Welcome back to another hotel review on Seeing The World In Steps! The latest series on my hotel adventures while stuck back home in Singapore! This time around, I will be checking out The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. An iconic 5 star luxury hotel in Singapore. Located right in the heart of the city, Raffles Place, just off the banks of the Marina Bay area and across the road from Singapore famous Merlion statue. Well connected to the main tourists attractions and the central business district makes this heritage hotel both suitable for both leisure and business travellers. The hotel is named after Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits Settlements long before we became a country. Here is Seeing The World In Steps tracing back its roots.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
This can be said as one of the deal of the century! I’m sure everyone thinks of Fullerton when you are thinking of doing a staycation in Singapore and me too. Passing by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore everytime I drive by Esplanade Dr, this is a milestone and I am glad that I found the best deal to check it out. Set in a British Colonial style heritage building, this place have its roots since 1928. It used to be the General Post Office before being retrofitted into the current hotel that we know of today. Without saying, Fullerton have been with us probably thru our entire Singapore history. I managed to find a killer rate during the recent Traveloka Flash Sale a couple weekends ago. I paid 152 SGD Nett after all the discount. The package came with breakfast and wait for it! A 120 SGD DINING CREDIT! YES! It is not a typo! Taking those credits at face value, I am only paying 32 SGD for the room!
You will receive a pre arrival email 3 days before your stay with all the details and information that you might require for your stay. You are able to complete the pre arrival form, making reservations for the pool, gym and breakfast. If you are keen on taking part in the heritage tours, you can also make the registration now. I managed to partake in the Fullerton Monument Tour which I will be sharing about later on. I also received a phone call from the hotel the evening before, seeking my arrival time. My room will be ready at 9am and I was also extended a late check out at 3pm. My room was also pre upgraded to a Straits Club Marina Bay View room. I really appreciate the call which was a really nice touch. In my opinion, all 5 star luxury hotels should take the initiative to call / email guests for their arrival time. Besides accessible rooms in the Premier Courtyard category, I am happy to announce that all rooms and suites at Fullerton Hotel comes with a bathtub. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore have a total of 399 rooms and suites. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Straits Club Access||Bathtub||Size||No. of Rooms|
|Premier Courtyard||No||Yes||42 Sqm||114|
|Heritage||No||Yes||37 – 71 Sqm||126|
|Quay||No||Yes||36 – 39 Sqm||30|
|Marina Bay View||No||Yes||36 – 39 Sqm||30|
|Straits Club Courtyard||Yes||Yes||42 Sqm||19|
|Straits Club Heritage||Yes||Yes||37 – 71 Sqm||19|
|Straits Club Quay||Yes||Yes||36 – 39 Sqm||6|
|Straits Club Marina Bay View||Yes||Yes||36 – 39 Sqm||16|
|Premier Collyer Suite||Yes||Yes||65 Sqm||7|
|Palladian Suite||Yes||Yes||69 – 93 Sqm||6|
|Loft Suite||Yes||Yes||109 Sqm||8|
|Fullerton Suite||Yes||Yes||90 Sqm||5|
|Governor Suite||Yes||Yes||77 Sqm||1|
|Presidential Suite||Yes||Yes||201 Sqm||1|
With my early check in guaranteed at 9am, I arrive exactly on the dot. There was barely any crowd at the hotel given the early hours and being a weekday. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore have a grand and chic driveway. After pulling up the bellboy came over with a warm welcome and to help me with my bags. I was ushered all the way to the check in counter. I appreciated their polished service and this is why Fullerton Hotel is known to be one of the best in the business. My last name was asked and communicated ahead to the check in reception. From then, I was always addressed by my name. Such a simple service standard that all luxury hotels could do but constantly fail.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore have a very grand and spectacular lobby. You get an old world charm upon stepping in with the grand spiral staircase in the middle becoming the focal point. The check in desks are located on the other side of the lobby. In line with current health requirements, they are installed with plexiglass screens.
