Two words: pillow menu.
Singapore couldn’t be more highly regarded as a layover city, but it gets nowhere near enough credit as the bona fide, incredible travel destination that it is. If you love food, love eclectic culture and a clean, inspiring and friendly place to visit, you’d be hard pressed to find anything on the level of Singapore in Southeast Asia. After multiple Singapore Hotel stays in the city center, with none quite hitting the mark, we gave One Farrer Hotel a whirl. After all, it’s one of the most stunning hotels under $300 per night – and it looked exciting from every angle. The result: a truly fun stay, at a hotel which felt like a resort within a bustling city.
You’ll know you’re at the One Farrer Hotel when you see the big apple. No, not New York, if you find yourself near that Big Apple, you’re about 9,543 miles away, as the crow flies. One Farrer is part of a custom build complex, with a highly sought after “red apple” medical center on one side, and the “green apple” hotel and resort on the other. The hotel borders Little India, with great proximity to many of Singapore’s most exciting neighborhoods, and unparalleled access to the city’s brilliant underground (and air conditioned) MRT transit system.
We proceeded to the check in area, only to be told that as Club Level guests, which in hindsight is a splurge we highly recommend to anyone, we could utilize a special private check in facility upstairs. A very kind and personable receptionist kindly escorted us personally into the elevator and upstairs for check in, which was fast, efficient and informative. We say informative, because little did we know, club lounge guests receive five meals a day, on top of complimentary drinks. Yes, five – we had to ask again too.
Our Skyline level room was an instant hit, with proximity to club lounge, private gym for club level and the private pool for club level guests as well. If you’re not in a club room, fear not, the pool downstairs for all guests would tire out Michael Phelps. The kind club level check in agent offered a tour of the room, and various features, which included a pillow menu. We’re not talking foam or feathers here. This was a restaurant sized menu including charcoal, scented, some Japanese one, memory foam, all sorts of crazy options, and naturally we ordered quite a few each night. It’s just too much fun not to.
In two words the room is: modern art. It’s “art” because there are quite literally art pieces from the One Farrer art collection adorning the walls. It’s “modern” because universal power ports are everywhere, the wifi is fast and the TV is vast. But at the same time, the room offers a very chic Manhattan loft feel, with well placed tables, minimalist design and sleep fixtures. Basically, it was a supreme hit, and with low level floor lighting for mid night visits to the spacious bathroom as well as ample bottled water, it ticked all the boxes of “a great hotel room”.
When we say One Farrer Hotel feels like a resort destination within a city, it really does. Less than 20 feet from our room was an excellent gym. One floor away, a pool and a beautifully appointed club lounge. On the floors below, yet another gym, another even larger pool and for any culinary needs, a variety of restaurants. Of course, in a city as exciting as Singapore, it’s definitely worth hopping on the MRT, or taking a walk around nearby Little India, but you’d be excused if you never left the hotel.
The club lounge offered hands down the best club lounge experience we’ve had to date. It was not on account of the food, though it was very good; nor was it the booze, although that was nice as well. It was the people. Greeted by name, with a genuine smile and even more genuine interest in service, Mr. Malik and Mr. Fadhil were easily the two best representatives of a hotel brand we’ve ever seen. So much so, a few anecdotes need to be shared.
First, we were eager to check out Native, a cocktail bar based only on local Southeast Asian ingredients and spirits. Mr. Fadhil had heard of it, but hadn’t been. When we returned, he had already researched the experience, and asked insightful questions. Second, one morning I requested a non dairy option for my coffee. Without hesitation or sigh, Mr. Malik ran down to a local shop and bought enough to stock the lounge for days to come. As always, we were more interested in how the duo handled other guests than ourselves and there’s no doubt every single guest who walked through the door received the same level of attention, service and kindness. And like any great host, they were always ready with a top off. The Burgundy Pinot Noir was exceptionally good.
Bottom line, we’ll be back – and that says more than you might imagine. One Farrer is an excellent choice in Singapore, especially for those seeking a club lounge experience, without the shocking price tag some other hotels in the city tend to command. We stayed two nights in a club suite at the Intercontinental Bugis directly after, and it just wasn’t as “fun” as our time at One Farrer. And yes, we paid for this.