Full disclosure: This post relates to a first world problem

Quick trivia question: what do Singapore and Waikiki have in common? They’re both overrun with past-their-prime, mediocre, overpriced hotels… at least in my opinion.

I enjoy spending time in Singapore. It may somewhat be “Asia light,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s extremely clean, public transportation is phenomenal, everyone speaks English, and Singapore has great food (and I’m no foodie). But it’s also a destination I hate traveling to as a points junkie, simply because hotel rates are neither cheap enough so I want to pay for them, nor are they expensive enough so that I want to use points. Let me explain.

I love cities like London, Paris, Sydney, and Tokyo, because using points is usually a no brainer. Hotel rates are through the roof, and all those cities have spectacular hotels at which points can be redeemed. Even if you’re redeeming at the highest level, you feel great about redeeming points for a hotel that would be $600+ per night.

Then there are cities with reasonably priced chain hotels where it usually makes sense to pay, like Kuala Lumpur. Nice chain hotels can be had for well under $150 per night, and in those cases it doesn’t make sense to use points.

Singapore is just one of those markets that’s somewhere between the two. The issue is that rates are fairly high, consistently around $300USD or so per night for many chain hotels, and there’s a 17% tax/service charge on top of that, which only makes things more expensive. But the issue is that Singapore doesn’t really have any great chain hotels that are a good use of points.

I’ll be in Singapore later in the week and am trying to decide where to stay. Let’s compare the options:

Grand Hyatt Singapore
Paid cost per night: 390SGD + 17% = $372USD
Points cost per night: 18,000 Gold Passport points

Thoughts: I’ve stayed at the Grand Hyatt and thought it was fine, definitely nothing special in my opinion. I can’t imagine shelling out nearly $400 per night here, or for that matter redeeming 18,000 points per night.

St. Regis Singapore
Paid cost per night: 360SGD + 17% = $343USD
Points cost per night: 20,000 Starpoints

Thoughts: I’d actually really like to try out the St. Regis, though if I stay here it would have to be a paid stay, because I’m not redeeming 20,000 Starpoints for a stay that would cost $343.

W Singapore — Sentosa Cove
Paid cost per night: 368SGD + 17% = $351USD
Points cost per night: 8,000 Starpoints + $175USD

Thoughts: While I’d never pay the revenue rate, cash & points isn’t horrible (even factoring in the 17% tax/service charge levied on the $150 co-pay). Still, paying that many points for staying at a W on Sentosa Island seems like a bit of a waste. Then again it is a brand new hotel, so I would like to review it.

Sheraton Towers Singapore
Paid cost per night: 255SGD + 17% = $243USD
Points cost per night: 4,800 Starpoints + $105USD

As a backup this isn’t a bad option, though I really haven’t heard good things about this place. The St. Regis would be $343 on a paid stay, while here I’m paying 4,800 Starpoints plus $105.

So valuing the 4,800 Starpoints at 2.2 cents each, they’re worth ~$105, plus the $105 co-pay, for a total of $210. That’s $133 less than the St. Regis, and at the St. Regis I’d earn points for my stay, which are worth at least $40 factoring in the first quarter promotion. So that makes the difference in room cost between this and the St. Regis less than $100…

Conrad Singapore
Paid cost per night: 375SGD + 17% = $358USD
Points cost per night: 20,000 HHonors points + $106USD

Thoughts: I haven’t heard great things about the Conrad, at least in comparison to those in Tokyo and Hong Kong, but the points and money rate isn’t bad. The issue is that I don’t really need Hilton stay credits, while I do need Hyatt and Starwood stay credits.

Hilton Singapore
Paid cost per night: 310SGD + 17% = $286USD
Points cost per night: 20,000 HHonors points + $106USD

Thoughts: Much like the Conrad I’d do the points and money rate, though between this and the Conrad I’d probably go with the latter.

As you can see the issue here isn’t that there aren’t any “reasonable” options. Rather it’s that there aren’t hotels that seem like they’re good values, be it a paid or award stay. If there were a Park Hyatt quality hotel that regularly sold for $600+ per night I’d be delighted to use points. Or for that matter if there was a reasonably priced hotel I’d pay cash for it. But it seems like the only decent values here are the Hilton Singapore or the Conrad Singapore, and neither seem like great hotels based on what I’ve read.

