Hotel Review: Sofitel Singapore City Centre (Prestige Suite)
We have always enjoyed staying in Sofitel properties and so this was no exception. We previously stayed at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa and were really happy with their service and room service. So, we knew we had to stay at Sofitel's Singapore flagship property. Check out our detailed review of our time spent at Sofitel Singapore City Centre!
Infinity pool and 2 gyms (SO Fit and Virgin Active)
A relatively small lounge that does not offer too much variety
A spacious suite that makes one feel at home
Check out our Facebook page here for more pictures taken during our stay at this hotel!
We have always enjoyed staying at Sofitel properties. One key reason is due to the generally great service we receive from its staff. If you remember our previous stays at Sofitel Saigon Plaza and Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, you would know that the service we received was just awesome.
For Sofitel’s flagship property in Singapore, the service was top-notch once again. From the moment we stepped into Sofitel Singapore City Centre, the service was just great. The best part is how consistent their service standards were, and it really allowed us to enjoy our stay. This is extremely important, since the reason people go to staycations is to simply relax, and bad service can sometimes spoil the entire trip!
Some examples of good service include when we enjoyed our welcome drinks at the lobby bar (1864). We were served promptly by staff who had with them a genuine smile. When we had difficulty ordering our drinks, we were offered recommendations while giving us the time and privacy to decide.
Another time was when we headed to the club lounge for our breakfast the next morning. We were informed that due to the space constraint at the lounge, they highly recommended us to have breakfast in the main restaurant instead. In fact, they strongly recommended doing so after realising we would only be staying for one night since the variety is really much better at the restaurant. Having said that, they also stated that lounge guests can inform the servers what food they would like from the restaurant, and they could actually pick them up and serve guests in the lounge itself. While we did not do that, we thought this is such a wonderful service where the hotel really goes all out to satisfy its guests.
Surrounded by skyscrapers, it can be a nice place to relax and look at the surroundings. Sofitel does it well by having an infinity pool. Serious swimmers can do laps in the 30m-long pool while the rest of us can soak in the pool and look out at the surroundings. Look out for The Pinnacle@Duxton while Oasia Hotel Downtown is just nearby. If you fancy, soak in the jacuzzi while looking out towards the office buildings.
For those with children, the place is great. Spacious with sunbeds, you can rest assured while they run about in the open area and surrounding lawn. Once they are tired from their workout, they can laze with you on the oversized sunbeds.
For those who need a serious workout, the hotel’s fitness centre is good enough. Equipped with the standard offerings, you should be satisfied with your workout. Plenty of towels and bottled water are available as well, so you need not wait until you head back to your room for a water break.
One unique offering of this hotel is the presence of a second gym. Available for guests staying in a premium room and above, you have access to the Virgin Active gym right next door. Simply contact the concierge and they will make sure the folks at Virgin Active are notified. In our humble opinion, Virgin Active is one of the best gym vendors in Singapore, and the service standards are top-notch too. This makes Sofitel and Virgin Active perfect partners! While we did not have the time to check out the Virgin Active gym (we were busy studying the swimming pool and office buildings at the club lounge), I was once a member of Virgin Active and I can assure you of its high standards, at least in Singapore!
As we were only staying one night and were subsequently strongly advised to have our breakfast at Racines, the main restaurant, we did just that. Situated on level 5, one floor before the club lounge, it is the main breakfast location for all hotel guests.
As we stayed over the weekend, the restaurant was understandably crowded. It was in contrast to the lounge, which maintained its serenity and peacefulness. Of course, the food options differed much too. Nevertheless, we were quickly brought to our seats where we were then served our beverages after taking our orders.
As with most five-star hotels, the main options are available here. Different types of pastries, bread, pancakes, and waffles, are served. Cold cuts and quite a wide variety of cheese were also served. I was especially interested in their cheese selection, which was plenty enough to suit both young and old. Their muesli and fresh fruits were good, and I had some of the western porridge since I felt like Bottas that day. It was sweet and delicious.
One thing that stood out for me is probably its honey. Rather than using plain honey from a jar, they had the honeycomb, so guests can choose to take a piece of it, or simply scoop some honey from the bowl below. Perhaps it is just me, but I was quite fascinated by it!
Racines also had quite a few eastern options, and we thought they were quite good. They had curries, different types of vegetables, and a small selection of sushi. They also had an authentic Chinese-style porridge, complete with an assortment of ingredients to pair with the porridge. This is probably not often seen at hotel breakfasts, and one that I appreciate at Sofitel, since it is quite the authentic breakfast option for many locals, myself included.
All in all, we were fully satisfied with the breakfast at Racines and understood why we were recommended to head here for breakfast instead.
The Sofitel Singapore City Centre’s Prestige Suite comprises 76 square metres worth of space. This gives guests a very roomy feel, with a separate living area and bedroom.
Indeed, when we first stepped into the suite, we felt quite at home. We know we say this a lot about hotel suites, and this is where we believe those hotels get it right. Most of the time, whenever guests book a suite, it is more likely than not they wish to feel at home and want to have a sense of being in a home rather than a “house” or a hotel. Sofitel Singapore City Centre certainly gets it right.
Just by the left side sits a dining table comfortable for 4 people. The mini-bar and coffee-making facilities are also situated nearby. We really enjoy having a dining table in a hotel room/suite since it further gives us the impression we are at home. In fact, we had our meals at the dining table when we ordered room service. It was definitely a much better experience than having it on a make-shift table cum trolley provided by most hotels.
