The thing about many five-star hotels in Singapore is that, save for the few truly unique concepts, the budget-busting or the ones with million-dollar views (or all three), it's sometimes difficult to discern one from the rest.
It's all well and good if you're a luxury business hotel catering to travellers who just want a nice place to rest their heads. But for the rest, trying not to fall down the slippery slope of becoming just "another hotel in the CBD/Orchard Road" in the minds of lifestyle travellers and local staycationers can be tricky.
Not that that's an issue of concern for the newly opened Sofitel Singapore City Centre. Sure, it's right smack in the CBD (next to the Tanjong Pagar MRT), and it's the third of its brand in Singapore (after So Sofitel and Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, and admittedly the least exciting-sounding of the three).
But beyond the expectedly impressive decor inspired by lush French jardines and other creature comforts, what made a stay here so memorable was, like all truly great hotels around the world, the service. Service that's not just impeccable (expected at all luxury hotels), but also genuinely warm.
From the cheery club lounge manager who asked after my cold (I'd checked in with a stuffy nose), to the chef at in-house restaurant Racines who insisted on making me a fresh omelette when I left the earlier one sitting there for a bit too long, nothing about the service at the hotel feels overly formal or stilted. And if there's one thing that really differentiates a luxury hotel from a myriad five-star options, it's the kind of casually friendly service that makes guests feel like they're right at home.
The next time you considering hotels for an indulgent staycation, you know where to look.
Check out the pictures below for more of our favourite hotel highlights.
Sofitel Singapore City Centre is located at 9 Wallich Street. For more information, head here.