Review: Andaz Singapore

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Singapore as a hotel market has been very nicely improving lately, especially with my preferred brands, Hyatt and Starwood. Up until recently, Hyatt had a single hotel in Singapore — the Grand Hyatt. It’s a nice hotel, but very corporate. That’s why I was excited when late last year the new Andaz Singapore opened. I’m a fan of the Andaz brand, and wanted to see how this compared to some of their other Asian properties. The Andaz Shanghai and Andaz Tokyo are both excellent.

For my one night stay, the Andaz Singapore had a paid rate of 320SGD  (~245USD), which I thought was pretty reasonable. Often rates here are much higher, and this is a Category 6 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night would cost 25,000 points. If Points + Cash is available, that would cost you 12,500 points plus 209SGD per night.

The Andaz is about a 20 minute drive from Changi Airport, and the building itself is part of a larger, ultra-modern development. With the exception of the hotel, I believe the rest of the development is just offices.


Andaz Singapore exterior


Andaz Singapore exterior

At the door I was greeted by a bellman and informed that the hotel’s lobby was on the 25th floor.


Andaz Singapore lower level lobby

There seem to be more and more hotels with lobbies on higher floors. On one hand it’s nice, since the lobby will have better views, and it makes it easier for the hotel to make the social spaces desirable. On the flip side, it also means you always have to take two sets of elevators between your room and outside.


Andaz Singapore elevators

The Andaz’s lobby isn’t huge, though it’s nicely appointed, with some plants in the center of it. In general I felt like the design of the hotel was nice, but it didn’t really wow me, especially for a brand new hotel that’s supposed to have a focus on design. That’s the case almost across the board, from the public spaces to the rooms.


Andaz Singapore lobby


Andaz Singapore lobby

Andaz doesn’t have traditional check-in desks, but rather they have “hosts” who check you in with tablets, to facilitate a more natural interaction. The host who checked me in was friendly. She explained that unfortunately there were no suite upgrades available as a Globalist. However, I’d receive complimentary breakfast, served between 7AM and 11AM. Furthermore, the hotel has a free wine hour from 5PM until 7PM daily for all guests, just off the lobby.

Within a few minutes I was in another elevator, headed up to the 32nd floor, where my room was located.


Andaz Singapore hallway

The hotel has an atrium that starts above the 25th floor — the hotel goes all the way to the 39th floor.


Andaz Singapore atrium

My room, 3222, was just a short walk from the elevator. There were aspects of the design that impressed me, like the room numbers looking like mailboxes.


Andaz Singapore room exterior


Andaz Singapore floorplan

My king room featured a long entryway with an exposed closet to the right, which is also where the safe was located.


Andaz Singapore king room entryway


Andaz Singapore king room entryway

The room itself wasn’t especially big. It featured a king size bed with two nightstands, and two bottles of complimentary water on each side.


Andaz Singapore king room

Across from that was the TV and sitting area. The sitting area had a coffee table with both a small couch and a seat. Personally I would have preferred for them to have a traditional desk, but working from the chair wasn’t too bad.


Andaz Singapore king room


Andaz Singapore king room

Along the interior of the room was the minibar. As is standard at all Andaz properties, all snacks and non-alcoholic drinks were complimentary. There was a Nespresso coffee machine (which is nice for an Andaz), tea, several types of soda and water, milk chocolate covered almonds, and a granola bar. Back when the first Andaz opened they’d have a significant number of snacks in the minibar, though over the years that has been reduced across the board.


Andaz Singapore in-room Nespresso machine


Andaz Singapore in-room complimentary minibar


Andaz Singapore in-room minibar

In addition to the minibar snacks there was a kueh lapis waiting on the table, described as “a local favourite cake that is steamed gradually as layers are subsequently added in.”


Andaz Singapore king room welcome gift

The hotel had good views of sprawling Singapore. There are some more iconic views to be had, but these were perfectly nice, thanks to the high floor I was on.


Andaz Singapore king room view

The views got even better at night.


Andaz Singapore king room view

The bathroom was along the interior of the room. The bathroom had a sink with a back-lit circular mirror, a toilet (I’m surprised they didn’t install those fancy toilets with all the buttons), and a walk-in shower.


Andaz Singapore king room bathroom


Andaz Singapore king room toilet

The shower only had a half glass partition separating it from the bathroom, so when I showered the rest of the bathroom got pretty wet.