The living area was also really comfortable, with a large sofa and facing the 55-inch television. The best part of the living area is how spacious it feels. At 76 square metres for the entire suite, it is not the largest suite you can find. However, Sofitel Singapore City Centre manages to do it right, and guests have a nice cosy feeling without feeling confined.
Just by the window is a perfect workstation. It is not too distant that you feel detached from your family, but not too close that you will be bothered while you are focusing on those financial statements. The hotel has thought it through and provided the necessary stationery for guests to use, with items like a pen, pencil, paper clips, a stapler, and of course, the Sofitel-branded notepad. It made life easier for us without the need to search for these small items. It was a nice touch. We might add that the chair was really comfortable!
From our suite, it faces the Tanjong Pagar area, so you get to see some of Singapore’s precious heritage buildings. Chinatown is in the distance and you will find the famous Maxwell Food Centre a walkable distance away. You will also see the Central Business District just a little further away, making this hotel perfect for business travellers who want to stay near their office, but not too near to remind them of work the next day.
The coffee was provided by Nespresso while tea is by TWG. This is the norm for most luxury hotels nowadays, although this seems to be a change in direction for Sofitel since we understand quite a few of their hotels use Illy coffee. Nevertheless, we appreciate this change, and especially when they care enough to have both espresso and cappuccino cups for guests. I definitely enjoyed drinking a cup of espresso from an espresso cup. Haha!
As a guest staying in the Prestige Suite, the minibar items are complimentary, and we got some local beverages, including milk tea, herbal tea, and an energy bar. We appreciate this gesture.
The bedroom has a standard King-size bed, with a lounge chair facing the television. Something unique is the adult colouring book, which is about Singapore itself! With studies showing that colouring has health benefits for adults, Sofitel decided to put one in the rooms. While it should be left behind for future guests, note that it is for sale! Check with the concierge.
The walk-in wardrobe is quite decent, with enough space to put a few days’ worth of clothing. Above the wardrobe is a Virgin Active fitness kit. This is meant for those who still wish to work out from the comfort of their suite. Pretty cool if you ask us. Their bathrobe is really comfortable, while there is a Sofitel-branded ironing board. Now, can we take it home...?
The bathroom is beautiful, and we like it a lot. With the bathtub situated on the right side while the toilet and shower are on the left, you get a very spacious feeling when you step into the bathroom. There are 2 large mirrors with individual basins for 2 people, so you do not need to fight on who gets to brush their teeth first. Everyone gets to brush together! If you need to be entertained while brushing your teeth, use the right basin. It has an in-built television so you can catch some news while brushing. I admit I thought it was cool and I did just that!
The toiletries are housed in a beautiful kit shaped like a piece of luggage, and all the essentials are in it. In case you were wondering, the kit is for sale! In fact, we saw a couple purchasing it at the club lounge when we were checking out. It is a nice and practical souvenir! At the Prestige Suite, the toiletries are by Hermes, so you can shower or bathe in luxury too!
Sofitel Singapore City Centre seems to really understand what guests want, as there is a book by the bathtub, so guests can read a book while soaking after a hard day’s work (or fun). Get a glass of wine and it is perfect!
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time spent in this suite, and would definitely stay at the Prestige Suite again!
Club Millésime Lounge:
Known as the Club Millésime Lounge, Sofitel Singapore City Centre’s club lounge is located on level 6, one floor above the lobby.
It is a nice, cosy lounge that also has very limited outdoor seating. The outdoor area is probably meant for those whose family members are at the pool area, and the parents prefer to chill and have a beer by the lounge. While we do not have kids, we enjoyed a nice cup of joe while admiring the swimming pool!
At Sofitel Singapore City Centre, the lounge has only 2 main food services. Its breakfast is served from 6.30 am to 10.30 am (until 11 am during weekends) while the evening wine tasting / Apero Chic is between 5 pm and 7.30 pm daily. Between 11 am and 5 pm, some light refreshments are served, along with some popcorn and candy bars.
Understandably, the lounge was relatively quiet throughout the day, only coming alive from the evening onwards. While it was quite crowded, we were able to find seats quite quickly. As the focus was more on wine tasting, there was not too much food served. It was sufficient to have a light dinner here, but you should not be expecting an assortment of food choices here. Having said that, we enjoyed the pasta and cockles, once again highlighting the hotel’s preference to infuse local culture into its offerings. We like this. Traditional foods such as cold cuts, cheese, and tarts are also available.
One cool thing about this lounge is the self-service wine bar. Simply choose a wine, select a small portion to taste it, and if you are satisfied, get a full glass. This is perhaps the highlight of each evening’s service. In fact, we saw that this was the most popular station throughout the evening! Beer drinkers need not fret, as there is a small selection of beers available. Sofitel in fact has its own pilsner, and it has 4 types for guests to enjoy. We tried 2 of them and we really enjoyed them. They were quite light and just a little sweet, perfect for us! If you like them, you can actually purchase them after your stay. Check with the concierge!
While the lounge does not go all out to attract guests to wine and dine here, it is really a solid lounge for guests to do some work, have some refreshments, and relax. From this perspective, it is fantastic. If you value privacy, this lounge does it well, as human traffic was quite minimal throughout the time we spent there, except for the evening service.
Cost of Prestige Suite: S$403.71 per night - stayed over a weekend in September 2019
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