The check in process is smooth and quick. I was told that my room will be ready in minutes which was understandable given the early hour. A personalised welcome letter was provided for all Straits Club guests, detailing all the perks and benefits that I am entitled to. In less than 10 mins, the receptionist was back with my key card and further escorted me all the way to my room. I appreciate the effort to engage in short conversations, introducing the various aspect of the hotel to me and how I could get to the Straits Club, Pool and Gym. He ended the engagement after a brief introduction of my room and inquiring if I need any help. Full marks in the check in experience. A perfect welcome!
Straits Club Marina Bay View Room
I was assigned room 683, a Marina Bay View room on the 6th floor. Fullerton rooms are separated into two distinct wing, the original one and the courtyard ones. There are two different sets of elevator, one near the main entrance and one near the check in reception. The wings are connected by a skybridge on each floor. While the room can’t be said as spacious, it measures a cosy 36 to 39 Sqm and the amazing expansive view from the balcony really helps makes the room bigger than it looks!
I was like a happy little kid as I was shown into my room. I only refrain from grinning widely just to maintain my appearance. After entering my room, the view immediately caught my eye and in the exact words of the associate ushering me “this is pretty amazing isn’t it”. According to him the Marina Bay View rooms are especially popular during F1 and NDP every year given their prime location and spectacular grand view. It is also marvelous to finally see where my room was in the building after driving past Fullerton countless time on Esplanade Dr. This is definitely one of the most recognizable building in Singapore. After this stay, I will naturally unknowingly look at this room where I once stayed when driving by. I really love the hotel scent which left a lingering fragrance everywhere in the public areas. I love how bright the room is from the abundance of natural light coming in which completes the soothing tones used in the decor. The refurbished rooms here at Fullerton are amazing! Remember to request for them rather than the ones which are still a work in progress. The room have a short corridor before a right turn leads you to the main space itself. A L- Shape Configuration.
The wardrobe area is immediately located towards the left near the entrance. Spacious with plenty of hangers to be found. The hangers are the removable kind which is the standard. I totally do not get those cheapo hangers that are fixed to the bar in some hotels. Alongside. two comfy bathrobes and bath slippers are left inside.
Next to it was the luggage rack area, nicely incorporated into the entire setup. Bigger suitcases might have an issue fitting in though. I’m sure a portable rack won’t be too tough of a request for the Fullerton team to bring up. My luggage was already nicely placed in the room when I entered. Above it you can find a cabinet with an extra pillow and a safe.
The main space of the room is in a rectangular shape. On the left, the set up of a large Samsung high quality Smart TV is mounted on the wall. Perfect size for the room. A nice selection of cable TV channels can be found. For soccer and sports fans, you have your choice of Fox Sports and Mio Sports. Perfect for supporting your team on. The TV also supports Chromecast and if not you can easily connect your laptop with a HDMI cable for a relaxing movie night with your partner.
Below the TV you can find a tablet which provides information on the hotel and rooms. It also acts as an interface for requests, in room dining etc etc. An awesome Harman Kardon speaker can be found in the room as well. Easily connected with Bluetooth to play your personalised Spotify playlist while admiring this sick view.
A round table acts as the dining table cum working desk here in the corner. It’s nicely designed and comfortable. I love the leather arm chair that accompanies it. Perfect spot for those who needs to get some work done in the midst of their vacation. Wifi is easy to connect and fast in the room. Outlets are well designed and can be easily found by the table area with both traditional sockets and USB outlets! The HDMI port can be found here as well. Full marks! Surprisingly it is weird that no care kits are left in the room which is a norm these days in hotels.
On the opposite side, that is where you can find the lush king size bed. It was extremely comfortable and plush. A little on the softer side for my liking but I still had an amazing sleep. The sheets were high quality! 4 full size pillows were left in the room and additional ones can be requested. While there isn’t an official pillow menu in the room, while requesting, the receptionist immediately inquire my preference for a softer or firmer one. The pillows were slightly disappointing, they were way too soft and paper thin. Nightstands with inbuilt electronic controls can be found on either side of the bed. I am also happy to report that both USB outlets and traditional sockets can be found here.
In front of the bed, you can find a lazing couch alongside a coffee table. Perfect for snuggling around with your partner with that spectacular view to the side.
The minibar area can be found at the side of the room. A stark contrast to other hotels I have recently reviewed, there is a fully stocked mini bar here! Of course, with 5 star hotels prices to match! Packaged water are provided free of charge alongside Nespresso coffee and TWG teas. They are replenished during turndown service.
