Representing Travel and Beyond, Todd Beltz writes about his experience staying at Big Hotel, Singapore.
Anytime someone thinks or mentions the word “big” the first thoughts that come to mind is well, something that is big in size. My first stay in the year old property, BIG Hotel, may not exactly be big in size, but it sure is big in comfort and experience.
For anyone checking into a hotel for the very first time, or even for those who travel often, first impressions go a long way in how well your stay will be. Needless to say, I was quite impressed right from the start. The check in process was very smooth, professional and fast. Service with a smile goes a long way for the weary traveler.
Upon check-in, each guest is offered a tablet, a Nexus 7, which by the looks of it, is very similar to an iPad mini. This device though is anything but mini as it has a whole array of functions that makes your life just a little easier once you step into the room. More on that shortly.
My Nexus 7 tablet provided at check-in
A great place to minggle
Next to the check in desk, is a spacious and modern living room area complete with two huge couches and a table which is a great place to meet other travellers or just to kick back and soak in the vibes. The personality of the hotel shines through its use of Scandinavian sensibilities and design which is evident in their décor with the use of blonde woods, neutral tones, stone walls and exposed pipes showing through in the ceiling. It’s this rustic feel that made me feel right at home.
Home for the Night
My room was an Executive Room, and in keeping with the décor of the hotel, featured natural stone walls, wood floors and a minimalist styled desk. Each room comes standard with a luxurious rain shower (always my favourite and a huge plus point) as well as a hand-held shower, a king size bed complete with high thread count linens that make it oh so difficult to get out bed. Yes, the beds are that comfy. Once I had lain down, I found it very difficult to want to get up again. But knowing that there was a lot to explore, I had to steal myself away from this luxury, just long enough knowing that I would be enjoying its comfort later in the evening.
In front of each bed is a wall mounted, 32” LED TV with free movies-on-demand and complimentary high speed Wi-Fi access. And no hotel room is complete without the convenient travel size shampoo and shower gels. BIG Hotel takes it one step further by offering a nice selection of customised Ylang-Ylang and Neroli essential oil-infused products.
In an effort to be more eco-friendly, the hotel has a common water and ice dispenser on each floor. One nice added touch in each room is a water pitcher making it easier for you to get water from the common water dispenser. There are no refrigerators or mini-bars in the room and bottled water is provided for executive rooms and above. They also have an in-room safe, a Nespresso coffee machine, and the BIG Blow… for those of you who didn’t bring along your own hair dryer.
For travellers who happened to forget their adaptors, fret not as each room comes standard with universal plugs, perfect for charging any device no matter what part of the world you come from. To me, this is taking the standard level of service up a few notches.
The Excutive Room has a space of 15 – 16 sqm
By far though, the most unique feature in the room is that all of the electronics are centrally controlled by the Nexus 7 tablet, or if you wish to be a bit more old fashioned, the light switches are all conveniently located an arm’s length away… all from the comfort of your bed. Each tablet comes with Internet, 40 VOD (video on demand) channels, games, ability to call for room service and the best feature of all? You get to control all of the lights at the touch of a button. How cool is that? One feature I would have loved to see though is having the ability to control the air conditioning from the tablet as well. Maybe an idea for future upgrades?
The Bigstar Suite has a space of 27.3 sqm
I also had the opportunity to check out one of their suites, called the BIGstar Suite. It has all of the features of the Executive Room but with more space in which to enjoy it all in. Even better yet, is the BIGshot Suite, complete with an outdoor balcony to spend your evenings relaxing in? Unfortunately this room was fully booked so I didn’t have an opportunity to check it out but possibly on my next visit.
The hotel has a small and compact gym on the ground floor, adjacent to the bar (for post workout drinks perhaps), fitted out with a few treadmills, exercise bikes, and free weights. Great for the traveler that needs a burst of energy for a quick and efficient workout. It’s also a perfect place for people watching as you wok a sweat considering the huge windows that overlook the sidewalk.
The Grape & Grain boasts a selection of premium wines and champagnes from all over the world
The Grape & Grain also has their very own house beer from the microbrewery
The hotel has a well laid out and spacious bar on the first floor called The Grape and Grain. This bar serves up a nice selection of wines from around the world as well as your standard cocktails. The bar also has a pool table, two dart machines, TV’s and plush seating in which to enjoy it all in. A perfect place to go to on a Friday night!
You can either eat in or do a take-out at Nook
In the basement next to check-in, is Nook, the all-day dining cafe which serves an array of simple but tasty dishes. Pre-made sandwiches, juices, and yogurts are available to pick up at any time throughout the day. Every morning from 7am-10:30am, a delectable breakfast buffet spread is available offering up your standard breakfast fare.
One unique point to note is the use of technology while ordering – all done via a touch screen with payment made at the machine as well. But for those who are technologically challenged, a very friendly staff is always around to help out if needed.
BIG Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Singapore. At the junction of Middle Road and Bencoolen Street, you have at your doorstep 4 MRT stations within a 10 minute walk away taking you to all the great attractions that Singapore has to offer. You are also in what is considered the arts centre of Singapore with the numerous art schools, galleries and museums making for an attractive option for those seeking to learn a bit more about the history and culture of Singapore. And you can’t forget about Orchard Road, Singapore’s premier shopping belt which is a quick 10 minute walk away. This road features something for everyone from the numerous stores, malls and restaurants, all making for an unforgettable shopping experience.
The room I stayed in, the Executive room, the rates start at $138 SGD per night. If you would like to add breakfast to that, the rate is $148 SGD. The BIG Hotel offers up many big experiences for each guest and is well worth a stay. Big Hotel Singapore is located 200 Middle Road, Singapore 188980. For more information on rates, visit their official website.
**Travel and Beyond was hosted by Big Hotel Singapore. All opinions are our own. Text and photos by guest writer Todd Beltz**