Review: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

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I normally don’t have more than one or two reasons for booking a particular hotel but, in the case of the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, I had four very good reasons for wanting to visit. Firstly I wanted to use up some of my Marriott Rewards points, secondly I wanted a property where we would be making the most of my hotel status (I  have Platinum status with Marriott), thirdly the hotel looked to have a convenient location and finally I don’t think any of the bigger blogs has reviewed this property yet – it’s still reasonably new.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach – Location

The JW Marriott Singapore South Beach will celebrate its first birthday in December this year and it sits on the site of the old South Beach hotel. The location is very central (it’s opposite Raffles) and, weather permitting, makes the hotel within walking distance of the marina.

If walking isn’t your thing then it’s a 2 – 3 minute walk to the closest MTR station which we used to get to all parts of Singapore.

Arrival & Check In

We caught an Uber from the airport to the hotel (SGD 22.25/$16.33) and got to the property quite late.

One of the first things you can’t fail to notice as you walk in to the hotel for the first time is the psychedelic imagery on the screen just inside the main doors:

It’s a good indicator that the property you’re entering is going to err more on the modern rather than the traditional side of things 🙂

The hotel lobby is long and narrow(ish) and is the first thing you encounter when you walk in.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach – Lobby Seen From Above

Just as I had done in Hong Kong, I had checked the hotel’s available rooms on the Marriott app on our way from the airport so I knew in advance of our arrival that there were superior rooms still on sale – that should mean an upgrade would be forthcoming.

The agent at the front desk was welcoming and polite and, as I watched her check us in, I noticed that there was no mention of an upgrade.

I casually asked what room we would be getting and, when she confirmed that it would be the entry-level room I had booked, I politely asked if there was any chance of an upgrade.

A supervisor was called over and after a lot of typing (and one phone call) we were given the keys to a Premier Room with a view (I think this was a one room upgrade).

While there was no issue in getting the upgrade it annoyed me that I had to ask for it – these things are meant to be offered proactively and this was the second JW Marriott in a row at which we wouldn’t have been upgraded (despite upgrade-eligible inventory being available) had I not asked.

The Common Areas

The hallways of the JW Marriott are decorated in an obviously modern style….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…..and the room numbers are all on back-lit panels…..

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

….but, as you make your way to your room, its going to be the elevators that catch your eye – the interiors change color to reveal a mix of underwater imagery.

I took a picture of each color change as it happened so you can see what I mean:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

One thing is certain – you can be in no doubt that you’re in a modern hotel!

Premium Room

The modern decor continues into the rooms which, I confess, I wasn’t entirely sure I cared for at first.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

There’s a well-concealed closet just inside the door together with a pretty standard set of room switches:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The room opens up in to a reasonably sized sleeping area…..

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

….but, in the case of this room, everything about the room is becomes secondary when you see the view:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

That’s a glimpse of the bay, War Memorial Park, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore Recreation Club and Singapore Cricket Club all in one shot….and a backdrop of Singapore’s skyscrapers.

It looks pretty good at night too:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

This was definitely one of the better city-views I’ve had from a hotel room in recent years.

Anyway….back to the room itself….

The bed is a comfortable king-size bed…..

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…and the room offers a small desk and an armchair at the foot of the bed:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The ultramodern aluminum rocking chair seemed a strange choice to compliment the desk….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…but it turned out to be reasonable comfortable even when typing.

Amenity-wise the room offers a large flat screen TV:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

One of the closets houses a kettle, cups, glasses and an ice bucket:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

There were some over-prices snacks in one drawer….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

….while another houses a good-sized in-room safe:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The mini-bar pulls out from underneath a shelf between the two closets:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The room offers a good array of power outlets most of which appeared to be universal in nature (no adapters needed).

The desk had 3 power outlets and 2 USB ports right next to it….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…there are power outlets in one of the closets (where the the kettle is housed) and both sides of the bed have a power outlet and 2 USB ports each:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The bathroom is very modern and can be opened up to the sleeping area via a hatch between to two closets:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The shower was pretty good – water heated quickly and the water pressure was good.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

The toilet is a Japanese-style toilet….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

….complete with an impressive control panel:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

Overall it was a comfortable room of a reasonable size and it was well insulated against any noised there may have been outside.

