The November opening of the Westin Singapore marked the brand’s return to the shores. It’s been worth the wait
By David Tse
The Setting: Twelve years after the Westin marque departed Singapore, the brand is back, this time occupying the top 14 floors of a gleaming new office tower in the Marina Bay area. With the city-stateâ€™s highest lobby (by a long shotâ€”itâ€™s on the 32nd floor), the hotel commands views that, while not entirely picturesque, are emblematic of Singaporeâ€™s status as a regional powerhouse: to the south are the gantries and container stacks of the Tanjong Pagar port terminal, while stretching out in front is a patchwork of construction sites destined to become the latest extension of the financial district.
The Rooms: Westinâ€™s signature Heavenly Bedâ€”a pillow-top mattress cocooned in Egyptian linen and a down duvetâ€”is reason enough to check in. The rooms are otherwise smart and state-of-the-art, with energy-saving motion sensors, electronic mini-bars, and freestanding tubs set right up against the window.
The Food: The casually urbane Cook & Brew gastropub is refreshingly unhotel-yâ€”think cow-hide armchairs and wire-mesh curtainsâ€”with a solid menu of pub standards and local comfort food; goateed German chef Sven Cepon is rightly proud of his schnitzel. Almost as impressive as the views is the beer list: 100 labels are on offer, from Trappist ale to Japanese witbier. Seasonal Tastes, the all-day restaurant, is demure by comparison, but with a knockout Sunday Champagne brunch.
The Facilities: On the same level as the spa, gym, and intimate club lounge, the Westinâ€™s 35th-floor pool deck is a breezy aerie with views across the freighter-filled Singapore Strait.
Worth Noting:Â Taxi drivers are still wont to take you to the â€śold Westinâ€ťâ€”SwissĂ´tel The Stamfordâ€”if you donâ€™t specify the â€śnewâ€ť Westin at Marina Bay.
12 Marina View, Asia Square Tower 2; 65/6922-6888; Westin Singapore; doubles from US$276
This article originally appeared in theÂ April/May 2014Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śRepeat Businessâ€ť).