Happy 2021 dear readers. It’s been another wild ride so far. In the words of Pink Floyd, it would appear overseas travel (certainly for those based in Singapore), is a distant ship’s smoke on the horizon. Thankfully the list of government-approved hotels is on the increase. On my 2021 staycation bucket list is the new Dusit Thani Laguna, Hotel Fort Canning and the Duxton Reserve (ex Six Senses).
Today I share with you my review of the iconic Fullerton Hotel. Steeped in history, this beautiful building, built in 1928, housed the Singapore Post Office in a former life. I had previously stayed at the neighbouring Fullerton Bay for my birthday. However its sister, the Fullerton, weighs in slightly cheaper. I booked a night’s stay as a pre Christmas treat for the family. At the time, they were running a ‘Perfect Staycation’ offer including late check out, $100 dining credit, breakfast and a gift.
There are a number of different room types ranging from the cheapest Premier Courtyard (rooms have a view of the atrium lobby) to the Presidential Suite. As we were sharing a room, I went for the 570sqf Esplanade Room. These offer views of Marina Bay and have plenty of room for an extra rollaway bed. I booked online through the Fullerton website about three months in advance of our stay.
The Fullerton is part of the I Prefer Hotel Rewards programme.
Pre Arrival Check In
When I was at the Fullerton Bay, I saw a note advertising the daily history tour at the Fullerton. In fact there is a mini museum in the lobby detailing the history of the property. Thankfully I had the foresight to contact the hotel in advance to book as the second tour of the day was already booked up.
The hotel send out a pre arrival form about 5 days prior to your stay. Once you have completed this, you can then book pool/gym/breakfast slots. Yes I know it’s a pain and takes all the spontaneity out of things. However they have to keep to strict social distancing guidelines.
I also booked a lunch at the Courtyard on the day of our arrival (taking advantage of the F&B dining credit) and a teppanyaki dinner at Tatsu in Chijmes.
Mr Jetlag and I arrived early at the property as we were booked on to the 10am hotel tour. Christmas is a beautiful time of year to stay at the Fullerton. The lobby and dining areas were wonderfully festive, dotted with trees and decorations. Our room wasn’t ready but check in was very fast.
The history tour lasts for an hour and was very informative. The building has such a rich history and it was fascinating to have an insight into how it operated in the past. It was the right decision to have the kids arrive a bit later as I don’t think they would have been as engaged.
The Esplanade rooms sit on the highest floor of the hotel. The room feels very spacious and the winning factor is the sweeping views over to Marina Bay Sands.
The room was nice but lacked the luxurious wow of somewhere like Raffles. They promptly sent up a spare rollaway bed and we requested extra bedding for the chaise longue.
If I’m picking nits, the bathroom is a bit disappointing, pretty dark and we lacked hot water in the shower. However, this was handled very well by the front desk when I reported it on checking out.
We didn’t add this but some of the rooms come with ‘Club priviliges’. This includes complimentary daily Chandon breakfast, afternoon tea, evening canapés and cocktails in a dedicated lounge.
There are a number of F&B options including Town (famed for the big buffets in the past), Courtyard and Jade (Cantonese). Our lunch at the Courtyard was excellent, one of the best laksas I’ve eaten! Breakfast at the Town is ok, not as good quality as the Fullerton Bay. You can order from the menu but they’ll bring you as much as you like. Probably better on the waistline than the old buffet! If you can, reserve the outdoor seating by the river.
As mentioned, be sure to prebook the Fullerton Monument history tour. This doesn’t run every day so check here for details.
There is a 25m infinity pool, overlooking the Singapore River. You have to prebook your pool slots and it wasn’t easy to secure a bed. The pool was also freezing! If swimming in your staycation is important to you, you may be better off booking the Fullerton Bay or even the W Hotel, Sentosa.
There is a gym and spa but I didn’t check either out. I only realised I had 20% off the spa after I left the property. Which is a good reminder to always check what package you have bought.
The Fullerton Singapore is set in a wonderful location for a staycation. To one side you can wander down to the Merlion, Marina and all the way round to Gardens By the Bay. On the other side, you can follow the river down to Clarke Quay and beyond.
The hotel itself is beautiful and service level very high. I did not think it was as luxurious as either the Fullerton Bay or Raffles but then neither is the price point. It’s worth looking at the Offers to take advantage of discounted prices.