JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach was probably a surprise that sprang out of nowhere. After all, just shortly before being acquired by the Marriott Group, it was the barely year-old South Beach Hotel. Now, the rebranded property stands tall and immaculate with a bright shine of stainless steel, ripe for a sleek five-star staycation.

Space & Location

As its name suggests, the hotel is situated within the trendy lifestyle destination South Beach Avenue. You’ll find three MRT stations in the vicinity including Esplanade Station directly below. The property also sits near the middle of the Civic District, making attractions like Victoria Concert Hall, Esplanade, and National Gallery Singapore just a short walk away if the weather’s good.

One of the first things you notice is the huge LCD screen at the entrance spewing vibrant psychedelia — the sort of thing you won’t see at other JW Marriott properties. This 634-room hotel is the first in Singapore to be designed by French designer Philippe Starck, and the result is thoroughly modern, shedding the brand’s tendency for clean grand interiors for something more edgy. Semi-industrial finish is artfully balanced with heritage elements for a trendy vibrant effect; even the guest lifts are not exempt, as custom RGB wallpaper by Milanese art duo Carnovsky ‘dance’ to rotating lights.

Rooms

There are no less than 10 room options to choose from, ranging from the Deluxe to a staggering Presidential Suite reserved for the grandest of staycations. But you don’t really need two bedrooms and a separate living room — at least, we didn’t. Our Club Premier room comes in a generous 42sqm space with a large hallway.

The room’s main feature is the whole floor-to-ceiling window that looks out onto an exceptional city view towards the Bugis and Stadium vicinity. Rather than sheer curtains, there are automated blinds so you can still enjoy the view in privacy. Plus, a long flat sofa lets you chill by the window and doubles as a day bed — not that we have complains about the actual bed, which is as plush and fluffy as a good marshmallow. The white marble bathroom is very comfortable to use, featuring a freestanding bathtub, electronic bidet toilet, and spacious vanity with high-end toiletries (think ylang ylang and lavender soaps) from Aromatherapy Associates.

Facilities

Befitting a luxury hotel, there is a signature spa, SPA BY JW, so you can indulge in massages and wellness therapies in a private or express treatment pod. Did we mention there are two infinity pools too? Even if you don’t plan to swim, go check out the one on the 18th floor, where you can soak in sumptuous views of Marina Bay and the CBD in the distance while lounging on dedicated pool furniture!

If possible, make a booking for one of the hotel’s club rooms, which gives you access to the second-floor Club Executive Lounge. In typical Marriott style, you get to enjoy four elaborate meal offerings: breakfast, afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres in the evening, as well cocktails into the night. There’s also a self-serve beer tap and a variety of fresh cold-pressed juices so you’ll never get thirsty.

F&B

Let’s just say you’ll never run out of places to eat and drink at during your stay. Savour sophisticated Cantonese cuisine at the theatrical Madame Fan, or enjoy speciality cocktails at chic gin bar Tonic. An excellent place for dinner is Korean-American Chef Akira Back’s namesake restaurant, where you can get modern Japanese food with Korean influences. Things to order include his signature AB tuna pizza and Brother From Another Mother — a decadent sushi roll of unagi, conger eel, and foie gras torchon.

Make your way to Beach Road Kitchen for an indulgent buffet lunch and dinner — it’s also where breakfast is served. We find that the morning spread is nearly as comprehensive as during the rest of the day, with live stations for noodles, pancakes, and eggs benny, and things like frittata, pizzas, and antipasti up for grabs. Other dining spots include jazz bar Cool Cats and Madame Fan, a theatrical concept helmed by famed restaurateur Alan Yau.

Verdict

As far as Marriott properties in Singapore go, the JW Marriott Singapore South Beach offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to a luxury experience. Unless you consider staying along Orchard Road to be your ideal staycation (frankly, the weekend crowd gives us a headache), the sheer number of offerings in and around this property is hard to beat.

JW Marriott Singapore South Beach is located at 30 Beach Rd, Nicoll Highway, Singapore 189763, p. +65 6818 1888. Rates per night start at $377.