Tuesday, September 26, 2023

My First Andaz Stay

Singapore was the first of a few short trips that I made this summer. I haven't been back for a long while (almost 10 years) so there's no surprise that everything has changed, something that I realized when I got out of Havelock MRT station (opened in 2018) right at the doorstep of my favorite Tiong Bahru Market one evening for some long overdue hawker center fare. But then I also found out sadly that one of my favorite Bak Kut Teh shops nearby is closing - so I guess not all changes are for the good. 

That plus the non-stop rain aside, the trip was a good one. The immigration process at Changi Airport was a breeze, also with something new - now everything went automatic and paperless with facial recognition and fingerprints replacing the traditional manned counters. I also enjoyed my stay at a new hotel this time. Andaz Singapore opened in late 2017 and sat on the high floors of a commercial building right next to the buzzling Bugis neighborhood not far away from the legendary Raffles and Suntec City. 

Didn't get an upgrade this time (nor expecting one) but the standard room was still spacious with a decent view of the city from the high floor. The wooden, carpet-less floor gave the space a homey feel, and I like the environmental friendly set of amenities including tap fitted with filter and shower gel and shampoo pump - they even included a plastic water bottle in the room and encouraged us to use while outside.  

The facilities were what set the hotel apart - the infinity pool on Level 25 is the highlight, so was the Sunroom with great view replacing the traditional "executive lounge" with complimentary food and drink served for all guests. Such a pity most of the time Singapore was pretty much rained out so only got so little time by and in the pool. 

The gym was on the petite side but wasn't crowded when I visited one late evening after work and dinner. Couldn't beat that city view from the treadmill. And Breakfast at their Alley on 25 restaurant with sumptuous buffet spread and great choices of food got me started on the right track every morning - I especially enjoyed the selection of local food, from otak-otak to Teh Tarik.  

The Andaz chain, as part of the Hyatt group of hotels, seem to hit the right tone with friendly service and chic decor one would commonly find in a boutique property and also the facilities and offerings from a traditional top business hotel. I must admit my loyalty normally lied somewhere else as far as hotel chain is concerned, but I was certainly impressed with my first stay at an Andaz property this time and would love to return some other time. 

Andaz Singapore: www.hyatt.com/andaz/sinaz-andaz-singapore

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