Our family is floating to The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Not in a boat but in the back seat of the hotel’s stately 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 2. The reason you float is not just because of the luxury of the car but also because of the 1960s suspension. It’s as soft as the comfy leather seats. I had organised an airport transfer but wasn’t expecting a ‘roller’ to pull up alongside the Grab cars and people picking up their friends and family.
Judging by the looks on everyone’s faces (and the occasional camera flash), they weren’t expecting to see a Rolls Royce here either. Am I impressed by my first impressions of the grand colonial-era Fullerton Hotel Singapore? “Yes, indeed!” (spoken in posh English accent). With an exterior resembling a Neoclassical temple and an interior that reminds me of a classic art deco theatre, the hotel is just as remarkable.
The building itself is a national monument and was once the General Post Office of Singapore and the home of the elite Singapore Club. It seems fitting that the building is now one of Singapore’s best five-star hotels which matches its heritage with both service and style. Being greeted on arrival by name and escorted directly to the room for check-in has me smiling and feeling more like a rock star than a hotel guest. It’s also very welcome after a long day of travel. I have access to The Straits Club which entitles guests to this in-room check-in experience plus access to a private area of the hotel dedicated to pampering the most jaded of travellers with a host of facilities and services.
We arrive at our room on the 9th floor and are impressed yet again, not only by the room’s impeccable style but also its size and the stunning view of Marina Bay Sands. Our 53sqm Premier Esplanade Room With Bay View and is more a suite than a room and has a large bathroom and walk-in robe. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has 400 rooms with a variety of styles, sizes and views. From the most affordable Premier Courtyard Room to the Presidential Suite, the rooms deliver on style and the old-world charm that blends seamlessly with twenty first century comforts.
As we have arrived from the east coast of Australia, my body clock is two hours later than the time on the bedside clock so I take a much-needed shower and go straight to sleep in the huge king size bed. Waking early thanks to a little jetlag (not the light in the room; the blackout curtains are impressive), I take in sunrise over Marina Bay and set off to explore the hotel which has, among other things, koi swimming in a pool at the bottom of the grand lobby staircase.
You will need more than a few nights here to sample all the dining options which include the Town Restaurant buffet, Chinese cuisine at Jade, and the Lighthouse Restaurant & Rooftop Bar where a beacon once guided mariners into Singapore. My breakfast is at The Straits Club, the hotel’s dedicated lounge, and consists of a small continental and hot buffet breakfast with a made to order egg menu and sparkling wine to begin the day with a buzz.
After my superb stay to date the lacklustre service at The Straits Club during breakfast (and the evening cocktail hour later that night) is a letdown, especially for a hotel of this calibre, but the food is excellent. The Straits Club has a concierge, offers pressing of two items per stay and provides business centre services. Afternoon tea plus evening canapes, cocktails and wine are also included for The Straits Club guests.
After breakfast we spend a few hours at the pool area on level 2 which is set against a backdrop of majestic Doric columns and overlooks the Singapore River. It’s perfect for soaking in style. Pool attendants look after our every need from water to sunscreen, and offer complimentary fresh fruit skewers to guests lounging on the deckchairs. This is a spot many guests choose to enjoy all day and who can blame them?
After a morning by the pool and a sumptuous high tea in the lobby, complete with accompanying harpist entertainment, it is time to refresh in the room before cocktails and hot canapes in The Straits Club. We finish the evening with room service dinner delivered just in time for the the Marina Bay light and sound show which is presented every night, 365 days a year. Everyone else is lined up along the foreshore but we have a perfect view from our room.
The hotel is located in an area that is central to the country’s colonial history. There are many heritage buildings and museums only a short stroll away. However, we are content to simply soak up and enjoy the luxury of our surroundings for the blissful 48 hours we are at the hotel. If we had more time, we would have done one of the two complimentary Fullerton Heritage Tours which are available at the hotel: The Fullerton Monument Tour and A Maritime Journey Tour. Even if you aren’t staying at the hotel, you are welcome to come along and join a tour.
When your stay at a hotel has been this good it is very hard to say goodbye, even with the prospect of a floating Rolls Royce ride back to reality to look forward to. I was not looking forward to the hard landing on the other side.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. He was born in the 1960s and hopes he ages as gracefully as the Rolls Royce that picked him up from the airport.
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