The Thais are adamant about two things: warm hospitality and nailing the...
Picking a hotel to spend your weekend at is a minefield of a prestigious names, small arty boutiques and convenient locations. It's a tough life, finding one that's most tailored to your needs, because when we can't get away from the country, we pack an overnight bag and check-in to a hotel for a staycation instead.
If you zip by the Fullerton properties numerous times on your way to work daily but have yet to spend a night in the illustrious hotel, we'd like to be the voice of reason behind a decision that you should be in favour of. Treat a night's stay as a once-in-a-lifetime thing, just like your recent splurge on that Prada briefcase, and indeed, it's warranted because it's the Fullerton. Built in 1928, The Fullerton Building was the centre of our commercial, social and official life, and was once home to the nation's General Post Office, The Exchange, Chamber of Commerce and The Singapore Club. 10 years ago, the building underwent a $400 million restoration project to become what is now The Fullerton Hotel today.
And with the opening of The Fullerton Bay Hotel last year - a smaller, cosier option with spectacular views of the river - you don't only have one, but now two hotels to choose from.
Lobby and overall decor: Stepping into The Fullerton Hotel is a classy experience on its own. The lobby is designed to look like a grand courtyard draped in polished earthy tones and colossal columns fitted in the middle, and I'm reminded of an English palace with contemporary touches. You'll also note that the Fullerton Hotel lobby has a distinctive bespoke scent, and I'm told it's concocted primarily from white jasmine, ylang ylang and lily (The Fullerton Bay Hotel lobby has the exact same scent.) Walk past the high ceilings and palatial winding staircase to the elevators, hidden behind the fanfare of it all, which takes you right up to your room.
Rooms: You have ten different categories of rooms to select from - Post Master, Courtyard, Quay, Heritage, Esplanade, Palladian Suite, Loft Suite, Fullerton Suite, Governor Suite and the Presidential Suite - depending on your budget and needs. The Fullerton Suite I was staying at was almost like a small studio apartment, with a living room, bedroom and a bathroom almost the size of the bedroom itself. Best part? The massive balcony that will easily hold up to 15 people, partitioned from your neighbour's with potted plants. Hold the bigger party, because jealous stares will come from next door (or daggers of annoyance).
Dining: Buffet breakfast is served daily at the Town Restaurant, which offers a lavish spread indoors and an al fresco dining area outdoors for those who prefer to bask in the sunshine. Your other options include Jade for dimsum and delicious Chinese delicacies, The Lighthouse for hearty Italian, The Courtyard for a light meal or afternoon tea and Post Bar for that wind-down martini or cocktail.
Facilities: A state-of-the-art gym offers a thorough workout for those who want to break a sweat, but if you wish to take it easy, The Asian Spa offers an array of massages and body treatments. And other than stashing your complimentary toiletries away as keepsakes, do stop by The Fullerton Shop before you check-out for a range of souvenirs and art pieces to take home.
The little things: A full range of Nespresso coffees and Gryphon teas are complimentary in every room, so drink your fill on these. Your spillover party can continue in your bathroom, where the huge bathtub means your feet won't be touching the ends (in fact, you struggle to stay afloat). Extra points go to the retractable orbit-like facial mirror which hangs from the bathroom wall and the high bed which requires clambering up to. The Fullerton Suite also has a total of three televisions - living room, bedroom and bathroom - so there's no fighting over football and Project Runway in here.
Lobby and overall decor: The Fullerton Bay Hotel is proudly the quieter, understated sibling of the duo. My subconscious checklist filled with approving ticks as I walked through the clean palette of neutral colours and sharp lines in the lobby, punctuated by colour from the furniture and vases of hydrangeas. The definite selling point at this swanky new hotel is their unobstructed views of Marina Bay Sands and the river, which floods the lobby with gentle sunlight in the day and adds to the panoramic skyline as it lights up at night.
Rooms: You have the option of Deluxe, Premier, Bay View, Premier Bay View, Premier Bay View with Jacuzzi, Themed Suites and the Presidential Suite, and I say go for one with a bay view because there's nothing more calming than lounging on the couch in your balcony with a sunset tipple and a book in hand at sunset.
Dining: The afternoon tea at The Landing Point is a much sought-after affair, so be sure to make your reservations there at least a week in advance. Located at the lobby in an open area where you'll want to eye others and be eyed, this is a must-do when you're in the hotel. The other thing, of course, is to head up to Lantern in the evening for drinks on the rooftop terrace, because if you haven't already heard, it is the crème de la crème of rooftop bars. And if a heavier meal is what you want, pop into Clifford (artfully designed by well-known architect Andre Fu) for your French fix.
Facilities: First things first - head up to their rooftop pool for a swim, or take a dip in their jacuzzis which overlook the Central Business District. This will probably take hours as it's hard to tear away after, but nothing's got to give - you're on a staycation. If not, there's a gym available or three meeting rooms for those who prefer taking their work to the hotel.
The little things: The bathroom is only separated from the bedroom by a glass window, which means you can take your bath enjoying outdoor views if you squint. If you prefer some privacy, a switch settles that as the blinds come down. Mood lighting is also available in the bathroom if you want a change of atmosphere. Here, you can also get your Nespresso and Gryphon tea fix at any time, and a bottle of white wine and platter of fruits which came along with the room so you'll never be without life's little luxuries. What impressed us most? The fact that the door to the balcony is connected to the air-conditioning system - so if you leave the door open, the air-conditioning will stop. Cheers to innovative devices which help save the earth's resources.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
S$298++ per night for a Courtyard Room
Terms & Conditions: Valid for local residents only from 1 Dec 2011 till 30 Dec 2011. Room rates are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes. Rooms are subject to availability. Blackout dates apply. Prior room reservations are required. Not valid in conjunction with other promotions & discounts. The S$88nett dining credit can be used at all outlets at both The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
S$398++ per night for a Deluxe Room
Terms & Conditions: Valid for local residents only from 1 Dec 2011 till 30 Dec 2011. Room rates are subject to 10% service charge and prevailing government taxes. Rooms are subject to availability. Blackout dates apply. Prior room reservations are required. Not valid in conjunction with other promotions & discounts. The S$68nett dining credit can be used at all outlets at both The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.
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