Review: RWS Hotel Michael (Singapore)
▲ Accommodation Review
Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has 5 hotels you can book in Sentosa:
- Hotel Michael
- Festive Hotel
- Hard Rock Hotel
- Equarius Hotel
- Beach Villas
The first three hotels are near to the casino, especially Hotel Michael. RWS has another hotel, Crockfords Tower, which is an all-suite hotel by-invitation only. The first three hotels and Crockfords are kinda inter-linked like a maze. You don’t really see a separate hotel building, except for Hard Rock Hotel.
Recently we got a complimentary 3D2N stay in Hotel Michael at Sentosa, with compliments from my mum’s friend. Yays! :)
According to Hotel Michael’s website, “A tribute to one of America’s greatest contemporary architects Michael Graves, Hotel Michael is a luxurious treat for art lovers.”
Accommodation Type: Deluxe Room
Duration: 2 nights in October 2015 (Staycation from Sunday to Tuesday)
Can go as low as S$292/night (off peaks from January 2016) to S$730/night (peak period in Nov-Dec 2015). Prices include GST but not breakfast. Ref: Booking.com.
Ratings as at 27 October 2015
▷ Tripadvisor, 3.5/5 | Agoda 8/10 | Expedia 4.4/5 | Booking.com 8.1/10
General Guest Profile
Before we went for the staycation, Mr S’s colleague told him that he had stayed in all the (public) hotels in RWS. And Hotel Michael is his least favourite, because the hotel is nearest to the casino.
This meant that about 80% of the hotel guests are gamblers. For RWS’s casino guests profile, it is mostly the middle aged folks of “uncles and aunties” from China, Malaysia and Singapore. And with RWS casino business doing so well, you can imagine how this hotel is seemingly crowded forever.
Yeap, Hotel Michael is right smack in the “red zone” aka CASINO (as shown below).
The sculpture of Adam and Eve (below) welcomed us before Hotel Michael’s entrance. It’s so ironic to have this art installation in such close proximity to the casino. Just think of how the temptation of the serpent led to the fall of Adam and Eve, aka mankind.
Okay, I digress.
Reception / Check-In
The ugly truth: A crowded lobby.
We were taken aback when we saw their reception lobby. It was small and very crowded on a Sunday afternoon. I was so frustrated with the check-in experience that I forgot to take a photo of it. :(
BUT IT WAS
We reached the hotel at about 2.30pm but they were strict with their check-in timing. No rooms were ready until 3pm. So we waited around the area outside the lobby, and we realised that we were not the only ones waiting.
There were only 2 to 4 seats provided in the lobby full of people, and over a dozen empty seats just outside the lobby (see the background of the photo below), but restricted to paying patrons of the hotel cafe bar. So people waiting for rooms were just standing around the table in photo. *Roll eyes to the management*
p.s. This photo was taken much later in the evening, when the crowd had dispersed.
They have 2 designated reception counters for room key collection. We went to queue at about 2:50pm and still had to wait until 3:15pm for our turn.
And we overheard someone who came at 3pm being told that they had to wait for the rooms to be given out to all those who came earlier before 3pm. So in any case, early or late, guests had to wait for their rooms.
Our Check-in Experience
Hotel Receptionist: Are you all okay with a smoking room?
Hotel Receptionist: If you want a non-smoking room, you need to wait.
I thought to myself, “WHAT?! I’m already tired from the waiting. We can’t sit anywhere and you are wasting my time in Sentosa!” Then, I glanced over to Mr S, and was looking for his opinion.
Mr S: Wait for the non-smoking room.
Us: How long do we need to wait?
Hotel Receptionist: For about another 45 minutes. The smoking smell will not be strong.
I hesitated and glanced over to Mr S, I was about to give in, but he was adamant.
Mr S: We will wait for the non-smoking room.
Hotel Receptionist: Okay.
And he went on to type on his computer.
Hotel Receptionist: Oh, I managed to find a non-smoking room for you.