So what is the points obsessed person to do?! What would you do? Anyone else struggle with Singapore as a hotel market? Which hotel markets frustrate you?

  1. January 13th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Joel said,

    Dude, tell me about it. I’m Singaporean anyways. I think Australia’s another of those markets. Just that they do have some good stuff like the Park Hyatt Sydney. Interesting you didn’t mention anything about the Intercontinental Singapore?

  2. January 13th, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    VT said,

    Being from Singapore, it is a challenge to accumulate points in Singapore in general, be it via mileage or mattress runs, unless one spends heavily on cards. Thankfully, I spend most of the year in Australia where racking up miles and points for flights and stays is much easier and much less expensive. I feel your pain!

  3. January 13th, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Ed C said,

    I actually love the Hyatt at SG and would def pay for it. The good food (for very cheap prices at the hawker centers) make up for the price.

    Staying at the transit hotel in the next week so it’ll def. be a downgrade.

  4. January 13th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    george said,

    Why don’t you apply for the chase fairmont cc and stay at raffles singapore? Or perhaps fhr or virtuoso?

  5. January 13th, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Ken Y. said,

    Stayed at the Conrad two weeks ago. USD 258 all-in. Upgraded to King business room with HH Gold and was personally led to the room and had a five-minute in-room walk-through by “Merry”… which was a bit much.

  6. January 13th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Joel — Indeed, not all hotels in Sydney are crazy priced, though the Park Hyatt seals the deal for that city for me.

    As far as the InterContinental goes I’m not a huge fan of the hotel, have stayed there several times, and reviewed it, so really would like to avoid staying there again.

  7. January 13th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    lucky said,

    @ VT — Don’t envy living there as a miles/points addict!

  8. January 13th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    lucky said,

    @ george — The premium for Virtuoso bookings at the St. Regis are huge. They’re charging a 50% premium for flexible rates over the non-refundable rates, and only the flexible rate qualifies for Virtuoso. Booo!

    As far as Fairmont goes, wasn’t foreseeing an instance where I’d need those nights, and I’m always tight with Chase apps…

  9. January 13th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Brendan said,

    Someone needs Marriott points. Saw a Cat 4 that I could get with a free night this next weekend.

  10. January 13th, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Ken Y. — So nice hotel on the whole? Was the wifi speed okay? If so I might just book that.

  11. January 13th, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Stuart Falk said,

    I stayed 3 nights at THe Scarlet, using United miles for two nights and paying $235 for the third one. If you don’t want to stay in Chinatown, which I prefer, then you can usually find a decent rate for the Fairmont. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to be held prisoner by seeking/burning points.

  12. January 13th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Joel said,

    @lucky Agree with VT. Having been in the US for 2 years and those LOVELY credit card bonuses coming in all the time, Singapore’s credit cards are mainly useless. Been back in Singapore since July, and my response to credit card advertisers in Singapore: “JP Morgan Chase is the best bank out there for credit cards!”

    I’m taking my Ink Bold to Melbourne for my PhD and building on my UR balance there. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be able to get the BA card and the Ink Plus!

    Oh by the way, when will you be landing here?

  13. January 13th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Ken Y. said,

    Yes. My local friend told me the Hilton is too dated. The Conrad has been renovated recently and newer than the Hilton. Wifi speed was fine, but kinda spotty at times, though I was at the very end of the hallway. Breakfast spread was great, like most hotels in Asia. Pool was nice and had an attendant. My room had partial views to the ocean and also to the Marina Bay Sands. This hotel was about a 30-second walk from a train station exit.

  14. January 13th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Brendan — Which hotel? I only see the Marriott, which is a category seven.

    @ Stuart Falk — Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll take a look at The Scarlet as well.

  15. January 13th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Joel — I get in later in the week, will probably post for a group lunch if anyone is up for it.

    @ Ken Y. — Awesome, that sounds like a good option then. Thanks!

  16. January 13th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    deux centimes said,

    PL/Hotwire if you don’t need the stay credits? I generally think about which hotel I think I’d want to stay at, how much it is, how much I’d be willing to pay, and what the difference is between those two figures. Smallest figure wins. And I’ll consider trying to save the $80-$100 elsewhere (public transit vs. taxi, etc).

