One Farrer Hotel is located right next to Farrer Park Hospital, so it seems that a portion of its guests are likely medical tourists, like Oasia Hotel Novena. But what I found quite interesting was that there were vastly different types of room categories, from the regular rooms to double-storeyed loft apartments to luxurious themed villas, all within the same property.
I actually hadn’t heard of this hotel until it started being highly promoted and discussed on the Traveloka telegram chat. There were a whole bunch of promotions and packages launched but the one we eventually snagged was the Breakaway Intimate Romance package as it came with a unique 4-course private dining experience.
- 1-night stay in Mint Room
- 4-course dinner at Nest At One Farrer
- Spent: SGD$154.57
The check-in process was smooth as there was no queue at the reception counter, though there were many people waiting around in the lobby. We soon joined them as our room was also not ready. Areen, the staff who assisted us, was a really sweet lady who patiently explained all our package inclusions and the details about our room.
Areen shared at check-in that our room configuration is unlike the other Mint Rooms (apparently, it’s not even listed on their website) as it is spacious enough to fit two queen-size beds with plenty of room to spare. True enough, our room on level 11 was indeed sizeable lengthwise, which I was very grateful for, and looked very wheelchair-friendly.
The tradeoff, however, was its proximity to the lifts (but definitely a plus point for those with mobility concerns). Our door was poorly soundproofed, if at all, and I could hear every lift chime and echo of human conversation from down the non-carpeted hallways. Seems like the corridors on the lower floors have somewhat of a “hospital” feel but with warmer tones, while those on the higher floors have the usual carpeted floors. It didn’t help that there were renovation works going on somewhere, adding their intermittent drilling to the noise mix.
Another aspect I liked about the room besides it’s comfortable size was the bay window! Great for lounging on given the ample space to stretch out. For those of you planning to work at the desk for long hours, you’d be glad to know you’ll be supported by a Herman Miller chair.
The stark, almost clinical, design reminded me very much of the rooms in Oasia Hotel Novena too, everything just seems easier to sanitize. Anti-microbial flooring material, as well as anti-viral wallpaper and ceiling paint are used to maintain cleanliness standards (now where can I get me some of those…).
However, the peace of mind these measures were supposed to confer promptly vanished when I got to the bathroom. There were strands of hair in the face towel tray, sink counter and shower area, white splotches around the sink and below the mirror, and rust all along the length of the bidet pipe. There was even a “I’m fully vaxxed” sticker on the shower wall from who knows when. Not as sanitary as I imagined it would be.
Housekeeping services also didn’t really deliver as my firm pillow only arrived after the second call and turndown service was acknowledged but never came to pass.
It is pretty amazing that the hotel has an Olympic-sized swimming pool on level 6, with pockets of jacuzzi seats on one side and semi-submerged lounge chairs on the other side. Lined with what looks like palm trees to me, the whole place felt quite resort-like! The 24-hour gym is also located on the same level.
Having heard much about the club lounge, I decided to head to level 18 to check it out. It is an inviting space with a bright and airy feel, perfect for catching up on a good read. The lounge opens up directly to an exclusive swimming pool with a cascading waterfall on one end (but I hear it can be pretty chilly as the water doesn’t get direct sunlight). There is also a smaller gym on level 19 that I presume caters only to guests with club rooms since it is situated on the club floor.
We were briefed to approach the reception staff to tap us up to the 20th floor, the topmost floor of the property, for our private dining experience at Nest since we didn’t have access. When we initially got out of the lift, we were terribly lost because we were trying to look for an actual restaurant until we asked a staff for directions. Benjamin, who eventually became our main wait staff for the evening, told us that almost the entire floor was THE restaurant.
He shared that the concept of Nest was birthed very recently due to the drop in demand for hotel stays during the covid period (in fact, the name “Nest” was coined in 2021). Rooms on this floor were converted into private dining spaces called “havens” and they even renovated one of the rooms to include a proper kitchen for the chefs to work out of. If you’re feeling more loose-handed with your cash and can work up a minimum spend, you could opt to dine at one of the sky villas (I’m not sure if this is still being offered currently but check with them directly if you’re keen!).
