Business or Pleasure? A Review of The Westin Singapore
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To The Point
The Westin Singapore is a great base for both business and leisure travelers to the Lion City. Pros: great location, modern decor and good Platinum benefits. Cons: overpriced food compared to what you’d find at hawker centers.
Heading to Bali, Indonesia, from Los Angeles on Singapore Airlines in December, I scheduled the longest possible free layover on an award ticket in order to spend some time in Singapore. Twenty-three hours was just enough time to gorge on laksa, biryani and chilli crab before a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Bali.
A companion and I decided to stay at The Westin because of my (sometimes depressingly) unwavering loyalty to Marriott, its location near a Mass Rapid Transit station and the fact that it was a relatively new hotel with a host of amenities like a spa with showers and a lounge that would be available to me if early check-in couldn’t be accommodated.
I booked The Westin with a corporate rate of SG$289, which shot up to SG$340 ($250) with taxes and fees for a deluxe nonsmoking room. I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for the stay, since I knew my $300 travel credit was scheduled to hit the day I checked in. I would have earned 3x points on spend at the hotel had I not leveraged this benefit. In addition, as a Marriott Ambassador member, I earned 4,666 points for my one night, which included 2,095 base points, 1,571 elite bonus points and 1,000 points as a welcome gift. I used a Suite Night upgrade, which was confirmed a few days before my arrival and moved me into a beautiful executive suite. This Westin was a Category 6 Hotel, which meant it would have cost 50,000 Marriott Rewards points, worth around $450, according to TPG’s latest valuations, so not the greatest redemption value.
The Westin was in the heart of Singapore’s financial district and had a definite business feel. That being said, it was a two-minute walk to the Downtown MRT station and Lau Pa Sat hawker center, and a 15-minute walk to the tourist hotspots of Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, making this business hotel a great location for tourists as well.
I was looking for a property with relatively quick access to the airport. We took a GrabTaxi from the airport, which took about 15 minutes and cost SG$19 ($15). The MRT would have been a more cost-effective option at about SG$2 ($1.50) but would have taken around an hour.
The hotel was in Asia Square Tower 2, at the end of a long drive. The location was strangely remote, although there was a yoga studio next door and some kind of food court in the next building.
To access the hotel lobby for check-in, we needed to take the elevators to the 32nd floor. There was a valet on the ground floor to help with luggage and direct us toward the lobby.
The aesthetic of the lobby was modern and impressive. Floor-to-ceiling windows provided 180-degree views of Singapore’s harbor, which that morning was glistening in the sunshine.
On the other side of the lobby were more sweeping views, comfortable seating and festive decor.
I made my way to the check-in desk, where the German agent cracked a joke about the Liverpool FC jersey I was wearing, which I always hope becomes a topic of conversation on my travels.
He mentioned that our room was ready and went over our Platinum benefits. Since we had a very early flight the next morning, I asked if we could enjoy our Platinum breakfast today in the on-site restaurant, called Seasonal Tastes. He immediately accommodated us. He was extremely kind and set the tone for a pleasant stay. After about five minutes, we were on our way to the 46th floor.
Our executive suite, Room 4626, was toward the end of the hall on the 46th floor.
The door opened up to a small hallway with a half bathroom on one side, and eventually the living area of the suite.
The living room was spacious and well-designed, with ample space for work and lounging.
The furniture and artwork around the room were swanky and seemed a cut above what you usually find in Westin hotels stateside.
Two open doorways connected the living room to the bedroom, which created a sense of space.
The massive king-size Heavenly bed was very comfy. International outlets were available on both sides of the bed, which was expected for a upscale hotel in Singapore that opened only six years ago.
The view wasn’t spectacular, but the floor-to-ceiling windows brought in tons of natural light when the blinds were open.
The master bathroom was accessible from both the living room and the bedroom. Closer to the living room was a closet and storage area that would have been convenient for a longer stay.
The master bathroom was well-appointed, long and narrow, with the sink area and bathtub on one side (equipped with a TV!).
A toilet and shower were on the other side of the tub. The bathroom was stocked with the standard Westin white-tea toiletries, which felt cheap and are my least favorite part of the Westin brand.
Overall, the executive suite was elegantly appointed and a comfortable space to relax and recharge.
Food and Beverage
Shortly after our arrival, we made our way to Seasonal Tastes, the main restaurant on site for breakfast. We chose this as our Platinum amenity, but guests could also pay SG$45 ($35) to enjoy the spread. Asian breakfast buffets are always extravagant affairs, and here they attempted to emulate this. Some of the options included a noodle-soup station, fresh juices, baked goods, sushi, fresh fruit, Asian stir-fries and Indian food.
While it didn’t match up to some of my other favorite Asian breakfasts like the W Taipei or The Athenee in Bangkok, options were plentiful and the quality was quite good. The low point was the baked goods, which were dry and inedible, but the Asian options were far better. I’m not sure we’d pay for this breakfast buffet, especially given Singapore’s vibrant food scene, but it was a good use of the Platinum amenity.
I settled for a bowl of noodle soup, fruit and an iced coffee to help kick my jet lag. It was all excellent.
I took a peek in the lounge just to see how the offerings upstairs compared to the restaurant.
Overall, the spread was pretty sizable and contained about 50% of the items on offer in the restaurant. The lounge attendants were also extremely gracious and insisted on at least making me a cup of coffee when they noticed I didn’t grab any food.
We returned to the lounge later in the evening to see what was on offer during happy hour. Cocktails went from 5:30pm to 8:30pm with light snacks till 7:30pm. When we arrived around 6:30pm, the lounge was full, with only one table open. Self-serve cocktails with midrange liquor, wine and beer were available.
One thing I had never seen before in a lounge was a bowl with chilled shrimp and lobster tails. As you can imagine, the lobster emptied out pretty quickly.
There was also a wide variety of snacks, cold cuts, bread and desserts, along with a a few hot plates serving varied Asian, Indian and continental dishes. On this night, there was a spinach-Parmesan dip, a tofu curry and a stir-fry, along with a few other offerings.
One could easily make dinner out of the spread, and it might be convenient in a pinch on a business trip, though I’d still recommend a local hawker center.
The pool, on the same level as the lounge, was a serene urban oasis with a swim-up bar. It was a popular hangout with around half of the loungers full during my early-afternoon visit.
The gym at the hotel was well-equipped and spacious, which you would expect from a Westin, a brand that tries to cater to the more health-conscious business traveler. The treadmills had nice views of Singapore, and the TRX bands were a welcome addition.
There was also a Heavenly Spa on the 35th floor, but I didn’t give it a try.
I really enjoyed my stay at The Westin Singapore and feel like the hotel is a great base for both business and leisure travelers. The aesthetic of the property is modern and dare I say swanky? Not a word I usually use to describe Westin properties. In addition, the Platinum benefits are great, and the service from the staff during all interactions was top-notch. If I am looking for an upscale property in Singapore again, The Westin will definitely be on my shortlist.
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