Now the view and the balcony that I have raved about so much. The main highlight of this room! A good size and not just one of those narrow ones where you can barely stretch out. The balcony is good for almost anytime during your stay! Two chairs are placed here as well. I appreciate it being extremely private, despite the room next door being so close by, the side walls here are well designed. At a good height, it is hard to see the next door occupants unless you really stretch out of the balcony. The double layer glass door leading out to the balcony meant that the room are well insulated from the traffic noise outside. You will be in deep slumber in the evening. Now, for the view!
The perfect Marina Bay View in the day! Sparkling under the glistering sun!
Or the mesmerizing city lights of Singapore in the evening!
Neither should you miss out having a cuppa while gazing at the sunrise as Singapore brightens up early in the morning! Trust me. This is as magical as it gets! Having a cup of freshly brewed coffee, lazing at one of the balcony chairs while simply staring at this view. If only time could stand still right now! Trust me, this is worth setting your alarm clock for!
The bathroom is located near the entrance and it is a spacious one. Kinda moot to find that only one sink is fitted. Although this also means that the counter space is maximised. Amenities from Atkinsons Amber Empire collection are provided and they are easily one of the best I have used. The floral scent was really nice! Dental kits are provided as well and the toothbrush were high quality. If I could say, nicer and softer than what I use at home!
The sleek and rectangular bathrooms comes with both a standing rainforest shower as well as a soaking tub. Tried and tested. They are definitely spacious enough for 2 pax! Water pressure is excellent and temperature control is good as well!
A Toto bidet toilet is installed as well. For those who gets intrigued by the seat cover opening automatically when you walk in, this is your place! The hair dryer can be found in the drawer in the toilet and oh boy, this is one disappointing aspect! For a Fullerton, a five star hotel, using a “press and hold” to activate hairdryer is just a no no. That can’t be the standard and there is nothing 5 stay about it.
Fullerton executive lounge is known as the Straits Club, keeping in line with their colonial roots. Straits Club privileges are extended to guests who reserve a club room and suites. Some of the privileges includes; round-the-clock personalised service, in-room registration, complimentary daily Chandon breakfast, afternoon tea, evening canapés and cocktails, preferred laundry rates, pressing service for up to two clothing items and late check-out. You can also get a meeting room for up to 2 hours. Just to share a little on my experience of being a club guest, the main benefits I enjoyed would be the Chandon breakfast, afternoon tea, evening canapes and cocktails. I also took advantage of the complimentary pressing and I was shown to my room after checking in at the main lobby if it matters.
Located on Level 4, on the courtyard side. The lounge is a pretty chic and cosy area. I love the white facade and the features of vintage Peranakan décor with Straits Chinese artefacts. The lounge is only open for breakfast service on sundays. On other days, they are only open for afternoon tea and evening canapes & cocktails.
Afternoon tea is served from 3pm to 5pm. There isn’t a menu as it depends on the chef selection daily. From what I have heard, the selection is rather similar to what the hotel serve in the lobby lounge as well. But you have the option of going unlimited. Plain and raisin scones are served with both strawberry jam and clotted cream alongside other treats in a tier stand. As classic as it gets. My standards for scones comes from Muffin Man Tea Shop in Kensington and I have to say that the do a pretty good rendition for what you can get in Singapore. They were buttery and flaky. Most importantly, they were served warm. You can also find some open face sandwiches of prawn cocktails, salmon and egg mayo. Sweet bites including carrot cake, red bean cake and kueh lapis. Both me and my partner really love the carrot cake.
Accompanying your afternoon tea are a selection of non alcoholic drinks. Sadly alcohol drinks are not provided here during afternoon tea, unlike the generosity of Conrad. On offer are a selection of soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea. They are able to do cold drinks as well and I had a couple of their ice mocha which was excellent and robust. The staff were amazing and attentive. They remember your drinks preference. Let me also point out that the tea selection is one of the better ones out there and could literally mimic the TWG Tea Lounge, there are a total of 13 choices with unique ones like Jasmine Pearls, Pai Mu Tan, Geisha Blossom Napoleon and Alfonso.
