This was our second stay at the Resorts World Sentosa, and our first in the Hard Rock Hotel. At the end of our stay, we preferred our first experience two years ago with the Festive Hotel.
The most salient impression I get of the Hard Rock Hotel is that it is overwhelmed. In terms of infrastructure and especially operations/processes, the hotel is simply unable to handle the number of guests and visitors that it receives. Everywhere you go in the hotel, there are long lines and messy crowds. You have to wait in line for up to 20 minutes (even on a Monday morning) just to enter the restaurant for breakfast, and being unable to board the full shuttle bus is apparently a common problem. I am not sure if they are doing anything about these problems.
Check-in took almost a full hour, including standing (yes, literally standing) in line; getting them to sort out which two rooms in the whole hotel to allocate to us; and then to get us parking coupons. First they us got parking coupons which have expired, and finally after 15 minutes they told us (not very politely) to come back to them the following day after they had sorted out the mess with the parking coupons. For the record, the next day when we went back, they told us that according to the records, parking coupons had been issued to us, and we had to spend another 10 minutes explaining what had happened the day before, and trying to hunt down the staff member who had spoken with us the day before to concur with our account.
For people who drive, you may also want to note that they only issue one single-entry ticket per room/night. You are therefore only allowed to drive out of the hotel once a day if you would not like to incur parking expenses.
There is some effort to try to create the “hard rock” theme in the hotel with the furnishings and decorations both in the room and in the public areas of the hotel. Staff members also dress to look like rock star wannabes. I am however not sure if it is part of the plan for them to behave and talk like rock stars. Some of them, especially those we encountered at check-in were pretty rude and impatient. Along the corridor, we also overheard a conversation when a guest was asking the housekeeping staff who was passing by with her trolley if she could help to top up some toiletries in the room. The reply was a curt “Don’t talk to me, call housekeeping”, and she promptly continued on her way.
The swimming pool area is rather large, with some nice touches like an artificial beach area, a children’s play area and a separate pool meant for doing laps. However, again, it was overcrowded. Many guests gave up trying to wait for an empty deck chair and simply left their belongings at random spots on the ground while they went for a swim. It was also impossible to do laps without literally bumping into people along the way. The pool bar was however pretty good. We enjoyed some drinks and snacks while in the pool, and the staff at the pool bar was mostly friendly and pleasant to chat with.
The room was spacious enough for us, but it did come with a few quirky touches. There are efforts to create some “rock star” touches like the wash basin in the bathroom which has a “backstage” kind of feel. The room also comes with one of the best sound systems we have seen in hotels, which we enjoyed and appreciated.
However, in trying to create the “rock star” feel, we felt that some of the liveability/practicality considerations had been overlooked in the room design. There is no door for the bathroom, and the bathroom wall is a translucent piece of glass. It is also designed such that one needs to step out of the shower to dress in the “open”. These may make it inconvenient if you are staying with friends. The night light in the room is also rather glaring and awkwardly-angled, which makes it unsuitable for its purpose.
In conclusion, while there are some interesting touches in the hotel to give it the “rock star” feel, on the whole we did not really enjoy our stay. We are unlikely to stay in this hotel again, and probably will not recommend it to most people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- See the new Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, where energy and glamour meet cutting edge contemporary design. Visit now to experience our new dining, entertainment, and amenities that will have you feeling like rock royalty. We’re just minutes away from the region’s top attractions, including Universal Studios Singapore and SEA Aquarium, as well as Asia’s flagship spa – the world-renowned ESPA. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore Hotel Sentosa Island