  17. January 13th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Mac said,

    We burned 60k choice points/night (purchased from Disc Am) for the Fullerton Bay last time we were in SG. Amazing, amazing intimate boutique hotel 5-star with an unreal rooftop pool, views, waterfront room and a fantastic breakfast spread. Revenue rates were $500+/night. Amazing value!

    Also stayed one night at the Hyatt Singapore and I think you might be being slightly unfair – especially if you are a diamond member. We actually thought the lounge was quite decent with a nice breakfast spread. Doesn’t compare to the Hyatt Kyoto or GH HK or PH Tokyo but I still think 18,000/night is a decent value.

    Don’t you always say points depreciate in value? If you’re aren’t going to burn Hyatt points on a award stay where you still get offered full elite benefits and the revenue rates are $390+/night where are you going to burn them. You can always earn more =)

  18. January 13th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Joel said,

    @lucky Please do! :D

  19. January 13th, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    modhop said,

    I like to get into Changi late and get my first night of sleep right away at one of the Ambassador Hotels inside the airport. The Holiday Inn Orchard City Center is newly refurbished and actually very nice. I reviewed it not long ago after redeeming Priority Club points for a couple of nights. Don’t remember the exact deal I got, but it’s the best hotel value I’ve found in SIN so far.

  20. January 13th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    ZFW-ATC said,

    Lucky, interesting timing on your trip to SIN. You’ll be in town at the same time as the SIN Do. Or are you actually attending the do? :). Either way, I’d be interested in discussing some CMB options with you.. I’ll be at the Conrad..

    Eric

  21. January 13th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    ScottL said,

    Miami Beach same issue

  22. January 13th, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Grant said,

    @Lucky, what if you woke up tomorrow, looked at all the same hotels and then found the cash price had doubled overnight? Which hotel would be the best bargain?
    .
    To me, staying at hotel ABC for $350 a night might not be a good deal for points. But if ABC raised their rate to $700 a night (for the same room) then it would be a great deal. In some strange way, if hotels increased the prices by absurd amounts, then the points seem like a tremendous value, and would result in many award bookings.
    .
    Ultimately, the best approach may be to ignore the cash price of all the rooms and look just at the points (or cash+points) rate and ask if that in and of itself is a good deal. I’m not sure if my thoughts are clear, but I hope they are.

  23. January 13th, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Mac — All good points and makes me wish I had Choice points (not often I say that!). When I was at the Grand Hyatt I got one of the old rooms and the wifi was super slow.

    While you can always earn more points, Hyatt points are among the most valuable/difficult to earn hotel points, so I like to be as conservative with them as possible.

    While revenue rates at the Grand Hyatt are $390+ per night, I still think I should be comparing that against places like the Conrad, which I can get for 20,000 HHonors points plus $100ish per night.

    @ modhop — I like to as well, though sadly in this case I’m arriving earlier.

    @ ZFW-ATC — Hah, didn’t even realize that.

  24. January 13th, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Grant — Totally agree with what you say. It’s funny, because if the same hotel doubled in price it would mentally be much easier to justify on points.

    I guess if I had to make a decision right now in terms of the best value I’d go with the Conrad, so maybe I should book that and see if something better opens up.

  25. January 13th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Brendan said,

    Marriott came up as a Class 4 when I tried to book it

  26. January 13th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Rohan said,

    I’ve had good luck getting the St. Regis to book me using cash & points by contacting the hotel directly (or, if adding nights to an existing reservation, contacting the Platinum Line). C&P used to be plentifully available, though it seems they’ve cut back recently.

  27. January 13th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Grant said,

    @Lucky, sometimes having too many choices is the hardest part of traveling. You’re always second guessing/changing reservations from one award to the other, ughhh time that I should have spent on something else…

  28. January 13th, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Kris Ziel said,

    Marina Bay Sands.

  29. January 13th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Rohan — I had heard about contacting the hotel directly, so may just do that. Did you email or call them?

    Then again I have to wonder if that’s worth it. It would basically be $175 plus 8,000 points (which I value at $176), so that’s $351, which is higher than the paid cost. Then again, it would reduce the amount of cash I spend, so there should be some consideration for that, I guess.

  30. January 13th, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Kris Ziel — Been there, done that. Thrilled to have stayed there once as the pool is an experience should aim for, but I don’t actually like the MBS as a base for sightseeing.

