Number 21 goes to One Farrer Hotel! This staycation addiction is getting out of hand. When you come across a 5-Star hotel at this price, the strategy is definitely to book first and think later. After getting it rescheduled due to the heightened alert period, I finally went for the stay in early July. Being directly linked to One Farrer Hospital, Farrer Park MRT and City Square Mall the location of the hotel is pretty decent. There are tons of F&B options around the hotel ranging from restaurants to popular local supper spots. The hotel mainly target those coming here for medical tourism given that they are directly connected to Farrer Park Hospital. I was keen to check it out given that it is one of the fairly new hotels in town. The rooms are also being refurbished as recent as end of 2020.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
A deal that was pretty unreal for a 5-Star hotel. I booked One Farrer Hotel from the Traveloka Flash Sale a couple of months back and paid a total of 50.15 SGD nett for one night in a Mint Room. The rate even include breakfast. I will take this price and book it anyday anytime. The booking was supposed to be for a stay in June, it was push back after the “lockdown” we had back then where no dining in was allowed. While Traveloka is known for its competitive pricing and having the best deals for a hotel in Singapore these days, their after-sales service and customer assistance does leave a lot to be desired. After playing some ping pong games with Traveloka, I managed to get the reservation shifted to early July. I was keen to see how my experience would be like. 50 bucks for a 5-Star hotel with breakfast, which is simply unheard of in Singapore. Well, I guess we are all indeed living in unprecedented times. Most of the rooms here do not come with a bathtub. If that is a factor for your staycation then this would not be the right place. One Farrer Hotel has a total of 239 rooms spread across 12 categories. You have your choice of rooms, suites or even villas for an extended stay.
|Rooms||Skyline Lounge & Terrace Access||Bathtub||Size||No. of Rooms|
|Mint||No||No||28 – 30 Sqm||70|
|Mint Den||No||No||38 Sqm||47|
|Mint Premier||No||No||33 Sqm||45|
|Mint Suite||Yes||No||65 Sqm||11|
|Mint Premier Suite||Yes||No||65 – 66 Sqm||6|
|Loft Apartments||Yes||No||35 Sqm||23|
|Skyline Studio||Yes||Yes||49 Sqm||32|
|Peony Villa||Yes||No||65 Sqm||1|
|Lotus Villa||Yes||No||65 Sqm||1|
|Jasmine Villa||Yes||No||95 Sqm||1|
|Orchid Villa||Yes||Yes||105 Sqm||1|
|Calla Lilly, The Presidential Villa||Yes||Yes||200 Sqm||1|
The pre-arrival process was pretty trashy. The hotel refuses to commit to an actual check-in time other than the designated hotel policy and insist that they are running on high occupancy. While that is understandable and there isn’t anything to fault with given the official check-in timing was at 3pm. For a true 5 star hotel, I expected more! I called in the morning before heading down to the hotel and was informed that my room was in fact already ready and available at 10am. This isn’t 5 star in my opinion. Furthermore, the ability to space out arrivals should be detrimental these days. I also feel like they were on very low occupancy during my stay on a weekend, I didn’t see anyone by the pool and the gym. There were less than 10 pax for breakfast when I was there. The arrival process left a sour taste in my mouth.
Reaching the hotel was easy enough with the MRT entrance directly across the road. Being directly connected to the Farrer Park Station makes it easy for guests to get around all the various attractions in Singapore. Sentosa is only a few stops away. The City Square mall nearby also provide accessibility to a huge amount of F&B outlets. For those who are driving, parking is provided for guests. I arrived roughly around 1pm. The entrance was plain and looking a little bare for a 5-Star hotel. There was no bellboy service and no offer with bags. The staff was pretty polished and check-in was smooth. Late check out was extended till 2pm by the staff and this is further extended till 4pm on the day of check-out. I appreciated the staff showing me to the lifts.
I was assigned a King Mint Room on the 12th floor, room 1218 to be exact. I am certainly not a fan of the common areas, especially their corridors. It is almost a replica of a hospital with the exception of machines and nurses. The corridors are pretty sterile and don’t look welcoming at all.
Measuring around 28 to 30 Sqm, the room can be mostly seen in one look. I do welcome the non-carpeted floorings which are a lot more modern and cleaner. The decor wasn’t luxurious or anything and in fact pretty bare and plain. I do love the high ceilings here in the room.
Immediately after entering, the bathroom is located to the right. For a entry level room I was surprised that the bathroom was of a good size. It even comes with those fancy Japanese style bidet Toto toilet bowls. There is only space for a single sink. All sorts of amenities are provided and toiletries from Fresh Skin Lab can be found. It’s my first time encountering this brand. They were high quality and had a faint scent. A care kit consisting of some wipes and hand sanitiser can be found left here too. The hairdryer can be found under the sink and once again, another 5-Star hotel that provides a “hold to on” types of hairdryers. This is unbelievable and should not be seen in any property that aims to be 5-star. Meh.
The bathroom comes with a standing shower and the showering area was spacious. Do note that the showering area wasn’t fully enclosed and water tends to get everywhere around the bathroom after showering. The fittings were high quality and by Hansgrohe. It comes with both a handheld showerhead and a rainforest shower. The water pressure and temperature control were excellent here.
Entering the main space of the room itself, which is in a squarish shape. You can find the king bed right in the middle. The bed were comfy and firm. While definitely not the best sheets I have ever experienced, they were alright. What I would really like to point out were their pillows. Definitely in my top 3 ranking. They were awesome and offers fantastic neck support. They were much better than a lot of luxury hotels that I have tried in Singapore. There wasn’t any pillow menu but rather just those that were provided in the room. This should be expected given how they have a pillow doctor facility in the hotel as an amenity.
