Stayed 2 nights at Sofitel City Centre. The location is second to none, smacked in the heart of CBD, next to the Tanjung Pagar MRT Station. The building is part of Tanjung Pagar Centre where Guoco Tower the tallest building in Singapore with 290m high is located, and Sofitel City Centre is adjacent to it. However, if you were to drive, car park redemption is not available as the car park is a shared facility amongst office tenants and residents. Having said that, with pandemic looming and the default mode of working place is home, there is no initiative from the hotel to negotiate with Guocoland if complimentary parking can be offered to overnight guests or at least some concessions. The carpark is pretty empty compared to pre-pandemic.
The hotel is a little boutique style, and the main reception sits on Level 5 this is where bars and restaurants are located as well.
My room is at 12th floor facing Maxwell. Forgot to request for a pool view but it is ok. Our room assigned was the entry level category based on our reservation. No upgrade or whatsoever, we did not find out about their occupancy as well.
As far as the standard, it is pretty similar to other 5 star luxury hotels in terms of luxury, amenities and comfort. It measures 38sqm for the entry level category, certainly not the biggest in town but sizeable enough. Nespresso Coffee Machine, TWG Tea and Lanvin Bathroom amenities to exude their 5 star hotel elements.
The Swimming pool is located at 6th floor, a long lap pool with lawn and lush greenery in the surrounding. The temperature of the water is quite chill as it only catches sunlight when the sun is not blocked by the surrounding skyscrapers typically at 1pm to 3pm during this time of the year.
Each guest can book the Swimming Pool slot for max of 90 mins. The Fitness Centre is closed due to Singapore heighten alert to curb Covid-19 spreading.
Our package comes with dinner at the Raccine. It is an Asian dinner which comes with Thick Seafood Soup, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Stirfried Brocoli, Fried Rice and Sorbet. I wonder why the dessert is Western and not Asian? Very strange! If you wish to present a fusion twist, twist it all around and not just the dessert!
Service was subpar. When the soup was served, his finger was in the soup, a Chinese in his 20s. I am concern greatly especially during the pandemic. A few of the wait staff including one with black jacket kept taking short cut whilst serving and he almost stumbled as he try to cross alley via the 4-seater leather upholstered chair. It is strange to see acrobatic stunt in a quite fine dining atmosphere.
The table does not comes with Salt and Pepper and even when the food is served, they did not ask either. The interesting part is the serving of Sorbet. 2 Sorbet ice cream in one bowl but only 1 serving plate is served. Very illogical how the training was done. All cutlery was cleared including our soiled Serviette but no replenishment when the dessert is served. Unimpressive at all.
There are lots of gigantic stuffed toys at the Bar and Public Area, served as a "social distancing" reminder to distant the guest how they should sit in the public area. Smart at the same time, and it looks great in its setting.
There are 2 mini robots at the lobby as well to serve the guests, great for a city with labour crunch.
Breakfast was a bento style, choices are Western, Asian, Vegetarian etc. Very limited and uninteresting. Perhaps the F&B and Operations Manager have forgotten dining is part of the "fun & excitement" during staycation. We just do not know why must they force you to choose Asian, Vegetarian, Western .... why can't it be "Creat your own Breakfast" and make your own degustation menu? Since the Western set comes with Hash Brown, Baked Beans, Srambled Egg, Sausages etc and Asian set comes with Rice, Fried Peanuts, Kueh, Spring Rolls, Fried Chicken etc,. Let the guest choose what they like and put it in Bento. Forget about Western or Asian .... Bento styled has already confined the creativity, why set more rigid rules to stifle the offering?
The service at the hotel is cold and unwelcome though they speak well and professional in certain extend. In the hospitality industry, it is not just about efficiency, but "hospitable" and "service oriented" should take precedent. I do not feel it at all, compared to other 5 star hotels I have visited many in Singapore in the last 1.5 years due to border closure.
The only one thing I can remember is the chambermaid Xu Qin from China. There were no housekeeping service in between nights but we requested for it. She knows we drink a lot of water, instead of replenishing 2, she generously put 4, also the shower gel and shampoo without us asking. Everything was perfect.
It was our 20th Anniversary celebrations. We did not reveal to the hotel thinking we can create fun by our own creativity, only to find the hotel's modus operandi is so "corporate" like running a multi billion corporation so we ended with TV marathon instead.
We travelled in and out the hotel more than 10 times during our 3 days 2 nights but not even one time we were greeted. You can whiz through ground level, go through 5th level reception without them noticing, change elevator to your room without any souls greeting you. The "security" at the ground level can double up as greeters but they treat all incoming guests as transparent. The reception is tucked away so they cannot interact with incoming, outgoing guest.
The hardware is good, location is fabulous, but it is a hotel without soul.