I’ve never been so conflicted about a Hotel review than my stay at Hard Rock Hotel Singapore. Now I’ve stayed at my fair share of hotels and I pretty much keep my expectations on a leash until I get there and then assess the experience. However, with Hard Rock, I guess the rock-fanboy in me just took over and expectations might have gotten the better of me. The whole experience was a little underwhelming but it did have its plus points as well.
As you arrive you can’t miss the giant iconic Hard Rock guitars that make a great photo spot. Right at the doorway you’ll be greeted by the enthusiastic and friendly bellboys. Then you take a step past the sliding doors into the lobby and….. it changes.
The dimly lit lobby, illuminated by mood lights, seem to affect the staff as well who find it hard to force a smile. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not impolite or discourteous…. just a little gloomy – I’m putting it down to the lighting. I’m all for dimly lit interiors, but as a preference lobbies should be bright… it really does not help with any sort of reading – brochures, pamphlets or otherwise.
The check-in in itself was smooth and uneventful and the next stop was the room. I got a deluxe room – your standard fare – and bags were promptly delivered by the bellboy who really impressed me. He remembered my name and proceeded to give a ‘tour’ of the room and explain what was complimentary and what was chargeable. A stark contrast in demeanour and delivery from the counter staff.
Next, my biggest bugbear with the hotel – the lack of free wi-fi. In this day and age with our technological infrastructure – not to mention our reliance on mobile data and devices – free wi-fi should be a standard that all hotels (especially one that charges an arm and a leg/night) should provide. HRH on the other hand charges around $5++ per hour of usage. Not acceptable… especially since cellular signal isn’t the best there either. I don’t know about you, but I get edgy when I’m disconnected.
The highlight of HRH is without a doubt the pool. It’s a HUGE pool with meandering rivers, slides, a beach, lap pool and tanning areas. Probably the best hotel pool in Singapore. In addition for about $300 minimum spend you can rent a cabana for 4 hours and private pool as well. Great for small gatherings.
However, if you’re not comfortable with children, stay away. The pool area is filled with families with their kids running around and having fun. The changing rooms have the feel of a public pool with sand and toilet paper on the floor – probably due to the number of kids and the fact that the cleaning staff would have to clean up again the moment they finish – a vicious cycle.
To sum it up, theme-wise HRH does not disappoint with it’s decor… but that’s about where the Rock Concert ends. I went in expecting a Foo Fighters concert but ended up with ‘Disney on Ice’ instead. It wasn’t a bad experience… just not the show I was expecting. HRH really looks like it’s developed for the families in mind – you can even find a Kids Room where they have staff on hand to look after your little ones as they watch movies or sit around and play games.