Review: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

Review: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

By |2018-12-30T09:20:11+00:00April 24th, 2018|Categories: Asia, Hotel Reviews, JW Marriott, Singapore|Tags: , , , |

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Introduction

When planning this trip to Singapore, I was originally considering staying both nights at The Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel on Orchard Road, though unfortunately that property didn’t have availability on my second night. Luckily the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel did have space, which would provide a great opportunity to compare the two main hotels in Singapore available with Marriott Rewards.

The JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel is a Category 8 hotel, requiring 40,000 Marriott Reward points per night. Paid rates were hovering around $450 CAD for this fairly last-minute booking, which provided a decent value for my points (1.13 cents per point).

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JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Arrival

I checked out of the Marriott Tang Plaza and took the 10-minute Uber ride to The JW Marriott Singapore. Unlike the Tang Plaza, the arrival process couldn’t have been more seamless. I was welcomed by the friendly doorman, and directed inside for check-in where I was helped immediately. The staff at this hotel couldn’t have been friendlier. Everyone I interacted with was polite, professional, which was a bit opposite from the Marriott where some staff were rude, while others seemed robotic.

The exterior of the hotel is really quite stunning. The property is in the new South Beach Development, which includes mixed retail, The JW Marriott Hotel, and an office building directly opposite the hotel with the same architecture.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

Hotel Driveway

Hotel Driveway

Hotel Driveway

Hotel Driveway

Hotel Entrance

Hotel Entrance

South Beach Development - Office Tower

South Beach Development – Office Tower

Hotel Exterior

Hotel Exterior

South Beach Development Retail And Dining

South Beach Development Retail And Dining

Check-in took about 10-minutes, but unfortunately my room wasn’t quite ready on arrival. I was thanked for being a Marriott Gold member, and informed I had been upgraded to a Club Level Premier Room, which was nice. While waiting for the paperwork to be processed, another staff member came by with some fresh juice, which was really refreshing. I had read a few complaints about check-in, mainly due to the design of the lobby. While my check-in was seamless, I did notice a lot of overcrowding at peak times, and the long narrow design does not offer a lot of space for people to queue.

Long And Narrow Reception Lobby

Long And Narrow Reception Lobby

Lobby Seating

Lobby Seating

The front desk agent walked me to the executive lounge and introduced me to the staff who invited me to have afternoon tea while waiting for my room, which took about 30-minutes.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel Premier Club Room

I had stayed at this hotel previously for a one-night stay on an Aeroplan trip around the world primarily to sample the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. I had been assigned a basic room on that stay, so was delighted when I opened the door to find a large bedroom with sitting area and wrap-around windows. This was definitely an upgrade.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Premier Room

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Premier Room

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Premier Room

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Premier Room

The king bed was extremely comfortable and featured high quality linens and pillows, which can be expected at any JW Marriott property.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach King Bed

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach King Bed

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach King Bed

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach King Bed

Crisp White Linens And Comfortable Pillows

Crisp White Linens And Comfortable Pillows

The layout and style of this room will certainly not appeal to everyone. The Philippe Starck designed spaces are definitely contemporary and loud, which is not what most people would expect from the often conservative styling found at other JW Marriott properties.

The room featured a television across from the sitting area mounted on the wall, which could be pulled out and swivelled for easy viewing from the bed. The television seemed a bit small for the room size, which didn’t bother me as I rarely watch TV, but some people would probably appreciate a larger screen.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Bedroom Television

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Bedroom Television

Premier Room Sitting Area

Premier Room Sitting Area

The wraparound windows were nice to have, and featured electronically controlled blinds and drapes for privacy. Unfortunately, due to the convention centre across the street and the 3rd floor location, there were no marina views, though I don’t think anything could compare to the views Brad and I experienced from the Penthouse Suite at The Fairmont across the street a couple of ayears ago.

The mirrored wall between the bedroom and bathroom housed the minibar and main closet, and had a sliding glass panel that could be opened into the bathroom. This feature seemed useless at first, but the amount of natural light that came into the washroom was noticeable, which is helpful when getting ready.

Mirrored Closet And Minibar With Partition Closed

Mirrored Closet And Minibar With Partition Closed

Minibar With The Partition Open

Minibar With The Partition Open

The minibar came stocked with a few snacks and some very overpriced beverages, which always seems redundant in a room that has lounge access. There was a bottle of something missing when I checked-in, and I wasn’t charged for it after the fact, so I’m not sure how often they even check the inventory or if they routinely bill for items that are consumed.

