In early October, I stayed in a Studio Suite at the Andaz Singapore. Although the service was lackluster, the breakfast and beautiful room ended up carrying the day. At the time, I called it “one of my better staycations”.
Sadly, I don’t think I can wholeheartedly recommend the Andaz anymore. While the rooms are still gorgeous, the underlying value proposition has changed since I stayed, and not for the better.
Prices have gone up significantly
Let’s start with the price. When Andaz first announced its plans to reopen for staycations, it was possible to snag some pretty fantastic rates, as shown below:
|🏨 Andaz Singapore Reopening Deals
(no longer available)
(Fri-Sat, PH and eve of PH)
|Standard Room||S$180 nett||S$220 nett|
|Deluxe City View||S$200 nett||S$240 nett|
|Deluxe Bay View||S$220 nett||S$260 nett|
|Andaz Studio Suite||S$320 nett||S$360 nett|
|Andaz Residence Suite||S$360 nett||S$400 nett|
|Andaz Large Suite||S$560 nett||S$600 nett|
|Presidential Suite||S$760 nett||S$800 nett|
These rates are long gone, and you can now expect to pay at least S$250 nett for a base room, S$650 nett for a Studio Suite (if you can even find one- they’re almost completely booked out for the rest of the year), and S$850 nett for a Large Suite.
At these prices, the Andaz Singapore is basically competing with hotels like the Capitol Kempinski (a Stamford Suite would cost ~S$650-800, depending on your dates), and there’s only going to be one winner there. It also means your expectations will be a lot higher, and consequently, you’d be much less willing to overlook the issues below.
Breakfast is no longer free flow
When I stayed at the Andaz, guests could choose from the following breakfast menu, with as many servings as they wished.
At some point in late October, that all changed. Breakfast switched to the menu below:
Note how it states “includes continental dishes with one Western Specialty or one Local Favourite per person”. This means that the continental items are free flow; the main dish is not.
I’ve been racking my brain as to why they’d do this, and the only thing I can think of is cost-cutting. It’s not like switching to a single main dish helps reduce the strain on staff (who were notably overworked throughout)- since a free flow of continental items is still available, you’ll still need staff to take follow up orders and serve additional items. It takes exactly the same amount of effort to serve a main dish as it does a continental one.
It’s a shame, since breakfast at the Andaz Singapore was one of the highlights for me. I got to try all the items shown below; you’ll now have to pick one per person.
It’s even harder to swallow when you consider the fact that room rates have doubled.
Service continues to be poor
As I noted in my review, service was decidedly not a strong point of my Andaz stay. The hotel was clearly understaffed- rooms were not cleaned properly, service at breakfast was flustered, long lines kept forming at the front desk. Calls to guest services went unanswered, basic requests were forgotten, and on the whole, you didn’t get a sense of warmth from any of the service interactions.
Based on the reports I’m reading, none of this has improved. There are still long waits for check-in (even after the official check-in time), and cleaning is still suspect.
Speaking of cleaning, you may remember I wrote about finding a large clump of hair hanging from one of the lights in the living room. I pointed this out to the team and got a change of room.
You’re not going to believe this, but another Milelion reader stayed in the same room I was in (3521) a week later, and the hair was still there.
Other guests have reported various cleanliness issues, ranging from dust on the blinds to the phone being bugged. Literally.
Billing issues and overcharging
If you’re staying at the Andaz, you’ll definitely want to pass on express check-out and opt to examine your bill before you leave.
An eagle-eyed Milelion community member spotted that he’d been charged S$370 nett for a weekday Studio Suite stay, instead of the proper S$320 nett. I went to check my bill, and saw that it happened to me too. Based on reports in the Telegram community, we’re not the only ones.
What’s going on is that Andaz’s reopening rates turned out to be so popular that they felt confident enough to hike prices. For bookings made from 7 September onwards, a new pricing chart kicked in:
Notice how the weekday rate for an Andaz Studio Suite increased to S$370 nett, which is what I was billed at check-out. Andaz had basically forgotten about the lower reopening rates, and was now erroneously overcharging a number of its guests.
I asked Andaz for a comment on this, and was told the following:
Rest assured, we are actively looking into our reservations and taking the necessary steps to prevent any discrepancy in room rate. More importantly, we do actively ensure that the room rates are checked even for our departed guests as it is part of our daily check as well.
That sounds nice, except it doesn’t appear to be happening. There have still been reports of overbilling, the most recent one coming on 1 November. Whatever process they have in place to catch these, it’s clearly not doing its job. As it is, the guests are the ones who are spotting this, not the hotel.
In my case, it took two reminders to get the additional S$50 refunded to my card.
What should you do now?
There’s a host of other minor issues that have come up: no more Andaz Pale Ale in the mini-fridges, swimming pool time cut from 90 minutes to an hour, but the long and the short of it is that Andaz is no longer the screaming good deal it was in August.
If you managed to book the reopening rates, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Even with the scaled-back breakfast and indifferent service, it’s hard to lose when you’re paying S$320 nett for a 76 sqm Studio Suite (even harder if you’re using the AMEX S$75 staycation credit). I’d do the stay, enjoy the room, and adjust my expectations accordingly.
But if you’re looking to make a booking now at the current rates, I think you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Those who pay S$700 for a suite here are likely to find the service, breakfast and overall experience incredibly underwhelming.
I really enjoyed my Studio Suite at the Andaz- it’s big, it’s stylish, the bathroom is the stuff of dreams, and I’d even go so far as to say it’s my favourite room of all the staycations I’ve done so far.
Sadly, everything else seems to have come apart now, and I can’t in good conscience recommend that anyone pay the current prices. You could do so much better for the rates the Andaz is charging.
To those who stayed at the Andaz Singapore recently: how did you find your stay?