We were promptly ushered into one of the rooms with joyful festive music playing in the background, setting the mood for the rest of the evening. Benjamin brought us the menu and we made our choices for our 4-course meal.
For starters, we were served a plate of sun-dried tomato and onion breads with a choice of regular butter, truffle butter and balsamic vinegar in olive oil. The breads were really fragrant and the truffle butter added that extra oomph. Yummy 😀
Next up were the appetizers! I went for the home cured salmon with avruga caviar, which was light and fresh, while my husband got the foie gras royale. He described it as creamy and tasty (not at all like the dried out terrine he had from Tablescape) but it got a little too rich after a while. A smaller portion would’ve been just right.
As there was only one option for soup, we both had the forest mushroom veloute – basically shitake mushroom soup topped with a blue cheese toast. I passed the toast to my husband as I don’t take strong cheeses. He described it to be “more blue than cheese”, which I leave to your own interpretation because even I don’t fully understand, but bottom line was that he liked it. The soup was well-seasoned and had chunky bits of mushroom for texture too.
On to the mains! I ordered the pan seared barramundi with tomato risotto while my husband had the sous vide chicken supreme with duxelles mushroom crust and tomato-polenta cake. The cheese in my risotto was too strong for me so we ended up sharing the mains instead. From the small mouthfuls I had, I thought the risotto was cooked slightly longer than al dente (perfect for me) and I liked the creamy tomato taste. The fish was soft and flaked away nicely in chunks as well. As for the chicken, it was generally tender and everything on the plate added good flavour to it but it was definitely the drier option of the two mains.
Last but not least, my favourite course, dessert! I was initially apprehensive about ordering the creme brulee lemon tart as I was worried it’d be too sour, but upon Benjamin’s recommendation, I decided to go ahead with it. Thankfully, the flavours were very well-balanced with just the right level of sweetness (: Needless to say, I finished it in a flash.
On the other hand, my husband’s milo tiramisu with mascarpone ice cream was the most uneventful dish of the evening. I have to qualify that it wasn’t bad by any standard, just that it paled in comparison to the rest. It felt like we were eating cream with some milo bits.
I have to commend the service and pacing of the courses as it was outstanding. Benjamin and Rheya, another wonderful staff, would come in at the right times to ask how the food was and chat with us, and then disappear at the right times to give us the privacy. I was super impressed by their professionalism and candour, two thumbs up ❤
The next morning, we turned up for breakfast at Escape restaurant on level 6 for the second seating from 9am to 11am (first seating was from 7am to 9am). As the capacity-limited restaurant started filling up, guests were directed to the spillover section at the ballroom. One of the staff shared that because they had many club guests that weekend, the club lounge on level 18 couldn’t accommodate all of them, so they also had to serve the lounge offerings at this restaurant and the ballroom as well.
American breakfast was the only option on the menu but you could choose how you wanted your eggs done. Sides like fruits and pastries were served automatically to your table. The good thing was that we could order multiple sets per pax. In terms of taste, it wasn’t particularly spectacular but I did ask for a second round of chicken cheese sausages. They also served cereal but it was a pity that they ran out of coco pops the day before as I wanted to have a small portion of that.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. If our package only included the room and breakfast, I’m afraid this rating would only be 3 stars. Our room, although spacious and fairly comfortable, was rather bare minimum and had a tad too many stray hair sightings and mystery white spots in the bathroom. Most of the breakfast items were average and only served to fill the tummy. However, thanks to the additional inclusion of the 4-course private dining experience at Nest at One Farrer, the delicious, meticulously prepared food and excellent service from Benjamin and Rheya warranted a bump up in the rating! Having a super-sized Olympic pool with tropical oasis vibes is also pretty epic. On top of that, the reception staff very kindly extended our check-out time to 1pm too (but we couldn’t fully utilize it as we were headed out to Universal Studios Singapore). If you’re planning a stay here in their basic rooms, you might want to consider dining at Nest or securing lounge access to jazz up your experience (: