Prior to attending the 2017 Singapore Latin Dance Festival, I had the opportunity to stay at Hotel Vagabond, my first Starwood Tribute Portfolio Hotel stay.
The Tribute Portfolio is a small group of independent hotels that Starwood added in 2015 as a new brand to its loyalty program. These hotels are of the four-star variety with unique themes and decor. The portfolio started with nine hotels. It now numbers 26 hotels worldwide.
The Vagabond Hotel is located in the Jalan Besar district, an area of low rise stores and shops. The area also boasts an abundance of restaurants and food courts featuring local food. The hotel is 1.5 miles from the Clarke Quay entertainment center and a little over a mile from City Hall.
The hotel is 13 miles from Changi Airport. From the airport, the best way to get to the hotel is by taxi. There are MRT stations within walking distance, the closest is a little more than 1/2 km away. With all of the activity in the area, if you have anything more than a backpack, walking from the MRT will be awkward. You could take a taxi.
The hotel is within easy walking distance of the Little India and Kampong Glam districts.
The furnishings and decor for the rooms and common areas were selected by Jaques Garcia, a French designer who wanted to give the hotel a Parisian look.
A jolly elephant greets guests as the enter the hotel.
The lobby is to the right as you enter. The plush soft decor of the lobby sets the tone for the rest of the public areas.
The Club Lounge shares space with the restaurant on the first floor.
There are only 41 rooms at Hotel Vagabond including five “suites.” At check in the agent told me that I had been upgraded to one of the two Art Executive Club suites. That sounded great.
Art Executive Club Suite
The Art Executive Club suites are on the fourth (top) floor of the hotel. The elevator, however, only goes to floor three requiring a walk up/down a flight of stairs. That is not a big deal as a porter will help with luggage at check in/out.
The hotel calls the room a suite, but it is only one room, and not a huge one at that.
This suite/room measures 34 square meters. While not huge, the room has some very nice features. The bed has high thread-count sheets. The mattress is firm but not hard. It is easy to get a good night’s sleep.
The room comes with a mini kitchenette that blended with the decor of the room.
There is a full sized refrigerator that doubles as a well stocked bar.
The flat screen TV was mounted on a wall beside the bed. It extended out to give a decent view of the screen while in bed.
Of course the hotel provides robes, slippers and a safe
The bathroom is arranged in an unusual manner. The sink is next to the sitting area. The toilet and shower are in separate small closets on either side of the sink.
Like many other upscale Asian hotels, Hotel Vagabond supplies a cell phone with free roaming and international calls.
The most unusual aspect of this suite is that there are no windows. Skylights provide natural light. It is not like I was missing a great view. However, during a heavy rain one night the sound was quite loud.
In addition to the Starwood points and nice upgrade, Starwood Platinum status bestows evening cocktails and light snacks in the Club Lounge and breakfast. Breakfast is selected from a menu. There are continental and standard options. The breakfast is not elaborate like a Westin or Sheraton buffet but it is prepared and presented well.
Hotel Vagabond is in a great location to explore and experience some of the ethnic neighborhoods and local flavors of Singapore. The proximity to MRT lines also makes getting to more of the better known attractions easy as well.
The somewhat funky layout of the rooms and lush decor were a nice change from my usual diet of Starwood conformity. With only 41 rooms, the staff was able to provide a personal and prompt level of service all of which cause make this hotel highly recommended.
Other posts about the trip to the Singapore Latin Dance Festival: