An intimate boutique hotel located along Tiong Bahru Road, the WANGZ Hotel is celebrating her fifth birthday at the end of the year. Housed in a unique barrel-shaped building, the hotel was previously known as the Tarng Chern Building and then the Hope Centre. Beyond the intriguing architecture lies an inviting and warm space that is further augmented by commodious room size and great service. I arrived at the hotel slightly earlier and my room was ready at 2pm (the official check-in time) but no earlier. I guess that's the norm with boutique hotels since they have a smaller room inventory.
I stayed in a Canopy Room that comes with a luxurious king-size bed featuring ultra-plush pillows and down feather duvet all piled atop a Sealy Posturepedic bed. The room is 32 to 36 sqm (depending on which one you get) and may feature a bathtub (once again, YMMV). Compared to many other boutique properties, the rooms are relatively bigger and it offers a comfortable area to lounge and relax.
You will notice light music playing when you enter the room (I actually think it's the same lobby music they are playing). There's a volume control mounted on the wall near to the bed where you can switch it off easily. Entering the room with that music on somehow gives off a younger and trendy vibe in general. That being said, I never did once turn it back on during my stay.
A complimentary issue of The Straits Times was provided on the work desk. You'll also find an iPod docking station (that fits only iPhone 4S and below) on the table. This is perhaps in need of a refresh and actually hotels should consider bluetooth speakers instead of proprietary docks to cater to a wider range of consumer preferences. The table provides ample space for you to put your laptop, some writing materials and a cup of coffee without running the risk of spilling anything. There's also a light dimmer switch next to bed where you'll be able to turn down the lights to your personal liking - a feature that should be included in all hotel rooms really.
A complimentary fruit bowl was provided next to a set of cutleries upon arrival. Travellers from abroad may find the dragon fruit (or more fondly known as the pitaya overseas) unfamiliar but it's always good to provide tropical fruits from the region just for that special factor.
Selected beverages are provided on a complimentary basis to hotel guests. This includes the canned drinks and bottled water. Chilled beer and wine is offered at a really reasonable rate. In fact, the snacks are competitively priced from S$1.50++ so there's really little incentive to get your own. Most major hotel chains charge you at least S$10++ for a can of peanuts so you're really getting a steal here.
The wet area of the bathroom takes up almost half of the bathroom space with a separate bathtub (only in selected rooms). There's ample space for you to put your gadgets/snacks so you can enjoy a leisurely soak. Those of you who require more privacy, there's also a rolling blind which you can draw to plunge the bathroom into darkness.
Bathroom amenities are provided by the luxurious British brand, Molton Brown (always a good sign to an enjoyable stay). Bath salts are also provided if you do not happen to bring your own - I always bring my own!
Twinings Tea is provided in room alongside a teapot and two teacups. While many may argue that a regular mug will get the job done, I am a huge supporter of teapots/teacups in hotel rooms. It truly is the overall experience and besides, teacups help cool tea faster. As a fan of the Gryphon Tea Company, I brought my own full bodied British Breakfast Tea (sorry Twinings!).
A range of cable channels can also be accessed via the TV located in the bedroom. To be honest, I never really watch much TV at home but somehow, I always end up watching a dated movie on one of these cable channels whenever I stay over in a hotel room. I really like the soft warm lightning in the room after drawing the blinds. The translucent glass between the bedroom and the bathroom bathes the space in golden glory in the evening.
Opened from 4pm, the rooftop lounge, Halo, serves uniquely crafted cocktails with a selection of international tapas and entrées. It offers an impressive and rather expansive panoramic view of the Singapore skyline. While it isn't air-conditioned, the lounge is breezy and is definitely a great spot to grab a couple of drinks if you are in the vicinity. A live band also performs on weekends so be sure to get in early to save yourself a good seat.
Despite being a regular beer drinker, I tried the Bontanist Bowl (S$18++) which is a unique combination of Botanist Gin, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Strawberry, Rose Syrup, Mint Leaves and Home-made Lemon Foam. Tapas like grilled baby octopus to chicken satay is also available at affordable prices (from S$8++ to S$15++).
Breakfast is served at Nectar, an all-day dining restaurant located on the street level of Wangz Hotel. Once again, the variety of breakfast items at Wangz Hotel (being a boutique hotel) was quite limited. There was a range of pastries, Chinese dim sums, carbohydrates, smoked fish select, greens, fruits as well as a cereal selection. Unlike most restaurants in hotels that serve breakfast, the openness of Nectar makes it easy for hotel guests to walk in and out of it without actual boundaries. I was pretty impressed by the level of attention the restaurant staff has. Despite being seated on my own, the staff quickly came over to the table to take my drink orders.
The best thing I loved about breakfast? Made-to-order hash browns and scrambled eggs. Nothing starts my day off better than crisp golden brown hash browns (deep) fried to perfection. I only noticed the sign which offers made-to-order breakfast items on my second trip to the buffet station.
Celebrating her fifth birthday soon, WANGZ Hotel remains an iconic building in Tiong Bahru and a great choice as a staycation spot for singles or couples looking for an alternative destination. The current Wake Up With WANGZ package has a promotional price of S$228++ with the following inclusions:
- A one-night stay in a Superior Room
- Complimentary continental breakfast for two
- Complimentary wired and wireless internet access
- Complimentary mini-bar snacks and drinks (items are not replenished)
- Complimentary afternoon tea set for 2 persons at Nectar^
- Complimentary late check-out at 3 p.m.
- Complimentary hourly shuttle service to Outram Park MRT Station, Vivocity and Orchard Road
- Rental of movies from a selection of DVD titles available from the Front Desk
Hotel stay has been sponsored by Wangz Hotel, though all views expressed are my own.