We decided to stay here for the second time having done an overnight stop in 2005. The main reason was the brilliant location and fantastic views from the rooms. The receptionist kindly gave us a harbour view room on 38th floor. This view is a must for the evening, with the whole of the Marina Bay and business skyscrapers lit up. Even better, the new Marina Bay Sands hotel puts on a laser show each night which looked great from our balcony. We booked the hotel as part of a Singapore Airlines Stopover and could have had the room cheaper by booking directly with the hotel. We would, however, have had to pay a lot extra to get the additional services and discounts provided by SIA as part of their stopover deal, so I guess you pay your money and take your choice. Unfortunately, the £152 room rate didn't include breakfast, which at 22 SGD just for 2 eggs and a bit of ham seemed extortionate to me. We went outside to eat instead and paid 15 SGD for 2 breakfasts and teas! And what a choice there is in Raffles City, which forms part of the complex. A fantastic selection of eateries in the basement plus a great food court on the third floor, where lunch cost us a few dollars.
The staff were very helpful. The concierges we spoke to were excellent and gave us lots of help to organise our days out. The fact that the City Hall MRT station is right beside the hotel is a real plus, and we made good use of it if we were not using the free SIA hop on hop off bus or SAEX and needed to get places without walking miles in the heat. While I would agree that this is not the plushest 5 star hotel I have stayed in, our room was very nice and the bathroom was pretty good, other than the fact that a chunk of the work surface near the sink had somehow been loosened and not stuck back. The aircon worked perfectly and was very quiet.
To me, one of the main annoyances was the charge for the wifi. We had just come from Bali where we stayed at a pretty inexpensive hotel yet had excellent free wifi in our room, which was some way from reception. The cheapest wifi at the Stamford was 9 SGD for one hour which we had to use as we needed to check in our flight and access our emails. What really rankled was the fact that even though we only used about 45 minutes of wifi, this did not carry over to the next day so we lost access that we had actually paid for. Iniquitous daylight robbery! I had a moan at reception but I doubt they care or will do anything in future. This is ridiculous and too prevalent in expensive hotels. In the USA, even the cheapest motel provides not only free wifi but also a computer to use if you haven't brought your own laptop. What these big hotels don't seem to understand is that if they lowered their rates more people would feel inclined to pay and turnover would probably increase greatly. The only other problem with the Stamford is that it is a major business hotel. The lobby during the day is often packed and looks like a transit camp. The hotel also caters for at least 3 airlines as a stopover so there are often a lot of crew around. The peace and quiet in the morning when we checked out at 6.30am was a marked contrast.
Nonetheless, we intend to visit Singapore again in the future and we will stay at the Stamford for it's location if nothing else. It is only about 10 minutes walk from Boat Quay, 15 minutes from the harbour and 20-25 minutes walk from the Singapore Flyer. The Singapore Cricket Club, Supreme Court and Parliament Building are just around the corner. Whoever decided to site the hotel here knew what they were doing.