Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Staycation, Part 1: The Hotel (Movenpick Heritage Hotel)

Last year's Father's Day, I was still struggling as a first-time mom and didn't have the energy and time to do anything special for the husband. So this year, to make up for it, I planned a staycation at Sentosa. I had wanted to stay at Resorts World but to my disappointment, all the rooms in the RWS hotels were fully booked. Lesson learnt: book hotel room way in advance during school holidays. So I opted for the next best option, location wise - the Movenpick Heritage Hotel.

Situated at the heart of Sentosa, the first Movenpick Hotel in Singapore opened its doors in April and houses the contemporary and heritage wings. At present, only the former is opened; the latter is set to welcome guests towards the end of 2011.

Entrance, contemporary wing

Hotel lobby

Front desk - taken at night. It's so busy during the day

Room - the bed

Room - TV and writing table

This hotel uses playpen instead of the usual wooden baby cot

The bath tub

Vanity top

The three-tier bamboo dim sum steamer contains various toiletry packs e.g. cotton buds, toothbrush set, shaver etc. The slippers come in 'For Him' and 'For Her' bags - they are good enough for wearing out!

What we like about the hotel:
The location of the hotel is fantastic - it's just right across from the Merlion and the Imbiah Station (Sentosa Express). It makes moving around the island very convenient. Amenities wise, the bed and pillows are really comfortable and the spacious restroom comes with separate bath and toilet. There was even a nespresso machine.

What could have been better:
Perhaps the hotel is new and facing teething problems, we encountered some issues which made our stay a little unpleasant at times.

First, when we arrived at the hotel, we were shocked to learn that the car park was full. The car park attendents informed us that we had to park at the beach car park (after unloading our stuff), which the husband told me was really quite far away. They said we could get a complementary parking coupon but we really mind the inconvenience of it all. In the end, the front desk staff allowed us to park at the few lots in front of the lobby until parking lots were available in the car park.

The other thing I wasn't happy about was the playpen. The mattress was so thin it felt almost non-existent, because when I pressed the mattress, I could only feel the hard board below. In the end, Kenan slept with us on the king-size bed.

The next morning, when we went to the Tea Lounge (located on the third floor) for breakfast, it was already fully occupied and we were ushered to a table inside the Library, which is another lounge directly opposite the Tea Lounge. Initially, I requested that they transfer us to the Tea Lounge once a table is available. But in the end, guess the staff were so busy that they forgot about it (they looked really shorthanded).

It turned out well though, because from what we could see, the sunlight that streamed into the Tea Lounge was so strong that many of the hotel guests were perspiring and looked visibly uncomfortable (the hotel should really consider installing curtains or some sort of shades). The inconvenience was that we had to take food from one lounge to another, and in the process having to open and close doors twice.

And talking about food, I found the selection limited and when one item was finished, it took a long time before it got replenished.

Anyway, it appeared that the Tea Lounge wasn't built to cater to the hotel running at full occupancy rate (I assumed that was the case when we were staying there, given the kind of crowd)- the place is small and the manpower is lacking. Hopefully, this is just temporary place they are using for breakfast and there is going to be another spot, which perhaps is now undergoing renovation.

Overall experience:
Thankfully, the hotel staff were really friendly and we could tell that they were trying to do their best to make our stay as comfortable as possible. The hotel has a special promotion with UOB credit card, so in spite of all the problems, I thought it was still quite a worthwhile deal.

Oh, I read that the hotel will be launching their Penthouse Suites and Onsen Suites some time this year. The former comes with private rooftop pools while the latter features Japanese style hot tubs set in "traquil outdoor santuary". I thought the Onsen Suite might be worth trying. But perhaps after we have our stay in Resorts World.


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