A building with rich history located in the City Hall area, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel naturally stands out from the gleaming, reflective facades of the surrounding skyscrapers. Designed in a neo-classical architectural style, it carries a certain poise and charm that really captivated my interest for the longest time. When the opportunity for a stay here arose (for the second time) in the form of the hotel’s Black Friday sale, I jumped on it despite already having another stay reservation on a later date 😛
Initially, my husband’s friend and his then-fiancée were relocated here for their wedding night as the hotel they were holding their banquet at was a government quarantine facility at that time. I thought it’d be fun to do a parallel stay with the newly weds and maybe enjoy the epic breakfast here together. Alas, due to the sudden easing of covid measures, they didn’t need to be relocated anymore. Oh well, we were ready to enjoy nonetheless!
- 1-night stay in Stamford Suite
- $100 dining credit
- Evening aperitifs and complimentary mini-bar (as part of suite category privileges)
- Complimentary parking
- Spent: SGD$576.73
As my husband and I had his friend’s wedding lunch to attend, I thought to drop by much earlier to do a quick registration before rushing over. To my dismay, there were quite a few groups of people in the queue when I arrived! I contemplated leaving without registering until one of the Ladies in Red came up to assist me. I related my situation to her and she very kindly helped me with the procedures on the spot, completing the check-in in just under 5 minutes 😀 In addition, she informed me that our room was already prepared and handed us the keycards. An amazing first impression.
When we returned to the hotel around 4.30pm, Stella, the legendary Lady in Red, showed us to our room and ran through our package inclusions with us. I can see why so many have spoken highly of her – she has such a warm disposition and a way of making you feel welcome almost instantly. She also offered to make reservations for us and shared her recommendations for our upcoming stay in a few months. Superb service! ❤
Our suite was located on level 3, the top floor of the Stamford House Wing (while the Capitol Wing has 4 levels). The first thing that caught my attention was the extravagant ceiling height, which made the room feel way larger than it already is. With a separate bedroom and living area, there were two huge TVs to go around on top of a smaller one next to the tub. All suite guests can enjoy the mini-bar items on the house and they’re replenished once per day except on the day of check-out.
Turndown service was provided as requested and evident when we came back from dinner. I thought it slightly odd that only one side of the bed had the mat and bathroom slippers laid out though. My usual firm pillow was promptly delivered and ready to give me a good night’s sleep, but the bed wasn’t as firm as I would’ve liked as it had a soft mushy layer on top.
The bathroom is split into two, occupying both sides of the entryway into the room. Its open concept really helps create a seamless spaciousness, but not to worry if you need privacy as the wooden sliding doors can be closed. In addition, there is a very comfy heated Duravit toilet seat and electronic bidet for your throne-sitting pleasure.
The room wasn’t without its drawbacks though. A persistent musty smell permeated the air and no amount of air-con blasting could get rid of it. I habituated to it after a while but I’d still get whiffs of it intermittently. Also, there were reddish orange splotches across the shower walls and floor, I’m pretty sure they weren’t part of the original design. Plus, the shower area smelled of old wet rags – not the most pleasant odours here. In this aspect, The Clan Hotel would be my prized example of room scents gone right.
All the wellness facilities such as the saltwater relaxation pool, gym and spa are nestled on level 4 of the Capitol Wing. Given that this is a heritage building, I was very surprised that they were able to fit a pool on the premises, albeit a small one.
Ah Yok, the spa therapist, gave me a brief tour of the treatment rooms, each with its own private steam room. She was such a lovable auntie and we had a pleasant, candid conversation about her life experiences. I couldn’t help but notice that she was also the one manning the entry to the pool and gym. It seems like the staff here have to wear many hats while continuing to serve with a smile. Incredible ❤
After I was done exploring the hotel grounds, we headed to the Lobby Lounge for our evening aperitifs (served between 6pm to 8pm). According to a staff here, they apparently used to serve canapes along with the drinks but that has since been dropped altogether during the pandemic. I was rather bummed as we don’t really drink, so solely having free-flow libations wasn’t much of a perk for us. However, I have seen photos of evening canapes served here in recent times, so it’s best to contact the hotel directly to double-check on this!
I had a glass of mimosa while my husband had his good old hot chocolate, both of which weren’t on the menu. I think the staff was quite amused by our orders, but she got the hint and increased the ratio of orange juice to sparkling wine for me (so thoughtful!).
Right after evening aperitifs was our reservation for dinner at 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung. We had $100 worth of dining credit to burn but it could only be utilized at this restaurant and bar (I was contemplating trying one of the restaurants at the adjacent arcade). No matter, the ambience was inviting and the fare here was pretty impressive too!
For starters, we shared a foie gras kaya toast dish. I was skeptical initially as I don’t like foie gras, but I was glad I couldn’t really taste it. However, my husband who loves foie gras said he could! It was so tasty and intriguingly conceptualized. The foie gras is basically incorporated into the butter, and there’s a cup of organic egg foam with soy sauce to pay homage to the traditional way of eating this dish – dipping the kaya toast into runny eggs!
For our mains, I had the lobster scallop macaroni and cheese while my husband had the corn fed spring chicken chop. I was a tad disappointed with my dish as even though the overall flavours were yummy, the lobster and scallop chunks were dried out and rubbery, which was quite a put-off. On the other hand, the chicken chop was moist and well-seasoned, especially with the gravy poured over.
The next morning, it was time for us to try the highly anticipated breakfast at 15 Stamford. Based on past reviews, this place has been one of the top-rated hotel breakfasts in the country and I couldn’t agree more! Just about every item we ordered was delectable and piping hot. We were even able to order some customized off-menu items like steak and eggs, as well as egg prata. The steak was juicy, the curry was fragrant, the otah was spicy and the chicken wings and hashbrowns were crispy. The waffles and pancakes did pale in comparison to the rest but far surpassed their dense, pasty counterparts from other hotel breakfasts.
Personally, I felt that the highlight of breakfast service was having staff walking around and giving out enticing goodies that aren’t the run-of-the-mill breakfast items. For instance, they were offering freshly squeezed juice shots, fresh bakes with some unique flavours and bread spreads that included honey from an actual honeycomb (scroll to the end here to get a glimpse of the process)! My husband loved the truffle honey spread (:
To conclude our meal, I ordered a mimosa to sip on (yes, they do serve these tipples for breakfast) while soaking in the chill vibes of the restaurant ambience. This breakfast experience has definitely topped the charts for me 😀
My overall rating of the experience: 5 out of 5 stars. This hotel came highly recommended for good reason, and now we’ve experienced it firsthand for ourselves! The gorgeous suite with so much space, impeccably thoughtful service and genuine interactions with the staff, amazing quality food with an elevated twist, as well as outstanding, delicious breakfast options. They also honoured the benefit of a 3pm late check-out on account of my GHA Discovery status, super awesome (: I did have a slight issue with the damp, musty smell in the room but other than that, the suite was very comfortable indeed. Sending lots of appreciation to Stella and Ah Yok, who extended such a warm welcome to us ❤ Already looking forward to our upcoming stay in a few months time!