I was back for evening reception which starts from 6pm to 8pm. Service was again excellent and we were always addressed by name. The selection were rather small for a hotel of Fullerton standards. Beverages wise, only one red and one white alongside Chandon sparkling wine was offered. There are only two speciality cocktail but the staff are happy to fulfill any simple request like liquors or with simple mixers like Gin Tonic if you require. I will like to point out how amazing their service is. You can really feel the pride and initiative they take in their work. How’s your drink? Stronger pour? More limes? Everything was taken down and remembered.
The Orange Martini was rather delicious and definitely left a punch.
Canapes were served on a tier stand and it is again based on the chef selection for the day. It was said to be a one time serving but request for additional serving were fulfill and the staff also offered extra. This could be due to the fact of staying on a weekday and the lounge were rather quiet. The love the Chicken Lasagne, Spring Rolls and Truffle Oil Angel Hair Pasta!
A simple query about the house red was met with a tasting portion in a glass 20 seconds later! Heck, this is a club lounge and not a restaurant where you order a bottle of wine from the Sommelier!
Fullerton pool is one of the must visit during your stay. The pool, located on level 1M, same as the gym boost impressive view of the Singapore River and the Boat Quay area. It is rather imposing and a relaxing enclave. Due to current social distancing measures, the capacity is capped at 24 pax. Reservations are required in slots of 1.5 hr from 7am to 10pm which you can do so 3 days before your stay when you receive the pre arrival email.
On weekday it shouldn’t be hard to get a slot and reservations are not fully enforced but I will certainly pre book during holidays and weekends. The pool have a depth of 1.2m. By the pool there are a couple of tables and sunbeds, all on them are on a first come first serve basis. I can imagine that this place would be rather lovely for a evening soak as well.
The gym is located on level 1M, accessible via the same set of elevators as the pool which is on the same wing as the one nearest to the main entrance of the hotel. The gym is currently open from 7am to 10pm and prior reservations are required to use it. This can be done prior to your stay when you receive the pre arrival email. Due to current social distancing regulations, capacity is being capped at 10 person at a time. While I did not partake in any gyming session, I went by to briefly check it out. The gym is of a good size and decked with plenty of equipement. While I am no gymming expert, it seems like it has all you might need. I do feel that the place is a little gloomy and tired. Somehow, it does not have a welcoming or energetic vibe that makes me wanna exercise. Or perhaps, I am just lazy! HAHA!
Fullerton Monument Heritage Tour
One of the rather unique point of the hotel is that they provide complimentary heritage tours for staying guests. All guests are able to take part and you can reserve your slots with the concierge in advance of your stay as well. Currently two tours are running. The Fullerton Monument Tour which runs on Mon and Thu, 10am and 11.15am and on Sat 3.45pm and 5pm. The Maritime Journey Tour which takes run on Fri 3.45pm and 5pm as well as on Sun 10am and 11.15am. Each tour are limited to 10 participants. Tours take about 1 hour. I was able to take part in the Fullerton Monument Tour during my stay. The tour is said to showcase the history and unique areas of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. It was rather interesting, after all, this building have its roots as the general post office in the past and the rooms that we are staying now are all retrofitted. The hotel hires actual tour guide to give the tours. We started with a little walk on the streets, learning about the history of the houses nearby and Singapore river. We then took a walk around the lobby area and the tour guide show us how the hotels are retrofitted to what we see today. If you are free, definitely sign up for it! It is a good staycation activity from the usual eating and lazing by the pool.
Only the Town Restaurant is offering breakfast currently and this includes Straits Club guests. The Straits Club is only open on Sundays for breakfast service, probably to help with the overflow since most local guests are coming for staycations only on the weekends. Breakfast are staggered into 3 hourly seatings, at 7.30am, 8.30am and 9.30am. Reservations are made and your preference will be taken on the pre arrival form. However the allocations are loosely enforced during low occupancy period. There were plenty of tables available when I was down for breakfast at 9.30am. I was ushered to the table and a bakery basket was placed on my table. They were warm and flaky and I really enjoyed the croissant.