  31. January 13th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Daniel M said,

    Lucky: I have stayed at the Ritz, the Marriott, and the Conrad in SIN and I can say that the Conrad is by far the best value. The club lounge is amazing and serves premium alcohol (including champagne) all the way until midnight for free along with an outstanding breakfast and evening spread. Also the swimming pool is very beautiful. They upgraded me to a huge suite with Club Lounge access as a mere Hilton Gold. Conrad HKG (which I’ve also stayed at) is a far inferior value to Conrad SIN based on the price point.

    However, if you have lots of money to spend or lots of Marriott points, the Marina Bay rooms at the Ritz are stunning. Best views in the city alongside Marina Bay Sands.

  32. January 13th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Daniel — Thanks, Conrad it is, then!

  33. January 13th, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    MT said,

    Lucky, redeem points for one of two newer Holiday Inns – likely the best value. The number of points required will likely go up once the Priority Club changes kick-in.

  34. January 13th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    David L said,

    I stayed in the Conrad last Fall for about the same 20,000+~$100. I was upgraded to a King Executive Room on check-in. For what its worth, I am Diamond with Hilton. Room was fairly nice, comfortable bed, bath had tub and shower. Wi-fi seemed decent enough, but I was just using an iPhone since I was transiting to the Maldives to go scuba diving on a liveaboard (not exactly spacious accommodations there for a laptop). Executive lounge was quite good. Its on the top floor, and the elevators open into the lobby of the lounge (the lounge is about a quarter to the top floor). Easily plenty of food/snacks/drinks etc. to call dinner if you’d like. I was offered breakfast in either the restaurant or the lounge. As stated above, restaurant spread was quite extensive and quite good too. I did also check out breakfast in the lounge. It was probably one of the better lounge breakfasts I’d seen, more or less a full buffet with a good portion of the items in the restaurant. If I were to stay again, I’d likely go ahead and just eat up there since it was alot less crowded than the restaurant. Overall if I were in Singapore, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.

  35. January 13th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Antonio said,

    Nothing good comes up through the United hotel portal?

  36. January 13th, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Kevin said,

    I’ve stayed at the Grand Hyatt many times for business and thought it was great every time. One of the towers is better than the other (though I always forget which). If you can ensure your room is in that tower, it’s a good value IMO.

  37. January 13th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Rohan said,

    How about transferring 20K UR points to Amtrak Guest Rewards, which can be transferred into 60K Choice Privileges points to stay at the Fullerton Bay, as Mac suggested? Not too different than the 22K UR required to stay at a high-end Park Hyatt.

  38. January 13th, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Laura said,

    We stayed 3 nights at the Holiday Inn Orchard Road last June and got an upgraded room (due to Platinum status from the Priority club credit card) which included the executive lounge for breakfast and evening drinks/appetizers. It was far above our expectations (and we were able to book at the lower rate before they raised the point redemptions last year). The subway was a couple of minutes walk away and taxis were plentiful at the front door.

  39. January 13th, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Andrew said,

    Realized the exact same thing when picking a hotel for my upcoming trip. Ended up using points at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre…we’ll see if that was a bad idea.

  40. January 13th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Carl said,

    The St. Regis is very nice, i love it there, but understand why you would not want to pay that rate. Sheraton has a good executive lounge, but is kinda out of the way and a bit dated. Years ago i really liked it, but that rate is not bad for Singapore. If they had C&P, i would go for it.

  41. January 13th, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Peetyrd said,

    A little OT, but how do you compare the park hyatt to conrad as a whole. I think you should dedicate a post to comparing the high end brands of each major chain….Conrad/Waldorf, JW/Ritz, Park Hyatt, Intercontinental etc…

  42. January 13th, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Carl — Must do the St. Regis for one night then, because I am tempted to try it.

    @ Peetyrd — Great idea for a future post, thanks. I do think that on the whole Park Hyatt is a big step up from Conrad, though it does vary by individual property. Definitely a good topic for a future post.

  43. January 13th, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Martin W. said,

    The only time I was in Singapore, I got the Conrad for $55.00/night on Priceline! That was definitely a no-brainer!

  44. January 13th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    YQ said,

    If you come to Singapore next week, you can send me email I left here. I learn a lot from your post. If you have time, I want to invite you for dinner.