Premier Room Minibar

Premier Room Minibar

Minibar Fridge

Minibar Fridge

Minibar Snacks

Minibar Snacks

In-Room Kettle And Tea

In-Room Kettle And Tea

Bottled Water And Ice Bucket

Bottled Water And Ice Bucket

The other side of the wall had a large closet with iron, extra pillows, slippers, and a shoe shine kit.

Premier Room Closet

Premier Room Closet

Closet Amenities

Closet Amenities

Closet Amenities

Closet Amenities

Shoe Shine Amenity

Shoe Shine Amenity

The biggest letdown in the room was the office desk. While visually appealing, whoever thought a metal rocking chair would be appropriate for business travellers was wrong. It was almost impossible to get comfortable considering the lack of support, the almost constant moving, and the cold surfaces from the air conditioning. I ended up working at the sitting area, but this could be problematic for those in standard rooms without the extra space.

Premier Room Office Desk

Premier Room Office Desk

Office Desk Literature

Office Desk Literature

The chair was also a bit dirty from the previous guest, which was gross. Thankfully it came off without much effort, but seeing lapses in housekeeping on the surface level always undermines my confidence in overall room cleanliness.

The Office Rocking Chair Was Dirty

The Office Rocking Chair Was Dirty

The bathroom was probably the highlight of the room, with a deep and comfortable soaking tub, separate walk-in rainforest shower, partitioned Japanese style toilet (with bidet and heated seat) and vanity area with a single sink. Amenities were by Aromatherapy, which were nice, but not my favourite. The bathroom was accessible off the main hallway just inside the entrance through a sliding door.

Bathroom Sliding Door Entrance

Bathroom Sliding Door Entrance

Premier Room Bathroom

Premier Room Bathroom

Premier Room Vanity

Premier Room Vanity

Premier Room Bath

Premier Room Bath

Premier Room Bathtub

Premier Room Bathtub

Premier Room Bathroom

Premier Room Bathroom

Premier Room Shower

Premier Room Shower

Aromatherapy Amenities

Aromatherapy Amenities

Aromatherapy Amenities

Aromatherapy Amenities

Bathroom Bottled Water

Bathroom Bottled Water

There was also a second closet in the hallway just inside the entrance, though it was camouflaged with the wallpaper and probably missed by most guests.

Premier Room Hallway

Premier Room Hallway

Camouflaged Closet Door

Camouflaged Closet Door

Hallway Closet Space

Hallway Closet Space

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel Executive Club Lounge

The Executive Club lounge at The JW Marriott Singapore, located on the second floor, is like nothing I’ve seen before. Bright vibrant neon colours, metal chairs and contemporary art fill the space with a mood not often found at stuffy business hotels. Like most properties in Asia, the food offerings are plentiful, and include breakfast, mid-day snack (afternoon tea), evening canapés, desserts, and cocktails. Non-alcoholic beverages are available throughout the day for free, while beer, wine, sparkling wine and spirits are available between 5:30pm and 9:30pm.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Executive Club

I only had the opportunity to get food pictures during afternoon tea while I was waiting for my room. The lounge, like most Marriott lounges, was incredibly busy during meal times and I wasn’t comfortable taking photos around everyone grabbing food. We should see this overcrowding issue go down in 2019, as Marriott Gold members will no longer receive complimentary lounge access through The American Express Platinum Card.

I can say that the food offerings were not as good as The Marriott Tang Plaza, especially the canapés, which featured only a few hot items and all were deep-fried and not particularly fresh. Afternoon tea consisted of some finger sandwiches, fruit, and desserts, which were decent enough, but nothing like the Gold Floor afternoon tea at The Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai, which was phenomenal.

Afternoon Tea Snacks

Afternoon Tea Snacks

Afternoon Tea Snacks

Afternoon Tea Snacks

Afternoon Tea Dessert

Afternoon Tea Dessert

Afternoon Tea Dessert

Afternoon Tea Dessert

The highlight of the lounge was the service though. Everyone I spoke to was beyond friendly, always asking how I was and actually showing interest in my plans for the day, etc. I’m used to professional service at luxury hotels but these people really struck the balance between professional and friendly, without seeming fake or robotic.

JW Marriott Singapore Pool

Undoubtedly one of the nicest pools I’ve ever seen, the 18th floor open air lobby and pool is simply stunning, with sweeping views of the Singapore skyline. Unfortunately, the pool is unheated, and doesn’t get much sun, which made the water quite chilly despite the warm air temperatures.

