Westin was only a few months’ old. We checked online for the price of seaview suite, which was about $700+, and a few days later, we checked again and it dropped to $475+. The credit card was whipped out faster than Neo could siam bullets. Including taxes, we paid $560.
At first, we were given a suite on the 37th floor, directly on top of the swimming pool. The view was obstructed by the ugly metallic beam-roof of the pool. This was unacceptable. Why would I pay extra money to stay in a seaview suite, the second most expensive category, without a seaview? We walked the very long corridor back down to the check-in counter and requested for another suite. This time, they gave the 40th floor. Why didn’t they do so in the first? I couldn’t understand.
But when we walked the very long corridor to the room on 40th floor, and burst the door open, the gorgeous suite placated our frustrations. Now we could see the expansive sea. I had thought Singapore’s sea was a murky mud. Who knew it was aquamarine?
The “Servants’ Toilet”
What I liked about the suite was (1) it had two toilets, a small toilet with only a toilet bowl and sink, a toilet I called the “servants’ toilet,” which I relegated to my friends who visited me; and a grand toilet with a TV, two sinks, an exhibitionist bathtub big enough for two, a rainshower, and a toilet in its own cubicle.
On one side of the “Grand Toilet,” an exhibitionist bathtub, and, on the other side…
partitioned toilet and rainshower.
(2) The “living room” and bedroom were partitioned and each had a TV. The channels were extensive. (3) The walk from the door of the suite to the suite proper was quite long. To some, this might seem a waste of space, but to me, it spoke of luxury and decadence.
1. Infinity swimming pool as if it were touching the sea, gorgeous.
2. Gym: large but mostly cardio equipments. Could do with more free weights.
3. Club lounge: Because we had a suite, we could access the club lounge which served drinks and snacks. From 6pm to 8pm, it served cocktails and food. Mostly carbs, carbs, carbs so when the fried chicken wings came out, it was an all-out war like people hadn’t seen wings before.
A delightful cake at Club Lounge (in general, Westin’s cakes were delicious.)
SOME PROBLEMS WITH WESTIN
1. Technical glitch: Once, we tried 2/3 lifts and couldn’t access level 35 where the facilities were. The service staff said the lifts had technical glitches. Hey is this a five-star hotel or MRT?
2. Night view/ Sea view VS Nearby Amenities: The area around Westin hadn’t fully developed yet, so you couldn’t get food or condoms at night or on Sunday. It would make sense to wait a few years for the area to be developed but construction had begun in the land between Westin and the sea. In 2 years, Westin won’t have a seaview anymore. Besides, everyone wants to stay in a new hotel. Do you want nearby amenities or a view? Pick. Furthermore, while in the day the seaview was spectacular, there was nothing much to see at night. Was the seaview suite worth the non-discounted price?
3. Stingy: Is the SPG hotel group stingy or what? This is the first hotel that told me each suite was only entitled to one complimentary parking ticket. Other hotels give freely.
The stinginess affected the service. When Chiobu, Yan Dao, and I were at the Club Lounge, a server chided and embarrassed us in an arrogant and rude tone that each suite was allowed two guests at the lounge. But he didn’t say anything to a table of three angmohs. Firstly, he was doing his job but he could have done it in a professional and polite manner. He made us feel crass. Secondly, why were angmohs given different treatment? And lastly, when we had a staycation at Novotel, we trio had no problem at the Club Lounge. We saw others bringing a guest to join them at Novotel club lounge too. If Novotel allows an extra guest, why not Westin? Come on lah, it wasn’t as if I brought my entire kampong. How much could a girl eat?
Last incident to illustrate Westin’s penny-pinching ways: When I requested for a bucket of ice and some extra wine glasses, they wanted to charge me $5 because, they explained, the wine glasses belonged to another department. Department of Making More Money?
Because we had the suite, there was a choice for us to breakfast at either the club lounge or the restaurant at the lobby, Seasonal Tastes. Given that the food selection at the club lounge was limited, and we had a bad memory of the place, we went to Seasonal Tastes.
I surmised that because the hotel wasn’t full, wasn’t running to its full capacity, the breakfast buffet was limited. Not much options: some cold cuts, sausages, bacon, and lots of carbs including Japanese rice, porridge, Indian carb-by stuff, and hard-like-stone penny pancakes. I didn’t know anyone could ruin pancakes.
But whatever that was catered was fantastic. The freshly squeezed carrot juice, that came in a bottle (hence, probably catered), was MAGIC POTION; so sweet and rejuvenating that I perked up after each mouthful. I had 2 bottles! I never had any juices that tasted so magical. The lo mai gai (chicken rice in lotus leaf) was one of the best I had, so soft and fragrant. And the pastry section, oh god, the pastries. The pain au chocolat was stuffed with a delicious chocolate that lingered long in the memory. There were rather unusual and surprisingly delectable pastries, like banana custard, guava, and cherry, all seemed to be made from real fruits, not jams. The doughnut was soft with a jam within it. Even the muffin was amazing, a lava tube of jam running through the centre, so with each bite, you taste the moistness, softness of the muffin with jam. Westin hit gold with its caterers.
Dissecting a muffin
The suite was comfortable, and the service was mostly wonderful, with the staff greeting and smiling, generally pleasant and enjoying their work. The most frustrating was the hotel’s miserly ways, but when I looked at the view, I got in a kinder, forgiving mood, and rather enjoyed the staycation.
12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961
T: +65 6922 6888
How to Get to Westin:
(a) MRT to Downtown Station, exit E.
(b) At Asia Square Tower 2, park at 5th floor. Lobby is on 32nd floor.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.