    Have a nice day!

  45. January 14th, 2013 at 12:04 am

    Jerry said,

    Lucky – obviously you don’t use Hotline/Priceline enough :P

    I didn’t bid, but just bought 2 rooms for 3 nights in Sept 2012 at Royal Plaza on Scotts (right across Hyatt) near Orchard Rd, for $135/night USD, and free minibar/water

    It’s very easy to “guess” this one on Hotwire due to amenities

    but I agree with you anyway, I looked into Conrad ($270/night?) and Fairmont ($300+) for my Sept 2012 dates and couldn’t bring myself to pay them. I’m HH Gold and FPC Platinum

  46. January 14th, 2013 at 12:07 am

    beachfan said,

    Great post, and a timely discussion. I had the same dilema, and wound up using my two free credit card nights from my wife’s Hyatt card on the Grand Hyatt. Sure, Paris would have been better, but that’s not on 2013 list, and I’ll get my Hyatt points in 2013.

    I’m getting a ton of Ultimate Reward Points now that you convinced me about the gift card route.

    True, you probably want them for LH first, but since I need to book ahead, and live in LA where LH awards are very rare even on short notice, I think Hyatt points are the most attractive transfer option.

    Overall, I agree though. In general, due to the credit card bonuses, hotel points are harder to earn than airline points (on a comparable pound for pound value).

  47. January 14th, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Andre said,

    I’ve stayed at the St. Regis & the Conrad in Singapore and for a paid stay at almost equal prices I’d tend to book the St. Regis booked through FHR since they offer $100 credit which kind of offsets the lack of Exec Lounge. The rooms are very nice even if there’s no great view, it’s definitely worth a try.

    I did enjoy the Conrad there as well. I felt I was closer to a lot of the touristy things I wanted to revisit compared to the St. Regis. Service is excellent even if the hotel isn’t as modern as Conrad Tokyo or the view as good as Conrad HK.

  48. January 14th, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Zander said,

    I will chime in and say that the best hotel in Singapore is the Capella(though it is a non chain hotel and on Sentosa island). Even the basic rooms are a suite with at least 70sqm. But they are pricey and the only booking channel with perks that I know of is the visa signature hotels and Amex FHR website, with better perks on FHR(sadly no virtuoso or signature perks.

    PS: I would be glad to join the group lunch/dinner if there there happens to be one. Keep me updated :) Thanks.

  49. January 14th, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Vastgotta said,

    Or become member of Golden Circle program, Shangri La… Best ever, but mostly available in Asia and some in Europe.

    I you are here, let me buy you a beer @ Ku de Tai! Keen to meet the traveller in person

  50. January 14th, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Hamurabi2008 said,

    From your list I recently stayed at St. Regis, Conrad and W.

    Conrad is a good choice. Even as a Gold I was always treated very well there.

    St. Regis was nice (also good location). But price is steep. Best Platinum Breakfast I ever had in any Starwood.

    If you look at zuji.com and other sites you might find good local promotions which come with a SET code which you might be able to book directly at starwood.com (and thus still get points/stay/night credit).

    I have done so with a 30% off “W Hotel” Mastercard Promotion which I have only found on zuji.com

    W is great as Platinum. I link my Flickr-Set with photos from the junior suite. It is actually FANTASTIC (but the hotel is far away from the city center – a huge downside).

    If you look for a great hotel which is frequently running airline promotions you may also want to look at the Mandarin Oriental. Desipte its dingy interior look the renovated rooms are great. The marina vista rooms are very hard to beat.

    I also stayed at Marina Bay Sands (own points program) – would avoid the place, Fullerton (own loyalty program) – would only stay at the newer Fullerton Bay Hotel since I had several issues with the room(s) they gave me.

    I hear good things about the Fairmont (from colleagues).

    Have a great trip and check out the Gardens by the Bay (new attraction). The Domes are incredible – especially the one with the waterfall)

  51. January 14th, 2013 at 2:33 am

    Sriram said,

    Get on the Agoda + Cathay promotion.

  52. January 14th, 2013 at 2:49 am

    David said,

    Try the weekend high tea at the Regent Hotel off Orchard Road, near the St Regis. Very nice!

