Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore is a serviced apartment and (now) hotel located in Singapore’s CBD – just a few minutes walk from both Raffles Place and Tanjong Pagar which together make up the bulk of the city’s top office addresses. The property opened some two years ago as a pure serviced apartment by the Oakwood brand. The “premier” in its name signifies how the positioning is at the top-end of this global serviced apartment chain’s offerings. Having stayed at other serviced apartments myself, I did notice the differences here – the most important of which is that the services were more in keeping with a hotel rather than a serviced apartment. Just a month ago, the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore also obtained a hotel license, which means that guests can stay here for as short as a day if they so wish.
In view of the hotel license, I was invited by the property for a trial stay at the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore. I was quite excited about checking out the property. Firstly, I have had relatively good experiences with my serviced apartment stays so far. I really appreciate the extra space and the luxury condominium style living it provides. But more than this, I was also quite keen to check out how a property that previously existed as a pure serviced apartment would compare to a hotel in terms of the service and food offerings.
The entrance to the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore is located near the main driveway of the OUE Downtown Gallery. There are signages that show you exactly where the lifts are while dedicated Oakwood staff are located by the taxi stand to assist guests checking in.
You need to take the lift to get to the actual lobby. As the bulk of the guests are long-stayers, you won’t find much of a crowd in the lobby at any time of day – not even during check-in time or the usually hectic 12 noon check-out time. There are two desks from where guests can check-in. Within five minutes, I was served my welcome drink and handed my keys.
One Bedroom Premier Apartment
Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore has quite a number of room types ranging from humble 28 square meter studios to spacious two bedroom apartments just shy of 100 square meters. For this particular stay, I was checking out the 1-bedroom premier apartment. In the space-deprived Singapore CBD, I was amazed by the effective usage of 53 square meters. I had myself a kitchen, living and dining area as well as a corner bedroom. With muted touches all throughout, the overall look suits the business traveler but isn’t too cold to alienate the occasional leisure guest.
Like in most modern one bedroom apartments, one enters through the kitchen and dining area. Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore practically provides all the necessities to guests including glasses, plates, bowls, cutlery, cooking pots and pans and even dishwashing liquid! Similarly, the washer comes stocked with detergent so guests don’t need to look for the nearest supermarket. Even the fridge came with a carton of milk inside. For one’s reference, there is a NTUC Fairprice supermarket in the basement of 100AM Mall in Tras Street, just a few blocks away.
These “household” items aside, the hotel aspect was very much evident here through the Nespresso machine and teabags coming from Monogram. This speaks volumes for the offerings of the property as they straddle both serviced apartment and hotel propositions.
It is not an exaggeration to say that it’s very much possible to host an intimate party in the apartment. After all, the property already provides sufficient cutlery, glasses and plates. There is also sufficient seating space with four for the dining area and a couple more in the living room.
The living area was inviting with its full sofa set, availability of magazines and presence of a high definition TV with a plethora of channels inside. My attention was transfixed at the excellent Samsung bluetooth sound system which I actually used more often than the TV. My only qualm was that the bluetooth speakers could have served a better purpose if placed in the bedroom instead but that’s just my personal preference. It is also noted that each room comes with its own WiFi system. Connecting is relatively easy – the passwords are pasted right on the modem / router.
My favorite part of the apartment – no surprises here – was the bedroom. Just a look at this corner room is perhaps enough to convince Instagram-savvy guests to stay here. On a lazy weekday afternoon, it is not entirely unfounded to sit by the wide ledge and observe the goings-on down at Shenton Way as office folks straddle the busy work week. This was in fact my favorite thing to do during my stay. Rarely does one find a hotel room where one can comfortably sit by the window and Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore certainly fulfills that desire. Due to the plush and unique ambiance, I would have to say that I spent 80% of my time during my stay in the bedroom. Natural lighting really does it for me.
The property’s tech savvy-ness was evident with the Samsung tablet and mobile phone available in-room. These were no regular gadgets – guests can actually control certain aspects of their stay through a specially curated Oakwood app.
Going back to the subject of natural light, the bathroom here was on the small side but came with a sea view. This proved to be a delight because the shower area also extends to the window (again another relatively unique feaure). Most hotel setups have their showers in one cubicle somewhere – definitely not where one finds the window. For some reasons which I am not complaining, the window at the bathroom also came with a ledge. There is no tub here which is understandable given the serviced residence origins of the property but the window-facing shower certainly makes up for it. One also finds the complete set of toiletries here.
Dining at Oakwood OUE Premier Singapore
One defining feature that keeps the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore apart from other serviced residence offerings is the presence of a full-fledge food and beverage offering. This means that breakfast is served daily rather than stopping during the weekends. This also means that guests can order for room service if they don’t wish to go out. In the CBD this is especially helpful during the weekends as many food establishments close around the area.
Breakfast is held at Se7enth which also offers lunch and dinner. During weekdays, the 74-seater venue is a popular spot for office lunches while they also serve special brunch menus daily. A quick glance at their breakfast spread shows that there’s little, if any, that separates them from one’s usual hotel breakfast. The spread includes a salad bar, pastries, bacon, sausages, fruits and even a live egg station. In an age where I’ve seen hotels relegating the preparation of eggs to robots, it is refreshing to see that Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore still does it the traditional way.
Se7enth offers a number of local and international dishes in its menu. Among the dishes there, I enjoyed the Crispy Chicken Drumlet (S$12) which came drizzled with sweet truffle maple as well as the Pan-seared Salmon (S$32). In particular, I found the salmon to be a great healthy option that I had it twice – first during lunch at Se7enth and second as a room service order.
Facilities-wise, Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore offers a number of lounge areas for guests. Personally, I don’t see why I’d be lounging in the public areas when the rooms are already so comfortable but if the need arises, events can be held at the plush Resident’s Lounge or the Oakwood Executive Club. The latter does not really function in the same way as a hotel’s club lounge. It may have served that original purpose in the past but today, it’s mainly used as an alternative dining or party venue.
The fitness center has a good set of equipment including a number of treadmills, monkey bars and all-purpose machines. More importantly, if you look out from the floor-to-ceiling windows you can get a sea view. Personal trainers are available upon request while beverages are also available for purchase in the gym.
The swimming pool was brimming with people throughout my stay and I noticed quite a number of folks doing their work on the tables by the pool. While I personally don’t enjoy doing my work in the hot sun, I noticed a lot of families enjoying themselves at the stunning infinity pool. With views of the CBD’s skyscrapers, it’s definitely a picturesque setting for a dip! There are also cabanas and sun-loungers provided to help guests imagine for a second that they’re in some tropical resort rather than a city hotel.
My primary purpose for taking up this invitation to check out the Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore was to see how the property melds the serviced residence offerings with that of a hotel. While the two at first glance may seem very similar, there are notable differences. All serviced residences I’ve stayed in for instance, while great in terms of hard product, were a bit lacking in the softer aspects that hotels usually master. Notably, I thought Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore did both pretty well. The hard product, as I mentioned so far in my review, was obviously superior but I also liked how they provided for other touches such as restaurant service and even in-room dining. Staff levels are not kept to a minimum during weekends unlike in serviced apartments. Actually if it were not for the name Oakwood as well as the presence of household items, I would have thought of it as a plush hotel, which the property also wants to be known for. If this is what luxury condominium-style living is like these days, sign me up!
Oakwood Premier OUE Singapore
6 Shenton Way
OUE Downtown 1
+65 6812 6000