I first encountered the Andaz brand on a work trip to Shanghai several years back. Not knowing it was a Hyatt brand until I checked in then, I was instantly taken in by the swag that the brand displayed.
One of the quirky thing that caught my attention (along with many other things) was the key cards that Andaz Shanghai offered – a series of bright solid coloured, text-only card that looked like an element from the periodic table.
Now to the main point of this review – Andaz Singapore. The hotel’s landing in Singapore was first announced in January 2015 by Hyatt, and its opening was very much looked forward to by Hyatt fans. Andaz Singapore is the very first Andaz property to open in Southeast Asia, adding to a worldwide portfolio of less than 20 Andaz-branded hotels.
The hotel, as with many new downtown developments in Singapore, is housed in DUO, a mixed use development by the fringe of the city. The hotel provides direct connection to Bugis MRT, and you are minutes away from most shopping areas. Bugis, Arab Street are also within walking distance.
The hotel is housed on the 25 to 38 levels of the west block. Andaz Singapore houses 342 guestrooms including 26 suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows and good views all round.
You will feel the difference the moment the lift doors open and you step out into the ‘lobby’ on the 25th floor. Moving away from the conventional check-in desk, Andaz opts for two islands with simply a laptop where the receptionist can assist you with check-in formalities.
Once I’m done, I’m off to my room.
The first section of the room was the wardrobe area. The bedroom was separated by a small bi-panel door, which was also adorned by a L-shaped sofa. The bathroom sat adjacent to the bathroom, but away from the wardrobe, which was rather strange for me.
As an entry level room and with most new hotels, the room did not come with a bathtub, but instead had a standing shower with a stool. Being by the window also means that the bathroom had plenty of natural light.
As with all Andaz properties, the in-room minibar’s drinks (except for the beers) were complimentary and will be replenished daily, a nice touch to overpriced minibar prices most other hotel charges. The room also comes with TWG tea and Nespresso coffee machine and pods for all the caffeine addicts.
I glanced at the in-room dining menu, and was pleasantly surprised to find that prices were not incredibly expensive. $5 for a 1L bottle of San Pellagrino, $6 for a coffee, and $22 for a three-egg omelette breakfast platter was a very reasonable price for a luxury hotel room service menu.
Andaz Singapore really pack a great deal into its lobby floor on the 25th floor. Apart from the check-in desks, 25th floor also houses the swimming pool (more on that later), a multi-dining concept called Alley on 25 peppered all around the level, Bar Square as well as the guest lounge, Sunroom.
Alley on 25, is a series of five restaurants and a bar on the 25th floor (same floor as the lobby) all around, positioned to ‘recreate the concept of Singapore alleyway dining’, according to the marketing spiel. I feel this is just a spin to justify having porous restaurant areas and spilling tables all across the common areas. Alley on 25 serves up a variety of cuisine, such as Auntie’s Wok and Steam (Chinese), Smoke & Pepper (Asian grill) and Green Oven (international).
Up on level 38 is another restaurant 665°F, the hotel’s premium halal-certified grillhouse, serving up premium cuts and sustainable seafood. Price point wise, you are looking at $100 for a sole.
If you are looking for a good drink, Bar Square, the hotel’s lobby lounge, overlooks the Bugis district and serves up a wonderful range of cocktails. Happy hour is from 5-8pm daily, incredible deals of $12++ for wines, champagne and all cocktails.
I tried the “Best G&T in the World” (or so they claimed), and while it wasn’t complex like Conrad Centennial’s version, it was still yummy and worth its price. Regular hours aren’t terribly expensive too, with cocktails at $16++, champagne at $88++ per bottle (Delamotte Brut NV), and most bottles of wines going for under $60++.
In-house guests also enjoy complimentary Lounge Hour at the Sunroom from 5-7pm (4-6pm from 1 January 2018), with complimentary wines during these hours.
The swimming pool was on the same floor as the Alley on 25. To access the pool, you either walk through the various restaurants on the 25th floor to get outside, or walk down from the changing rooms on the 26th floor.
However, it could be a one-off but the front desk service was not fantastic. Despite knowing it’s my first stay, the staff who checked me in did not offer an introduction of the property and some of the perks (complimentary beverages from the mini bar, lounge hour at the Sunroom, for example), and I had to either enquire or read up myself.
I’m also not a big fan of hotels that take out a few floors of a mixed use development given that the hotel part will usually occupy a limited amount of space resulting in very poor or compact space use. In Andaz’s case, while the rooms were pleasantly sizeable, the lobby was tiny (there were hardly any seats for waiting guests) and the Sunroom and the bar didn’t look like it could contain more than 10% of all in-house guests at full occupancy. The swimming pool was also on the same floor as the lobby, that means that guests will have to walk through the restaurants before they get to the pool.
Nevertheless the stay was still a wonderful one for me, given that Andaz did house several special perks such as complimentary cocktail hours for all guests, free mini-bar as well as one of the best views in town. I will definitely head back for another stay or two!