    I stayed at the GH…18K pts was nothing b/c I had Office Depot/VR pts coming in. Plus, the areas around the Conrad is different from the GH.

  53. January 14th, 2013 at 3:47 am

    Rado said,

    As mentioned in the post about Hyatt certificates, the Elite level can be booked for US$260 p/n. Not a bad alternative.

  54. January 14th, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Gary said,

    I like the Grand Hyatt with confirmed suite upgrade but agree that the Conrad is probably the best value for an elite.

    I have the exact same problem/question for an upcoming Bali trip. There are some amazing hotels at a price point I wouldn’t even consider (Aman, Four Seasons). There are some hotels that just aren’t pricey enough to justify the points (St Regis @ category 7 when it’s in the $400s?). You can do a pool villa at the W for $400, but I’m not sure I *want* to. The Intercontinental isn’t what it once was… The Conrad seems pretty hit or miss even in a suite. The Grand Hyatt just seems so mass market though a suite upgrade yields a pretty big suite.

    Nothing obviously ‘best’ and worth staying in after having traveled to the ‘other side of the world’ without spending way more than i can afford.

  55. January 14th, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Teck said,

    Hard for locals to earn hotel points since mattress running here will break the bank… Only way is to travel to neighboring Malaysia in their off peak season…

    We lack hotel co-brand credit cards…. :(

  56. January 14th, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Jason said,

    We loved our stay at the Conrad last year. As gold, treated extremely well, with free anniversary cake surprise, great lounge, and the best breakfast I think I’ve had (but it may have been the sundae bar for breakfast that put it over the top). I thought of staying at the Hilton next time, just to spend more time on Orchard Road, but would recommend the Conrad hands down.

  57. January 14th, 2013 at 5:25 am

    RakSiam said,

    Maybe it’s sacrilegious to talk about this here, but what about independent hotels in Singapore? Are they a good value? You might not get any points outside of Sapphire points for them, but if the rates are a lot less that would make a lot more sense to me. A city like Bangkok is full of chains and independents. And while there are some very nice chain properties, there are also tons of extremely nice independents that are a good deal cheaper. Is Singapore anything like that? I’ve never actually been there.

  58. January 14th, 2013 at 6:04 am

    SINJim said,

    Singapore’s hotel occupancy rate was 86.4% in 2011. This and many other interesting statistics at http://www.singstat.gov.sg/stats/keyind.html

    This may explain the high hotel cost relative to other Asian cities.

  59. January 14th, 2013 at 6:12 am

    SINJim said,

    Lucky, last month the world’s largest aquarium debuted at Resorts World Sentosa and now RWS offers suites with huge windows into the main tank along with a jacuzzi right in front of the window! http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Hotels/BeachVillas/VillaTypes/OceanSuites

    Lucky–any chance that Resorts World Sentosa would comp you on one of the newest hotel options in Singapore?

    Ocean Suites

    Reservations
    Email reservations@rwsentosa.com or call our reservation hotline:
    Tel: (+65) 6577 8899.

    Room amenities
    • Simmons “Cool Max” Luxe Mattress
    • Premium 400 thread count Egyptian cotton bed linen
    • Goose feather pillows
    • 50” Plasma TV with Cable Vision and a wide collection of the latest movies and radio channels in the bedroom
    • 50” Plasma TV with Cable Vision and a wide collection of the latest movies and radio channels in the living room
    • Sofa-Bed in the living room
    • Sunken Jacuzzi Bathtub next to Open Ocean Tank viewing window
    • Wireless high-speed broadband Internet access
    • Dossier with compendium of current collaterals
    • iHome Docking Station (iA100)
    • Iron and Ironing Board
    • Outdoor Jacuzzi in the living room patio
    • Complimentary bottles of drinking water
    • Electronic safe
    • Embroidered laundry bag
    • Polyester slippers
    • Shoe horn & coat brush
    • Nespresso Coffee Maker with Nespresso Capsules and TWG Tea-making facilities
    • Minibar with a range of snacks, soft drinks and juices

    Services and Amenities
    • Free form swimming pool at Beach Villas
    • Exclusive Jacuzzi
    • Free access to ESPA gym
    • 24-hour personalized butler service
    • 24-hour in-room dining menu (International & Oriental selections available)
    • 24-hour laundry/dry-cleaning service
    • Parking for in-house guests
    • Shoe shine service
    • Buggy service on-call

  60. January 14th, 2013 at 6:17 am

    BBD said,

    Stayed at the Conrad in a business room 12/29 & 30. Nice common areas, nice people, good breakfast buffet and a good location. Not quite a five star though. Bags took over an hour to be delivered to the room (after a phone call), a little mold on the grout in the shower, entry way light lense missing, and room carpet getting to the end of its useful life. Internet was a little spotty. Would I stay there again? Yes.

