In August 2019, I checked into the Westin Club King room at The Westin Singapore, which occupies the top floors of office building Asia Square (Tower Two) located in the heart of the city centre. The hotel’s plum location within the central business district makes it the preferred Marriott Bonvoy property of choice for visiting professionals while they are in Singapore. The 305-room property is thirty minutes from the airport, five minutes from Downtown MRT station and a stroll away from Raffles Place MRT Station, local dining destination Lau Pa Sat as well as iconic destinations such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Sky-high bayside tranquility in downtown Singapore.
The must-dos (if any): Have a window-side soak in the bathtub, enjoy cocktail hour at the Westin Club Lounge, chill out after hours at Cook & Brew.
THE WESTIN SINGAPORE
Blessed with a glorious 11-metre high ceiling and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Marina Bay area and the South China Sea, the 32nd level hotel lobby (the highest hotel lobby in the country) plays it all business swanky with dark woods, marble surfaces, suede chairs and carpeted floors. The hotel prides its rooms and suites as restorative sanctuaries above the city, which is a surprisingly apt description given how the hotel’s various spaces are cloaked in a perceptible quiet as well as bathed in calming cool hues courtesy of the abundance of floor-to-ceiling glass windows on all sides of the coast-side property. The sense of tranquility makes the space an exceedingly popular destination for exclusive and dignified birthday celebrations as well as restful weekend staycations. (Rambunctious party people tend to favour the likes of Conrad Centennial Singapore and JW Marriott Singapore South Beach for their decadent revelries.)
On the wellness front, the Heavenly Spa by Westin on the 35th level offers a selection of massages, body treatments and facials using products from French tea-based brand THÉMAÉ. Hotel guests are able to enjoy facilities such as the Experience Shower, Aromatherapy Steam Bath and the gorgeously day-lit marble-walled and green-tiled Whirlpool. The WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, the infinity pool with its expansive daybed terrace as well as the Westin Club Lounge are located on the same level.
As part of its specialised emphasis on wellness and running, the hotel has a dedicated RunWESTIN™ programme which organises runs around the Marina Bay area on selected mornings each week as well as guest programmes such as the Rise to Run programme happening this month. Additionally, guests are able to rent a set of New Balance workout attire and shoes during their stay for a small fee.
WESTIN CLUB KING
Facing blue, gleaming mirrored surfaces of high-rise buildings on one side and the ship-laden coast on another through the room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, the 40sqm Westin Club King room is unabashedly a business hotel room in spirit, eschewing contemporary design features for a large, window-facing work desk and one of those dreaded refrigerators with sensors that automatically charge for removed items and cannot be used for your personal items. The pantry is equipped with Nespresso and TWG Tea-making facilities as well as a range of snacks, canned drinks, bottled water, wines and spirits. One’s forty winks is suitably guaranteed, as the Westin’s plush Heavenly Bed is reliably comfortable.
Offering the room’s most direct view of the coast, the sand-marble bathroom channels a decidedly more modern and zen vibe, with your choice of either a window-side enclosed rainfall shower stall or a bathtub for both soothing water-gazing and pensive naked Instagram posturing alike. The vanity helpfully comes with an attached hairdryer as well as a lighted make-up mirror. Bathroom amenities are from the White Tea Aloe range of the hotel’s in-house brand, Heavenly Spa by Westin.
Breakfast is served at Seasonal Tastes, the hotel’s all-day buffet concept. The buffet ticks the standard boxes such as egg and noodle stations (there were chicken and miso soup options), Western breakfast sides such as bacon and sausages, Asian dishes such as dim sum and Indian curries as well as a juice and smoothie bar. Highlights include the scrumptious Fried Hokkien Noodles, Indian Curry Tofu with Green Peas as well as the deep-fried food section which comprised sinfully indulgent picks such as luncheon meat, spring rolls, fish balls and samosas.
Known for their daily special deals such as their 1-for-1 Martini Mondays, Cook & Brew is a popular gastro bar amongst the post-work CBD crowd which serves an extensive range of affordably-priced beers, wines and cocktails as well as both classic and Asian-inspired bar fare – think Black Truffle Fried Chicken, Singapore-style Fried Bee Hoon, Hoisin Sauce Chicken Wings and Pad Thai (?!) Fries. Elsewhere, the Lobby Lounge is the hotel’s destination for dainty afternoon tea as well as casual drinks with a killer panoramic view of the South China Sea. The lounge offers themed cocktail menus every month, with local-inspired beverages such as the ionic Singapore Sling being part of the August specials.
(The Singapore Sling features in the hotel’s on-going “Singapore Fling” package, which includes accommodation in a Deluxe Room, two of the iconic red cocktails redeemable at the Lobby Lounge as well as breakfast for two at Seasonal Tastes.)
The property allows Marriott Bonvoy members to accrue points from F&B spend as well as offers excellent deals such as a 50%-off promotion for buffet dinner at Seasonal Tastes.
WESTIN CLUB LOUNGE
One of the biggest surprises of my stay at the property was the experience at Westin Club Lounge. With breakfast, afternoon tea as well as evening cocktail presentations, the lounge surprised with the high quality and substantiality of its food offerings. The highlights of my breakfast experience at Seasonal Tastes – in particular the Fried Hokkien Noodles – made a welcome appearance in the lounge as well during breakfast alongside lounge exclusives such as Almond Steel-cut Oatmeal and Smoked Salmon on Sweet Potato Pancakes. (Belstar prosecco is available in the morning, which makes the breakfast session just inches shy of being a truimphant champagne breakfast.) The afternoon tea session provided both standard tea-time sweets as well as savoury nosh such as Pineapple Fried Rice with Seafood for those who seek something more filling in the mid-afternoon.
My favourite food presentation was undoubtedly evening cocktail hour. The Fresh Seafood on Ice – prawns, but apparently snow crab legs (!) have appeared in the evening buffet in the past – was fairly impressive. Elsewhere, the lounge plays it not so much canapes as they do full-on dishes such as Wok Braised Mussels in Singapore Chilli Crab Sauce, Vegetables & Pork Rib Soup, Spicy Prawn and Green Mango Salad as well as my beloved Indian Curry Tofu with Green Peas (the curry is soaked up marvellously by the accompanying naan). The dessert spread was remarkably extensive, featuring local treats like Kueh Lapis and Malay kueh alongside the obligatory fruits, cheesecake and brownie squares. The spirit and alcohol selection was decent – the choice of gin was Beefeater, which alone places this lounge ahead of those at Hilton Singapore and The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. With such a happy spread, there is simply no reason to leave the hotel for dinner afterwards.
Pro-tip: one needs to have one of the limited window-side tables close to the waters. The central seats near the buffet-line simply would not do the requisite justice to the Westin Club Lounge experience.
The business hotel may not have the most impressive overall experience, but its uniquely tranquil qualities, impressive bay views and surprisingly satisfying club lounge experience make the property a notable option for those seeking a restorative, restful getaway.
The Westin Singapore
12 Marina View
Asia Square Tower 2
This review was written at the invitation of The Westin Singapore.