The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore
We recently reviewed the achingly hip Warehouse Hotel, in the Robertson Quay area – a sensational small hotel that is a delight for trendy travellers, and which will certainly feature again in our future jaunts to Singapore. But on this occasion, a conference meant we needed to be in the CBD, and the Warehouse Hotel was just a little too far for ease of access.
And so we leapt at the chance to stay once again at the Fullerton Bay Hotel.
As readers of this site know, it is unusual for us to return to the same accommodation – we are always on the lookout for new experiences in new destinations. And so this speaks volumes about the impression the Fullerton Bay Hotel made on us the first time around.
Accordingly, we booked our stay here again without hesitation (and convinced many other conference attendees to do the same!).
The Fullerton Bay Hotel is one of two Singapore hotels under the luxury Fullerton Brand. The first is the Fullerton Hotel – a regal hotel of 400 rooms, housed in a stately colonial building from 1932, originally the home of Singapore’s first post office.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel is the Fullerton’s sassy younger sister – ultra-modern, sleek and chic. On the opposite side of Collyer Quay, the Fullerton Bay Hotel extends over the water in the bay, opposite the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. With just 98 rooms over six floors, the hotel appears small and somewhat squat in comparison to the surrounding skyscrapers. But as soon as you enter the hotel’s foyer, the effect is breath-taking.
The first view is of the Clifford Pier Restaurant – a vast, chandeliered space filled with light and loveliness, bedecked with flowers and art. It is one of the most beautiful hotel spaces we have ever encountered, and immediately fills the visitor with a feeling of serenity.
From here one traverses an area known as the Landing Point, a long room overlooking the water, where drinks and high tea are served in elegant surrounds.
And finally, the reception lobby, a soaring space surrounded by glass, with multistorey artworks adorning the interior walls and another immense sparkling chandelier. It is a haven of tranquillity and sophistication. Here, smiling concierges welcome you by name (we are always intrigued when they manage to do that), check you in with smooth efficiency and escort you to your room (with bags to follow shortly, naturally).
Rooms at the Fullerton Bay Hotel are distributed around a central atrium, with walls of angled glass providing reams of natural light and views onto the floating pontoons anchored below. An arched ceiling stretches overhead, and it is this that provides the undersurface of the hotel’s signature rooftop pool and terrace. Despite a high level of occupancy, the lifts and corridors of the hotel are never busy and the hotel feels blissfully uncrowded.
There are several room types at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, stratified by size (from 45 to 152 square metres) and view – over the Customs House to the south, Clifford Square to the north or the iconic Marina Bay Sands to the east. Unfortunately neither our requests for a room with a MBS view, or our potential upgrade as Mr and Mrs Smith Goldsmiths, were able to be accommodated due to the hotel being quite full during our stay (darn those other conference attendees!). But our room with a view over the Customs House was interesting and great for people watching (although slightly less photogenic), and we fulfilled our need for a view with many hours in the rooftop pool and Lantern Bar (more on that shortly).
The rooms themselves are modern and chic, and finished to a very high standard. The chambers are still nearly new, and are a very pleasant place to relax. The main room accommodates an exceptionally comfortable king bed, with beautiful linens and an array of pillows. There are also two easy chairs with a generous footstool, a large television with international channels (including, for cricket fans, much appreciated Star TV) and a Harmon Kardon Onyx speaker with Bluetooth connectivity. A sizeable desk provides a practical workstation, with multiple international power sockets (although surprisingly no USB charging points), and there is a large, easily accessed safe.
The far end of the room is framed with floor to ceiling windows, opening onto a small balcony with a cushioned daybed. It perhaps should be noted that these large windows, while providing a lovely view out, also provide a disconcertingly good view in, particularly for those dining or drinking in the Customs House, and the semi-translucent “evening curtains” do little in the way of providing privacy for those inside (be warned)! However, there are also highly effective block out curtains, controlled electronically by bedside controls.
The bathroom is modern and large, with a generous bath, and a marble-lined shower with dual shower heads, both of which can be used simultaneously (a favourite feature of ours). Bathroom products are by Bottega Veneta, and there are plentiful amenities (although removing and replacing these daily will be jarringly excessive for environmentally conscious guests!).
