Staycations are always such a treat for me as I hardly have to make an effort to get into “vacay mode”. There is never a need to fret if my baggage is overweight or rush to the airport to be in time for a flight. With staycations, all you need to do is arrive in style (at the appropriate check-in time) and “et voilà” the vacation has started! And that’s what I simply did when I went to stay at Yotel Singapore just a few weeks ago.
If you follow me on Instagram, you would know that I’m pretty glued to my social networks, streaming TV, and Internet. I don’t think I could do a full day without (at the very least) my mobile phone. Sure, I enjoy being close to nature and I take down time away from connectivity, once in a while. But when I’m in a developed city, I like to know that I can stay connected with fast speed internet and Wi-Fi to stream media content on demand, upload/watch videos on my social networks and be able to Facetime loved ones.
Yes, I know, I’m quite the typical millennial hardwired to her smart devices.
When selecting hotels to book for a holiday, plush pillows and bed, in room safe, daily housekeeping service, gym facilities and complimentary high-speed wifi are mandatory. Other in-room amenities such as the availability of free standing bathtub facing open views, standing rain shower, bidet, double bathroom sink and size of the wardrobe, matter less to me than the availability of 24 hour room service (should hunger pangs strike at the most ungodly hour) and interactive social spaces where I can mingle with others. Don’t get me wrong, the former are added details I would certainly appreciate. However, if I had to trade them in for other comforts, I would much prefer getting social with others in open communal bars, restaurants and spending a lazy afternoon by the swanky pool against the backdrop of stunning views. Let’s not forget about the need for the decor of the hotel to be “instagram worthy”! Eight times out of ten, I’m more inclined to forgo some mandatory standards for a stay in an “instagrammable” hotel.
Needless to say, I was stoked when I got to stay at Yotel Singapore for a weekend as it was newly opened in October and I was fascinated by the its emphasis on technology driven offerings and concept of compact room design. I’d imagined them to be quite the smart hotel with a fresh take to room design. Turns out, they were more than just that!
Here are some of the highlights of my stay with Yotel Singapore in a Premium Queen View room:
- Location, Location, Location!
As you know, the golden rule of Real Estate is always LOCATION. The hotel is located in a prime location; sitting right smack at the start of Orchard Road, the famous shopping and entertainment belt of Singapore. Along this 2.2km stretch, you will be able to get your retail fix, choose from an endless list of restaurants and bars to dine in, and (with Christmas around the corner) be at the heart of all the festivities.
- Every corner is Insta-worthy with multi-functional space
From the hotel’s drop off point, to the lobby, to the room, and to the club lounge on level ten, you’ll find smart use of space in every corner that allows for multi-functional use. Perfect for “Bleisure” (the combination of business and leisure travel) stays when you can relax, work and play all within the same space. Take the Club Lounge on Ten for example, there are ‘studios’ that double up as meeting and co-working spaces during the day, but transform into a restaurant/bar space in the evenings. Did I mention that every corner called out for that insta-worthy shot? Cheers to #OOTDs outside the hotel room and holiday #Selfies!
Those looking to wine, dine and unwind, there is Grains & Hops restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool, 24hr gym and a terrace. The options are endless for a customisable experience whether you may be a “Bleisure” traveller, Tourist or Staycationer. As I was there on a staycation and wanted to soak in the whole experience, I visited Grains & Hops restaurant and bar on both days for drinks and dinner. And boy, was I blown away! The food was cooked to perfection and it looked every bit as tasty as it did on pictures! The best part is that this restaurant and bar is also opened to public and I recommend having at least a drink by the bar and indulging in a meal at the restaurant!
- Digital convenience for the connectivity obsessed
Automated self-check-in kiosks are also available to provide you with a more seamless, efficient and convenient experience. I was able to check myself in effortlessly without having to wait in line at the front desk and even made my own key card! Fast, furious and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel for you to stay connected 24/7. Rooms display a 40” HD smart TV, in ceiling speakers and HDMI cable for easy connectivity to other devices. Now, we’re talking! You can plug in your own devices and stream media content for in-room entertainment or stay in civilisation by uploading your holiday selfies to instagram. Because if it is not on instagram, did it even happen?
- Smart room design and focus on technology
Yotel Singapore embodies that phrase of “less is more” when it comes to room design. I thought they used unconventional space-saving design ideas that was sensitive to the hotel’s location; it’s towering above Orchard Road with an expansive view of the city. The moment you enter the room, you find that it is awash with lots of natural light due to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the bathroom that give you a panoramic view of the city. The room and bathroom is separated by a layer of frosted glass and by leaving the bathroom door wide open, you would have a birds’ eye view of the city. It is a tad unconventional for me to see the bathroom solely be afforded all the views. But then again, I can’t think of a better layout where space can be as efficiently used and maximised while showcasing the city skyline. What the room lacks is a traditional desk which is more than made up for with a plush adjustable queen size “SmartBed with Serta mattress”, “Technowall with moodlighting”, smart TV capabilities (as mentioned before), and overhead rain shower with Australian brand toiletry dispensaries attached to walls. I’m all for multi-functional design and I loved that the room came with a foldable backless chair and two options for a makeshift desk. The first was a hidden panel just below the 40-inch flatscreen TV that pops opens to reveal a power socket, two USB ports and act as a makeshift desk. Otherwise, there is also a retractable drawer that sits below the bedside table.
- Personalized, unique and meaningful experience
Apart from the smart bed and thoughtful digital capabilities within the room that adds to the uniqueness of the hotel, the highlight of my whole experience has to be meeting the 2 in-house robots (a female and male) referred to as Yobots. Both of them have yet to be named and Yotel Singapore is currently running a social media competition to have them named. These Yobots can perform tasks such as delivering guests items like bottled water, towels and toiletries. They can autonomously ride elevators, navigate to a guest’s room and announce his or her arrival by calling the room’s phone. I had the opportunity of not just meeting them but I also managed to have one of them deliver me a couple of items! This whole experience was filmed and now you can tune in to watch my 24hr stories on Instagram (@germaine.ttran) to get the scoop of this epic experience!
All in all, it was such a refreshing and delightful stay, I was a tad sad to leave and get back to reality. I hope through these photos you get a sense of what I’d experienced with Yotel. Enjoy!
This post is done in collaboration with Yotel Singapore. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.