Wangz Hotel Singapore might not be a very familiar name to many, even to those living in Singapore but I can assure you that you will have no trouble noticing it. This boutique hotel is housed as an odd looking metal barrel in the middle of the urban locality of Tiong Bahru and Outram Park, the relatively new hotel which was opened in 2009 provides guests with comfort and a unique experience like no other hotels.
Date of stay: July 2014
Wangz Hotel is nestled in an urban location of Outram Park, which is located near to Singapore’s bustling shopping district, Orchard road and also the CBD area. These places are a mere 7 minutes drive away and guests can opt to take public transport as well. With the hotel having bus stops right at its doorstep and Outram Park MRT station located just a 7 minutes walk away, these modes of transport are easily accessible. The location makes Wangz Hotel a good pick for tourists who wish to visit some of Singapore’s favourite places but do not like lodging at a busy place. Regular visitors to Singapore would also find the urban estate a nice change to all the common hotels in town and business travellers will surely appreciate the proximity to the central business district, which is home to countless companies such as JP Morgan, UOB and Earnst and Young. To add on to the convenience of guests, the hotel also provides free shuttle service to the train station and to Orchard road. One setback that bothered me is that the timings are not as frequent as those available in a bigger hotel. That being said, the shuttle bus timings are indeed reasonable and it should suffice to transport a business traveller to work on time and to whisk shoppers to the shopping haven of Orchard Road when they most feel like it.
Being nestled in the urban area has numerous perks for guests, especially when it comes to dining options and food choices. Step out of the hotel’s main door and you will already have a choice of several delectable local favourites, such as chicken rice, paus, and a steamboat feast. Should all these not already appeal to you, guests can also take a 10 to 15 minutes stroll to the popular Tiong Bahru market which serves an endless array of local delicacies such as fried kway teow, prawn noodles, nasi lemak and duck rice in a “coffee shop” setting. The list of foodie places around the hotel is definitely endless and there are surely options for people with varying tastes. A short walk can take guests to hip cafes such as Stranger’s Reunion, which serves light bites popular amongst local teens. For those seeking a more luxurious dining experiences, Bukit Pasoh road – located next to the MRT exit and Dorsett Hotel – is home to several fine dining restaurants such as The Clan Restaurant and Restaurant Andre.
It is unfortunate, however, that entertainment options which are within walking distance are non existent. This is definitely one key issue to consider, especially for guests who enjoy spending their time catching movies, watching plays or even playing a game of bowling or pool. Thankfully, a short 10 minute drive or a short train ride will take guests to popular attractions in Singapore, such as Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade, Resorts World Sentosa, Clarke Quay and Orchard Road where guests can enjoy the best the country has to offer. Just request for the friendly staff at the reception to call a taxi and in no time, you will be brought to the many highlights of Singapore. Similarly, cultural attractions are a short drive away too, and artsy tourists will be glad that some of Singapore’s best museums are close by. It would be neither hard nor expensive to make a trip to the Singapore Art Museum, Asian Civilisation Museum and the National Museum of Singapore and learn a thing or two about the country’s heritage and history. These museums also host events and exhibits frequently and thus, guests who enjoy visitng such exhibits but are on a slightly lower budget Â can definitely opt to lodge at Wangz Hotel.
The essence of a boutique hotel can be detected even before entering the hotel, as you will be greeted by a stone figure outside. Make your way through the large classy glass doors and you will step into a small but cosy lobby, with a touch of luxury and class due to the extensive use of marble. Make your way towards the reception and you will be greeted by numerous artworks such as a metal wall mural by artist Andre Tan and a painting by P. Gnana.
Checking in was a pleasurable activity as the staff were extremely friendly and polite. I was greeted even before reaching the counter and what I liked was that throughout the procedure of checking in, the staff put in extra effort to get to know me better. This only leads to even better service as the friendly gentleman was then able to make some recommendations based on the reason I gave him for staying at and choosing the hotel. The only qualm I had was that the entire procedure somehow seemed to take a little longer than most of the other hotels. But unless you are rushing for time, this shouldn’t be a big issue as the waiting time wasn’t unbearably long. Furthermore I was served with a refreshing glass of fresh juice while waiting and I felt that it was indeed a pleasant surprise.
There was only one issue that I felt might not appeal to all guests, and that was the scent present in the lobby. Step in and you will be greeted by strong and slightly sharp scent of cleaning agent. Of course, my first impression was that the scent made the hotel seem fresh and clean, but on second thought, I realized that it might actually be overbearing for some as it bore some resemblance to that of a heavily sterilized hospital ward.
I have to mention the exceptional service provided by the receptionist as I was led up to the room personally by him. Not only was I led to the room, the amicable staff also took the trouble to explain to me the various amenities in the room and informed me about the various services that they offered.
What made me feel disappointed at first was the lack of elevators. Though Wangz Hotel Singapore is indeed a small boutique hotel that may not see hundreds of guests lodging at the same time, the presence of only one elevator made me wonder hard about the possible inconvenience it could cause. Furthermore, the elevator opened up to what looked like a small toilet cubicle – certainly a massive bane for the claustrophobic.
On a brighter note, the corridor area of each floor was beautifully designed, with unique wall murals and furniture that re-emphasizes the boutique feel of the hotel. Even so, I was exceedingly glad that Wangz Hotel did not go overboard with all the “special” decor and thus, the common area was one that felt cosy and homely. Another design genius which I loved was the fact the the layout of rooms on each floor was unlike what I usually see in other hotels. Instead of long corridors with countless adjacent rooms, the hotel made use of the barrel shaped exterior of the building and laid the rooms out in different corners of the floor. The result was a unique layout that resembled more of an upmarket condominium in Singapore.
