Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Kempinski Singapore Staycaytion Review (Terrace Room with Discovery Black)

👍 Gorgeous deco, impeccable service, great location.
👎 Evening hors d'oeuvres offering sparse compared to the competition.

The Kempinski Singapore - full name The Capitol Kempinski Hotel Singapore - is a relatively new hotel which has just opened in the Capitol Building and Stamford House (built in 1930 and 1904 respectively). To be honest the darling and I aren't exactly history buffs so we're not too familiar with the two buildings, but nevertheless we quite liked the idea of staying in a heritage building refurbished to modern standards, and run by Europe's oldest luxury hotelier, so we booked ourselves in for a night to celebrate her birthday!

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore

For those of you looking for a quick summary: Kempinski Singapore is an amazing intimate, luxurious hotel, and you would not be disappointed with a stay here. Staff are (mostly) well-trained, warm, and welcoming, and the hotel does go out of its way to make you feel like a special guest rather than just another random customer staying the night. The hotel's location is also superb, being connected to the City Hall MRT station (which has Singapore's two major MRT lines), and within walking distance of a lot of the city's attractions. Some minor niggles: Executive Lounge evening hors d'oeuvres offering is weak, and access within the hotel for wheelchairs and prams / strollers isn't the best.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore

The luxury starts at the intimate, gorgeous lobby, where check-in is done seated at one of four desks with a cold towel and welcome drink, and with a receptionist who already knows all your special requests and likes/dislikes because the hotel actively asked you about them a few days prior. Once formalities are done, said receptionist walks you to your room and makes sure that you're properly sorted - which is amazing, but may perhaps cause some bottlenecks if you happen to arrive with a large crowd.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore

We had booked a Deluxe Room but were kindly offered a triple-category upgrade to the Terrace Room (thanks to our Discovery Black membership). The room was really nice, with enough space for our bags, stroller, other stuff, and the baby cot (already waiting for us in the room upon arrival).

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room

The wardrobe houses the usual amenities: Bathrobes, fluffy slippers, in-room safe, luggage rack, and the Minibar cabinet houses a fridge, nespresso machine, teabags, kettle, and some snacks. Kempinski Singapore makes soft drinks, water, and juices complimentary, but alcohol and snacks are chargeable.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room

Modern facilities like cordless phone, wireless charging pad, electric/electronic lights, blinds, and curtain control, and universal power and USB sockets, and a Sonos soundbar are nice touches, but perhaps expected as this is a new hotel.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room

The Terrace Room is so named because of the balcony that makes for a nice outdoor lounging area if you are so inclined. The view isn't great, though, which is probably one of the major disadvantages of opening shop in a low heritage building.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room

The bathroom is huge, spanning the entire length of the whole room (possibly a concession to the buildings' dimensions), and has all the bells and whistles you'd expect of any luxury hotel, and even including some you might not (like the high tech warmed toilet seat + bidet, Japan style). A second television in the bathroom is set up at the perfect height for watching some TV while getting your soak on.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Terrace Room

If you are the sort that likes to work out by swimming laps, then unfortunately the Kempinski Singapore is not for you: The relaxation pool is - as it's so named - for relaxation, not for swimming. One plus point is that it's salt water, so your hair won't be ruined like it might be at chlorined pools. The gym is fairly well appointed and has treadmills for cardio and a decent assortment of weights and other circuit equipment.

Kempinski also has a spa, but we didn't check it out this trip.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Salt Water Relaxation Pool Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Gym

We were granted access to the Kempinski Singapore's Executive Lounge next to the check-in area. The lounge is gorgeous, and is an extremely pleasant place to sit and rest and idle some hours away. Guests with Executive Lounge access get evening cocktails and hors d'oeuvres / canapes from 6-10pm, plus a private area for breakfast in the mornings. We're not too sure who gets lounge access, though: For most other hotels, access is normally part of the room type - for example, an "Executive King Room" would normally mean a "King Room" with lounge access - but I can't find any mention on Kempinski's website.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Executive Lounge Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Executive Lounge Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Executive Lounge Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore Executive Lounge

Also, the evening canapes would be sufficient for a pre-dinner appetizer, but most definitely not a dinner replacement (as it is in the lounges of some other competitors like Hilton/Conrad/Pan Pacific/etc). We snacked a little and then headed over to the hotel's flagship restaurant 15 Stamford (by "demon" chef Alvin Leung) to try out his Asian-Singaporean cuisine.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore hors d'oeuvres

The next day, we opted for the privacy of the lounge (again) to have breakfast. The mini ala-carte / made to order breakfast menu was a nice touch: I ordered some truffled scrambled eggs with baked beans and mushrooms, which were delicious.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast

Of course there is also a buffet line with the rest of the breakfast items. It's a little smaller than what's on offer at the main restaurant, but between this spread and the ala carte menu, I think all but the biggest eaters will be satisfied.

Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet Capitol Hotel Kempinski Singapore breakfast buffet

Oh, and for this trip we also had lunch at Frieda (Kempinski Singapore's German restaurant), which had probably the best sausage & mash that I've had in recent memory.

Anyway to conclude, the Kempinski Singapore is my new favourite hotel in Singapore. The effort that the team took to personalize my stay really made me feel welcomed and cared for (as compared to, for example, the 'thank you for being our Diamond member, here is your key to a low floor room with undesirable view, p.s. there are 500 rooms so we forgot what you want' that I usually get from the Hilton group).

However the Kempinski does have some minor niggles like the weak evening canapes offering highlighted above, and the fact that there is a half-staircase between the Capitol Building and Stamford House parts of the hotel which are annoying for pram / stroller users (and presumably wheelchair users too).

If you've read all the way here and are interested, head on over to their website to check out room rates for yourself! https://www.kempinski.com/en/singapore/the-capitol-singapore/.

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