Andaz Singapore king room shower

Toiletries were from Chistophe Laudamiel, which I don’t think I’ve used before, but found to be pretty good.


Andaz Singapore toiletries

I’d also note that in-room wifi is free for all guests, and I found it to be fast.

Overall I thought the room was nice, though it didn’t wow me. It had all the basics and a fairly nice design, though I feel like some of the other Andaz properties in Asia are more impressive. I also feel like there are some areas where they should have prioritized substance over style (like those annoying shower glass shields).

Most of the hotel’s dining venues are on the 25th floor. This includes the beautiful lobby bar.


Andaz Singapore lobby bar


Andaz Singapore lobby bar

In addition to that there’s the Sunroom, which is where the nightly happy hour is, from 5PM until 7PM. I didn’t visit at that time as I had just landed, but it seemed to be popular with people.


Andaz Singapore Sunroom


Andaz Singapore Sunroom


Andaz Singapore Sunroom


Andaz Singapore Sunroom

While I didn’t go to the happy hour, at 5AM I just sat there for a while having some coffee, as the Sunroom has complimentary soft drinks and coffee all day.


Andaz Singapore Sunroom complimentary drinks

Now let’s talk about the breakfast experience at this hotel. Okay folks, I don’t claim to be a genius (obviously), but I’d also like to think I’m not the dumbest person on earth. To this day I still don’t understand how breakfast at the Andaz Singapore works. It’s not any one thing, but rather a combination of so many factors that makes it confusing.

First of all, breakfast is spread across three restaurants (I think? I’m still confused). I understand the hotel is going for a hawker-style theme where you’re supposed to be able to easily move between restaurants, but a bit more of an explanation would have helped as to how things actually work.

If I’m understanding things correctly, one of the breakfast restaurants is Icehaus, which is supposed to have western options.


Andaz Singapore Icehaus Restaurant


Andaz Singapore Icehaus Restaurant


Andaz Singapore Icehaus Restaurant

Then there’s a separate restaurant located across the way. You can sit in either restaurant, and get food from either restaurant, which takes some getting used to, but fair enough.


Andaz Singapore Alley On 25 Restaurant

Below is some of the food from Icehaus, including fresh fruit, cheese, salad, croissants, pastries, bread, yogurt, muesli, waffles, salmon, and cold cuts.


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet

The other restaurant only had what looked like omelet accompaniments, and not any Asian food.


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet

As it turns out, the Asian food is in a third restaurant. So to have breakfast you potentially have to go between three restaurants.

Coffee and tea are self serve at breakfast. I don’t mind that as such, I just wish I had been told that when I sat down. I ordered a coffee when I sat down (as I usually would at any breakfast at a nice hotel). About 10 minutes later I reminded the server I was still waiting on my coffee, and was (politely) informed that it was self serve.


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet

This is where things get more confusing. I was presented with the below menu, which stated that the full breakfast includes all buffet items, plus any a la carte dish from Western Delights and Local Favourites selection.

Prawn and chicken dumplings? Mee goreng? Mmmm!

So I tried to order one of those.

“Could I have the prawn and chicken dumplings please?”
“You can only order the eggs off the menu with the buffet.”
“But it says you can order anything off the menu in either of these sections?”
“No, only the eggs, I’m sorry.”
“To be clear, is this just because breakfast is included with my room? Because I’m happy to pay for it.”
“No, it can’t be ordered, there are different restaurants here.”
“Okay, so which restaurant do I have to sit in to be able to order this?”
“You can only order the eggs, but there are some Asian buffet items in the other restaurant.”
“If I go sit in the restaurant with Asian food, can I order this there?”
“No, for breakfast you can only order eggs.”

I. Don’t. Understand.

There was indeed a third restaurant, which had a small buffet consisting of Asian items.


Andaz Singapore restaurant


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet


Andaz Singapore breakfast buffet

Frustrated, I eventually just settled on an omelet, which is the last thing I want to eat in a city with food as good as Singapore. I asked for a veggie and cheese omelet, but it just came with cheese.


Andaz Singapore breakfast omelet

In terms of the hotel’s other features, there’s a beautiful infinity pool on the 25th floor.


Andaz Singapore pool

The hotel’s gym is on the 38th floor, and wasn’t particularly big.


Andaz Singapore gym


Andaz Singapore gym


Andaz Singapore gym

While I wouldn’t have used it, I found it odd that the hotel doesn’t have a spa. It’s not just that the hotel is new and it’s not quite finished yet, but rather they just don’t plan on having one.

