By Mario Ng
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is situated in a heritage building, which has been around since 1928. It used to house the General Post Office before and after the second world war, and was also used by the Japanese as their headquarters during the war. It was later used by the Singapore government to house different ministries, including the Ministry of Finance, before it was sold to be converted into a luxury hotel.
It has always been a goal of mine to stay in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, with so much history within the walls of this building. As a luxury hotel, I was also keen to indulge and enjoy the five-star service afforded by the hotel.
When I was intending to book a stay at this lovely hotel, it was running a Suites Compliments promotion with its sister hotel, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore. This promotion allowed me to stay a second night for free. Alternatively, I could also choose to stay at an equivalent room at The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore. The 2 nights must be completed in one stay, and includes a limousine transfer to your home at the end of your stay. Naturally, I jumped at this offer, and decided to stay one night each in The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.
When I first reached the hotel, I was greeted by very friendly staff who were all keen to make sure I was comfortable. After checking my temperature, I went to the check-in counter to check in. The process was smooth and efficient, with the staff really eager to please, and remained friendly throughout the process. After checking in, the staff personally brought me to my suite, and briefly showed me around the suite.
I remember one instance when I headed to the swimming pool for a morning swim the next day. Perhaps it was too early in the morning, but I forgot to wear my mask during the short walk from my suite to the swimming pool. I only realised when I checked in at the swimming pool and saw the staff mending the counter with a mask. She realised I had forgotten about my mask, and immediately helped to source for a mask after registering me at the swimming pool. Before long, she headed up to the swimming pool and brought me a new mask, wrapped in plastic. This was a really nice and personal touch, which showed great initiative by the staff. This was great service that I enjoyed and appreciated a lot.
Love this view of two historic artefacts: Cavenagh Bridge and The Fullerton Hotel
Throughout my stay at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, all the staff I encountered were very friendly and always made sure I was comfortable and my wants met and provided. One last example was when I checked out and was going to The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore for the second leg of my stay. The staff mentioned that they can send me to the hotel via a hotel car, and asked if I would like that. I was actually itching for a walk, and wanted to check out the heritage gallery at the basement anyway. I mentioned I will walk there instead, and the staff was concerned if the walk would be too uncomfortable for me. Indeed, this was a first world problem and I felt really pampered. She suggested that they could send my bags to the hotel while I walked there, and I decided that would be great since I could stroll towards the bay area without having to carry any heavy bags. This once again showed initiative by the hotel staff, where they made sure that the guests are comfortable and happy, rather than only going through the motions. I appreciated such great service by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore staff and this is why I will be back at the hotel for another stay in the future.
One of the key highlights of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore must be its swimming pool. Facing the Asian Civilisations Museum, it is a nice place to relax and/or swim. From the pool, you can also see Victoria Concert Hall in the distance, while the Central Business District is just to your left. The views are just great, and depending on when you head to the swimming pool, you can either enjoy the peacefulness or see the sunset as Boat Quay starts to come to life.
Loving Fullerton Hotel's infinity pool
I chose to head to the swimming pool in the morning before breakfast, and reached there at about 7.30am. I registered the time slot via email prior to my stay, and the staff mending the swimming pool confirmed my registration. I was happy to find out I was the only one at the swimming pool at that time, as I could really just swim and relax, and be at peace. It was also quite fun to people-watch, and indeed, I saw some people heading to work, while the rest were jogging around the Central Business District. In between laps, I rested and absorbed the amazing view, while breathing in the really fresh morning air. I snapped quite a few pictures of the views before and after my swim, as a memory of my early morning swim! I really enjoyed my swim, primarily due to the view, and actually did not want to leave. Alas, I was too hungry after my swim, and reluctantly headed out of the pool to grab some well-deserved breakfast.
The Fullerton Hotel's swimming pool is truly amazing with fantastic views of the Central Business District
Besides the swimming pool, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore also has a gym and spa, both of which I did not have the opportunity to head to. I need not say more about the gym, but at the time of my stay, the spa was only open between Thursdays and Sundays (due to COVID-19 restrictions). As I was there between Monday and Tuesday, I could not try out their signature massages, which was a shame. However, I will make sure to try it during my next stay!
Another highlight of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is the heritage tours. Each weekend, there are complimentary heritage tours for hotel guests, where the staff will bring you around the hotel and its vicinity, to explain to you the history surrounding the building and the area around the building. Unfortunately, my stay was during a weekday and I could not sign up for this. For those keen, make sure you sign up for this tour (limited slots available only) once your booking is confirmed! Check out the link here to find out more about the heritage tours!
