JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach probably stands as somewhat of an oddity when pitted against the other JW Marriott properties around the world. The rooms carry a highly trendy look, with an immaculately white shade interspersed by the shine of stainless steel. Indeed, the thought that this is not your usual JW Marriott is palpable even from the time one steps foot into the lobby, with its semi-industrial finish juxtaposed against Peranakan elements while the loud colors emanating from the giant LCD screen serve to arrest the senses.
It was not long ago when the property stood as the independent South Beach Hotel. With no affiliation to any major chain, it was not doing as well and as such the management was handed to Marriott Hotels, where it subsequently became the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach. Business has been brisk since then. During the weekend I stayed at the hotel, the property was running at full capacity. I had deliberated extending for another night but could not get any available room out of the booking portals.
Being relatively familiar to the hotels around Singapore’s Civic District, the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach was one of the few left for me to check out. After my stay there, I have to say that the property totally won me over and it is now probably my favorite place to stay within the Civic District / Marina Square area with the Mandarin Oriental Singapore running at a close second.
The JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, as the name suggests, is situated within the new lifestyle destination called South Beach. Amidst layers of glass and steel and colonial buildings, you’ll find an abundance here of cafes, specialty restaurants as well as bars (for coffee lovers, I recommend Cafe Vergnano 1882). There are two MRT stations in the hotel’s vicinity – the nearest one being Esplanade Station which is directly below it.
I arrived at the 634-room hotel on a Sunday afternoon just when things were starting to get busy with many people checking in. Nevertheless, I was able to get myself checked-in in no time. I noticed that aside from the front desk, there were plenty of other staff members standing in the lobby to assist guests with their needs so I never really got to see a snaking queue in the reception at any time during my stay.
Club Premier Room
There are no less than ten different room types in the JW Marriott Singapore and my room for this particular round was a Club Premier Room. The hotel website advertises it to be 42 square meters in size but as my room was a corner room, it was easily 50 square meters. It came with a huge hallway with its own set of lounge chairs. If you are staying as a family or with a few friends, you can easily fit in the extra bed here and regard the hallway as something like a secondary partition to the room.
One of the highlights of the Club Premier Room is the window which is situated in the longer side of the room. This allows for more light to come in and along with the clean white choice of decor, add a soothing calmness especially if you love interiors dominated in light shades.
The distance between the bed and the desk / TV is relatively wide. The decor is undoubtedly luxe but it is notable as well how little clutter there is inside. The hotel has done away with traditional amenities such as magazines to prioritize space and shiny metal furnishings (you have to check out the stainless steel rocking chair when staying here).
The bathroom design is quite consistent to the clean white theme permeating the room. Shower and toilet areas are partitioned respectively with the toilet itself having a bidet like they do in Japan (the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is perhaps one of the few hotels to have this facility even for their non-suite rooms). A standalone tub (in white, of course) is situated right beside the sink. The tub’s placement makes the bathroom look a bit “tight”. But I understand that the tub has better placement in the other rooms, notably in the Deluxe Suite where it is situated just by the window!
Toiletries come from Aromatherapy Associates as is increasingly becoming the case in many higher-end properties under Marriott. The last time I stayed in a Marriott property prior to this was almost a year ago when the group was still transitioning from using Thann toiletries. As is usually the case when I stay in a Marriott property, the full set is provided including mouthwash and even razors which I didn’t need to request anymore.
Executive Lounge at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach
My stay came with access to the Executive Lounge. For everyone’s convenience, here are the benefits:
- Breakfast from 6AM to 10:30AM
- Afternoon tea from 2:30PM to 5PM
- Hors d’oeuvres from 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- Evening cocktails from 5:30PM to 7:30PM
- 2 pieces of items for pressing per day (accumulative)
- Complimentary 2-hour usage of executive lounge meeting room per stay
- Complimentary business services
In usual Marriott style, the executive lounge at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach has one of the more elaborate food offerings with 4 meal presentations daily. Drinks-wise, while there is no champagne during cocktail hour, guests can choose a wide variety of wines or liquor. For non-alcoholics, there is also a nice variety of cold-pressed juices available.
If you are thinking whether you’d still need to have dinner after evening cocktails, my immediate answer would be no (though venues such as Akira Back and Madame Fan offer compelling dining options). During the weekend that I was staying, I spotted a couple of hot items including local delights like chwee kueh (rice cake), kueh pie tee as well as some dimsum. There are a couple of Western options as well and I particularly loved the coconut tart that they had for dessert.
One of the things you absolutely must-do while staying at the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is to check out its swimming pool. Even if you don’t plan to swim, I am quite certain that you’ll be awed by the sumptuous views of Singapore’s CBD. The hotel faces the War Memorial and the grass fields of the Padang, allowing for an unobstructed view of Raffles Place as well as Marina Bay Sands.
Tip: While the 18th floor swimming pool is the more impressive one, the hotel also has a second pool in Level 6. The latter is less crowded and isn’t sheltered unlike the 18th floor pool.
Realizing what a great photo opportunity the spot must be, the hotel has a shallow wading pool with a table and chairs to allow guests to relax and take in the views. This is also one of the more popular instagrammable spots in the hotel.
You will also find the fitness center in the same floor as the pool as well as another bar (the hotel has several different bar concepts spread across the main building as well as The NCO Club which is also part of JW Marriott Singapore South Beach).
Breakfast at Beach Road Kitchen
Guests having their morning meal will have to walk a bit out of the hotel to the Beach Road Kitchen just a few steps from the lobby. I have previously written about the amazing variety of the dinner buffet here so I was curious to see how the breakfast here is like.
As with my dinner experience, breakfast at Beach Road Kitchen offers a wide variety of food that one could easily spend hours here and still be unable to try everything. Relatively unique compared to the other hotel breakfast buffets I’ve tried, I spotted a number of hard-to-find offerings here such as mangosteen as part of the fresh fruit section, chocolate banana pizza and even a number of pass-around dishes. During my morning meal, staff members were extremely eager to let me try the eggs benedict which was delicious.
A thoroughly modern offering by the Marriott chain, the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach probably offers the most bang for your buck where luxury hotels in Singapore are situated. Just comparing within the Marriott universe alone, it is pricing decently vis-a-vis the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza (JW Marriott is usually just a few dollars more). Based on the Marriott brand hierarchy, JW Marriott is supposed to be more luxurious so unless you’re adamant about staying in Orchard Road, it’d be more sensible to stay here. During lean periods, you can get the base level room for well below S$300 per night before taxes.