Bottom line

The Andaz Singapore is a nice new addition for the city, and especially for the Hyatt brand, given that they only have one other property there. This is a solid new property, with nice design and friendly service. Maybe my expectations were just too high, but I wasn’t wowed, though.

My only real complaint about the hotel is the breakfast. Not even the breakfast as such, but the fact that I can’t make sense of it. Why give me a menu that I can’t actually order off of, even if I’m willing to pay extra? Does anyone understand how breakfast is supposed to work?

So overall I walked away from this hotel with a pretty neutral impression. It’s nice enough, though I was hoping to be more impressed. I’d consider returning if the price is right.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the review, Ben. I can now scratch off another hotel on my Singapore hotel list. There are far better hotels in Singapore with better service and nicer rooms at roughly the same price.

  2. The King room you had reminds me of the King we had at the Andaz Tokyo. It’s surprising not to see a Toto in the watercloset.

  3. My hotel of choice in Singapore is always the Parkroyal on Pickering (points and loyalty programs aside) – interesting architecture and design, and the staff on the Orchid Club level remember you by name (even months after your last stay). Go for the 14th floor. It feels like living in a garden.

  4. @Lucky, the Duo development also includes condos. I believe the Andaz tower is offices plus the hotel whereas the second tower has the residences.

  5. Stayed there in January. Nice hotel, but yeah the breakfast area made no sense. The other thing that got me was that I could not find any international plugs or plug adapters in the room.

  6. @Ben..thanks for report. The room itself and the amenities are okay beside the glass wall in the bathroom…the breakfast thing is really weird..meaning I should know beforehand what I want to eat and go to the right restaurant??..hopefully I am already awake otherwise I will have the same awkward experience…

  7. Thanks for the review @Lucky! I’m booked for a weeklong stay in a November so it was great to get your thoughts. I used to live in Singapore and return every year and this year was choosing between the Andaz, Ritz Carlton or Sofitel So. I went for the Andaz because it’s new and I was able to get a Studio Suite for roughly the same price as the larger rooms at the other properties. The consensus among reviewers seems to be the same as yours. Namely, that it’s a nice property but not spectacular and that the service is only so-so.

  8. IT does look like an office park but it seems to be directly connected to the Bugis MRT. You can connect to Orchard and Newton within a few stops. There could be many worse locations.

  9. I stayed at the Andaz Singapore in December, and I suppose my breakfast experience was very different. When I was there for breakfast, I had no idea there were 3 different restaurants. I simply was seated at the first restaurant (Icehaus), and the western buffet options were obvious. When seated, my server told me that the coffee and tea were self-serve. Then when I tried to order asian meals, I was told everything but eggs, and beef noodle soup were at the other buffet table, and was shown where to get them. For asian food, all that was needed was to go to the asian counter and order the food, or take it from the buffet. It seemed rather simple to me, and thought the quality was very good.

    Overall, I agree with Lucky that the hotel was solid, but did not wow me. I also had higher expectations since the hotel is brand new.

  10. I stayed there from March 4-7 and had a nice experience. The location is actually quite good, with an MRT stop beneath the building and great shopping, restaurants, and Arab street within a few blocks. While the breakfast was a bit confusing with the different food styles in three separate locations, it was pretty standard for that class of hotel. One thing that was really nice (and social) was the complimentary happy hour from 5-7pm in the main lobby bar area. Various wines, beers, and tiny snacks to choose from, and it gave the lobbye a nice buzz (pun intended) prior to dinner hours. The pool area also had amazing views of some of the skyline and the roof bar is a nice touch.

  11. I am little confused, you call the Grand Hyatt “corporate” as a criticism but this place looks as generic, corporate, cookie-cutter as they come. The lobby looks like the waiting room for an upscale doctor’s office, and that atrium looks pulled from a 1980s Marriott. The whole thing is in an office development.

    I am sure it’s nice, but based on that review I would take the Grand Hyatt in a flash over this. Also that price point is incredible – it’s common to find rates at he Ritz Carlton or MO Singapore not Tom much higher than that and they are both vastly better hotels… I wonder what demographic Hyatt is going for?

  12. Your response to the breakfast is my response to Andaz in general. I. Don’t. Understand.

    They all look like small rooms, cheap-looking and uncomfortable furniture, aloof staff. Almost as if Hyatt said, “Let’s do ‘W’ with more brown.” It’ll be chic. Not for me.