  61. January 14th, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Ted said,

    Add another vote for the Conrad, I stayed there for a night in October and thought it was great. I enjoyed the lounge and thought the service was excellent. I don’t remember the speed of the wifi, but that means it was good enough to check email and chat with friends (I was on vacation).

  62. January 14th, 2013 at 6:33 am

    VT said,

    @lucky Give us a shout out when you’re in Singapore. Would be nice to meet up and exchange ideas with like-minded people.

  63. January 14th, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Andrew L said,

    My favorites are the Conrad and Fairmont. Regularly get lounge access/upgrades as a HH gold at the Conrad. And with the new circle line, it’s pretty convenient to get around (though I still prefer to walk to the EW/NS station city hall).

    As for the Fairmont, it’s a nice hotel but I think the location is its best selling point: connected to raffles city (great dining and shopping) and attached to the city hall mrt station (~3-4 stops from most places you would want to go in the city centre). Actually think I have some bogo nights at the fairmont as part of my feed at raffles package if you’re interested. Though will need to check on transferability restrictions and availability.

  64. January 14th, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Tom said,

    Apparently there are a number of us Singapore based readers. All likely very sad at how terrible our points options are here if one doesn’t also have access to American credit cards.

    As far as hotels go, I would either do as Rohan suggested and go UR->Amtrak->Choice or try the Shangri-La (which has its own rewards program that you could use as excuse to post about).

  65. January 14th, 2013 at 7:08 am

    ed said,

    The Conrad is a no-brainer, even before I read all the comments. The real problem is singapore is for business.

  66. January 14th, 2013 at 7:32 am

    oneeyejack said,

    Was at the Conrad back in September and loved it there. No problems with Wifi and also loved the lounge. Got a great price with a BRG so I didn’t have to use points. Will be back in May and will most likely stay there again.

  67. January 14th, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Anthony said,

    I did the St. Regis over New Years on C&P. I thought that was a great value.

  68. January 14th, 2013 at 7:49 am

    romsdeals said,

    Do an AXON reward at the Conrad or Hilton. Hyatt for 18K points is not bad either.. there are tons of ways to get UR points…

  69. January 14th, 2013 at 8:10 am

    S said,

    Go to the Conrad! I got upgraded to a club room as a lowly gold and that lounge has delicious food and a great view. Have fun at the amazing breakfast buffet as Oscar’s!

  70. January 14th, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Santastico said,

    SIN is definitely not a points place for me. I usually travel there for business and my company only uses Raffles The Plaza or Shangri-La so no points. Last and only option of approved hotels for points is Intercontinental Singapore which I really like it for its location. SE Asia in general is not a points heaven for me since my company likes to use Asian hotel chains like Shangri-La, Mulia, Peninsula or Mandarin Oriental which are amazing but not for points.

  71. January 14th, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Antonio C. said,

    I think the best hotels are not chain-like: Raffles Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental. But, heck, you are Lucky, so why you just go to Hard Rock Hotel and tell us how it is? I liked the Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La off Orchard Road

  72. January 14th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    lucky said,

    @ Gary — Totally agree, nowadays struggle with Bali too, and for exactly the reasons you do. Grand Hyatt is an amazing value, especially with a suite upgrade, but it’s not all that great of a resort, in my opinion, and I hate that the club lounge is outside, given how hot it usually is.

    Am determined to try the St. Regis next time, though can’t justify it in terms of cost in miles or points. Might just end up doing the Conrad once I’m Diamond, which I’ve heard reasonably good things about, and paid rates are decent there.

  73. January 14th, 2013 at 10:45 am

    lucky said,

    @ Jason — Sundae bar for breakfast? Sold!

