“Wow, the lines between hotels and serviced apartments are really blurring now.” That thought rang through my head as I was given a tour around the three-month-old Capri by Fraser at China Square, and my host agrees. It seems like a natural next step for Frasers in the diverse hospitality industry we see today — after all, the global group is still largely associated with serviced apartments. Having said that, the Capri by Fraser brand isn’t exactly new to Singapore since its Changi City property opened in 2012. But we love Chinatown and all of its vibrancy, so we had to see how this place would fare with staycations.
Location & Space
With its enviable location, Capri by Fraser at China Square is a short walk from many of the city’s best attractions. Soak up the heritage of old Chinatown and discover an array of restaurants and nightlife spots on Club Street, Amoy Street, and around Tanjong Pagar. Just imagine stumbling out of your favourite bar and into your room in mere minutes!
The hotel itself is a sleek beacon of modern architecture in a neighbourhood surrounded by old shophouses. The interior, conceptualised by award-winning design group BLINK, keeps with Capri’s design-led style, drawing inspiration from Chinatown to produce colourful art and modern design. Motifs include old iconic structures and Samsui women (dwellers of the old town), and a feature wall at the lobby forms the Chinese characters “和” (peace) and ”祥” (luck) with abacus beads.
Featuring 304 rooms in Superior, Deluxe, Executive and Studio configurations, Capri’s rooms has most of the extras of a serviced apartment combined with the amenities of a modern hotel. All rooms are equipped with a microwave — perfect for a quick meal on the go, while our Studio Executive (29sqm) comes especially luxurious with a stylish cooker and hob for more wholesome dishes. Rain showers with a bathtub are always a plus, as is the pastel Moroso lounge chair from which we look out onto a good part of Chinatown.
Then, the essentials for the new generation of travellers: digital newspapers, Samsung Bluetooth sound bar, and a large 43” Smart TV that connects with your devices and laptop. As a bonus, we didn’t have to insert our key card to activate power in the room; a smart control technology detects guest occupancy for more efficient energy use. Go green!
Facilities & Services
With social living in mind, Capri has many communal areas dedicated to living, working, and playing. This is best exemplified in The Den, an exclusive 24/7 social hub fitted with designer furniture, wireless charging pads, board games, and refreshments. We managed to get some work done here, and even had a taste of their surprisingly decent microwave meals: think chicken aglio olio, nasi lemak, and Hainanese chicken rice. The space is only accessible to Executive room guests, so that’s your incentive to upgrade.
You probably won’t need to get your clothes laundered during your staycation, but the self-service laundrette Spin & Play is worth a visit for its Atari Pong and PS4 machine. The hotel’s also home to Singapore’s first hotel gym with interactive PRAMA flooring — like Para-Para meets CrossFit —, a rooftop pool with ambient music playing from underwater speakers, and a whole steam room for sweating it out.
There’s a concierge on the first floor, but we hear they’ve recently launched a Frasers Hospitality app that includes round-the-clock concierge services completed by chatbot technology. We guess it was only a matter of time before something like this was invented.
JÙN Restaurant at the hotel lobby serves a decent breakfast spread, and their cold salad and cheese section stand out. For the rest of the day, they’re a restaurant dishing out local recipes like Chilli Crab Rillette Kueh Pie Tee (S$14) and Beef Short Rib Rendang (S$26) along dishes inspired by Singapore’s migrant Nanyang heritage, like a Nanyang Chicken Curry (S$18)with potato, long bean, okra, and eggplant. There’s not much else in the way of dining and drinks here, but either way, it’s not feasible to compete with the plethora of options at the hotel’s doorstep. But hey, if you want to order a Singapore Sling (S$14) up to your room, you might just be pleasantly surprised.