  13. @Brian, agree 100%. I really, genuinely do not understand what demographic they are going for, given they often appear (and are, in my experience) less comfortable than Grand Hyatt properties and yet sometimes – even often – share a similar price point in a given city.

  14. I get confused by all these new boutique and “lifestyle” brands being offered by all the major hotel chains (ie. EDITION, Andaz, Curio, Canopy, Tapestry Collection, Element, Tribute Portfolio…) . I find it very difficult to tell what category they belong to. So for Andaz, is it supposed to be 5-Star luxury like Park Hyatt, 4.5-Star premium like Grand Hyatt or 4-Star business like Hyatt Regency? Judging by the price point it would seem to be either 4 or 4.5-Star…

  15. I stayed at the Andaz Singapore in Feb and had many similar experiences. I had a slightly different room but the shower still had the same problems.

    Breakfast was an utter disaster. We arrived and no employee was to be seen. We had to walk through the first restaurant, past the egg station, into the Asian station before coming back to ask one of the egg cooks what to do. They didnt quite understand and went to look for a waitress or restaurant manager. Eventually a woman came and said “its like a hawker center”, and left. She didnt explain anything else or offer to seat us. We went to the Asian station and got some dumplings and other items and sat near there. Evidently this was the way to get attention because a restaurant employee in a tie came out after we sat there with our plates and drinks and started to eat and said “you cant sit there, we need to get this ready for lunch” even though it said the breakfast buffet would be open for another 35 minutes. We moved to the first restaurant which held the continental type part of the buffet. Everything was totally self service. We, and the other guests, even had to put our dirty plates on a neighboring empty table as no one came to bus the tables. To twist the knife further no bellman was there when we arrive or when we left to help with bags. The service and training were seriously lacking. If they every get new management and training and fix the showers this would be a good hotel.

  16. DM…..I looked up that hotel and you’re right -it does look lovely. I’m curious about that 14th floor you mentioned that looks like a garden. I don’t see anything on that. Can you request that specially?

  17. I agree with you @Gregg,
    No reason to stay there.

    That view is terrible. With all the interesting architecture in the city, you’re staring at boring square buildings and a teeny part of the harbor. You’re basically in “anytown.” Of course it’s better at night… the lights hide up the dull.

    For $250 there are other choices.

    But thanks for the thorough review. They are always top notch.

  18. Looks like you had a very Singapore experience with the breakfast. That typically boils down to “cannot lah.”

  19. I find hotels that require two different elevators to get in or out to be very annoying.

    This looks nice enough if generic. Plenty of hotels in Singapore of a similar standard for less money. My most recent stay was at the Park Hotel Farrer Park which is somewhat similar with regard to decor and overall presentation.

  20. Sorry this is not related to the post but I have been seeing comments wishing Lucky’s mom getting better. What happened?

  21. I stayed both at the grand hyatt and andaz in singapore multiple times, and imo the grand hyatt is the better choice.
    The andaz is just too overpriced for what is provides.

  22. Very small and cramped room for the price .Nice view and pool but I can do better in Singapore at that cost. Your breakfast service maybe opening teething problems , but a split Asian/Western buffet breakfast is crazy. I will not be staying there .

  23. Ben, I stayed there a couple of weeks after the opening last November. I used my suite upgrade to get into one of their corner suites and it was fantastic. I found the outlets next to my bed just fine and they were universal, or if not I had my converters with me. I must say I agree with you on the breakfast. I was with my nephew and we both were very confused and and the service was very very bad. I had to call a manager over to explain things to me, as well as give my input. And at that point, coffee was not self serve, but we certainly had to wait a long time for it. It was the main reason for the manager to be called over. I know they are trying to be innovative, but they need to explain things better to you or come up with a new way to handle it. 3 restaurants for a free breakfast with different rules is a joke.
    I also agree that the public space for check in and check out was not well thought through. It is nice to have a person with a tablet, but just those 2 stands in such a small space is not good. It is all too congested there with the bar, the lobby elevator and check in.
    I liked the rooftop bar as well, especially the view, but so crowded, I could not get a table.
    I had stayed at the Conrad once before and loved it. And then in January stayed at the Conrad again in their newly renovated rooms. They remembered me, called me by name and the service was right up there with what I would expect from a Conrad. I am going again next week and chose the Conrad, for the comfy bed, name recognition, executive lounge and location.
    I have only stayed at one other Andaz and that was the one in Costa Rica which I was blown away by. I have been there twice and have to say it is one of the best breakfast situations I have ever experienced and I am a bit like you, well travelled and up there in most loyalty programs.
    Will be on China Eastern as well to SIN from JFK next week and found them to be most pleasant before and quite economical, as well as a great way to get more DL miles, MQM’s and a major MQD amount.

