In September 2019, I checked into the Signature Gold King Suite at Fairmont Singapore, situated within the civic district in downtown Singapore. One part of the Raffles City integrated development which also comprises Raffles City Shopping Centre and Swissotel The Stamford, the 778-room hotel is served by three MRT lines (including City Hall MRT Station), 20 minutes from Changi Airport and located close to shopping and dining destinations such as Raffles Hotel Singapore, Esplanade Theatres, Marina Square and Suntec City.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Refurbished comfort with impressive club lounge in downtown Singapore.
The must-dos (if any): Enjoy your refurbished room, take in the view from your private balcony, have evening cocktails and canapes at Fairmont Gold Lounge.
Comprising two 26-storey towers with distinctive facades courtesy of late architect I.M. Pei, the recently-renovated business hotel strikes a dramatic first note with the various artworks located within its lobby, from the soaring nature-inspired painting behind the reception counter to the 800-bohemian crystal glass ball chandelier installation, Playing with Wind. The check-in process is conventional, in comparison to the more detached automated check-in system at Swissotel the Stamford. As I arrived thirty minutes before the usual 3pm check-in, I was provided a key to the Hospitality Lounge (essentially a repurposed large guest room) on the 6th level. I appreciated the gesture, but given the non-refurbished, dimly lit and crowded nature of the airport lounge-y space, I spent my waiting time in the food basement of Raffles City Shopping Centre instead.
All guest rooms at the property have been recently renovated. While the rooms at the North Tower are Peranakan-inspired with shades of grey, purple and dark wood, the rooms at the South Tower take influence from decidedly more masculine places, from the Maserati-esque leather accents to the men’s suit-inspired herringbone wallpaper and tiling pattern (that’s fish-bone – GQ-reading Editor).
The property’s connection to Swissotel The Stamford means the hotel is able to provide shared wellness and fitness facilities on a larger scale, boasting two circular swimming pools, six tennis courts, two fitness centres (one reserved for Swissotel the Stamford guests who book the hotel’s Crest Suite) and the Willow Stream Spa, one of the largest spa facilities in Asia.
SIGNATURE GOLD KING SUITE
Located in the South Tower and boasting city views and two private balconies (which peer directly into Raffles Hotel Singapore), the Signature Gold King Suite meshes masculine dark woods with cool marble and leather accents. The television set is able to swivel and face either the bed or the living room area, while a work station with a leather workpad faces outwards towards the city (and other adjacent guest balconies). Guests are able to control the curtains and lighting from various control panels around the room, likely a frequently used function given how visible your in-room activities are from the balconies of nearby rooms. The pantry is equipped with Nespresso coffee and TWG-tea making facilities, a brilliant filtered water dispenser capable of filling your glass with either hot or cold water as well as one of those dreaded refrigerators with sensors that automatically charge for removed items and cannot be used for your personal items.
The sexy marble bathroom offers a spacious rainfall shower area, a single vanity with light-framed mirror and one of the best uses of relaxed lighting in a bathroom that I’ve come across which makes the usual lighting option feel harsh and wholly unnecessary. Curiously, given the masculine energy of the room, bathroom amenities are rose-scented from Le Labo.
For those who wish to use the hotel’s extensive fitness centre facilities or to go for a breeze-accompanied run around the Marina Bay area, the hotel’s Fairmont Fit programme allows guests to rent Reebok-branded sports attire and shoes for use during their stay.
Breakfast is served at Prego, the Italian multi-concept restaurant on the ground level which plays it all contemporary chic with the gorgeous emerald-accented island bar and clash of vibrant colours with various textures and tilings. The buffet spread is modestly extensive – think pastries and cold cuts, Western breakfast sides, a self-service noodle station with surprisingly tasty soup bases, Indian dishes and local staples such as Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang. Guests looking for a less chaotic start to their day have the option of going for a more limited breakfast in a relaxed, tropical setting at the poolside Alligator Pear on the 8th level.
Halal buffet concept Asian Market Café showcases regional flavours in a colonial-inspired setting, while Japanese concept Mikuni offers teppanyaki, sushi and robatayaki live stations with rotational seasonal menus. Szechuan Court serves Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine in a traditional setting, while sister concept Szechuan Kitchen is decidedly more casual in its offerings, serving roast meats and other Chinese delights.
Rounding up the F&B options is Anti:dote, a cocktail bar helmed by award-winning Head Craftsman Bannie Kang and Head Chef Tryson Quek which offers both artisanal cocktails as well as modern Asian-inspired plates.
Given the hotel’s seamless connection to Swissotel the Stamford, guests can also enjoy meals at the adjacent hotel’s various dining concepts such as buffet concept Clove, heritage cuisine restaurant Kopi Tiam, Michelin-starred British fine-dining concept JAAN by Kirk Westaway, contemporary grill restaurant SKAI and its accompanying SKAI Bar, all-day casual dining restaurant The Stamford Brasserie as well as tea concept TWG Tea Salon & Boutique.
FAIRMONT GOLD LOUNGE
Situated on the 25th level and boasting views of Marina Bay, the Fairmont Gold Lounge serves morning breakfast as well as evening cocktails and canapes. The beautiful space comprises different zones for your specific needs – the main dining area close to the buffet island table which offers bay-facing seats as well as leather sofas for group dining; the general lounge area near the alcohol station where I observed families with young children being seated in exception to the “No Children” rule; and a luxuriously appointed and decidedly more intimate and private residential-style lounge space.
While the breakfast presentation is fairly modest, offering an egg station as well as morning staples such as Western breakfast and chicken congee, the evening cocktails and canapes session was a pleasant surprise, with the experience instantly making Fairmont Gold Lounge one of my favourite local executive lounges for evening service. While most lounges typically interpret the “evening canapes” bit fairly literally, the evening selection at the Fairmont Gold Lounge was extensive, substantial and of an impressive quality, with the offerings ranging from Italian (Gorgonzola and Spinach Stuffed Mushroom, Garlic Prawns with Olives) to Japanese (Kagoshima Fish Cake, Deep Fried Cod with Cheddar and Bacon Bits) and Szechuan Chinese (Spicy Szechuan Broth with Sliced Beef and Rice Cracker), mirroring the cuisine served at the hotel’s various restaurants (a Conrad Tokyo-esque approach I appreciated). The bubbly on pour was Laurent-Perrier.
Being one of the city’s most recently-furbished properties and boasting one of the best executive lounges in town in terms of food presentations, this property stands as one of the more appealing hotel options in the competitive downtown area. Recommended.
80 Bras Basah Road