Check out the heritage gallery in the basement to find out about the hotel's rich history
As a guest at the Loft Suite, I was entitled to a Chandon breakfast at The Straits Club on Sundays. However, as my stay was on a weekday, my breakfast was held at The Courtyard instead, on the ground floor of the hotel. I arrived there after my swim, at about 8.30am, which was an hour earlier than my registered time slot of 9.30am. I obviously planned it wrongly and thought I needed more time at the pool and rest afterward. Thankfully, the Courtyard was not full at that time, and the staff was more than happy to allow me to have my breakfast at that time.
At each table, you are provided with wet wipes and envelopes to keep your masks at your table. This is a good initiative by the hotel, where guests will be able to wipe their hands frequently and keep their masks clean. This is especially true during meal times, where you are more likely to use your hands. You can easily fall sick and catch viruses if you do not keep them clean. In times like this, the hotel really makes me appreciate them for doing such a simple but nice gesture to protect its guests.
The Fullerton Hotel's breakfast menu while I was there
From what I understand, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore initially had a breakfast set, where each guest would choose one main out of six, and this was not unlimited. Apparently, after some feedback from customers, this was then changed to be unlimited instead. During my time there, it was supposed to have changed to be unlimited already. When I ordered my breakfast, I did not query about this, and neither did the staff mention anything about the mains being unlimited. From the way the conversation took place, it did feel as though I should be ordering one main only.
Out of the six mains, I naturally chose the one with eggs. Basically an English breakfast, it came with bacon, a slice of sourdough bread, baked beans, hash brown, chicken sausage, a grilled tomato, and of course, eggs of your choice. Granted, it does not sound like much at this point, compared to the usual breakfast buffets served pre-COVID. Thankfully, however, there is more food provided. I was first served a basket of pastries, which was delicious. A cup of coffee and juice were also provided, while they prepared my main. Yogurt was also served after I finished my main, while they topped up my coffee, which was nice. It was only later that I realised that there was supposed to be another plate of fruits, which I think the staff forgot about. It was fine for me, since I was quite full by this time. However, for those who will still be provided this menu during their stay, be sure to have your daily plate of fresh fruits during breakfast!
I thoroughly enjoyed the continental breakfast at The Fullerton Hotel
I quite enjoyed my breakfast at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. I liked the natural sunlight that came in through the roof, while the food was more than adequate. The food was cooked well and I especially enjoyed the pastries, while I was not overly stuffed by the usual breakfast buffets that hotels serve previously. For sure, I miss the smoked salmon and cheese that used to be provided at hotel breakfasts, and I also miss the waffles with maple syrup. I do hope these will come back soon after the pandemic is over. Of course, there might also be some that look forward to breakfast buffets (ala-carte or otherwise) during hotel stays, as this is considered a highlight of their stay. I understand that the mains should now be unlimited, and I think this should make the breakfast a more pleasant experience!
The Loft Suite is a suite that spreads over two storeys, covering a total of 1,173 square feet. It is so large that in terms of square footage, the Loft Size is second only to the Presidential Suite. This alone tells you how much space this suite has. Besides the bedroom that is located on the second floor, the suite also consists of a large balcony, where you get a magnificent view of the bay area, looking out towards Marina Bay Sands and beyond.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has undergone some renovations, where some rooms have been renovated. However, the Loft Suites have not undergone the renovations yet. This means that you will still see the original look when the hotel first opened on 1 January 2001. This would mean that the design will look a little dated, especially if you have stayed in a renovated room in the same hotel. Hence, do take note of this if you are intending to stay here soon, especially if you are keen on staying in modern hotel rooms.
When you first enter the suite, you will see a large living room, with the television to your left, and a large dining table and workstation on your right. You can tell that the suite is really spacious, with lots of empty space around the sofa and dining table. This would be great for families, where children can run about in a safe manner.
View of the Loft Suite's living area
For those who still need to work despite being on a staycation, this suite might not be the best place to do it if you want to be surrounded by your family. The workstation is located on its own at one corner of the suite, in its own spacious area, fully decorated with a large cabinet filled with large books. This makes it really conducive for you to do some work without any disturbances. However, one flaw is that it is located quite far from the living area, which means you cannot really spend time with your family together, if they are watching some television. If your family is having dinner though, it would be great, since the dining table is just in front of the workstation.
