The Fullerton Bay Hotel which overlooks Marina Bay in Singapore’s Raffles Place district is a relatively new entrant in the country’s luxury hotel scene yet it has been quick in making a name for itself within its 6 years of existence. For the past couple of years, this 100-room property has consistently earned the coveted 5-star rating from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide. For 2016, it’s one of only three hotels in Singapore to earn that distinction. I have known it all these years due to its rooftop bar, Lantern which is one of the most iconic rooftop drinking spots around the bay area. Most recently, I had the opportunity to check out this property through a weekend staycation.
With a location at Collyer Quay, within walking distance from Raffles Place MRT and the Merlion, the property is highly accessible with a bus stop right at its doorstep. It is also part of the 5 kilometer or so route that circles the bay – a route that takes you to Singapore tourist attractions such as Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade as well as the futuristic Helix Bridge.
The hotel had arranged for a limousine to pick me up. In no time, I was on my way to the hotel with some bottled water and sweets inside the car for me to try.
Even before I could step in the hotel’s entrance, a guest relations staff was already waiting for me by the door. She escorted me right up to my room for check-in formalities. This seamless experience was exactly the same as when I checked-in to The Fullerton Hotel last year. I was also asked whether I wanted to be enrolled for the hotel’s loyalty programme, called iPrestige. Although I personally wasn’t a member previously, I’m quite familiar with this programme as my parents used to be regulars at Fullerton’s sister hotels in Hong Kong. Anyway, I digress. For those staying in Singapore, this programme is worth joining as it provides discounts to food outlets in Fullerton and Fullerton Bay hotels.
My room was a Bay View Room, an expansive 50+ square meter lodging that came with floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony that opened up to amazing views of the Marina Bay area.
The room design was very contemporary, with lots of mirrors to perhaps amplify the size of the room even though it was already reasonably large. The interiors were dominated with warm tones to exude a timeless elegance.
The king-sized bed, with 100% goose down pillows and duvet, looked so inviting that I wanted to lie down the instance I saw it. Beside it was a control panel which allowed me to draw the curtains and change the lighting from the comfort of my own bed.
One thing to note about the room is that it’s large enough to actually contain a modest living area. There was not only a sofa in the room but also two armchairs. A working desk graced the far end of the room with the business traveler in mind as several power outlets were situated just beside it for my convenience. A thoughtful addition was laptop bed stand which allows guests to work with their laptops in bed.
For all the room’s plushness, I really need to make special mention about the minibar which just about had one of the most impressive spread of complimentary items I have ever seen. I counted no less than 12 Gryphon tea bags and 36 Nespresso coffee capsules stacked!
The bathroom was an equally plush affair with a large bathtub and a window that overlooked the bed area and the surrounding Marina Bay Sands view. There was also a 19 inch LCD TV right by the tub to ensure you don’t miss your favorite programmes while having a soak. There were separate shower and toilet areas as well.
Toiletries were from Bottega Veneta. In the thirty or so hotels I have stayed in Singapore, this is the first time for me to encounter this luxury brand. There was another set placed inside the shower area.
I left my room that afternoon to venture outside. When I returned in the evening, I found turndown service had been done. The housekeeping staff replenished the mineral water bottles in my room and left a small chocolate treat on my bed.
Front Row Seats to Laser Show
The balcony served as the perfect place for me to catch the laser show across the bay at Marina Bay Sands. I literally had a front row seat! As I was there on a Saturday night, I could catch all three showtimes at 8pm, 9:30pm and 11pm respectively if I wanted to.
Drinks at Lantern and The Landing Point
Unlike its sister hotel across the road, Fullerton Bay Hotel does not have a club lounge but this is more than compensated by the two drinking spots located inhouse – these are Lantern upstairs and The Landing Point which doubles as a popular place for afternoon tea in the daytime. I was able to try both during my stay.
For full service restaurants, the hotel has The Clifford Pier and La Brasserie. Like Fullerton Hotel’s restaurants, the prices were relatively reasonable for a 5-star hotel. A meal at The Clifford Pier for instance, could be had for less than SGD 20 before taxes and service charge.
It was a sunny afternoon when I settled on Lantern so the bartender suggested that I try a signature cocktail called Red Lantern which I did.
I also had a bit of Mini Wagyu Beef Burgers and Truffle Parmesan Fries. The latter was excellent, with the aromatic truffle oil going nicely with the crunchy texture of the fries.
One of the best things about Fullerton Bay Hotel is the rooftop pool which overlooks Marina Bay and the surrounding skyline. It is one of the most scenic hotel pools in Singapore. What I loved about it is that other than the main pool, there are several small Jacuzzi-like pools that guests can indulge in if they want something that’s a tad more private.
Later that evening I dropped by Landing Point to check out the in-house mixologist, Jackson, prepare some mean cocktails. I had a taste of some Greenwich Sour ($26++) which is essentially whiskey sour with chamomile tea and shaken with a hint of lemon juice, sugar cane syrup and even egg white to give texture to the drink.
Breakfast at La Brasserie
Breakfast is served at La Brasserie, a well-appointed restaurant with high floor-to-ceiling windows which in turn features stunning views of Marina Bay. As is my habit during weekend stays, I made it a point to come down for breakfast before 9am in order to beat the crowds. While Fullerton Bay Hotel is primarily a business hotel due to its location, it does attract a large following of couples and families for staycations so occupancy on weekends remain very high.
The breakfast spread at La Brasserie was not particularly extensive. Instead, the focus was on quality as guests could have their rounds at the buffet spread and at the same time indulge in the ala carte breakfast menu.
I particularly liked the Eggs Benedict here, with poached eggs soaked in sumptuous hollandaise sauce.
The Belgian Waffles was another stunner, with mixed berries and maple syrup that gave a very homey taste.
While the buffet spread had all the usual suspects, it was the hot items that attracted me to it. I noted the gindara or cod fish which was available in the Asian section. While this is a mainstay in breakfast offerings of upmarket hotels in Japan, it’s practically unheard of as a breakfast buffet item in Singapore so this was definitely a plus point.
As one of the most appealing accommodation options in Singapore, the Fullerton Bay Hotel has plenty of things going for it. While every luxury hotel aims to provide excellent service – as was my observation here – this property has the further advantage of possessing a heritage that is rooted in Singapore’s history. The location is also hard to beat and the property’s been able to maximize its strengths by positioning its food and beverage concepts and rooms accordingly. This explains the heavy usage of glass so that guests and diners are constantly greeted with sweeping views of Marina Bay and the surrounding skyscrapers of the CBD.
Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay
Phone: +65 6333 8388