Hard Rock Hotel & Beach Villas Singapore
I had recently done a staycation at the Hard Rock Hotel – one of the many hotels as part of the consortium, Resorts World Sentosa. The Hard Rock brand is synonymous with all that oozes rock ‘n’ roll – thus, it is with much excitement that I had the chance to experience a night with them! Before booking with them, you must be forewarned that Hard Rock Hotel is located on the offshore island of Sentosa, and it is very far away from the main attractions of Sentosa itself. From Hard Rock Hotel to the closest attraction, Universal Studios Singapore, it is a good ten to twenty minutes walk away. Thus, I would only recommend Hard Rock Hotel as a form of staycation – if you are touring around Singapore, this is certainly not an ideal hotel as there would be much hassle to get around Singapore and back to this hotel.
From the above pictures, you would have noticed that the decor has been kept to a minimal – and yet at the same time, try to retain some resemblance to the other branches in the Hard Rock hotel brand. While each room is indeed different in that it features a different band or singer as the decor, it may be disappointing in that the decor does not extend beyond a poster of some sort. What they could have done would be to feature accessories of singers or similar paraphernalia.
The beds were generally comfortable and of no complaint. Note that the Hard Rock hotel building has been constructed in a rather odd shape (think half-a-circle with an elevator smack right in the middle) – my room required some good walking of 10 minutes before finally reaching it. They should have constructed more elevators on both ends of the hotel, rather than featuring a centre elevator system that would inconvenient many guests. Thus, do request for a room that is nearer to an elevator.
The rooms do have two differing views too – one facing the swimming pool with a balcony, while the other faces the road. Obviously, do try to get a room that has the balcony facing the swimming pool – to put you in the holiday mood.
The restrooms were also oddly constructed. For some weird reason, the management saw it fit not to install doors – so be warned, ensure that you know your family member or friend is in the shower before entering the restroom. Apart from that, the showers are available in two forms: overhead shower, or using the hand showers. You would expect a bath tub for the price you paid – but oh well…
The hotel also features a small little gym that is awkwardly placed in the lobby. Do not expect too much from this gym – it offers the bare minimum of weights and treadmills. While you can get your basic workout fix from this place, you may want to quell your expectations of being able to get an extensive workout in this place.
The crowning jewel of the hotel is its artificial beach and excellent swimming pool. There are many sun beds for you to lay on to get a good suntan any time of the day! The artificial beach is also extremely kids-friendly – so much so that it may be hard to get a quiet morning or afternoon out on the beach with screaming kids being heard any time of the day. Barely five minutes after sinking into a jacuzzi pool, I was surrounded by parents and kids who were excited when I switched on the jacuzzi. Definitely not an experience to get a quiet morning or afternoon. If you intend to get a good swim workout, there is also a good lap pool available next to the artificial beach.
The Hard Rock Hotel was designed beautifully – but as to whether I think the price would justify the experience, I am ambivalent about it. Do not forget that for the price of the hotel room (US$350-400 per night), you can get an equally good, if not better room, in the CBD region in downtown Singapore (namely Marina Bay Sands, Swissotel, etc). Nevertheless, if you intend to get a good family staycation, it is certainly a nice home away from home. But if you intend to get any quiet time done at all – then avoid this place at all costs!
Beach Villas’ Swimming Pool
I decided to check out the Beach Villas’ swimming pool as well. Even though I was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel, as long as you are staying at a RWS hotel, you can access and try out the other hotels’ swimming pools – and I am certainly glad that I did try out the Beach Villas’ swimming pool. It is quaint, quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of Hard Rock Hotel’s swimming pool. There was hardly a soul who was swimming in the swimming pool here – and it certainly allows one to get a good swim workout without worrying about swimming into anyone.
It offers a larger swimming pool than Hard Rock Hotel too. From here, you can enjoy the sunset over the cable cars and Mount Faber. Set against the lush vegetation of Sentosa, you certainly feel at ease and one with nature. The only qualm that I have with this swimming pool is that it does not offer good shower facilities. The restrooms near the pool are not well equipped with any shower facilities, which means that you can only have a good shower once you arrive back at your hotel room. But apart from this minor inconvenience, I would suggest for anyone who is staying at the RWS’ consortium of hotels to give this swimming pool a try instead, over its much over-hyped Hard Rock Hotel neighbour!
The ESPA Gym is also much better and bigger than Hard Rock Hotel. You would notice that no one uses the gym here at all – even though it is made accessible to hotel guests, so that is a huge bonus! I spend a good afternoon here working out as well – after all, it is hard to find a gym in Singapore that is not crowded. Most of its Technogym equipments are new and seemingly untouched. It has awesome pumped up music playing in the background, and you would be treated to ESPA body wash and shampoo in the showers. Definitely a great recommendation to anyone.
To access the Beach Villa’s swimming pool and ESPA gym, you would need to take a shuttle bus to Equarius Hotel and take a short walk there – and enjoy the rest of a quaint good afternoon.