Staycation: Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy at Katong + Ernest Zacharevic’s Street Art at Joo Chiat

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy hotel reviewGrand 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore RoxyThat’s the space of a 3-room HDB flat.

Grand Mercure Singapore RoxyGrand 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore RoxyTwo basins in the bathroom!

Grand Mercure Singapore RoxyA 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy swimming pool

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy gymA 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore RoxyBesides 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.

Joo ChiatAfter 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.

joo chiatPassing 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.

Ernest Zacharevic street art singapore joo chiatWe 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy club loungeExecutive Lounge

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy executive loungeA bird’s eye view from the lounge

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy executive loungeThere is a very swift macbook here.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy club lounge happy hourBefore 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy breez bistroFor 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy breakfast

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy breakfastThe 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.

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy

Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy 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

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Thanks Eng Sheng for the invitation.

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