Drinks order were taken and I got a mocha and a orange juice. The coffee was terrible and a stark comparison from the coffee drinks I had in the lounge the day before. It is definitely made from a machine and the cold milk were simply poured in. It was a mess. I left it untouched after a sip. For those who have a caffeine addiction or need a daily dose, I will recommend just a regular brewed coffee or take your business elsewhere.
Thankfully, being a Straits Club guest I am entitled to a Chandon Breakfast. The staff took the initiative to offer a glass of Chandon and inform me that I am entitled to them.
You can find the menu for breakfast below. Breakfast will be on a ala carte buffet basis. You are allowed unlimited orders here. To allow you to try more dishes, the staff will gladly prepare you a tasting portion instead of a full one.
We got an assortments of dishes to try and I will let the pictures do more of the talking. We got the Laksa and the Omelette. We also got an assortments of timmings to go with meal. The bacon and hashbrown were fresh and crispy.
I will also recommend the Dim Sum. They were fresh and delicious. It does not have the cardboard taste from being made in a factory. The sambal prawns were lovely as well.
Overall the breakfast was alright. There is nothing memorable. It is not the best breakfast I had but I do have to say that the service here is attentive. They remember your preference and offer customization as well. Seeing how we enjoyed the sambal prawns, they took the initiative to bring over another portion. Only loving the siew mai from the Dim Sum basket, a whole basket of only siew mai is doable. Upon spotting that my glass is empty, the bottle of Chandon is brought over to offer refills. While Fullerton stands out on various aspect of my stay, it is safe to say that breakfast is not their strongest suit.
Seeing that I had some credits to spend. I decided to have lunch at their renowned chinese restaurant Jade during my stay. Do note that you are able to charge incidentals bills from outlets in both Fullerton Hotel and Fullerton Bay Hotel to your room and vice versa. I will certainly recommend to make reservations ahead seeing how popular this place is. We were promptly welcome inside. I love the facade of the restaurant with the usage of light blue and white tones. You can find the menu for lunch here.
We got their famous Roasted Peking Duck with Orange Peel. This cost 58 SGD for half a duck. the duck was served table side where the waiter expertly slice the skin thinly. The prize possession of a peking duck lies in the skin rather than the meat and it certainly doesn’t disappoints. The skin were then served in thin pancakes wrap draped with sauce and condiments. I love how the additional of orange zest makes it so unique. The citrus touch really cuts through the gameyness of the duck which can be really heavy sometimes.
We also got a portion of the Braised Fish Maw and Crab Meat in Superior Chicken Broth to share. This cost 18 SGD. It was pretty delicious and you can really find huge chunks of crab meat inside. Perfect dish to kick start everything. Add a little vinegar for a tang.
We also got some Dim Sum to complement our meal. The Prawn Dumpling, 7.20 SGD and Abalone Siew Mai, 9 SGD. Both Dim Sum were excellent and really delicious. The fillings were fresh and I love how thin the skin of the prawn dumpling were. This is usually a good indicator of the chef skills. Have them quickly when served as the skin gets dry easily when exposed to the air.
We also got the meat from the duck to be prep into a noodles dish. For this an additional charge of 5 SGD per pax was levied. You can also choose to have the meat stir fried or simply chopped up to be served. The E-fu noodles were excellent and I love how flavourful they were. Moist and flavourful. The portion were pretty huge and in fact we were too full to finish them.
Prices are definitely on the high side here and the whole dish comes up to 132 SGD, thankfully the credits soften the blow.
There is really nothing much I can find fault with during my stay besides the quality of the breakfast which certainly isn’t 5 star or luxurious. My partner and I definitely enjoyed our stay thoroughly. I am glad to have the opportunity to stay here actually. I love independent and unique hotels but yet I am attracted to major chains as they get more bang for your bucks with the ability to hold status, earn points. I would love it if the Fullerton joint a credible loyalty program like Waldorf Astoria under Hilton or Global Hotel Alliance. That will be perfect as they can retain their identity and yet allow us to enjoy our status. The Duty Manager Andrew even came by specifically to bid us goodbye during check out which was a lovely touch. I would love to be back and thank you Fullerton Hotel for the sweet upgrade! The room was impeccable and this definitely ranks in my Top 3 staycation in Singapore!