View from the dining area of the Loft Suite
Coffee and tea are provided in the form of Nespresso capsules and TWG teabags. Complimentary bottled water are provided, and is done so in a sustainable manner, with glass bottles used in lieu of the usual plastic bottles. This is a small but necessary step for hotels, as plastic is surely one of the most heavily-used materials at hotels. For suite guests, you are also provided with a complimentary set of wet wipes, hand sanitiser, and face masks. This is another nice touch by the hotel for its guests, where these are surely important things to have right now. Unfortunately, the tasty goodies and beverages are not free, and you will need to pay for them if you have a sudden hunger pang at night.
Lots of snacks and beverages for customers to consume while relaxing in the Loft Suite
At the workstation is a Samsung tablet, where you can get important information about the hotel, make room service orders, request for laundry services, or find out more information about the spa services. In fact, I used the tablet to order some room service during my stay and it was a good tool to have during my time at the suite.
View of the workstation hidden from view when you first enter the Loft Suite
The living area seems to be designed like how a home would look like, with a really comfortable sofa and Chinese décor. This living area does remind me of one of my relatives’ homes. The television is housed in an old-school television cabinet and there is also a DVD player, in case you feel nostalgic. The suite comes with a harman/kardon speaker, and I used it during my stay to listen to some music. It was fine to have, and those who intend to have a fun time with your family should enjoy the speaker.
View of the Loft Suite from the living area
The balcony opens out at the side of the living room, and you instantly get a magnificent view of the bay. Outside the balcony lies 2 really comfortable chairs and couples should enjoy the evening just relaxing and chilling outside, preferably with some drinks. It is a really nice area and I think this is a great highlight of the Loft Suite. In fact, this is probably my favourite part of the suite. For those who love sunrises, make sure you set your alarm clock. The sun rises directly in front of the suite, and you get to see the orange fireball slowly rise up if you wake up early enough. I did and was duly rewarded with a view of the fireball.
View from the balcony of the Loft Suite
Expect to see such amazing views of the city from the balcony of the Loft Suite
Beside the living room is the spiral staircase up to the second level, which is also where the bedroom and bathroom are located. The bedroom has its own, albeit small, workstation, and there are wall plugs nearby to plug in your laptop. I preferred working here as I could watch the television located in the bedroom from this workstation. The location of the bed is also something fantastic, as it directly faces the balcony. So, for early risers, you do not even need to get up from your bed to see the magnificent sunrise. This is really why you are paying so much for the Loft Suite. Being a rather dated suite, you should see some old-school tools in your room. This includes the classic equipment to control the room’s lighting and alarm clock.
The first thing one sees when you wake up on your bed on the second floor of the Loft Suite
View of the second-level bedroom of the Loft Suite
An interesting thing is that you can also access the suite via the second level. There is a separate door from your bedroom, and you can actually enter the suite from this door instead. So, for those who enjoy playing hide-and-seek with your children, this is a good thing to know!
Another view of the second-level bedroom of the Loft Suite
The bathroom looks classic and does not look dated actually. It comes with a separate bathtub and standing shower, and I was quite happy to find out that the water pressure of the standing shower head was very strong. Balmain toiletries are provided, while you should make sure to collect your complimentary set of wet wipes, hand sanitiser, and masks!
Balmain toiletries that came together with a complimentary set of wet wipes, hand sanitiser, and masks
I liked the cotton balls provided, something that I do not really see at hotels. I understand that some women use these quite frequently, and it is good to know Fullerton provides these cotton balls. There are also double sinks, so you and your partner will not need to fight over who gets to wash up first. Both can wash up together, get a drink, and head out to the balcony! Bath salts are provided, so you need not purchase additional salts before you soak in your bathtub. One of life’s luxuries is to relax in the bathtub and read a good book. I know I managed to do that, and really enjoyed it!
View of the Loft Suite's bathroom
After finishing your shower, be sure to pour yourself another drink, head out to the balcony, and continue reading your book. The night view is equally amazing, and you should maximise your time in this suite by admiring the view of the bay area!
A great book that goes together well with the rich heritage of The Fullerton Hotel
The Fullerton Hotel provides really comfortable pairs of slippers
The Straits Club (club lounge):
As a guest of the Loft Suite, I was given access to the lounge, known as The Straits Club. Meal times at The Straits Club begins from 3pm each day for the afternoon tea, and will last until 5pm. The evening canapes and cocktails begins from 6pm onwards, and lasts till 8pm. There are also light refreshments between 8pm and 9pm, for those who still feel a little peckish after dinner.
