Not many Singapore brands have made it big in the world stage. But in the hospitality space, there are quite a few successes. Frasers Hospitality is one example, being one of the most successful hospitality chains coming from Singapore. They are recognized as a world leader when it comes to serviced residences with properties across three continents. I still remember my stay in Fraser Place in Seoul over three years ago. Although we were there for a holiday, we opted to stay in a serviced apartment – a temporary residence usually reserved for expats or long-term stayers. It was a delightful experience, the room space was noticeable bigger than a standard hotel room and it came with a kitchen as well as all the amenities that one would expect from a functioning apartment, all for the price of a hotel room.
the hotel’s facade
Now, Frasers Hospitality has taken this concept to another level with a new property in Singapore called Capri by Fraser. Styled as a “hotel residence,” it aims to address certain gaps of conventional hotels by offering elements which are usually found only in serviced residences. Over one weekend, I was fortunate to be invited over to Capri for a sponsored stay in order to personally witness this innovative proposition.
various eclectic artworks are scattered about the hotel.. this is my favorite! look closer, it’s actually 3-D
The newly-opened hotel is around 5 minutes walk from Singapore Expo MRT Station, and is adjacent to the hip and colorful (especially at night!) Changi City Point, which is also new. The shopping center is known for having several outlet stores in its premises as well as several upmarket bars and restaurants that one normally only see in the CBD. It is definitely not your typical heartland mall.
The hotel’s exteriors feature a futuristic and high tech design, giving one enough clues on what lies inside. And it doesn’t disappoint. I found the staff wearing monochrome t-shirts, white-colored walls and a touch-screen concierge which are all evidences of the hotel’s emphasis on functionality and efficiency. Nevertheless, there is also room for quirkiness and I was marveled by the wide variety of artworks inside the hotel, ranging from sculptures to elaborate installations. These come from artists from around the world who were carefully chosen to have their works complement the hotel’s modern interiors.
the futuristic lobby of the hotel
My check-in was pretty quick and I was handed my room keycard and complimentary wifi password. For returning guests, they also have iPad check-ins which remove the need to queue at the counters. Afterwards, I was shown around the hotel’s facilities by the staff. Later, I learned that this is a normal procedure which they provide for all guests; an impressive touch considering most hotels don’t do this bit these days.
the lounge is a great place to chill and hang out, especially for long-stayers
Aside from the lobby, the hotel has a casual lounge filled with bean bags, and colorful furniture. Home-y and inviting, it’s a welcome respite from the stuffy furnishings that one usually finds in most hotel chains. And judging from the large seating space, it guarantees that one won’t be out of a seat if ever one needs to wait for check-in.
the watering hole at drinx
Drinkx is the hotel’s lobby bar. They have happy hours every Monday to Friday from 6 to 7PM. Guests are treated to complimentary drinks while walk-in customers can avail of the free flow for just SGD 20. Unfortunately, since I checked in late, I was not able to make it for the happy hour!
caprilicious is the hotel’s all-day dining venue and the feature international, local as well as vegetarian options
Just beside the bar is Caprilicious, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. I had my meals there during my entire stay. Having tried different dishes each time, I must say their international selection is quite good. But more about the food later.
the hotel’s deli has a small grocery section for those looking for a quick fix
For guests on-the-go, they also have a deli, called Delite. They have a good range of sandwiches, burgers as well as light snacks. To really bring the concept of a deli home, they also have a small assortment of imported wines and sweets for sale.
my humble abode… for 2 nights at least!
I was promptly shown to my room, which is a Studio Superior. I realized how they implemented the “hotel residence” concept immediately upon entering. The first thing I noticed was the kitchenette. It was well-stocked with pots and pans, utensils, plates and glasses tucked away in the drawers. I had no intention to cook during my stay but I could have easily done so if I wanted to. There was an electric stove on the counter as well as a microwave. As a little touch, they also provided some microwavable popcorn which is useful for those late night hunger pangs!
The bathroom was also something else. It came well-stocked with toiletries from Malin + Goetz, with Capri being the first hotel in Singapore to use this brand. The bathroom also had a walk-in closet which makes sense because the kitchen counter is occupying the space where the cabinets are usually situated in hotel rooms. All the amenities that one would expect from a serviced apartment are there, including an iron and ironing board, laundry basket as well as a safe. But what’s interesting is their safe – it’s big enough to handle relatively large electric gadgets and it had an electric outlet inside! It goes to show the amount of thought that came with the designing of the rooms. Just handy for those much needed phone or laptop charges!
