The Fullerton Bay is one of the newest hotels in Singapore, opened in July 2010 and perched over the water of the new Marina Bay reservoir, opposite the better-known Marina Bay Sands.
With only 100 room, it's very nearly at the luxury boutique end of the market, with impressive architecture and a stunning setting.
It's the younger sibling hotel to The Fullerton, Singapore's stately and iconic hotel located just a few hundred metres up the road.
With numerous awards and plaudits to its name, I thought I'd check it out -- the week before the Singapore Formula 1 race, where the Fullerton Bay has a trackside view -- to see whether the hotel lived up to the hype.
Location & Impressions
The Fullerton Bay is located on Singapore's waterfront, an easy stroll to meetings in the CBD or to the nearest MRT subway station, Raffles Place, a five minute walk away. (map)
With a fair bit of luggage on my trip, I arrived by cab and was whisked through the attractive heritage dock storefront (now a signature restaurant) into the expansive Andre Fu-designed lobby in the new building overlooking the water.
The lobby won't be to everyone's taste -- the combined effect is more upmarket bling than refined luxury -- but the friendly and efficient staff checked me in swiftly and I was heading up and along carpeted glass-walled corridors to my room in no time.
My room reminded me very much of an Emirates First Class Suite: furnished in shades of tan and brown, with lots of polished wood, mirrored surfaces and spotlights, with clever gadgetry and thoughtful touches.
Despite the opulent room, the first thing you notice is the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto a wooden-floored balcony with views over to the Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience museum, one of the most interesting architectural novelties in Singapore.
On the balcony is an all-weather divan with cushions, which I found very comfortable for relaxing on a warm Singapore evening.
The room itself contained a comfortable king-sized bed, large desk, two small velvet-effect armchairs, large RV, plenty of storage space, a full wardrobe and a standing clothes hanger.
Top marks also for a Nespresso coffee machine -- with an astounding total of 36 coffee pods, enough even for a jetlagged coffee-hound -- and superb Gryphon loose-leaf tea.
An extensive minibar sat underneath the tea and coffee surface.
The bathroom -- with a window into the bedroom area (there is a blind, fortunately) -- was sandy marble and glass.
It was well-equipped with a soaking tub (and its own TV), separate monsoon shower with detachable wand, great Molton Brown toiletries and a good-sized sink area.
I was very impressed indeed by the working setup. A fullsized desk with a comfortable chair also contained thoughtful additions like stapler, highlighters, paperclips and scissors.
A full connectivity panel, with two universal power points and sockets for Cat-5, VGA, RCA, HDMI and audio-in plugs, is handily hidden by a drawer.
But the best part was the lap tray for your laptop -- the hotel figures that enough business travellers catch up with friends and family, watch movies or sort out slide packs from bed that they've included a Logitech laptop tray too. More hotels should do this -- it's a real plus.
Wifi speed was a respectable but not mindblowing 5Mbps in both upload and download speed -- about what you could expect from a basic home ADSL connection.
Since I was pretty jetlagged, I only fancied a light dinner, so picked some satay sticks from room service. It was swift, elegant and came in reasonably sized portions -- not always the case for a top-notch hotel.
I had a superb breakfast in Clifford, the hotel's main restaurant, which was a high-quality buffet.
Lunch -- also at Clifford -- was superb. I enjoyed a lobster and scallop carpaccio to start, with an excellent duo of foie gras as my main. (Since I had an afternoon flight, I didn't want a full meal before getting on the plane.)
The compressed watermelon starter (try it -- it sounds bizarre but is incredibly good) and tagliatelle pasta main were highly rated by my lunch partner too.
With a well-equipped gym, infinity pool, two infinity hot-tubs overlooking the bay and a wraparound open-air bar, the best spot in the hotel to relax with a drink has to be the Fullerton Bay's roof. The view is absolutely superb.
A second best, however, is your own balcony -- every room in the hotel has one, and the all-weather divan is very comfortable.
In the room itself, the small armchairs aren't as comfortable as a sofa, which is a bit of a disappointment -- and, in fact, the only real criticism I have for the hotel.
The room's certainly big enough for a decent L-shaped sofa to stretch out on, and it's odd that the choice went for a pair of small chairs instead.
The Fullerton Bay richly deserves its reputation. It's a stylish, luxurious hotel with numerous thoughtful touches that make it perfect for the business traveller at work and play.
Our reporter was a guest of the hotel.