For those who happen to stay at the hotel over the weekend, there is a special Chandon breakfast at The Straits Club, which occurs only on Sundays between 7.30am and 10.30am. Otherwise, breakfast would be served at The Courtyard, located on the first floor of the hotel.
Comfortable seating available at The Straits Club
While I was there, I managed to head to the lounge for some afternoon tea. There were not many people there, being a weekday, and service was quick. Similar to the situation during breakfast, you are provided with wet wipes and envelopes to keep your masks at your table.
Afternoon tea menu at The Straits Club
Afternoon tea came in the form of a classical afternoon tea set, which includes the all-important scones. The rest of the food came in a three-tier stand, where you get an assortment of sweets and savouries. I admit that the staff explained each type of food to me, but I was not really paying attention. Overall, the food tasted pretty good, although the scones were not heated. The clotted cream and jam provided seemed quite little too, although I am sure asking for another portion should not be a problem. I enjoyed those savoury tarts, where I remembered tasting some crab meat. They were good, and I finished all of it. I came to realise recently that I am more of a savoury person, even though I quite like sweets too. Those sandwiches were pretty standard, and were all right. Those who enjoy sweets should love the choices, as they tasted, well, sweet. I did not particularly enjoy the sweet treats, but that’s just me. I quite liked the chocolate pastries though. Beverages come in the form of the usual coffee and tea, with quite a few types of TWG tea available. I went for the standard latte, where the coffee beans were especially blended for The Fullerton Hotel.
Afternoon tea at The Straits Club
Come evening, alcoholic beverages are served, and of course I went with a glass of champagne. I do not know what type of champagne they served, except that it was champagne. At least that was what they told me. Using the same three-tier stand to serve their evening canapes, the selections are more local this time. Think deep-fried dumplings and potato rolls, with sweet chili sauce provided. I enjoyed it, and it opened up my appetite for more food. There was also some unique tuna meat served on a spoon, which reminded me of the Ayam brand canned tuna, but of course this was fresher (I think). I liked the sweets during the evening service more, and finished them. I loved the pudding that came with a generous amount of caramel sauce, while the chocolate cake slices were good. Another pudding with a chocolate slice completed the round-up, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Perhaps I just enjoy the more conventional sweet treats. In lieu of the scones was a cheese platter. Yes, finally. Some cheese. Served with some walnuts, prunes, grapes, and crackers, you have three types of cheeses. After finishing everything, you should be quite full by now. If you are not, you should be able to ask for seconds. While I did not do so, I noticed that some at the other tables asked for seconds, and the staff were more than happy to provide them with multiple servings. This should make for a very filling evening, especially with the free-flow champagne until 8pm. I do not usually drink too much, so I was quite satisfied with my single glass of champagne.
Evening canapes and a glass of champagne to end the day at The Straits Club
I did not stay to see what the refreshments were between 8pm and 9pm, as I was really full after having the evening canapes. Overall, it was a great experience at The Straits Club. If you come in the afternoon, you will also get some great views of Cavenagh Bridge and Asian Civilisations Museum. If not, it is a nice place to relax and enjoy some food. I saw one family whose children had a great time with the afternoon tea, and they were really happy with the experience. I am not sure how the experience was like pre-COVID, if the food was served in a buffet style instead, but I did not leave hungry. Granted, the choices of food available probably suffered as a result of the pandemic, but I thought it was still a great experience at the lounge. I know I enjoyed myself and was able to relax while there.
View of the historic Cavenagh Bridge and Asian Civilisations Museum from The Straits Club
Overall, I really enjoyed myself at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. From the moment I stepped into the hotel, I was pampered by great service. The staff were eager to please and tried their best to make sure I was comfortable. From the staff at the check-in counter, to those stationed at The Courtyard, to those at the swimming pool, to the staff serving the room service meal, each and everyone gave their best smiles and service. I have nothing but praise for the staff. I cannot wait to head back to The Fullerton Hotel Singapore again for another stay, this time at a different room!
Click here to find out more about The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and book a stay today!
Cost of Loft Suite: S$812.13 a night - stayed over a weekday in August 2020 (Note: This stay was booked under the Suites Compliments promotion. This promotion allowed you to have a second night free, either at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore or The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore. The total cost of the 2-night stay at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore was S$1,624.27.)
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