My room had a 42-inch flat screen LED TV, DVD player as well as a Geneva Sound System iPod / iPhone dock. And with a king-sized bed to top it off, I was beginning to think that I need not leave the hotel for the entire weekend!
the studio grand room has over double the floor space of the superior rooms, inclusive of a well-furnished balcony
The hotel staff was also kind enough to show me their biggest room, the Studio Grand with 70 sqm of floor space. Compared to my room, it had sufficient space to make a distinct living area as well as a terrace with outdoor furnishings. Amenities-wise, the room came with other extras like a Nespresso machine as well as a bathtub.
and to think this is just a laundry room! guests actually get to play more than do chores! you’ll need to be careful as you may end up forgetting about your laundry altogether!
still in the ‘spin & play’ laundry room, i finally settled for the one with the cicolette machine & trx
The hotel’s facilities are just as impressive as the rooms. But I thought the former are a step ahead in terms of innovation. Capri has added a new twist to the drabby laundry room through their “Spin & Play” concept. Each floor comes with a self-service laundry room. And to add fun to the chore, they’ve installed some pretty cool amenities to make the wait much more fun. In my floor, there was an Xbox in the laundry room. And it actually differs per floor. Some floors have iPads but my personal favorite is the one floor that had a Cicolette machine and TRX. I thought the idea of having a mini-workout while doing one’s laundry is ingenious. It’s also pretty funny, but there’s no denying its originality!
i wasn’t kidding when i said they had an underwater treadmill, and here’s proof!
There is a pool area in the 2nd level of the hotel. No one was using the pool when I went for the night swim and I had the entire space to myself, jacuzzi included! The gym is located just next to the pool. For a hotel gym, it is “well-stocked” consisting of several machines and treadmills. For those not satisfied with the usual offerings, there is also an underwater treadmill installed in the pool, said to be the first of its kind in Singapore.
for a hotel gym, they have a good number of machines
From the gym, it’s a short walk to the spa. At the time of my stay, it was not yet open. But the hotel’s plan is to turn the 2nd level into a relaxation zone. It even plans to open a pool bar in the coming months.
I really have to give a shoutout to Capri’s all-day dining restaurant, Caprilicious. Normally, whenever I hear of “all-day dining” concepts, I do not expect much so I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food come chow time. Despite not winning in terms of variety of dishes, those that I tried were certainly excellent. I recommend their Spanish tapas. It’s in a separate menu so if you do ever make your way here, do ask for the tapas menu.
the tapas i tried (clockwise) — gratinated mussels w/ salad (my personal favorite); meatballs w/ peccorino shavings; wild mushroom risotto croquettes
mains (clockwise) — sea bass with warm tomato-olive-caper-tapenade, spaghetti cartoccio; rack of lamb (my favorite); coq au vin (chicken with wine)
My stay also came with breakfast. The spread consisted of a good variety of what I consider as morning food, including pastries, cereals, fruits, cold cuts, and even local dishes. I stayed for 2 nights in the hotel and was pleased to note that their breakfast offerings change from day-to-day. This is even more relevant for long-stayers. Imagine if you had to eat the exact same breakfast for days on end!
some random breakfast photos
The pictures sum it all up, and they don’t lie. You know you’ve had a great time when you don’t feel like leaving anymore and that’s exactly what I felt by the end of my stay. My 2 nights staycation at Capri was nothing short of fantastic. The staff would always greet me and any requests were promptly attended to. It was genuinely a very relaxing stay; it certainly kept me occupied for the entire weekend that I did not even feel the need to leave the Expo area at all. Essentially, what I like about Capri is that their differentiating factors are not merely aesthetic, most importantly they are functional and effective. They pay attention to the little details and it is out of those details that they bring added conveniences to guests, drive people like me to say “wow” numerous times and generally bring about a heightened sense of well-being. Sure, the furnishings and interiors are also great and clean – but that’s a given in any hotel in Singapore that wants to be rated highly so the added extras – and there are quite a number – make this hotel quite special.
For tourists coming to Singapore and planning to stay in this hotel – a word of warning – with the many things to do here, you may end up staying in during your entire trip!
Capri by Fraser
3 Changi Business Park Central 1
Tel: +65 6933 9833