The Executive Lounge

The Executive Lounge at the JW Marriott Singapore is on the second floor and is open from 6am to midnight daily.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

Specific service times are as follows:

  • Breakfast: 06:00 – 10:30
  • Afternoon Tea: 14:30 – 17:00
  • Evening Hors d’oeuvres: 17:30 – 19:30
  • Evening Cocktails: 17:30 – 21:30

The staff on the door were very friendly throughout our stay….

…as were all the staff inside the lounge. I really couldn’t have been more impressed with the lounge staff we interacted with at both the JW Singapore and the JW Hong Kong before this stay.

I could bore you all with a few thousand words on the lounge alone but I’ll spare you that punishment and let the pictures do most of the talking:

Seating Areas (click to enlarge):

Breakfast (click to enlarge):

With two chefs on hand to prepare fresh food to our liking and a buffet that was replenished the minute anything seemed to be running out this was one of the best Marriott lounge breakfast offerings I’ve had – it was as good if not better than the JW Marriott Hong Kong and I thought that offering was great.

Evening “Hors D’Oeuvres” (click to enlarge):

I’ve put the phrase “Hors d’oeuvre” in quotation marks for good reason – the service is much closer to being a dinner service than hors d’oeuvres and the amount of food on offer (and the quality) is impressive.

Other Amenities & Other Times Of The Day:

The lounge has a self-service bar with a huge screen behind it (which can be a little off-putting):

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

There’s a self-serve beer tap….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

….as well as a selection of teas….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…and coffee-making facilities:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

At various other points of the day the lounge also offers non-alcoholic drinks, small sandwiches, fruit and a selection of pastries:

All in all this was a pretty good lounge. I didn’t much care for the bar area (the huge screen wasn’t really my kind of thing) but between the very nice staff and the impressive food offerings (all of which are complimentary if you have lounge access) it’s really hard to fault this lounge without being very picky.

The Gym

The JW Marriott Singapore offers a gym on the 18th floor of the property and it’s one of the best quipped hotel guys I’ve seen:

There’s an attendant on hand to provide more towels should you need them and, based on how empty the facility was each time I visited, you won’t have much trouble getting a treadmill.

My Favorite Bit

The JW Marriott Singapore has one guest amenity that I absolutely loved – the deck on the 18th floor.

I only went up to the 18th floor to get some photos of the gym but, once I was up there, I was blown away.

The entire area is open to the outside and offers ample comfortable seating:

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

There’s a bar that’s open to 8pm….

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…and there are various table games for guests to use too:

But then comes the best bit – the shallow pool overlooking Singapore:

This is a pool to sit in and definitely not for swimming so it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. Its not a headed pool either (at least not while we were there) but, considering how hot we were after a day of walking around in the sun, that didn’t bother us too much.

Overall I thought that this is a really great place to relax and, while the views in the day time are pretty good…..

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

…..they get even better at night:

At the end of a long day exploring Singapore this was a great place to unwind and relax.

Thoughts

Negatives:

  • I wish the hotel proactively offered an upgrade rather than leaving it up to me to ask for one.

That’s it, I can’t think of anything else about the property that was particularly negative.

Positives:

  • All the staff we encountered we very friendly, helpful and clearly keen to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
  • The view from our room was fantastic
  • The lounge offerings were excellent although, on reflection, the alcoholic drink offerings could have been better.
  • The location is great for exploring Singapore – easy walk to a lot of places and very close to a MTR station.
  • The 18th floor with its outdoor seating, game tables and shallow pool is one of my favorite areas I’ve seen in a city centre hotel – very relaxing and fantastic views.
  • There were some personal touches that didn’t cost anything but made a big difference….like this note in our room:

That was a really nice touch and the water was very welcome after a particularly humid day in Singapore.

Bottom Line

When I first say the ultra-modern decor I was worried that I wouldn’t like this property – parts reminded me of the decor you can find at a number of W Hotels around the world and I do my best to avoid W Hotels where possible – but the property won me over.

This is a very solid JW Marriott city center property and a great use of 40,000 points/night (or just 13,333 Starpoints/night).

The staff were great, the lounge was just what we needed and the location was perfect for us – we’ll definitely be back.