Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy provides such a lovely staycation, rivaling any 5-star hotels. We saw many airlines’ pilots and attendants, because the hotel is 15 minutes from Changi Airport. But for Singaporeans who stay in the West or North like us, Grand Mercure is an escape to become a pretend-tourist in our own country.
That’s the space of a 3-room HDB flat.
Grand Mercure’s facade may look a little old-fashioned, but the studio suite we were in is well-maintained. The suite is spacious, one of the advantages of being outside the city. Every amenity is accounted for–from toothbrush to bath salts, from iron to hair dryer–so just have to bring swim wear for the staycation.
Two basins in the bathroom!
A bathtub. The toilet is in a cubicle, and the standing shower is in another cubicle. Which means at least 5 people can use the toilet at the same time. 2 people at the 2 basins, 1 at the toilet, 1 at the shower, and 1 (or maybe 2) at the tub.
A lousy gym in a 5-star hotel is like a BMW with worn-out secondhand tires–what’s the point? Lousy hotel gyms are so 80s when a leading actor could still be flabby. Luckily, Grand Mercure has a well-equipped gym, way better than most hotels’ gyms. So awesome that it inspired me to want to work out.
Besides a spacious room and a well-equipped gym, the third thing I like about the hotel is free wifi. I know this may seem like a small thing, but many 5-star hotels do not provide free wifi. We live in the 21st century. All other hotels, please get out of stone age.
After an exploration of the hotel, we strolled around the vicinity. There are malls and supermarkets nearby. I said that Grand Mercure is a good hotel for Singaporeans to play pretend-tourists. The Peranakan enclave, known as Joo Chiat area, is very charming, full of nostalgia. Beautiful old shophouses with mosaic tiles, quaint shops, and first-rate restaurants and cafes. Since I live in the north, this area is completely new and lovely to me.
Passing by gorgeous architecture and potted plants, we walked 20 minutes to Ernest Zacharevic’s street art. Zacharevic is the same artist who drew on the walls in Penang and Ipoh. This one is called Jousting Painters (2 Everitt Rd Singapore 428562; intersection of Everitt Road and Joo Chiat Terrace). Unfortunately, the Minions by the side of the Jousting Painters have been painted over.
We worked up a good appetite for dinner back at the hotel. There are four restaurants in the hotel for different purposes, clearly stated in their names: Feast@East Buffet Restaurant, Jia Wei Chinese restaurant, Wave Cafe, and Breez Bistro Bar.
A bird’s eye view from the lounge
There is a very swift macbook here.
Before dinner, we dropped by the executive lounge for their happy hour (6pm-8pm) for free-flow of finger food and drinks including alcoholic ones. YES! The service is impeccable, and gentle. Besides food, the lounge also offers a magnificent sea view. A few angmohs were drinking like a fish; I think they wanted to get their money’s worth. Times like this, I wish I could drink like a fish too. Haha.
For dinner, the Breez Bistro Bar offers a 4-course dinner. It is the sort of food that smart, experienced chefs would create, because it is simple to prepare–so cooks on different shifts could be consistent with the standard–and delicious at the same time. I was surprised by how the service staff seemed to know everyone. My guess is many customers are regulars.
The next day, we had a choice to breakfast at executive lounge or Feast@East Buffet. There is a larger selection at Feast, but it’s quieter at the lounge. We feasted at Feast; food was ok.
During the staycation, I was amazed at how crowded the hotel was. After all, the hotel isn’t situated in the city. But after the stay, the high occupancy rate is completely justified. Although there are many airlines’ staff, holidayers, and staycationers, the service remains good, and the maintenance stays on top of things. Grand Mercure has exceeded my expectations and the staycation has indeed been a grand cure for Me(r).
Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy
50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square, Singapore 428769
T: +65 6344 8000
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Thanks Eng Sheng for the invitation.