  24. Andaz= worlds most boring brand. Super nice and clean hotels but BORING. No lounges (great benefit in Asia hotels ). Andaz Singapore looks like it lacks Characheter. Oh wait. That’s very Andaz!! All of em.

    The breakfast looks cool , I’m guessing they just need to reprint the menu to explain that this is what’s on the buffet. I’ve had several places hand a menu that just shows what’s on the buffet

  25. I agree that the Singapore market has seen a lot of interesting new hotels built in recent years. If the Andaz falls a little flat, I’m curious what people think are the best hotels in the US$250-350/night range?

  26. We stayed there last month and posted our experiences on our blog. We were happy with the corner suite room (although it took forever to get the water hot), and the location directly above the metro was fine for us. Main critisism with the hotel was that the service truely was horrendous. Sunroom was always a mess with dirty cups everywhere. Pool towels continuously ran out. Never got the turndown service we were told we would get (even after speaking to the manager about it).

  27. As a courtesy card holder – this Andaz hotel was piss poor. As you mentioned the breakfast is a nightmare, the room service is even worse FYI and the guest lounge was so strangely located.

    you were fortunate your rooms’ windows didn’t have these dots plastered all over it – the corner room does and I felt the deluxe corner room was even smaller than the standard King.

    Overall – bad location, bad service, medicore rooms nothing makes it better than the GH which has a stunning lounge, good location and ginormous rooms.

  28. I stayed at this property a 2 days ago- just down the corridor from the room you stayed in. I had high expectations, but on the whole I wasn’t impressed.

    Yes, the building looks stunning and is very fresh/modern, but I found the use of space really frustrating and the staff to be disorganised and/or disinterested. It felt very corporate, quite pokey and the service was not polished.

    The lobby space is far too small, with really low ceilings. When we checked it on a Sunday afternoon there was a mini-rush and it just didn’t work. No-where for people to wait, with lots of confusion on who was next in line. The ‘Host’ threw our bags in the lift after us, whereas I would have expected my bags to be delivered to our room (they were even tagged with our room number, so I assume that is the standard procedure).

    The free drink ‘Happy Hour’ is great, but the bar area soon filled up, and it’s not a big space. The number of different restaurants is really confusing and hard to navigate. The pool is just next to the lobby BAR & restaurants and we saw lots of people walking through in their dressing gowns and swim wear, which was just uncomfortable.

    We went for a deluxe room, but the triangle shape of the room didn’t use the space well. The closet area and corridor took up more space than the bedroom.

    The property is only 5 months old, but we saw lots of signs of wear & tear, scuffs on walls, dents in the wood. Can’t imagine what it’ll look like in a few years time.

    We also stayed at the Swissotel Stamford in Singapore, in one of the newly renovated ‘Signature Suites’. Whilst they aren’t perfect, the are much bigger, better located and significantly better value than the Andaz. I’d recommend the Swissotel over the Andaz.

  29. Andaz Shanghai has become my go to there — comfortable and in a perfect location – and one of my favorite hotels anywhere. This looks . . . boring. Plenty of good food in the area though . . . wouldn’t be too hung up on the in-house restaurants.

  30. Bugis is as central as it comes in Singapore. Anyone who says otherwise does not know Singapore well enough.

    The room look disappointing though for an Andaz. The Sofitel at tanjong pagar looks much nicer.

  31. @Shev: Agree that Bugis is very central. I used to live in Singapore and still visit every year for a week. We specifically avoid the CBD/Orchard Road and target staying in this general area. Last year we tried the InterContinental and the year before we were at the Conrad. This year we were deciding between the Ritz Carlton and Andaz (we’re currently reserved in at the Andaz where we can get an 800+ sq ft Studio Suite for the same rate as the 500 sq ft Ritz Carlton Kallang view standard room). For 2019, I want to try the newly refurbished Raffles which should be open by then, though that might depend on the prices!

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