sojourneys


Capri by Fraser Changi City — Casual Meets Chic
December 12, 2012, 4:27 pm
Filed under: hotels, reviews | Tags: , ,

The amped up self-service laundromats on every floor at Capri by Fraser Changi City–appropriately named Spin & Play–where guests can amuse themselves with distractions ranging from console games to Foosball to TRX suspension training while putting their laundry through the paces perhaps best embody the smart hotel and blended spaces concept by Singapore’s Fraser Hospitality.

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The lobby exudes casual chic, where spaces such as the all-day diner, bistro, business workstations, and library that would typically be clearly demarcated in more traditional hotels all seamlessly meld together in Capri’s refreshing concept.  The interactive screen where guests can pre-book a variety of services such as biking tours led by none other than the property’s general manager Mr. Raymond Howe further underscores the hotel’s orientation towards delivering services to guests through technology.  Permeating the public spaces on the ground floor is the hotel’s signature scent (“Capri No.5”), which heightens the sensory touch.

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Adorning the public spaces are also interesting contemporary art such as installation pieces by German sculptor Rainer Lagemann (“Jumper, Jori and Then As Now”), Belgium artist Daisy Boman (“Men On The Road”), and Lee Gil Rae from Korea whose work entitled “The Old Pine Eternity Tree” was my favorite (I just wish the hotel did not place the trash bin against the art).

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Inside, the room I was assigned–the 32sqm Studio Superior–was spacious, and made good use of space.  The floor-to-ceiling window panes let in plenty of natural light, which enhanced the ambiance.  The mattress is on the firm side, but comfortable.  The shower area is capacious.  Best of all was the refreshingly aromatic toiletries by New York-based (Marlin+Goetz).

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For fitness enthusiasts, the hotel has a spacious gym enclosed by glass on three sides to let in plenty of natural light in the day.  The range of equipment is adequate, and the co-location with the pool is both an extension of the hotel’s blended space philosophy and a welcome incentive for guests to have a dip to cool down after a workout.  There is even a treadmill inside the pool.

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Other amenities include an all-day casual diner called Caprilicious.  The main course menu is quite limited, and as with many new establishments, there are some operational issues that will take time to get ironed out.  During our first evening at a nearly-empty Caprilicious, our order was not conveyed to the kitchen and the staff paid no heed to the fact that we were sitting at an empty table for nearly 20 minutes before we inquired as to the status of our order.  The order when it was finally conveyed, arrived with alacrity and was delicious.  The hotel’s signature mocktail (the “Capritino”) was curiously unavailable that evening as well, but when we did order it on another occasion, we found it was too syrupy.

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Overall, I think Fraser has hit upon a great concept that will appeal to guests who enjoy a modern, casual vibe to their hotels, and do not want to be over-serviced.  The staff are new but are earnest, smiling, and willing to assist.  The property is thoughtfully-designed with a contemporary touch. In time to come, we might just see many more Capri properties around the globe.

*This stay was arranged through the courtesy of the good folks at Dunbar Jones & Associates

Postscript: Capri by Fraser Changi City has a blog, though it seems strange that the blog is not integrated into its official site.  More curious still is how a hotel whose physical product exudes a high-tech, modern feel has a website that seems rather 1.0.  The hotel website could be improved with more content and features such as factsheet, integration with TripAdvisor, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc.