One Farrer Hotel has piqued my interest for the longest time. Ever since it opened some 5 years ago, it has consistently ranked within the top 20 hotels in Singapore in tripadvisor. This is despite it being an independent hotel with no visible aesthetic theme. The hotel is actually part of an integrated complex along with Farrer Park Hospital, with One Farrer Hotel occupying the ground as well as the upper floors of the building. Farrer Park MRT is directly under the property which makes traversing Singapore a breeze.
After 5 or so years of thinking about it, I finally managed to satisfy my curiosity by way of an invitation from the hotel team to check out One Farrer Hotel. The property recently dropped the word “Spa” from its official name although the spa proposition is still very much part of the experience here as I would later found out.
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Skyline Studio at One Farrer Hotel
The team had booked me in a Skyline Studio. The upper floors – from the 18th to 20th – form what is called the “Skyline Hotel,” a hotel within a hotel concept. In contrast, the lower floors are classified under One Farrer’s “Urban Hotel.” The difference with the Skyline Hotel is that guests staying at the upper floors get to have club lounge access, their very own gym and pool as well as enhanced room amenities.
The Skyline Studio measures a cool 49 square meters which is markedly larger than One Farrer Hotel’s entry level rooms. The theme is relatively muted, with beige dominating the color scheme and with no garish elements save for a painting by the wall. There is a palpable inclination towards the visual arts here. Each room comes with a unique painting and even the hallways are adorned with artworks with no two being the same.
Light controls are relatively consistent. While there do not seem to be switches for individual light fixtures, there are various mood lighting options available such as day (brightest), night (pitch black), dream, etc. What I particularly liked was the consistency of these controls, one by the bathroom, and on either side of the bed so guests don’t have to scramble to find the location of each switch depending on their needs. The sheer and blinds are also controlled from this remote.
Room amenities are relatively tech-forward. My room came with bluetooth speakers as well as a large LCD TV from where it is possible to stream devices. For what is seemingly a digital-inclined hotel, I was surprised to still find actual magazines in the room and there were plenty for me to choose from. If the reading materials aren’t enough, one also finds a couple more in the club lounge or the “music room” which also serves as the check-in lobby of the Skyline Hotel. There’s also a complimentary minibar stocked with chips, gummy bears, 3 cans of soft drinks as well as coffee from Illy and tea from TWG.
The bathroom came in a color scheme that I don’t typically see in Singapore hotels. It carried a masculine look and was decked in dark marble (save for the floor). Along with the bathrobes which are deliberately placed in the middle, the scene was unexpectedly photogenic when I first entered. The shower and toilets are in separate enclosures.
Toiletries are from Fresh Skinlab. It was my first time to encounter this brand in a hotel but a quick google search revealed that it’s actually quite popular around Southeast Asia. The brand is notable for its portable skincare products which goes well for hotel setups.
As mentioned previously, the benefits of the Skyline Hotel at One Farrer Hotel are quite unique and even beats other luxury hotels in Singapore in certain aspects. The club lounge here – called the skyline lounge – boasts of five meal services per day. This includes breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and desserts & savories. The only other hotel in Singapore that offers that many meal services in its club lounge is Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.
I tried to drop by whenever possible to witness each meal service. Breakfast is relatively compact compared to the one at the all-day dining restaurant, Escape, located downstairs. However, if you are particular with your eggs, having your morning meal at the skyline lounge is recommended. There is a kitchen staff member at the lounge who prepares eggs for guests. Seeing how less stressed he is here compared to the breakfast downstairs, there is more leeway to prepare off-menu items such as poached eggs or eggs benedict for instance. Coffee – for both the lounge and downstairs – comes from Boncafe which is a contrast from Illy-branded coffee capsules used inroom. In terms of the lunch offering at the skyline lounge, I was merely expecting light bites such as sandwiches and some cakes but was surprised to find even biryani rice and one or two other hot items included for the midday service. The buffet spread during evening cocktails is almost the same in terms of range compared to lunch, but there’s free-flow alcohol to complement that in the evenings. Theoretically, guests staying at the skyline lounge have their entire day’s food needs taken cared of!
Other skyline lounge benefits include free pressing of 2 pieces of clothing each day as well as complimentary local calls. Those preferring privacy would probably find the dedicated gym and swimming pool useful.
The Skyline Hotel gym which is located in the 19th floor is relatively small with a few weights and cardio machines. I still recommend going to the main hotel gym if you don’t mind taking the lift down. I visited twice during my stay and never found it crowded. It’s also much more spacious there and they have the complete set of equipment. The dedicated swimming pool on the other hand is located just beside the skyline lounge. It’s a partly indoor concept with bars somewhat obscuring the view of the outside. The main pool on the 6th floor on the other hand is totally open and is bigger but it was also more crowded when I observed it twice during my stay.
The hotel spa used to be a prominent feature of the hotel. While it has since become more subdued (the property dropped “& Spa” from its official name), the facility is definitely worth visiting. It is rarely mentioned but hotel guests can actually make use of the onsen located in the spa.
I don’t often hear of One Farrer Hotel being considered among Singapore’s luxury hotels but my experience at their Skyline Hotel certainly reminded me of one. Compared to the base level rooms, the skyline rooms are priced at a premium but you do get what you pay for. Having your entire day’s meal taken cared of plus bells and whistles such as the free minibar and a relatively more private pool and gym make the hotel’s upper floors a compelling staycation option as well. Travelers, on the other hand, will appreciate the extra space as well as the property’s proximity to the tourist areas surrounding Little India and to an extent, Jalan Besar and Kampong Glam.