Can’t believe our blessing!!! Until…. I overheard the conversation next to us. It was between a Singaporean auntie (old lady) and another receptionist. They were having the same conversation as what we just had. Auntie was told that she had to wait for another hour for a non-smoking room. She was as frustrated as us in waiting, and so just agreed to a smoking room. She asked the receptionist if the room would be smelly. The lady told her, the smell is not that strong, it depends on individual.
- The hotel is really big with a super long walkway. The above photo shows only part of the walkway from the middle. There are only 4 lifts/elevators in the center serving the whole floor. So if you have children or elderly with you, you probably will want to request for a room near to the lift/elevator.
- Higher level floors definitely have better views. You can try requesting for a Merlion view.
- Request non-smoking room! I highly suspect the smoking room has a bad odour, because the receptionists were trying too hard to have guests take up the smoking rooms and being dishonest about them. Be sure to confirm the room and floor is non-smoking! The guests beside us had their door opened and we could see them smoking. Did they flout the rule or is it a smoking floor? Regardless, our room had no smell! Yays!
✓ Central location in RWS: Hotel Michael is not only near to the casino, it is also nearest to Universal Studios Singapore. There is a covered walkway linking the Sentosa Express (monorail from Vivo City) to the hotel. Hotel Michael is walkable from the Waterfront or Imbiah station. p.s. They have a complimentary shuttle service to their spa – ESPA.
✓ Comfortable bed and sheets: The bed and sheets were really very comfortable to sleep in. Mr S, who is a light sleeper, couldn’t feel my turn and toss on this bed! It was so good that we wanted to get this mattress for our new place in future. We took out the bed sheet to see the mattress brand, only to find out it’s specially designed for RWS by Simmons.
✓ Complimentary Drinks: Two bottled mineral water, 3-in-1 coffee and TWG tea sachets.
✓ Ice Dispensing Unit: Ice dispensing unit available outside near the lift / elevator. There’s an ice bucket in the room.
✓ Complimentary Sentosa Express (monorail) Pass: If you are heading out to Vivo City during your stay, be sure to get the passes when you check-in. They allow you to re-enter Sentosa for free on the monorail!
✓ Shower and Toilet: I like the blue mosaic-tiled circular shower design. The water pressure and temperature from the shower heads were also good. The whole toilet is spacious.
✓ Well-equipped amenities: Toiletries, room slippers, hair dryer, etc. The vanity table is hidden in the table near to the television.
✘ Relatively Small Swimming Pool: Relative to the number of rooms Hotel Michael has, the swimming pool is very very small. But I reckon many of the guests will spend more time in casino and/or other RWS attractions than at a pool. Still it was crowded during the evening. It wouldn’t take many people to crowd the pool. Better for soaking than doing some serious laps. :( But being guests of RWS’s hotel, we can actually head to Hard Rock Hotel for their famous sandy swimming pool, But can you imagine hotel guests from all over crowding over at the same place, especially when it’s popular with children. Can’t do serious laps here too.
✘ No free wifi: In this day and age, there’s no free wifi. S$32 for a day of internet on one device.
✘ No breakfast: No breakfast option for all bookings. Pay an additional S$20 for a breakfast buffet. I think this helped to curb the crowd in the morning, since their restaurant definitely does not have the space for all guests to dine in at one time.
✘ Bad view: We were at a room with a window, located on the fifth floor. But it was a super bad view, of steps near the lake of dream. People could easily peep in too. So we didn’t even bother to open up the window blinds.
A 5 star hotel with a 3 star hotel experience.
This is definitely a place catered for casino guests. The hotel gives off the vibe to be just a place to sleep in and shower – the 2 areas they did well in.
The hotel is too humongous to have a personal touch of service. Also, it was only during my stay here that I realised that WiFi, breakfast and service formed a big part of the hotel experience.
I would definitely not pay to stay here again. From online reviews, other RWS hotel didn’t seem to be too fantastic as well. But I don’t mind another complimentary stay to visit other RWS attractions I missed this time. And if there’s nowhere for me to visit in RWS or Sentosa, I would not stay here even if it’s free!
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