Tuesday, October 30, 2012

MY HEAVENLY SLEEPS - LE HOTEL SINGAPORE

Double room
Formula 1 times are crazy in Singapore. Hotel prices go through the roof. Unfortunately my wallet does not follow this upward movement, so I searched for an acceptable hotel during the Singapore GP. Price was one criteria. Free WiFi was the second criteria (as always!) and close proximity to the race circuit was the third criteria. 


A/C blows right into your bed
I found Le Hotel in Carpenter Street on the river front. Easy to walk to the river, to the F1 circuit, to Chinatown, to the MRT....just a really cool location. I did check out the hotel and it's rooms before I confirmed it on a previous trip, so there were no surprises when I checked in. 

The Superior Room was as expected. Unfortunately I was right next to the lift but the hotel was booked out, so I had no choice. Luckily there was almost no noise from the lift though. 

I had a double booked (which is another story for another blog) but the beds were really right next to each other. I tried to move them apart and there was a 10 cm gap between the beds. The guy who cleaned the rooms did not get it and kept moving the beds every day ...right back together ;P


Some space for storage
The room had an okay WiFi connection...at times it worked and at other times I had to connect to the level 3 or 4 or go to the lobby. The room service happened at times which i could not fully understand even though I stayed for 10 days. When I left the room in the morning with the cleaning staff right in front of my room, they did see me, but they did not clean the room for hours. When I got back in the late afternoon it was sometimes still not cleaned. That is something I totally dislike! That is no service in my mind!


Shower/toilet
The size of the room was fine for the price I paid. I could bring my "large" luggage inside and could open the suitcase. For two people with luggage it was tight though. I purposely booked a room with a window which was far more expensive than a room without a window. However the window was not offering a view, but rather faced the other sides of the hotel walls...and it faced the A/C units of the other rooms. So it was rather noisy and useless, because I had to keep the curtains closed all the times to avoid neighboring rooms to look right into my bed ;P
The Hotel did not offer ANY safety boxes or safes....that is a big disadvantage in my mind. 


Room with NO view
The bathroom was a large shower with a toilet. Everything got wet when I showered. There was no real space to store my belongings. I had to keep everything in a bag and keep it in the room. But again, this is something I would not expect for the price I paid. Amenities were merely a suspender attached to the wall. The towels were really thin and had holes in them.

The TV was attached to the wall and had ONE program in English which worked. Not much entertainment!

The hotel did not offer any breakfast options, though the offered a laundry service for 10S$ per load. That was great. However the laundry comes back in a big bundle, all wrinkled up, because they will not iron it. 


small and limited TV options
The staff of the hotel is again okay for the price I paid. The ladies were all friendly, and willing to have a chat. Some spoke even German!!! :-) while the men never even looked up when I walked into the lobby and while I waited for the elevator. Even when I initiated the "good evening" I barely got any answer. 

All in all it was an okay stay for a F1 race. The location totally rocks!! If the price is right, I will probably go back there again.

 





Sunday, October 21, 2012

MY SINGAPORE GP - SINGAPORE

Bright Singapura
OK - I admit it - I am a F1 fan! But even more than that, I am a total Singapore Fan too. So, F1 & Singapura is just the best combination there is!

This post is not going to be about the F1 race, it's drivers or even the results. There is plenty to read about that and it is more professional than I could ever write it. This post is about the awesome experience we had during the F1 activities in Singapore. 

On the race track
We are frequent travellers to Singapore, so we know the city pretty well. Singapore would not just host a F1 race but turn it into the biggest entertainment and party zone ever! I had been to other races in other countries and there is typically "the race" and that is it! Nothing much around it ...nothing before and nothing after! 

Birds eye view
Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit is already amazing and seeing the whole city turn normal streets into a race circuit was brilliant. Even two days before the start of the race we walked almost the entire race circuit to get familiar with all the turns. A lot of Singaporeans used the closed off streets as a jogging circuit.

The coolest thing is that you can walk from your hotel to the race. There is no delays and no expensive transportation. Well OK....Hotel prices in Singapore during the race compensate for that!  

Jay Chou
The Entertainment Programm is so intense that I had trouble deciding which venue and which event I can visit besides seeing the three days of F1 practise, qualifying and the actual race. I also got lucky because I was able to visit all three major concerts. Jay Chou, Asia's reigning R/B king was on my agenda on Friday besides visiting other entertainers in the area. 

Maroon 5
Standing in front of the stage for the Maroon 5 concert on Saturday required me to stand in line in the heat of the day, but it paid off with a free wrist band in prime location during the concert. 

The stage for the concerts and shows was the biggest one ever built in Singapore and a lucky draw ticket I had for Katy Perry on the last night proved that even the biggest stage is not enough to host all the thousands of people who want to come to the concert. Getting out of the park at the end of each concert was another matter though. 

Award ceremony
I also loved the wide variety of food and drink options during the activities and the smaller but still very interesting concerts, shows and performances were something I would not want to miss. 

So, take a guess where I will be next year! 




get close!
get educated!
get interested!
get wet!