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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Hotel, Staycation | 2 comments

Capri by Fraser Staycation [Singapore]

Capri by Fraser Staycation [Singapore]

Excellent staycations at Quincy Hotel and Oasia Hotel last year prompted us to look for another place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Decent online reviews (we’ll talk more on this later), together with a Valentine’s Day promotion, convinced us to book a 1-night stay at Capri by Fraser.

Did it live up to our (high) expectations? Read on!

We pondered over the available options and decided upon option B : St Valentine’s Way. At S$268++, having a massage thrown in (never mind that it was only 60-minutes) is excellent value for money!

Getting to the hotel gave us a little problem, as the cab driver drove around a little bit. Roads were closed off around the hotel due to on-going constructions, and so we ended up alighting at Changi City Point taxi stand and walked over instead.

The first impression was great. Clean, bright, spacious and modern-looking lobby.

Check-in was fine but we realized that the package specified in the hotel’s system was wrong. We shrugged it off as a minor lapse, while the hotel reception assured us that since all the packages were the same price, there would be no issue.

They key problem was that we were here for the staycation package, but there was no attempt to confirm or elaborate what the staycation package consists of.

We are supposed to have breakfast served in-room, instead of the daily buffet breakfast. Are we supposed to make any arrangements at night? Even when we asked about it later in the day, the reception staff seemed unsure of the promotion and replied that breakfast would be served at Caprilicious restaurant instead of in-room.

Likewise, what about our 1-hour massage? Being experienced travellers, we are aware of how much hotels and resorts can screw up and we left nothing to chance. Prior to our trip, we took the initiative to arrange for our spa session. There wasn’t any mention of massage timings, nor the type of massage treatment. Not exactly very assuring eh?

Since Capri by Fraser positions itself as a DIY business hotel, we took our room cards and went up to the room by ourselves.

Wall art at the ground floor lift lobby.

The interior decor looks pretty good, though not as bright as the below picture.

Our room was 615 – all the photos were taken from the interior of the room. To be honest, the room was the best part of the staycation. The room was comfortable and not too warm or cold. Bright and clean as well!

Upon entering the room, we found ourselves at the kitchenette. On the other side is the bathroom.

The kitchenette is well-equipped with induction hobs, sink, microwave and all the necessary utensils and cutlery needed to whip up a decent meal. This is probably appealing to business travellers I guess?

In-room coffee, tea and snacks are complimentary, and we did not have to pay for them. What caught our attention was a pack of popcorn that was thoughtfully provided! Making use of the microwave and ceramic bowl, we made ourselves some piping hot popcorn!

The bathroom was pretty spacious. Everything you would need is hidden in the wardrobe. Like many other hotels, located at the inside of the safe is a power socket that you can use to charge your devices.

The shower area is separated by a glass door, and equipped with a rain shower. Excellent water pressure and we did not have to wait long for the hot water to come on.

Just a little question – with the abundance of space they had in the bathroom, why didn’t they put in a bathtub instead?

Large vanity area with all the usual amenities.

Towels are placed at the bottom of the basin. There is also a plastic stool so that you can take a seat while doing .. anything. Notice the digital scale?

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Malin+Goetz toiletries – our first time seeing these!

The TV area doubles up as a working desk.

Huge TV + cable channels + desk lamp.

Capri by Fraser has quite some activities provided for guests, as you can see from the in-room brochures below. One is a free-drinks session from Monday to Friday, while the other is a movie night on Fridays only.

The bed was fantastic! It was great to snuggle in the blanket with pillows that went “whooshh!” when you lie your head down on it. The mini-sofa and coffee table serve as the main dining area when we ate in the room.

There were bedside tables on both ends. The iPod dock is getting less useful nowadays with plenty of people carrying an Android phone.

During our one-night stay, there was persistent knocking noises from the windows which didn’t seem mechanical because they stopped at night. It seemed as though someone is knocking against the window? Soundproofing was pretty decent on the whole, although the missus complained that she heard loud chatting for a while in the morning. Pretty weird.

One of the cool things in Capri by Fraser is the laundry rooms – do check them out when you stay here! Unlike many other hotels which have tiny and cramp laundry rooms, be prepared to be entertained when you’re waiting for your laundry!

I can’t really remember if these are located on every floor, but every floor will have some sort of entertainment provided in the laundry rooms.

For a start, the laundry area is spacious and bright. There is a sink on the left to wash up any mess, while a table is located on the right to place your laundry basket.

The machines are operated by tokens, which you can obtain from the front desk.

Let’s check out the games and equipment spread across the different levels! It’s been ages since I’ve had a game of foosball!

For the fitness junkies, there are medicine balls for an exercise session.

How about an iPad to surf your time away?

A whole family could get comfortable and indulge in a Kinect session if they wish to do so! You don’t have to be doing your laundry to be able to use these equipment, you know?

My first time seeing a punching bag in real life.

Besides the laundry rooms, we checked out the common areas of Capri by Fraser as well. The Pod is located in the first level, behind the front desk. I guess you could hang out here if you want to, or even play some games. Board-games etc are available for borrowing.