    @ RakSiam — I find the Singapore hotel market (as a whole, not just chain hotels) to be a bit past its prime on the whole, which isn’t specific just to chain hotels. There are some great independent hotels, though based on what I’ve seen they’re mostly either outrageously expensive or on part in quality to chain hotels without being much better. I’d be open to suggestions if anyone has different experiences, though!

    @ SINJim — That. Is. Awesome.

  74. January 14th, 2013 at 10:48 am

    lucky said,

    @ BBD @ Ted @ Andrew @ ed @ oneeyejack @ S — Starting to look like it’ll be the Conrad, thanks!

    @ VT — Will do!

    @ romsdeals — Sadly not there for four nights…

  75. January 14th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    russell said,

    Surprised no mention of the Ritz Carlton. To me one of the best Sunday Brunch options in the world.

  76. January 14th, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    flow said,

    Stay at the Grand Hyatt Singapore with a Hyatt Elite certificate for $260 all in.

    http://boardingarea.com/loyaltytraveler/2013/01/14/hyatt-stay-certificates-for-cheaper-rates

  77. January 14th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    TN said,

    I am in and out of Singapore every week. I use the Conrad. Location is excellent with the MRT just out the door. I’ve tried many other hotels but always end up back at the Conrad.

  78. January 14th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Claire said,

    We stayed at the Conrad, loved it. Got it on Priceline 3 nights less than $100/nt. at the time, 2010, was one of the best Priceline deals around. If we went back would definitely stay there again even on points!

  79. January 14th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Zander said,

    @Lucky, did you have a chance to checkout the capella hotel on their website. The Amex FHR perk of a complimentary dinner for 2 could go towards in some sense to reduce the room rate. I had a fantastic experience previously when I was there.

  80. January 15th, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Nick said,

    I’ve become somewhat of a BRG expert which is what I try to do in theses situations. Waikiki in particular is easy pickings.

  81. January 15th, 2013 at 8:29 am

    NyCBoI2ThEMaX said,

    Since you are willing to pay – Go local and stay at a boutique.

  82. January 15th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Carberrie said,

    I vote for W Sentosa only because I’d LOVE to read a review of it! Please spend at least 1 night there for one of your biggest reading fans!!!

    The Sheraton Singapore is a DUMP! I stayed there once on Cash + Points when it was Cat 4 and decided to never stay there again. The rooms are seriously older than you, maybe even older than I!

    I’ve stayed at the Conrad Singapore twice and although didn’t love it have been happy with it both times. The breakfast is excellent. The hotel is somewhat dated but fine. I loved the St Regis 3 years ago in spite of it being somewhat “out of the way.”

  83. January 15th, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Carberrie said,

    BTW if you know how to get the Fullerton Bay on points (someone mentioned it above but I’m not familiar with those points), please explain how to! I’d LOVE to stay there (on points)!

  84. January 15th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    William Ng said,

    Hi Ben, It is always nice to hear one of my favourite destinations, Singapore being featured here and also my lovely homeland city, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Hilton Singapore, though a little bit old to my liking is still one of my favourite hotel no doubt. If one prefers an old heritage building hotel, the InterContinental Singapore located next to Bugis station is also one of my favourite.

    As I work in the hotel industry, I had the perks of having staff rates. Thus, I don’t mind to travel and stay in one of these hotels.

  85. January 16th, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Pan said,

    I have a overnight layover in sin , will be staying at Conrad, i keep hearing good thing about the breafast buffet at oscar, however my flight leave at 9:30am to hong kong the next day. Any one know the hrs of the buffet at Oscar, I know the resrtaurant itself open 24hr, but hate to miss out on the buffet

  86. January 17th, 2013 at 1:53 am

    lucky said,

    @ Pan — Breakfast at Oscar’s starts at 6AM, so you should have plenty of time.

  87. January 23rd, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Charlie said,

    Lucky,

    probably asked many times, but would you recommend Conrad Centennial or St Regis if the rates were more or less the same? Primarily a business trip, but will have a few days around to rest too. Which hotel has better location for food?

    And if I were to book through the Visa hotels collection website thing, will I still be able to collect points towards the hotel programmes? Thanks!

  88. January 23rd, 2014 at 7:59 am

    lucky said,

    @ Charlie — If the prices are similar, I’d say the St. Regis is definitely the better option. And if you book through Visa Luxury Hotel Collection you should still be eligible to accrue points.

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