I stayed at Ascott Raffles Place for 5 nights recently on a business trip to Singapore in a Cutler suite (the smallest available room), which my company booked for me. The hotel is very well located in the central business district with plenty of transportation options around, you practically fall into the Raffles Place MRT station which is on the line to the airport. While I would not want to be based long term in a studio apartment, for 1 week it was fine, and it was nice to have the cooking facilities available even though I did not use them. Staff are friendly and efficient and I had a room service meal one night which was promptly delivered and very tasty. Breakfast was included, but I didn’t avail my self of breakfast as I prefer to eat at the office to save time in the morning, but I did go down to check it out and it looked quite ok. Staff were able to do the impossible and get me a taxi to the airport on a Friday afternoon in the rain, within 10 minutes of requesting, which for those who know Singapore, would know that is a very difficult thing to do. As mentioned the location is great for business, but I am not sure how exciting it would be to be based there long term and the area is a bit dead on the weekends and after hours.
I would also suggest to pay more and get a higher grade room, I may have been unlucky but my room faced the next building so my only view was 2 metres in front of me a concrete wall of the next building, so it was impossible to look out the window to determine the weather and internal lights always needed to be on, so not the end of the world, but I wouldn’t like that for a longer stay, and did avoid spending much time in the room as I felt a bit boxed in. Upon check in the receptionist advised me there was a roof top terrace to use for relaxation, which would help, but I never went up there as I was too busy during the week. They claim to have a 2-3 seater sofa in the Cutler suite on the internet, but in my room I really only had a narrow chaise lounge that 1 person could sit on and 2 would certainly not have been able to ‘lounge’ on – much smaller than what is seen in other traveler review pictures. The website says they have a well designed living area, separate dining area and bedroom and it could be construed as that, in that there is a very efficient use of space, but in reality the room was basically the same as a regular hotel room, such as the Ritz Carlton or Hyatt in Singapore, with a kitchen in the corridor, exactly as the picture is on their website. There does seems to be some small differences in the various rooms, so I must have been unlucky, but someone needs to get the lesser rooms and this time it was me.
As my room was located directly next to the lift well, it was quite noisy, however the Ascott must clearly be aware of this as they shut one of the lifts down overnight, which really helps to cut down the noise. Aircon is also extremely very noisy as well, so I had to turn it off when I was in the room. As it is an old building (though restored), I think Ascott are aware of these issues have done all they can to minimse the inconvenience to guests - same with my comment on facing the concrete wall, the staff specifically mentioned the roof terrace to me which I though was very proactive.
Finally, my room also seemed to be in a mobile phone black spot as I was rarely able to get more than 1 bar of reception even when trying different networks, which would really annoy me long term, but lucky I was able to use Skype instead (the room had free wifi, which is a necessity) or would go down to the street, or use my office when I needed to make a call. I suspect this was purely due to the location of my room in relation to the other buildings as in the lift lobby reception was normal, and there would be nothing Ascott could do about it anyway. Also I had a small issue with housekeeping in that a 6am alarm had been left on from the previous guest, which woke me up 2 days in a row (even though I unplugged the clock after the first time it had batteries, so it came on the next day, aghh), and as the lift starts up again at 6am, there was not chance of falling back to sleep, but on the flip side I could get up early and go for a nice run around Marina Bay, which is very close. Housekeeping apologised for this oversight, so I think it was just bad luck on my part, not an overall issue, as I found the cleanliness of the rooms very good and staff were very helpful and friendly overall and apologised profusely.
All in all the Ascott Raffles place was an ok place to stay for a week, though it would not be my choice again. I would certainly not recommend staying in a Cutler Suite if you have a choice (which I did not), and if I was in Singapore for any longer than the workday week, I would try to find a serviced apartment in a more interesting area and get the very convenient MRT into the office, but if you are just there for business in the CBD and get a decent room then the location is absolutely fantastic. I think the staff are aware of some of the shortcomings of the rooms and seemed to have taken reasonable steps to mitigate the impacts of them, which is all you can really ask.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ascott Raffles Place Singapore is a paragon of cultured living set in the heart of Singapore's financial cityscape. The heritage building restored from its 1950 splendour, is a distinct and exclusive residential experience with its Art Deco architectural facade set against the modern cityscape. The prime location grants immediate access to the multitude of business and financial institutions in the CBD area. Also close are the renowned entertainment and shopping districts, international restaurants and cultural destinations unique to Singapore.Each of these serviced suites at Ascott Raffles Place Singapore is designed to articulate sheer luxury and ensure absolute peace of mind. Be lavished with unrivalled personalised services and extensive business support in the comfort and privacy of an elegant, fully-equipped home. With a commanding view of Singapore and designed for optimum luxury, Ascott Raffles Place Singapore provides the extravagant comfort, elegant suites and the supreme privacy desired in a luxurious serviced suite. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ascott Raffles Place Singapore Hotel Singapore