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This is an installment in my March 2012 Asia Trip Series which includes: A Birthday Present To Myself: Business Class on the World’s Longest Flight for $2.50, Help Me Plan My Asia Trip Starting With Singapore, Flight Review: Singapore Airlines All Business Class Flight From Newark To Singapore, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Singapore, Video Trip Report: Singapore, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Bangkok Avantec Suite, Video Trip Report: Bangkok, Hotel Review: Le Meridien Angkor, Video Trip Report: Siem Reap, Hotel Review: Intercontinental Phnom Penh, Video Trip Report: Phnom Penh and the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, Hotel Review: W Hong Kong.
After the 19-hour Singapore Airlines flight from Newark to Singapore, I had no idea what kind of state I would be in. I wanted to maximize day one because we landed in Singapore at 5:40 am local time and would have a full day ahead to explore, so I didn’t want to waste a huge portion of the day with waiting for the hotel rooms. That’s why I was grateful for my Intercontinental Royal Ambassador status, which meant I could check into my room at the Intercontinental Singapore at 8am, though the hotel had emailed me prior to my stay so I was confident I’d be able to check-in upon arrival. The hotel offers airport pickup in terminal and Mercedes dropoff at hotel for $160. Honestly, customs was a breeze and cabs are about $15, so I’d just recommend that route.
The Intercontinental was an interesting choice because it’s located pretty centrally in the Bugis Junction shopping area, which is also called the Bras Basah heritage precinct because of all the museums, monuments and galleries there dedicated to local Peranakan culture. It was pretty much near everything I wanted to see, and easy to get to and from thanks to the MRT subway and not-too-expensive taxis.
I originally made my reservation at the Intercontinental for two nights in a Deluxe Room, which are one category above Standard rooms and was the cheapest available. The rate I got was SG$355 (US$280) per room per night, which wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t have enough Priority Club points to shell out the 40,000 a night needed for a free room (plus you don’t get many of the Royal Ambassador benefits on award stays). When I arrived, however, I was told that I’d been upgraded to a King Executive Suite two categories higher, which is the standard upgrade for Royal Ambassadors. I was also told I could choose a regular room and get Club Lounge access instead, but I opted for the upgrade since I wanted to eat outside the hotel for as many meals as possible.
My friend stayed in a Deluxe Room, which seemed pretty standard to me, though it did have a little marble entry foyer, and a king bed, large flatscreen, and small sitting area and breakfast table plus a work desk. My suite was larger, though not really that unique or impressive, and had a bigger entrance foyer, and a sitting room area with an armchair, loveseat and coffee table, a breakfast table, and a work desk, plus a semi-separate king-size bedroom.
The bathrooms in the two rooms were pretty much the same with a single marble vanity and separate tub/showers with Elemis products.
The hotel also had a small fitness center and spa, but we were too busy and time was too short to use them (though I probably should have after all of the eating I did!).
Overall. it was a good location for seeing the city, though next time in Singapore I’d like to try the St. Regis, which is a bit closer to the action and will help me retain my Starwood Platinum, which I value over my Royal Ambassador status.
With some great bonus categories and an annual fee that’s waived for the first year, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card has a lot going for it. If you don’t have PRG, now’s as good a time as any to add it to your wallet, as Amex added some great new benefits several months back.
- Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
- No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
- Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
- There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
- Terms and limitations apply. See Rates & Fees