Even if you don’t swim, there are plenty of seating areas to take in the view, in addition to a games room and bar area. The Garden areas with seating were superb, and almost made me forget I was on the 18th floor of an urban high-rise.

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Infinity Pool

18th Floor Garden Seating

18th Floor Garden Seating

18th Floor Garden Seating

18th Floor Garden Seating

Pool Bar Seating

Pool Bar Seating

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Location

For me, the South Beach development has one of the best locations in the city. Located opposite the famous Raffles Hotel, the property offers convenient access to the MRT (transit) system, and is walking distance to great shopping, dining, hawker markets, and the Marina Bay. A lot of people rave about the Orchard Road area where the Marriott Tang Plaza is located, but overall I wasn’t too impressed with it, and it’s accessible enough should you want to visit for an afternoon.

Walking Distance To Marina Bay

Walking Distance To Marina Bay

Lots Of Interesting Attractions Around The Hotel

Lots Of Interesting Attractions Around The Hotel

And Some Great Architecture

And Some Great Architecture

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel Bottom Line

I really liked this hotel. While the style isn’t my personal preference, the service and location were tough to beat. Every single staff member I encountered was friendly, courteous, professional and warm, which is tough to find. From the moment I checked-in I felt welcomed, and that continued throughout the stay without feeling overbearing.

Furthermore, redeeming 40,000 Marriott Reward points at this property for a free-night is fairly good value, especially when paid rates are high (very common in Singapore).

Some of my favourite aspects of the property include:

  • Location is my favourite in Singapore, with easy access to the MRT, dining, shopping, and tourist attractions
  • Still has the ‘new hotel’ feeling, with much of the South Beach development less than a couple of years old
  • Service is really spectacular from all staff
  • Lounge access for Marriott Gold and above, including breakfast, canapés, and evening cocktails
  • Ability to redeem points for free-night stays

Some areas that could use work:

  • Housekeeping could be improved. The carpet had a couple of stains and the chair had some leftover food on the handle from the previous guest
  • The office space is not practical for business travellers. Could be much improved with a proper chair
  • The Philippe Starck design isn’t my favourite, though that’s entirely subjective
  • The lobby lounge tends to get crowded during peak arrival/departure times
  • The Executive Lounge is crowded during food/beverage presentations, though this didn’t take away from the service in my experience

I would definitely stay at this hotel again while in Singapore for pleasure, but would probably head back to The Marriott Tang Plaza if I was visiting for business. Either way, these are two great point redemption options in one of my favourite destinations on earth!

Have you stayed at The JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel, or would you consider redeeming points here on a trip to Singapore? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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About the Author:

Champagne taste on a beer budget has always been reminiscent of Tyler’s travel style. Raised in British Columbia, Tyler has an unquenchable thirst for more adventure, which is fueled by leveraging airline and hotel loyalty programs to travel the world in luxury and style.

4 Comments

  1. Mike April 25, 2018 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Hi Tyler,

    First time visiting your site (linked from OMAAT). Nice review. Will certainly check this property out the next time I am in Singapore since they have limited Marriotts. I guess I have a different opinion about the deco, I do like these modern funky type of deco – indeed deco is a personal taste. I prefer these much modern deco compared to the old world luxury deco (ala St Regis).
    Will certainly visit this site more often.

    Cheers!

    • Tyler Weatherup April 25, 2018 at 6:50 am - Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Happy to hear we have a new reader! I couldn’t agree more – this is much more my style than a ‘classic’ St Regis (particularly the property in Singapore), or a boring conference hotel with no style whatsoever. I couldn’t help but laugh though when I saw the dozen or so people walking around like they were in a bad dream – especially in the elevator with aquatic themed wallpaper and changing neon lights.

      -Tyler

  2. Colin April 25, 2018 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Hi Tyler,

    For the room upgrade, was it automatically provided upon checking in, did you email/call in advance, or did you leave a note when booking?

    I have a JW Marriott property stay coming up and wanted to know the process with Marriott Gold.

    Thanks,

    Colin

    • Tyler Weatherup April 25, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Hey Colin,

      Gold elites should get a room upgrade automatically subject to availability, but of course this will not always be the case in practice.

      On this stay it was provided without asking. On other stays I’ve asked during check-in what category room I’ve been assigned, and if it’s what I booked they’re usually pretty good about offering an upgrade if one is available.

      Out of SPG, Marriott and Fairmont, I find Marriott to be least reliable for automatic upgrades. Never hurts to email the hotel in advance and ask! While they probably won’t confirm an upgrade in advance, they will likely put a not on your file.

      -Tyler

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