Only one side of the bed comes with a nightstand and it is disappointing to see that there are no outlets to be found by the bed. That’s not great in this era.
Then the other side of the bed had a really awkward gap. Lighting controls can be conveniently found on both sides of the bed as well as on the wall. I love that they had various preset lighting settings and modes that you can easily adjust to. The blinds are controlled electronically.
The TV is of an excellent size for the room and it’s mounted on the wall. The high-quality Samsung Smart TV can support AirPlay and Casting. Besides that, you also have a nice selection of cable TV channels. For the sports fans, you can find Bein Sports and Fox Sports channels.
By the side of the bed, this is where the minibar and wardrobe was located. It was lovely to see an illy pod coffee machine provided. They are not my preferred brand as I do feel that the coffee lean towards the American brewed coffee type. You can also find a kettle and some TWG packaged teas in the drawers. Alongside a mini fridge, there are all sorts of glasswares in the cabinet. This is where I was really impressed. I was certainly not expecting to see Schott Zwiesel glassware provided at One Farrer Hotel. You can find wine glasses, tall glasses, short glasses……
Bathrobes, bath slippers as well as an ironing set are all provided and left in the wardrobe. The space is sufficient. The mirror finishes on the door act like a mirror in the room. It also makes the room much bigger than it is.
I love the huge window panels here which gives you an amazing view of the Little India neighbourhood. This makes it perfect for working here. The working desk setup is perfectly designed to be right by the window. Working with a view! Furthermore, they provide a Herman Miller office chair which certainly makes it a breeze to work here. Outlets are conveniently located and the wifi in the room is strong.
I appreciate them installing HDMI ports by the side of the desk which makes it easier for guests to connect their laptop to the TV and stream shows. This is always appreciated rather than trying to figure out where the ports are behind the wall mounted TV.
By the side of the desk, there is a large window ledge, this area can be used as some extra storage area. It is a nice place but I really felt like it is missing a large cushion. It would be great if it is like a little bay window sofa, perfect for lazing and checking out the view over a cup of coffee. The room has an amazing expansive view of the surrounding area, together with the high ceilings and the huge window panels, the view was lovely. Turndown service is provided upon request and it was rather basic with only towels being replaced. For example, the ironing board that I used before dinner wasn’t even kept back in the wardrobe. This is definitely not the standard of a 5-Star hotel turndown service.
The hotel main facilities are located on level 6. The gym is open from 7am to 10pm daily and a maximum of 7 guests can use it at a time. No reservations are needed and you can simply enter with your keycard. I do believe this is due to the low occupancy at the time of my stay. There was no attendant or any staff at all which makes me wonder how can they control the crowd as well as the sanitizing of equipment. The gym wasn’t that spacious. It does have all types of equipments that you might want and need. Bottled water was provided in the gym.
The pool is one of the highlights here. The Olympic sized swimming pool was gorgeous and I really love the setting with the trees and the skyline of the Little India area. One of the most pretty pools that I have been to. However, I do not love the setup. To access the pool, you will have to walk via a long corridor and pass by the offices and the gym. Furthermore, there are no attendants and staff to be seen. No one is around to enforce entrance and capacity control. It is also pretty ridiculous that there are no towels offered or to be found by the pool. I am not even talking about bottled water.
No reservation was required and the pool was lovely. They had plenty of sunbeds by the side of the pool, I love the ones that are semi-submerged in the water. It’s super gorgeous and much nicer than the rest of the hotel. It is also a heated pool which is perfect on a cloudy windy day. The pool ranges from 0.9m to 1.5m on the deepest end.
Breakfast was included in my room rate and it is currently served at level 6 at a makeshift ballroom area which for reasons I do not know. No reservations are needed and breakfast is served from 7am to 11am. The venue for breakfast seems weird, it is held in a converted open ballroom. This is not something I would expect in a 5-star hotel.
The menu for breakfast changes daily and here is the menu for my stay. You have your choices of tea, coffee and various juices. Do note that TWG tea is served here too. What a spread in comparison to Parkroyal Pickering where only orange juice, brewed coffee and black tea is served.
Thankfully the food was really good and everything was freshly made to order. I love the pastry basket and they were fresh and flaky. The food does take some time to arrive. Service was attentive and refills were served. Some of the stands out items includes the eggs and the croissant. In my opinion, this breakfast is much better than the ones I had at some full-fledged 5-Star hotels.
50 bucks is an awesome price for any hotel in Singapore. Furthermore, a 5 -Star one! There isn’t much you can fault with a room that is that affordable. Not even mentioning having breakfast included. To put it bluntly, you can’t even get Hotel 81 at this kind of price point in normal times. While the hotel is labelled as a 5-Star hotel it is a little closer to the 4 – 4.5 Star range. Lack of bellboy, bad pre-arrival service, nonexistent poolside service or attendant. These are the little factors that elevate a hotel to one that is luxurious. In usual times, this won’t be your first choice for a staycation either. The hotel is more of a support facility for medical tourism, with it being directly connected to One Farrer Hospital. I was surprised that this isn’t a QO or SHN facility given its accessibility. They will need to improve their pre-arrival communications and perhaps, the breakfast situation left a lot to be desired too. I really love the pool area but the lack of even a basic amenity like a towel left a sour taste in my mouth! Next up, back to one of my favourite hotel for some fireworks. Fullerton Marina Bay View room.