Just before The Westin reopened its doors to the general public (previously only for guests serving their stay-home notices), they launched a fantastic 12.12 promotion with discounted room rates and $100 dining credit for bookings made within that period. I jumped on this offer after seeing photos and reading reviews as it seemed an unbelievable deal!
The hotel is located at the staggering height of level 32 in Asia Square Tower 2, so the lobby area already offers stunning views of the Straits of Singapore. Check-in was smooth and there was no queue when my husband and I arrived. The staff attending to us was professional and meticulous in explaining our package inclusions.
We were upgraded to the Westin Club King Room, which boasted clean lines, sleek furniture and a freestanding bathtub. Alas, the view left much to be desired as it was just a whole lot of buildings. I absolutely loved the housekeeping team’s incredible attention to detail though. On top of immaculate cleaning, all the notes and information sheets were placed in perfect right angles to each other or the table sides – the OCD part of me was deeply satisfied indeed. Another thoughtful touch was the provision of a tiny bottle of aromatherapy lavender balm to help guests sleep better. Its scent was subtle and calming, I just had to bring one home with me.
When we came back from lunch, we found complimentary packets of chocolate bark that were freshly made in-house placed neatly on the table. They looked so exquisite and artisanal! My husband remarked that they got the orange-chocolate balance right, which doesn’t happen very often for him. After returning from dinner, we realized that turndown service was automatically provided, with 2 petite boxes of chocolate, bottles of water and Nespresso capsules replenished. I also received my usual firm pillow quite promptly upon request. Really appreciate the team for making us feel so welcome and well taken care of with all these little gestures, thank you!
Right after we put our bags down in the room, we headed to Cook & Brew on level 33 for our (very late) lunch. Walking in to the restaurant felt like a visit to a peculiar furniture collector’s gallery, as we were greeted by an eclectic mishmash of sofas and chairs in various colours and styles. It was quite a sight to behold and definitely had an enchanting quality to it. Full-length windows along the outer perimeter let in a ton of natural light as well.
For starters, we ordered a small portion of Norwegian salmon tartare (full-sized portions are also available). Served on a saucer of ice, it tasted so yummy with the great combination of flavours and textures. The avocado added freshness while the onion crisps provided the crunch factor. For our mains, I got the roasted arctic cod while my husband got the black truffle fried chicken, both of which were pretty impressive. The cod was melt-in-your-mouth soft and creamy and had an interesting red sauce that had such depth of flavour with a hint of spice. Despite the dish having many ingredients on the plate, everything melded well together, making its flavour profile subtle yet refreshing. As for the chicken, it was seasoned to perfection! The meat was tender and juicy, except the breast portion (but it was a worthy effort on their part given that it was nowhere near as dried out as most tend to be). An orange, ginger and lime pickle dipping sauce came with it, but after one dip, we figured it wasn’t our thing so we left that alone.
We didn’t manage to book pool slots at the point of our check-in as there were none available by that time. The front desk staff shared that facilities are typically open for booking 48 hours prior to your stay and slots get snapped up really quickly.
At dinner time, we were back again at Cook & Brew! When we first arrived, we were regretfully informed that Saturday evenings are usually fully booked and early reservations should be made to avoid disappointment. Our bad, we didn’t think it’d be so highly subscribed to. Thankfully, a couple left earlier than expected and a table was available for us (:
Having had a late lunch, we decided to skip the starters and go straight to the mains. We shared a grain fed striploin and a Singapore-style fried bee hoon. Those first few bites of the striploin were heavenly, being wonderfully medium rare and juicy. But subsequently, there were more chewy and fatty parts that made the rest of the eating endeavour a rather unpleasant jaw workout. The fried bee hoon was generally uneventful: The noodles were bland, the lobster was more rubbery than I would’ve liked, but the star of the dish was definitely the sambal chilli. Fragrant and flavourful without being overly spicy, great for someone like me with a low spiciness threshold.
Later in the evening, we ordered a red velvet cake with vanilla sauce from the in-room dining menu. I felt it could do with a lot less cream and way more cake, which was quite moist and tantalizing. Surprisingly, together with the vanilla sauce, it wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be. What a delicious way to end the night!
Breakast (or more like brunch) was at Seasonal Tastes, located on the same level as the lobby. I love how they included a dining timeslot at 11.30am to 1pm on weekends to cater to us non-morning people. It was the first time I didn’t have to struggle with waking up early and rushing down before the buffet closes (trust me, it’s a perennial problem).
Foodwise, some were delectable while others were average, but overall I’d say the quality was pretty good. I’d recommend the char kway teow, nasi lemak and smashed avocado on toast (we ordered seconds for these). The french toast and waffles were not too bad as well, in comparison to the others we’ve had at various breakfast buffets so far. There was a friendly waiter going around giving out little bowls of pistachio with rum and raisin ice cream (probably the only rum and raisin ice cream that didn’t make my face contort in agony as the alcohol flavour wasn’t overpowering). Both of us ordered TWG tea, and boy, did it bring back good memories of our dinner at TWG Tea Garden (:
Service-wise, my husband wasn’t all too pleased with one staff initially disallowing us from sitting by the window but going ahead to let another couple after us do so. We shared our feedback with another staff, Nui, who remembered us from an earlier interaction (plus points!), and she apologized for the matter while assuring us that she will seat us by the window for our Lobby Lounge reservation later on. Although it didn’t resolve the actual matter, I really appreciated the fact that she listened, acknowledged the issue and offered us an alternative. Excellent service recovery.
After breakfast and some chill time in the room, I went to check out the Heavenly Spa by Westin while my husband hit the gym (called the WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio). Located on level 35, the spa also includes facilities like the Experience Shower, Whirlpool, Aromatherapy Steam Bath and a relaxation lounge, available to all in-house guests via reservation. It was such a luxurious experience lazing in the warmth of the Whirlpool, which can totally pass off as a mini infinity pool, while basking in the natural light and soaking in the lovely view. Amazing, this has got to be my favourite corner in the hotel to just relax in and contemplate life ❤
With a later check-out that the front desk staff graciously extended to us, we were able to enjoy a cup of tea in the cosy setting of the Lobby Lounge. There was sunlight streaming into the entire space through floor-to-ceiling windows, giving it a bright and open feel. What a delightful place for chilling out at with a cup of tea or a book in hand. Afternoon tea here, anyone?
Service here, however, was colder than what we received from teams of the other points of guest contact. The staff here gave off a mildly standoffish vibe and just didn’t seem very keen on attending to guests. Well, if you’re here for the ambience and food instead of the service, I guess you wouldn’t be too disappointed.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. All the spaces in the hotel exuded modern elegance and sophistication with its design and furnishings, there was luxury and comfort everywhere we turned. Amazing housekeeping team too, with their thoughtful gestures and a keen sense for angles (heh). The food was pretty decent too (I’d definitely come back to Cook & Brew for their roasted arctic cod), although there were some misses here and there. Unfortunately, service was inconsistently delivered across the staff. Some were genuine and added personal touches in their interactions with us while others were at best perfunctorily polite. Another point of contention was the lack sufficient facility slots for in-house guests due to the measures of restricted capacity. We couldn’t get a pool slot and I barely managed to secure a 45-minute remaining slot at the Whirlpool, presumably because some guests left early or didn’t show up, so do make your reservations in advance! All in all, we’ll certainly return for another stay, maybe when the club lounge is finally open 😀