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).
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.
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.
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.
The king bed was extremely comfortable and featured high quality linens and pillows, which can be expected at any JW Marriott property.
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.
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.
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.
The other side of the wall had a large closet with iron, extra pillows, slippers, and a shoe shine kit.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!