As much as I love traveling, staying in hotels night after night gets tiresome quickly. It’s around this time that I crave the comforts of home: like knowing how to turn off the lights, having a dock for my iPhone, and waking up in a bed that doesn’t make my back hurt.
This last trip to Singapore, was no exception. The Singapore Tourism Board flew me out to check out the booming food scene in the city-state. While the itinerary was full of fantastic sights and delicious food, the hotel they put me up in left a bit to be desired. I decided to tack on a few extra days to the trip to visit friends, and switched hotels to the Fullerton Bay Hotel.
I chose the Fullerton Bay because I’d heard that the Andre Fu designed interior was a real looker. It turns out that I was well advised as from the moment you walk through the doors to the historic Clifford Pier to the moment you arrive in your room, you’re surrounded by an alluring luxury that’s not understated but not gaudy either.
What I didn’t expect is that the rooms themselves are truly exceptional, not just to look at, but to sleep in as well. Every detail from the location of light switches, to slippers that actually fit my feet, to a Nespresso machine with decaf options was well thought out and flawlessly executed.
It’s the kind of place where you feel at home from the moment you walk in the door; except someone comes to clean your room everyday, a call to the front desk gets all your needs met, and a balcony in every room gives you a million dollar view of Marina Bay Sands.
In a country where service comes with a smile, the management at Fullerton has taken the care to up the ante by hiring people who genuinely want to be helpful, not because they have to be. Did the staff go the extra mile because they knew a judgmental journalist was staying with them? Probably, but you’d be surprised at how many hotels fail miserably even when forewarned.
On the roof is a gorgeous infinity pool that ends at a clear acrylic wall overlooking Marina Bay. While it makes for a great view from the pool it’s even cooler to sit at the adjoining bar and watch people swim (not that I would do anything so creepy).
Located on Collyer Quay, across from the old Fullerton Hotel, the Fullerton Bay is a short walk from the Raffles Place subway stop and while there isn’t a ton to do in the area, it’s central location makes it a short taxi ride to just about anything you’d want to get to in the city.
My only gripe with Fullerton Bay Hotel wasn’t really related to my stay. It was their unfortunate restaurant called Clifford. Named after the historic pier the hotel is adjoined to, the restaurant does mundane French bistro fare poorly.
There are plenty of hotel restaurants serving mediocre food, but the real travesty here is that the restaurant is gorgeous. With towering ceilings, subtle colonial touches and floor to ceiling glass, it’s one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve seen. It’s the kind of place where you sit down and want to love everything about it, but as course after tragic course came out, I was continually disappointed by the food.
Red Lantern, the rooftop bar at the Fullerton Bay Hotel on the other hand is fantastic. You may not be as high up as the acrophobia inducing KU DÉ TA on top of Marina Bay Sands, but it’s comfortably nestled in the middle of the action with jaw dropping panoramic views of Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience Museum, The Singapore Flyer, and the soaring towers of the financial district.
Every drink I sampled was spot on for the balmy Singapore evening with a pleasant blend of fresh fruit and quality liquor. While they weren’t the high-proof hipster drinks I’ve grown accustomed to in NYC, these refreshing cocktails maintained a pleasant balance between sweet and sour, with just enough alcohol to take you to a happy place without the bitter faces along the way.
I didn’t order a ton of food, but the truffle fries were crisp to the last fry with enough truffle essence to put a smile on your face without punching you in the nose with the earthy fungus. The sliders were probably some of the best I’ve had ANYWHERE. With medium rare Wagyu patties the thickness of the sesame bun, melted cheese dribbling off the beef, and a sweet caramelized onion sauce that tied everything together. The beauty of these sliders is that they didn’t contain anything unnecessary, just high quality ingredients prepared flawlessly. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel I’d recommend making a reservation and heading to Red Lantern for pre-dinner drinks and a snack.
When you take into account the aesthetic, comfort, service and price, the Fullerton Bay Hotel is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in recent memory. It’s not that my my room was incredibly large or gratuitously opulent. It’s the comfortable feeling that I’m in a better version of home that will keep me going back to the Fullerton Bay Hotel whenever I’m in Singapore.