Travel: Our Macau/Hong Kong Getaway (6D/6N)!

Follow our 6 day, 6 night adventure in these lands of amazing food, awesome culture and astounding sights. See how we ate, shopped and laughed our way through Macau and Hong Kong! :)

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Travel: Hotel Michael @ Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

So during the recent long weekend (thanks to the twin celebration of Prophet's Muhammad's birthday and Thaipusam), Wendy and I headed down to Singapore for a 2 night stay at Resorts World Sentosa courtesy of her dad!

Thanks to Resorts World Genting, he frequently gets invitations and offers for free stays. This time Genting offered him 4 nights stay in Sentosa for his birthday, and he graciously offered us 2, which of course we didn't turn down. =P

The trip wasn't all fun in the sun though. Our journey to Singapore started at 4am on Sunday as we made our way to KL Sentral to catch the SkyBus to LCCT. From there, it was smooth sailing till we got on the plane (or as smooth as a 7.30am full flight can be lah..=/). But then trouble started!

After running through the usual safety procedures, the captain announced there was a fuel leak at engine 1 so all the passengers had to go back to the arrival hall. Anyone who has flown AirAsia from LCCT knows how notoriously long the walk is to board planes in LCCT. Imagine having to do the walk 3 times!

After a half hour wait again at the departure hall, we rolled our bags back to the same boarding gate to get on our replacement plane. By the time we took off, it was 8.30am.

When we reached Singapore we thought we might try our luck at finding some shuttle buses from the airport to Sentosa. We couldn't find any though, so after a short wait (and a trip each to the toilet..because of stomach ache =p) we decided to take the tried-and-tested method of train-ing down to Sentosa Island.

Taking the SMRT (Mass Rapid Transit) Trains in Singapore is extremely easy. The system map, with the colour coded train lines is easy to decipher. To get to Sentosa Island, you have to hop on the train from Changi Airport (the Changi Airport Branch Line extension of the green East West line) which terminates at Tanah Merah (EW4).

At Tanah Merah, we hopped off and got another train on the green line heading towards Joo Koon. The picture on top is there because Wendy was very fascinated and impressed with the safety features of their MRT on the platform. The doors only open when the train comes! =P (actually KL also has such systems, but not in every station laah..)

The train from the airport is convenient, but be prepared for a looooong ride! From Tanah Merah it took us about another 40 minutes to reach Outram Park (EW16/NE3) where we switched onto the purple North East line to reach our destination - HarbourFront (NE1/ CC29)! The one-way fare from Changi to Harbourfront cost us SGD 2.30 per person.

From HarbourFront there are a few ways to get into Sentosa Island. The easiest and the one we recommend is the Sentosa Express, a monorail service that departs from Level 3 of VivoCity, the adjoining mall to HarbourFront.

We didn't heed our own advice though, but instead took the RWS8 bus that goes into Sentosa Island to drop passengers off at the Resorts World Sentosa casino. There weren't many stops in between, but I think the monorail is still faster. The ride cost us SGD 2 each. A note of caution - buses in Singapore do not give out change, so try to make sure you have the exact amount before getting on. 

Upon reaching the casino, it was another long walk to find Hard Rock Hotel where Wendy's parents were waiting for us. We had an arrangement where they would wait for us to arrive, check out of their hotel, and check us in to our hotel. As luck would have it, the hotel was a good 15 minute walk from where we were dropped off. Hence, more walking! 

When we finally reached their hotel room, the last thing we wanted to do was walk all the way back again, but that's what we had to do because we had to check in at our hotel..zzz. At least we didn't leave before snapping a few shots of the room. =P

The Hard Rock Hotel theme colours are purple and dark grey, and it is liberally used all over the hotel. Pictures and posters are ever-present here, with plenty of memorabilia in showcases dotted throughout the place. It's a nicely designed place, but the dark colours may not suit everyone.We wanted to stay here at first, but got changed to Hotel Michael because Hard Rock was full on the dates we wanted. I'm actually pretty glad we got Hotel Michael in the end!

Through more research, we also found out that Hotel Michael waas one of the winners of TripAdvisor's Traveller's Choice 2012 Awards and also a Finalist in the HotelClub Hotel Awards 2011. Needless to say, we were really excited! 

Hotel Michael pays homage to the architect Michael Graves, a world-renowned professional who has designed buildings all over the world since the 1960s. (I actually thought he was an artist until I read his wiki page!). I don't know what his favourite theme is, but at Sentosa it seems to be wooden building blocks, and this can be seen from all the paintings in the hotel, right down to the designs of the bathroom!

Even the floor mats and door numbers are not spared his vision of block-ish font. =D

Inside the room, the layout is similar to those in the Hard Rock Hotel, but the wood theme made things feel a lot more classier and comfortable to stay. One of the advertised room amenities in Hotel Michael are duck feather pillows and the use of Simmons "Cool Max" beds! Do NOT underestimate the value of those 2 amenities. Believe me, even if we had to sleep without aircon and tv and had no hot water, it would be fine as long as we had those beds! They're really so comfortable, and we had the best sleep ever for a long

The bathrooms are also carefully designed and crafted with mosaic tiles and patterns on the floor and walls. Let it not be said that Michael Graves was lazy in his design of his Hotel Michael, Sentosa! =D

Free toiletries/knick-knacks in the bathroom that got replenished everyday!

A nice touch that we loved about the room was the makeup table for the ladies, where the mirror can easily be folded down and hidden from view, together with the hairdryer, leaving behind a flat desk. (The picture of the blocks is actually a mirror reflection of the painting opposite. Cool eh? =D)

Other things that are hidden from view - the closets and the minibar! Hiding all the non-essentials creates a neat and minimalist look to the room, while freeing up more space at the same time. We loved it :)

But what's staying in a nice hotel without having a hearty buffet breakfast right? Our room didn't come with breakfast, but we paid about SGD 30 each to join the breakfast buffet line at Palio, the hotel cafe, for our last morning there.

The interior of the Palio Cafe.

The spread is like what can be found in other hotel breakfasts', but we did feel slightly letdown by the limited varieties on offer. Sure there was the regular sausages, eggs, and cereals, but instead of just one of each type we expected more variety of these common items. For SGD 60 in total, we could have had a far better slap up meal elsewhere for sure. This was probably our only food misstep during our short trip to Singapore!

So if we ever get the chance for free rooms again, rest assured we'll be heading to Hotel Michael! It's a wonderful place to go for a short trip and some good ol' R&R. When we enquired at the reception about rates, they mentioned that the member rate for a deluxe room per night is SGD 200-300, but it could go up to SGD 500 for non menbers, depending on the travel period.

The only thing we would change about the place is the name - Hotel Michael sounds like such a Malaysian name to us, we wish it could be something else like "The Michael Graves Hotel". That would bump it up a few cool points for sure! =D

Hotel MichaelSite
Resorts World Sentosa,
Sentosa, Singapore

For enquiries-
Tel: +65 6577 8888

For reservations-
Tel: +65 6577 8899

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