Drinx is the hotel’s bar, located at level one.

The hotel’s pool is pretty decent in size, but not exactly what I’d call big in size. Disappointed that we didn’t get to try out the hydro-treadmill as it was drizzling on that day.

Help yourselves to the towels here as no one was manning the area.

It was just a coincidence that no one was around when I took the pictures. The well-equipped gym is empty as you can see. Pretty quiet during the weekends, perhaps?

Sauna room! You can keep your valuables in the lockers while enjoying the sauna.

Now comes the highlight of our staycation!

As I mentioned earlier, the package we took included a 1-hour massage. Spa by Traditional Javanese Massage Hut provides the treatment and is located at level 2. The waiting area is elegantly furnished with simple furniture.

When we got to the spa, the lady manning the reception was kind of flustered. After waiting for a while, we let her know that we had a booking already. Upon checking with her, she flipped through the bookings schedule and realized that the booking was only for 1-pax. Didn’t I mention earlier about hotel screw-ups?

I assured the lady that the booking was for two-pax (it’s a staycation after all) and upon checking with the hotel, granted us the two-pax massage session. And then, she asked us for payment.

*Ding Dong* Alarm bells by this point in time – I informed her that this was included in our staycation package. I doubt she had any idea what I was talking about and called the hotel front desk to check again.

There seemed to be an obvious lack of communication between the hotel and the spa operator. Again, after clearing things up, we were told that no payment was required and I only had to acknowledge by signing on the receipt.

We were informed to wait for two hours before taking a shower to avoid washing away the massage oil used during the treatment. So erm, what massage would we be getting by the way?

The lady in-charge grabbed hold of a masseuse and promptly said, “Do him for one hour”. Somehow, that sounds kind of weird.

Due to the screw-up, we didn’t get to use a couple room. After being led to the treatment suite, we were told to change. To be honest, the room and facilities looked great. The problem? No safe to keep our valuables, or anywhere to hang my clothes. Folded my clothes neatly and left them near the sink instead.

Despite the shortcomings till now (not forgetting to mention the music that was too loud and the shuffling of slippers during the session) , the massage itself turned out to be excellent! Comfortable and soothing, it was totally worth the S$85 if you were to arrange for the massage yourself.

After the spa, there was no mention of what we were supposed to do.. Thus, we made our way to the reception to find a mean cup of ginger tea waiting for us. After enjoying our ginger tea, we waited for a while but no one seemed to come to the reception counter so we just left. Oh well.

Delite at level one just beside Caprilicious restaurant.

We were supposed to have complimentary breakfast in the morning but we had already missed the timing when we woke up. Oops.

Ended up having lunch at Caprilicious. Twice (first time during room service, and the second time at the restaurant itself) we ordered Nasi Lemak, and twice this wasn’t made known to us when we ordered our food, only to come back later to inform us. Isn’t it basic service standards to inform customers food items that are not available?

To be fair, the service at Caprilicious was great, and the food was awesome. Totally worth it to be eating here!

Angka Linguini Aglio Olio (S$15)
Angka Prawns, Garlic, Chilli and Olive Oil.

Madras Curry (S$12)
Authentic Spicy Sea Bass Fillet Curry.

Till the very last, Capri by Fraser never fails to give us things to blog about. After lunch, we tried to make our way back to the room (the staycation offered late check-out at 3pm) but our room cards were disabled! Went to the front desk and it was promptly rectified. Even when we were relaxing in our room pre-check-out, the cleaning staff tried to enter our room – yet another glaring deficiency.

During check-out, we realized that our lunch bill wasn’t reflected. *speechless*
We requested for a cab which they promptly helped to arrange for .

Conclusion

Capri by Fraser is an excellent hotel with the potential to achieve so much more. Unfortunately, it is being let down by the shortcomings detailed in my review. For the price of S$268++, I would say that it is excellent value for money considering the 1-hr massage that was included.

Would I return in the near future for another staycation? Probably not. Quincy Hotel and Oasia Hotel offers a far better staycation experience in comparison even without the wide range of facilities in Capri by Fraser.

If you are in the hotel business, you don’t just add in freebies to a standard room reservation and call it a staycation. A staycation means you’re selling the experience, and your guests should have a relaxing vacation away from home with nothing to worry about, knowing that every little need is catered for already. By putting on a discounted room with freebies thrown in and calling it a staycation, you are no different from the average hotels out there.

Google for Capri by Fraser and chances are you’re going to come across plenty of advertorials and sponsored stays. It is not necessarily a bad thing, and the pictures adequately reflect the gorgeous hotel and in-room amenities. However, all too often they fail to highlight the operational deficiencies and as a consumer, you have to learn to differentiate between an advertorial and a genuine review.

Capri by Fraser Official Website

2 Comments

  1. Nice review on the hotel! Although the location is not very appealing, I would love to plan a staycation there soon!

  2. Hi missuschewy! Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comments. I have to agree that Capri by Fraser, being located near Changi Airport, isn’t that great for Singaporeans. Hope that you will have an excellent staycation there if you ever do so!

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