I was lodged in room 206, which is a superior room – the most basic room in the hotel. The size of these superior rooms range from 26-28 sqm, which is just about the average size of a basic room in most hotels. However, the room did feel more spacious than usual hotel rooms as you will see below.
Upon stepping into the room, I was greeted with a cold blast of air conditioning and the soothing sound of jazz music. The hotel staff explained to me that the calming music was piped throughout the entire hotel in all the rooms. A little knob by the work desk controls the volume of the music and it is possible to turn it of if it doesn’t suit your liking. Though the interior of the room wasn’t as “abstract” as several other boutique hotels I have visited before, the divergent interior layout was sufficient to make it clear that I was staying in a boutique hotel. The neutral toned wallpaper and crisp white bed sheet gave the room a cozy feel, and the bright red chairs and distinct tree-shaped coat hanger helped in brightening up the room. Adding to the homely ambiance of the room was the presence of several light settings which can be easily controlled by four buttons sited above the work desk. Using these buttons, guests can choose to turn on or off lights at different area in the room, or choose a “night” mode which creates relaxing and somewhat romantic environment.
As the short hotel is located in a suburban district and my room was a road-facing room, the views were unspectacular. This is definitely one trade off you will experience for choosing a hotel that is not located in the prime Singapore districts of Orchard or Marina Bay. Also, the holey metal grills erected outside the windows with the purpose of safeguarding guests’ privacy only helped in distorting the already poor view I had of the road. However, I was thankful that at the very least, the windows had some solid soundproofing and I was never irked by sounds of a busy road throughout my stay.
A selling point of Wangz Hotel Singapore is that all the beds in the hotel areÂ Sealy Posturepedic beds paired with “luxurious cotton linens and goose feather down duvet”. I must admit that I was bought over by the comfort of the bed which had just the right softness. The silky bed sheets and plush pillows only added to the pleasure of sleeping in it and I must say my nights there were spent sleeping very very soundly. I would say that the level of comfort will surely be welcomed with open arms by tired businessmen who want nothing more than to recharge themselves by having a sound sleep at night, and by tourists beaten by the hot Singapore weather. Furthermore, there were several pillow options with varying softness and size placed on the bed for the convenience and enjoyment of guests.
Just like any other hotel that you would visit, there was a relatively well equipped pantry area, but unlike many hotels, the soft drinks and juices in the mini bar were free.
The standard monotonous looking refrigerator offered no help in decorating the room to a further extent, and I must admit that it wasn’t a well stocked one. But at the very least, there was definitely more than sufficient drinks to last a couple for at least a day. Alcohol lovers would also suffer a disappointment because of a clear lack of alcohol options, with only three bottles of beer and two small bottles of wine available. The selection of snacks wasn’t too generous as well, with only a very limited offering. However, guests will probably be better off trying out the numerous local delicacies and snacks within the vicinity of the hotel. Fortunately, coffee and tea were complimentary and Wangz Hotel offered high quality selections from Twinnings, which added a touch of luxury and pamperedness. Furthermore, wine glass are available at the pantry should you want to sample the in-room wine, or purchase your own.
A set of quirky red armchairs paired with a tiny coffee table is placed by the bedside, adjacent to the floor to ceiling windows for youto enjoy the free canned drinks in the mini bar. The set up is also sufficient should you choose to take away many local delights at the nearby food stalls and hawker centers to sample and enjoy in the comfort of your room.
Coming to the work desk, I have to admit that there was little to dislike and much to love. For starters, I am sure that many business travelers will be thankful for the clean and simple design of the work desk, which looks modern and contemporary, unlike some of the more outdated work desks found even in several 5 star hotels. Next off, it was a nice touch to see the day’s newspaper placed conveniently on the tabletop.
Next off, look to the corner of the desk and you’ll find two magazines which impressed me greatly. Unlike most other hotels which offer boring or sponsored magazines featuring sales catalogs hardly any useful form of entertainment, Wangz Hotel had actually bothered to subscribe to Robb Report – a luxurious magazine seldom found in your typical magazine stores. This really added a touch of opulence to the hotel and provided a different form of entertainment as compared to other hotels.
You will also find a digital table clock with an iPod docking and music playing function – sure, if the piped classical music throughout the room does not suit your taste, feel free to plug in and start playing music you love! This was a nice touch less seen, but the only problem was that the docking station was made for iPhone 4 or older models. Fortunately, adapters are available at the hotel concierge at no extra cost, only some hassle. Businessmen who wish to work in the room will appreciate the free wifi available and the easy to locate power sockets. Also located right above the desk were the buttons that controls the lighting in the room and with a simple touch, guests will be able to set a certain desired ambiance in the already comfortable room.
The work desk is definitely one of the better ones that I have used before, but even so, nothing is perfect and there are some points which I felt could be improved for even greater comfort and convenience of guests. One such issue was the apparent lack of writing materials as the hotel only provided a single, cheap feeling pen. Also, the swivel chair had a lack of cushioning and thus wasn’t as comfortable as I hoped it would be. Because of this, many guests will not be able to work long hours in the room should there be a need to. All those being said, these “downsides” are by far just some minor discomforts that everyone should be able to live with.