Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gallery Hotel Singapore Impressions

Singapore Gallery Hotel Framed Vertical
Eye-catching facade of Gallery Hotel SG • Framed and taken with a Sony Alpha 99
During a recent business trip to Singapore, we got billeted by our kind host, Sony SG, at the Gallery, a four-star boutique hotel in Robertson Quay. Voted as one of the top 10 trendiest hotels in Singapore in 2012 is no joke in a place where there seems to be always something new.   The facade, true to the pictures I Googled on the internet, is funky and picture-worthy.

Checking in, we were required to submit credit card information so as to cover future expenses incurred in-room or at the lounge. While it is standard procedure, we thought it was inflexible on the part of the staff not to consider the fact that since we were hosted by an SG-based company (and Sony at that), this can either be waived or put into the account of our host. 
Singapore Gallery Hotel Storage
Signature multi-colored pillows, sleek cabinet with glass door
Room with a bit of a view. I had a Gallery Room on the 7th floor all to myself.   The room appearance is sleek and industrial-inspired, marrying wood paneled cabinet with glass doors, the bed with wood headboard with a bank of metal switches and overhead, halogen lamps mounted on steel cables. I find the LED of the control panel a bit distracting though as I’m used to sleeping in total darkness (covered it with a pillow). The bed is springy enough but kind to the back. The multi-colored pillows, which I think are a signature of the hotel, aren’t as comfy as the other pillows but found good use when using my laptop on the bed. 

Wi-fi was, as per SG standards, blazing-fast so working online in-room was a cinch.   I found the worktable (which also supports the flatscreen TV) and workspace more than adequate for my needs.    I had a small picture window that opens to the view of the neighboring hotel poolside area. However, the roman shade fixture came loose when I tried pulling the shades upward. Reporting it immediately to housekeeping yielded no response to fixing it during our short stay.  The toilet and bath appearance is sleek, with lots of metal and white lighting. I had a tub but as usual, it wasn’t put to good use as we were working on our presentation until the wee hours of the morning.
Singapore Gallery Hotel T&B
Sleek T&B with lots of industrial, silver sheen
Location. Sort of centrally-located (well, SG is not a huge place anyway), a few steps away from the really nice (and somewhat expensive) eating places in and around Robertson Quay and walking distance to Clark Quay. For provisions, there's a 7-Eleven store just right next door. Cabs routinely drop-off passengers in the cul-de-sac fronting the hotel though getting to the main road to find less choosy cabbies (yep, the Philippines does not have a monopoly on choosy cabbies especially during rush hours) is a viable alternative. 

Facilities. In almost three days of work, I was able to squeeze in two sessions at the Gym 360 located at the third level. The gym is decently furnished – a leg press machine here, a cable crossover machine there, plus a bank of relatively light dumbbells and barbells good enough for maintenance work, I guess. Getting to the gym is a bit tricky, going out of the building from the fifth level exit, passing through the pool and down a flight of stairs.   

The pool (the first cantilevered pool in SG with glass sides) looked inviting but owing to my state of sleep deprivation, I decided on using the gym instead.  The elevators going up to the hotel rooms are accessed by the room proximity cards though a few grumbling guests (including myself) fumble with the cards and make unnecessary roundtrips as the cards/sensor do not work all the time.
Sony Alpha A99 Test Shot Cereal copy
Healthful breakfast fare • Taken with a Sony Alpha 99
Chow.  We had our complimentary breakfasts at the Zenden Lounge and Restaurant at the fourth level where the elevators from the upper levels stop and hotel guests transfer to another elevator that takes them to the ground floor. It takes some getting used to (one time, the elevator doors opened to a newlywed couple about to make a ceremonial toast) but you get the hang of it.  The breakfast selection is quite varied and I'm happy enough to find more healthful breakfast choices (whole wheat bread, cereals, granola, fruits) alongside un-greasy bacon.
Info: Location: 1 Nanson Road, Robertson Quay • Gallery Hotel has 222 rooms (Gallery, Glazzhaus, Bookend, Junior and Executive Suites). Room rates for the Gallery Room is anywhere from SG$160 (promo) – 188 (published room rate); rates are exclusive of SG tax.  For more info/to book, visit www.galleryhotel.com.sg • Map culled from the Gallery Hotel website
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