The following are our observations on our experience at this hotel from Oct 22-25, 2013.
1. Check-in procedures. We had made reservations for three rooms. Check-in is 1500hrs. We arrived at 1445hrs on a Tuesday where there are not many guests checking in since it's the middle of the week. There was no apology that by 1500hrs they were still processing our check-in and only one room was available. We had to wait until 1530hrs for the second room, despite having two young children (one of them is a 13-month-old infant) and an elderly couple in our party. We left for some food and returned later and even then the staff had not made a set of access cards for us and we had to wait some more for the front office to program the access cards to the third room. We saw an even longer line of people checking in on Friday afternoon (approx. 1430hrs). Also, the hotel did not notice that we had driven ourselves to the hotel and parked in the basement although they received us at the drop-off area at the front door. Parking is free for guests (one vehicle per room) but we had to proactively ask for the free parking pass to get out of the basement parking.
2. Room. Bathroom shower stall has MILDEW (at least in room 710). There are cleaning products out there that can easily deal with this problem in less than 30 minutes (we use it in our own home) and for this grade of hotel, we expect much better.
3. In-room internet and WiFi. Internet is not free in this hotel. We saw that there is a very nicely laid out set of instructions and internet access packages of varying prices displayed in the rooms. What we have also observed is that there are many hotels and restaurants in this region that provide complimentary internet service. We certainly did not expect that internet access is an additional charge on top of the prices we had to pay for room and board. Needless to say, we did not use any internet service from the hotel because we felt this was an underhanded technique to squeeze out a few bucks from the guests.
4. In-room entertainment. The in-room entertainment system is nicely done up (intuitive interface typical of say, an in-flight entertainment system like Singapore Airlines), perhaps better, and they also have a second TV screen (with separate remote control) in the bathroom. A downside we noticed was that there were no English movie channels from the selection of available/free channels in the room (there is one, maybe more Chinese/Cantonese movie channels). English movie titles are available on a pay-on-demand basis. We felt that there should be at least one movie channel from the available/free system and that having English movie channels by on-demand basis was also an underhanded technique to squeeze out a few bucks from the guests.
5. The rest. If the hotel management had not ruined our first impression of the hotel with the crappy check-in procedure, we would have been much more willing to highlight the other positive points of this hotel but we'll list out a few things here to be fair:
a. Large and nicely appointed rooms (except for the mildew) with a nice view of HarborFront Center (cruise ship docking) and a small water park where we could see dolphins swimming in one of the pools.
b. Spacious parking basement (make sure you get the free parking pass if you're a guest 'cuz they're not going to hand it to you if you don't ask).
c. Quiet swimming pool. Almost deserted except for the occasional swimmer. Water is warm due to the dark tiles that absorb heat from the day. Pool shape is irregular but long enough to do ~50m laps but a bit hard to keep a straight line--no biggie.
d. Shuttle service. There's a shuttle service operated by the resort (RWS group of hotels) that bring guests from the sister hotels to the Festive Walk (Hotel Michael) area where most of the entertainment and food is, which we guess leads to other parts of Sentosa via the island-operated bus service (we didn't explore this). We noted that although the shuttle service only officially starts at 1000hrs, the hotel provides a buggy for guests at ~0900hrs (could be earlier), which we thought was convenient.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A haven nestled along the fringe of a tropical rainforest, Equarius Hotel is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and families alike. All our spacious and breezy deluxe rooms and suites feature a private balcony with stunning panoramic views of either forest or sea. The equally spacious bathrooms are designed for lavish convenience with double vanity areas, a separate bathtub and shower area. You will also enjoy exclusive use of the gym at ESPA at Resorts World™ Sentosa, Singapore’s first destination spa. ... more less
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