Once you have tasted the best, you will not settle for second best. Hotel stays have been a tradition for our anniversaries, but this year, we have decided to break the tradition. Why so?
Firstly, our first hotel stay was at glitzy Ritz-Carlton and that was by far the best- the next two that came along (Fullerton and Scarlet- a pricey boutique hotel in case you haven’t heard of it) fell short of expectations. To be fair to Fullerton- if not for the “first mover advantage” of Ritz- our stay at Fullerton was very comfortable and memorable. However, Scarlet was a total letdown.
Secondly, we are unwilling to pay more than $400 for an experience that claims to beat Ritz (perhaps St. Regis?); neither are we willing to fork out a sum less than what we paid for Ritz for an experience that will not meet our expectations. We have decided to treat ourselves to a spa package, or perhaps head down to Batam (Harris Resort) again for a holistic pamper!
Thirdly, there is nothing much to do at a hotel- other than watch some DVDs, enjoy the hotels’ amenities, toast to our drinks purchased from nearby hypermarts, snuggle in their awesomely comfy beds, get into pillow fights, and indulge ourselves with the complementary breakfast buffets/ lunch or dinner sets. (Now, this sounds like a whole load of things to do.) But really, do it once, twice, thrice- the magic is gone. But for couples/ close groups of friends who are looking for a place for a celebratory occasion and have yet to try a local hotel stay, my advice is choose the best and indulge in the experience. There are affordable promotional packages like weekend getaways deals throughout the year.
Here’s a breakdown of our local hotel experiences to date:
Ritz-Carlton Millenia- simply remarkable service! Extremely well-deserving of their many ‘best hotels’ awards. After a 34-months lapse, I can still vividly recall some pertinent incidents that exemplified their impeccable service. Louis had prepared a surprise for me that required a computer and internet access, so we went down to their business center, where they have per hour usage charges- we had no problems with that; but to our pleasant surprise, they waived the charges as we had only clocked up 10-15 mins of internet usage. The gym was a totally refreshing experience- they personally served us iced water with hints of lemon and pristine white towels. As for the room, it was spacious and fabulous- one outstanding point was the bathtub overlooking a magnificient view.
The Fullerton Hotel- another award winning hotel which lives up to its name! On Louis’s request, they had prepared a box of delightful chocolates and card specially for me. The gym was not as impressive as Ritz’s- the area was smaller, and they didn’t have personalized services. The room was almost as good as Ritz, except for the bathtub, which doesn’t overlook any paranomic view (at least for our room). I would say that the in-room 4 course dinner was the most unforgettable of the entire stay because it was my first experience, and it was amazing how they managed to bring in a foldable dining table and set it all up like what you see in a proper restaurant, complete with flowers!
The Scarlet Hotel- a 5-star boutique hotel in Chinatown. Before reservation, we read reviews about it being very unique, cosy and romantic- and we thought it would be a good change from the usual airy hotel rooms. True enough, the walkways were squeezy (or cosy), the room was tiny (or cosy), the bathroom had no bathtubs to speak of. But to make up for it, the service was good- with the staff accompanying us all the way to our room, and patiently introducing each and every amenity in the room (though I was dying for him to stop talking). Oh and they even have an umbrella in the wardrobe- how thoughtful of them! There was also a plate of complementary chocolate coated strawberries and a card for us to wish us a happy anniversary.
All the 3 hotels were roughly in the range of S$350-400, my recommendation definitely goes to Ritz-Carlton for its impeccable service!