Singapore’s Fullerton Hotel is housed in one of the island’s most iconic buildings. Originally built 90 years ago, the Fullerton building’s grand neoclassical architecture has been officially recognised as a national monument of Singapore. While the building has been home to the Fullerton Hotel since 2001, over the previous decades it had taken on a range of tenants, including Singapore’s General Post Office, the Singapore Club and various government departments.
After an extensive exterior restoration and interior conversion in the late 1990s, the Fullerton Hotel was officially opened in 2001, offering up 400 guest rooms and suites in a prime harbourside location. Join Australian Business Traveller as we explore the Fullerton Hotel and all it has to offer.
Location & Impressions
The Fullerton Hotel is located across the bay from the Marina Bay Sands hotel, and sits at the mouth of the Singapore River. The hotel is a stone’s throw from the Merlion statue, and the Esplanade, Anderson and Cavenagh bridges, placing it centrally at the downtown core.
A plethora of restaurants, bars, financial institutions and shopping destinations are in the immediate vicinity of Fullerton Square, while the Raffles Place MRT station is a quick 5-minute walk.
From Singapore’s Changi airport, the 20km trip via the East Coast Parkway takes 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
With a stunning riverside location, grand architecture and a storied history, the Fullerton Hotel feels markedly different to staying somewhere like the Marina Bay Sands. The façade is impressive, and staff are welcoming and attentive when I arrive.
The expansive lobby overlooks a large circular internal pond, with soaring ceilings and towering columns dominating the space.
My room has access to the Straits Club, which is the Fullerton’s equivalent of a club lounge. One of the perks is in-room registration, rather than having to queue up in the lobby – perfect after a long flight, and executed well with friendly and efficient staff.
The Fullerton’s ‘Heritage’ rooms range in size from 37 – 71sqm, and the size of room you receive is not apparent when booking – so it may be worth getting in touch with the hotel beforehand to see if you can score yourself a larger room if available.
My room is on the smaller side of that scale, but doesn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic. Throughout the Fullerton is a pale cream colour palette, accentuated with dark and light wood. It doesn’t quite have a luxe feel, but does suit the hotel’s colonial / neoclassical atmosphere.
Inside my room, there’s a large king bed, accompanied by an extensive pillow menu and a teddy-bear in a bathrobe.
You’ll also find a comfortable lounge chair and ottoman, as well as a side table adorned with welcome fruits on arrival.
A large oval-shaped desk and chair face away from the window.
Adjacent to the desk you’ll find powerpoints, as well as USB, HDMI and VGA ports.
The bathroom is bigger than I was expecting – there’s a full-size tub…
…plus a separate shower suite and ample room to move around.
Inside the bathroom you’ll find amenities by Bottega Veneta that are replenished daily…
…and there’s also a large anti-fog makeup/shaving mirror.
While the décor may be classic in style, our Straits Club Heritage room is packed with modern features for the business traveller.
A Samsung tablet provides useful information on the hotel and what’s happening in the area...
...while there’s also a complimentary Handy phone to use for unlimited data and local calls when you’re out and about. Most business travellers will want to keep any sensitive company info away from these devices, but they can certainly be useful as a backup phone for navigating and other basic tasks.
A Nespresso machine and kettle are on hand for brewing up hot beverages, with snacks and a minibar also on offer.
A large closet stores ironing facilities, an umbrella, bathrobes and a flashlight. One feature we particularly liked was the in-room safe, which featured an internal powerpoint so that you can keep your devices charged while they’re locked up.
The Fullerton offers fast and free Internet, available both wired and through WiFi. Speeds were adequate, with streaming and large data downloads taken care of easily. Upload speeds were unsurprisingly sluggish.
While there’s plenty of space on the large desk, the oversized half-lounge-chair-half-dining chair that’s offered precludes getting much work done – an office chair would have been a much welcome addition here.
Nevertheless, since I’ve got access to the Straits Club I head there to see if the working situation is better. In terms of hotel club lounges, the Straits Club is fairly compact but tastefully decorated and not as busy as other hotel lounges we’ve been to.
Inside, the Straits Club features vintage Peranakan décor and Straits Chinese artefacts.
There’s a small library…
…alongside some lounge seating…
…and a dining area with a few tables.
If you need it, you can also book a 6-person meeting room for two hours.
Overall, it’s certainly not the most elaborate hotel lounge we’ve been to but the basic amenities are there.
The Fullerton offers a full buffet breakfast with a range of Asian and Western options downstairs, but if you’ve got access to the Straits Club you’ll want to take advantage of the complimentary Champagne breakfast. While there aren’t as many choices as the full buffet, there’s a good selection of crowd-pleasing dishes and a quieter atmosphere.
The Straits Club also offers afternoon tea, evening canapés and evening cocktails throughout the day.
Within the hotel are a number of dining options, including Cantonese cuisine at Jade, Italian at the Lighthouse rooftop restaurant, and a courtyard offering Japanese and Indian lunch buffets. There’s also an on-site bar for drinks.
While there are plenty of dining options within the hotel, the location means you’ve got Singapore’s best restaurants at your doorstep. Our advice would be to head further afield and experience some of the local cuisine – Singapore is equally adept at hosting Michelin-starred restaurants alongside street hawker stalls, so there’s something for every taste and budget.
The Fullerton Hotel offers a fitness centre and spa. There’s also a beautiful outdoor pool surrounded by looming columns and overlooking the Singapore river.
The Fullerton Hotel has got a lot of things going for it – an iconic building, in an iconic location, with spades of heritage and character adding to its charm. For business travellers the location is convenient for both working and relaxing, and the staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful. Overall, the Fullerton is a fantastic base in the downtown core and feels more relaxed than some of the mega-properties in Singapore.