Carlton City Hotel
A new business hotel situated in the Central Business District. Designed by Hirsh Bedner Associates, Carlton City Hotel is part of the Carlton Brand.
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Great New Find
The Carlton City Hotel Singapore is situated in Tanjong Pagar, across from the 100 AM shopping mall. Tanjong Pagar is located within the CBD on the fringe of Chinatown, making it an excellent accommodation choice for travellers who want to spend the day exploring various attractions in this area. You can easily find food around the area and it is home to many popular Korean restaurants as well as one of my favourites, Teppei, which offers a delicious and affordable omakase menu. Carlton City Hotel is one of the relatively newer properties in Singapore as it only had its soft opening some time last year.
I stayed in a Carlton Club King room which gave me exclusive access to the Carlton Club lounge located on level 28. I enjoyed my stay thoroughly and thought that nothing much else (apart from small fixes that) could have been done to improve on the stay. In other words, it was excellent! The hotel has exceeded my expectations and is definitely now one of my favourites in Singapore.
Carlton Club Privileges:
Exclusive access to the Carlton Club lounge on level 28
Personalised check-in and check-out services
Buffet breakfast served at the Club Lounge
Evening cocktails complemented with hors d’oeuvres in the Club Lounge
Unlimited usage of wireless broadband at the Club Lounge
Complimentary local phone calls
The check-in was painless and I was lucky to have Kimsang to help me through this process - he is courteous and extremely attentive to details. Kimsang welcomed me back to the hotel, stating that the last time I stayed with them was in August. Whilst I am certain that most hotels retain information pertaining to previous stays, most of them fail to utilise it effectively. Even in luxury hotel chains and resorts, I have been asked whether or not I have stayed with them before - something that baffles me because I know information like that is only a click away. Kimsang walked me through the Carlton Club privileges and notified me of breakfast timing the next morning. I can't stress how important this piece of information is in planning for my activities next morning.
The room itself was 32 sqm in size and had ample space to lounge and relax. There's a Nespresso PIXIE machine located in the room alongside a handful of coffee pods. As an espresso drinker myself, this is sufficient. For tea drinkers, one thing that the hotel can improve is to provide liquid coffee creamer (instead of powdered kinds). The bed from Posturepedic was extremely comfortable and the bedding quality was good.
The bathroom came with a separate bath and shower. In the Carlton Club Room and Suites, the bathroom amenities are provided by Molton Brown. A range of other amenities were also provided for - toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, cotton buds, etc.
Of course, no staycation would be complete without a good soak. The bathtub is large enough to hold a good amount of water and also allowed for a great view of the Singapore Harbour for you to soak in the view as well. I tried the Brightside vegan Bubble Bar from Lush which had a juicy citrus fragrance. It's S$15 for 200g and you can easily break this to make four delicious smelling baths. The website says you can split them into two but trust me, four works perfectly.
Located on the 25th floor, the view from my room was amazing! I had a city view the last time I stayed in this hotel on a much lower level but having a view of the Port of Singapore from the comfort of my own room was indeed incredible. In fact, prior to this, I did not even realise that the hotel has such amazing views.
Cocktail Hour ran from 6pm to 8pm. The Carlton Club Lounge, located on level 28 had a distinctive outdoor seating area that overlooked both the Singapore Harbour and the Pinnacle @ Duxton area. The indoor seating area was tastefully decorated and multiple seat configurations were offered to cater to different group sizes. House wines alongside a range of other beverages were served. I had the Mojito which was extremely delicious (although more white rum would have made it perfect) and the house red (which was actually drinkable). Denny from the lounge was extremely attentive and had a delightful personality - it's always commendable in the hospitality industry.
Having been to many different executive lounges in Singapore, I have a certain level of expectation for the quality of food served during this hour. Putting the anomalies aside (e.g. Pan Pacific Singapore Club Lounge), most of the time food served during cocktail hour is average at best. The food selection at the Carton Club Lounge albeit limited, blew me away with its quality. Nothing extremely fancy was served - a selection of cheese and fruits, sushi (that were actually decent), Chinese dim-sum and some other canapés. I particularly enjoyed the prawns as the batter was light and flavourful while the prawn itself was crunchy with a great texture. Surprisingly too, the lounge was rather empty throughout the time I was there and it was especially conducive to get work done. The internet in the lounge (and in the rooms) also work great without a hitch!
Carlton City Hotel's location provides for a vantage point over the bustling city of Singapore. Watching the sunset and amber glow of the city is definitely a sight to behold (even for locals!).
The swimming pool and gymnasium both open from 6:30am to 10:00pm daily. Located just next to the all-day dining restaurant, Plate, the outdoor pool allows for a healthy tan and a happy stomach. In fact, Plate serves its signature Wagyu Beef Burger with melted cheese, gherkins and fries for only S$26++. To make things even sweeter, enjoy 1-for-1 Wagyu Beef Burger at the Carlton City Hotel with a Citibank Credit/Debit Card! This is valid only for lunch and dinner with a minimum of 2 diners and a maximum 10 diners. The gymnasium albeit being a little small, had free weights and impressive treadmills fitted with individual screens that are connected to cable.
I chose to have my breakfast (6:30am to 10:30am) at Plate the next morning instead of the Club Lounge as I fancied more variety as usual. I got to the restaurant at 9:15am and there was a line waiting to enter the restaurant. Since the dining area isn't particularly big, I would definitely recommend coming a little bit earlier just to beat the queue and have ample time to eat (without feeling guilty).
All in all, the Carlton City Singapore took me by surprise. The rooms were comfortable, the view was great, the food was tasty and the staff seemed happy and proficient at what they were doing. With all that has been said, the Carlton City Singapore is an excellent property that is extremely affordable (for a five-star hotel) and I would highly recommend a Carlton Club Room to make the entire stay perfect. In Singapore where alcoholic drinks can be costly, the club/lounge access offers good value for those who enjoys a drink or two in the evening.
The hotel is also part of Worldhotels which claims to be an exclusive group of indenpendent hotels. In fact, they have only quite recently launched a Worldhotels Peakpoints Loyalty Programme which at this point in time, seems pretty unattractive and lackluster.
The hotel runs some decent promotions for room rates every now and then so it's good to check out the rates. Otherwise, the room rates on Zuji may get quite attractive sometimes.