On my most recent trip to Singapore, I was looking for a hotel in a convenient location, that was family friendly and that was something a bit different – Hotel Fort Canning ticked every box and then some more.
The Hotel Fort Canning is situated in a former British Military Administration Building built in 1926. Over its lifespan, it has been home to the British military, the Japanese military, the British military again before the Singapore Armed Forces took it over after independence. After a few other reincarnations, the beautiful building opened as the Hotel Fort Canning in 2011. When the hotel moved in, they were not allowed to make changes to the structure or façade of the building. They have done an excellent job of turning it into a modern, but historic and classy, boutique luxury hotel.
I could quote many clichés about how the hotel is central to everything but away from it all, a diamond in the rough and an oasis in a desert. The fact is that it really is! It is rare I saw anything but greenery and trees from this hotel, yet less than 10 minutes walk away at 4 year old pace, S and I were at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station on three lines at the start of Orchard Road surrounded by shopping malls. We were also able to walk to Clark Quay in about 15 minutes. In addition to this, the Fort Canning Park is around the hotel. We caught the MRT everywhere and we were always able to just catch only one train to the places we wanted to go from this convenient location.
We stayed in a deluxe room which was spacious with a beautiful bathroom, a very comfortable bed as well as extras such as a Nespresso machine. The room seemed built to feel light, airy and spacious with high ceilings, lots of natural light and good use of mirrors.
The highlight, however, is definitely the bathroom. I loved how it was made to be a feature of the room, rather than just a necessity. The marble bathroom was situated by the windows and had a big, beautiful bath tub, a great shower with raised platform and everything else you expect in a bathroom. For people who worry about the privacy aspect – don’t! There are electric controlled blinds for both the external window and the windows into the room.
There are also many other room types with different configurations.
Our favourite facility would have to be the three mineral water pools. We spent a couple of afternoons splashing around in these and lounging in the decadent lounges. The small number of rooms at this boutique hotel meant that we never had problems grabbing prime space by the pool and rarely had more than a couple of other people around.
There are two restaurants/bars, as well as room service, which you can also get by the pool. We ate breakfast every morning at the Glass House Restaurant and Bar which was just superb. There is also a gym and wireless internet. Every evening there is an “aperitif hour”. For an hour canapés, wine and juice are served in the private guest lounge.
The Hotel Fort Canning is also a pledger of Singapore’s Businesses for Families Council’s “We Welcome Families” initiative. They are very welcoming of families and offer baby sitting (at an additional charge), cots, family friendly events and cater to children well in their main restaurant. One of the pools is specifically for children, but both the pools in the photo above worked well for 4 year old S.
S loved the Hotel Fort Canning. The pools were a massive hit and she also loved the breakfasts. The staff were fantastic and would come up every morning and offer S things they thought she would like. She usually ended up with some great pancakes made to order. She also loved the aperitif hour, especially the chance to play with a toddler who was there most evenings.
Needless to say I loved this hotel. There was really nothing not to like.
Another cliché I could say about this hotel is that they treat you like family. This was actually written in our hotel room but again, it was true. When we were walking up to the hotel on our arrival, we actually ran into an off duty staff member who escorted us up, was friendly and helpful and showed us to the lobby. She couldn’t have known that I was going to write about the hotel. The staff were just genuinely nice.
Another example is the apertif hour. We met many other guests this way, and every one of them was loving their stay at the hotel. I dont even remember the last time (if ever) that I have really talked to another hotel guest in any hotel. I was not the only one at aperitif hour with kids and it was nice not to spend all evening in my hotel room like I usually do when travelling with little ones.
I also loved all the extras – like a letter waiting in our room on arrival about the following days celebrations in Singapore for National Day. We were invited to meet with them that evening in the lobby to be escorted to a good point to watch the fireworks display. This was great and they even included a guided tour on the way. Such a little thing really but not something I am used to experiencing.
It was also great how family friendly and welcoming everyone at the hotel was of S. I often avoid places like this as I don’t imagine them to be family friendly, but I will not be so quick to judge in future! She could not have been more welcome. I also think this is a fabulous hotels for couples. It is definitely a more romantic location than your average city hotel.
However, the best part about the Hotel Fort Canning has to be the location. It is a beautiful, historic spot surrounded by parkland, and it is also such a handy location. There really is no where I would rather stay on a Singapore trip.
We were guests of the Hotel Fort Canning. As always, my views are my own.
What’s the best hotel you have stayed in?
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