The hotel is particularly proud of its eCompendium, an electronic tablet containing all the hotel information, as well as spa menus, in room dining ordering, and electronic newspapers, rendering the rooms paperless, unless you specifically request a physical newspaper. The in-room dining experience is seamless, and almost immediately after completing the order, we were called to confirm everything was correct (and an attempt at an up sell) and delivery occurred soon after.
The other thoughtful perk that many will appreciate is the mobile phone that is provided in each room, which you are encouraged to take with you on your travels around Singapore, with complimentary internet access and local phone calls.
Further afield in the hotel, there are four options for drinking and dining.
On the ground floor, the aforementioned Clifford Pier is a divine destination for lunch or dinner, or an evening cocktail on the water. It is here that an extensive all-you-can-eat dim-sum lunch is available on weekends and public holidays. Evenings see a Classic Set Dinner on weekdays and a Heritage Buffet on weekends. Nearby, the Landing Point serves an extravagant high tea, with classic savoury and sweet delights in charming surrounds. And lastly on the first floor, The Brasserie is the hotel’s breakfast restaurant, serving the first meal of the day from 0630 to 1030, with an extensive buffet of Singaporean and Western options, complimented by an a la carte selection of freshly prepared mains. On the topic of breakfast, while lovely, service here could perhaps be considered a little too efficient – breakfast finishes strictly at 1030 (an oddity in a city known for its late rising), with staff giving last-call invitations at 1015, and buffet items being whisked away right on 1030, with a very clear message of dissuasion against lingering any longer. The Brasserie also serves lunch and dinner, and has a specialty gin station.
The final dining destination is located on the hotel’s famous rooftop – the Lantern Bar. Here, beyond the photogenic (and much photographed) pool, the Lantern Bar stretches the width of the hotel, with classic views across the water to the Marina Bay Sands, the Gardens by the Bay and the other highlights of the Singapore skyline. An extensive cocktail menu is paired with a decadent array of available snacks, including moreish truffle fries and delicious fried chicken drumlettes, in addition to more substantial offerings.
Also on the rooftop is the pool. At 25 metres, it is long enough and deep enough for laps, but the vast majority of guests will simply relax in its warm 1.2m depths, drinking their cocktails (pleasantly allowed to be consumed in the pool, unlike venues we experienced in Kuala Lumpur just a few weeks before), or sprawled on the sunloungers which are semi-submerged in the shallows around the edges of the pool. In addition to the main pool, there are two smaller jacuzzi-esque pools on the northern aspect of the roof, with views over the edge of the resort, plus there is a small gymnasium. Pool staff are attentive and accommodating, bringing chilled water and fresh towels regularly, and ensuring drinks are rarely empty for long.
Although the Fullerton Bay Hotel has a pool and a gym, it does not have a spa of its own. Instead, guests utilise the expansive spa facilities of the Fullerton Hotel. While this may seem a tad disappointing at first, it should not dissuade you – the Fullerton Hotel is less than a five minute walk away, the vast majority of which is through an airconditioned, traffic-free underpass (so you won’t arrive for your spa all sweaty). Bookings are achieved seamlessly through the in-room eCompendium (although do consider booking ahead if you have limited flexibility) and treatments can be charged to the room, with special prices for hotel guests. And if you’ve booked through Mr and Mrs Smith, you will receive a $60 spa credit.
The spa at the Fullerton Hotel is lovely – an array of treatment rooms and post-treatment lounges, with a number of therapies available. We shared a couples aromatherapy treatment, while D also availed himself of a men’s facial, and can highly recommend the treatments provided by Pamela – who provided one of the best massages he has ever had, and also threw in a complimentary 15 minutes extra for his facial, just because she wasn’t too busy that morning. There is also a sauna and steam-room to use in conjunction with your spa treatment, and D availed himself of both (while A was at her conference!).
A final aspect to mention is the warmth of the staff at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. They are charming, professional and genuinely friendly, and not once did we meet a member of staff, whether it be in the lift, the lobby, the corridors, or the taxi rank, who failed to ask us how our day was going. We felt the staff were all exceptionally gracious, which added to the personal and welcoming effect of the hotel.
So if you are in Singapore on business, and need to be staying near the convention centre or other conference centres, we can highly recommend the Fullerton Bay Hotel – stylish and serene, petite and just perfect, it will charm you from start to finish.