Studio M Hotel: Boutique is for Novelties

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The last time I stayed at Studio M Hotel, it was for a personal retreat about 5 years back. It had just opened and was earning raving reviews as a boutique hotel set in a chic district. As much as I liked the novelty of staying in a loft, I never returned, because subsequent reviews had more negatives than positives. So when I decided to return despite all the negative reviews, I lowered my expectations. Did the hotel still meet my expectations, then?

The main reason I returned to Studio M Hotel was to celebrate a birthday-cum-graduation of XD. I saw a package that included champagne and decorations, in addition to the usual +Breakfast weekend deals. So I opted for that and threw in a request for a cake.

We tried our luck by requesting to check in early at 12pm, but was told to return at 1.30pm. By then, we were promptly checked in.

The special requests were all fulfilled and tastefully done. The room this time around was the executive loft, which included a corner window, which sort of brightened up the room and added more sense of space with the floor-to-ceiling windows. As mentioned in the other reviews, there were chips around the corners and the sliding door between the living space and the entrance doorway was shaky. These were perhaps the result of years of abuse by people who booked a room at Studio M Hotel for partying.

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For a group party, the room was great. The living area had a well-stocked bar, and a sofa bed; there were also plenty of places to sit, like the steps and the table. The toilet and shower were separated, each located on either sides of the entrance doorway. The sliding door also helped partition the toilet from the living space. Once opened, though, the sofa bed offered few spaces to move around. As the sofa bed faced the stairs, it became awkward to try and watch the TV, which was perpendicular to the stairs.

The loft level only had the bed and the TV. For simple chillaxing, this was more than enough. Thankfully, the TV was at the foot of the bed. The lovely thing is to be able to turn around and view the expansive window and the street view beyond, all thanks to the transparent railing. The loft level, though, may not be suitable for the claustrophobic; one has to bend over to move around the level.

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The hotel is in a quiet district, and about 20 minutes walk away from the nearest MRT station. It is surrounded by hipster cafes, which were abnormally quiet on weekends. In between the MRT station and the cafes was Novotel, which, with a shopping centre, offers a wider range of food choices (and supermarket) that were targeted at Japanese shoppers. Considering all these, guests who choose to stay in Studio M shuld be prepared for a great deal of walking, if they are not staycationers.

The pool was at level 2, which was big enough for more than dipping in the water. The hotel even provided foams for guests to… fool around, which was what we did. The deck area was expansive; inclusive of the cabana, the whole area most likely can take hundred over people. There were rows and rows of deck chairs, shielded from direct sun (except for noon) because of the design of the building. The gym also took inspiration from the deck area and is open-concept, i.e. no aircon. Whether this works for tropical Singapore, well, it’s subjective.

The breakfast area is just behind the deck area, making up the rest of level 2. It was also an alfresco concept. I don’t know for others, but I do not want to be sticky early in the morning just to eat breakfast. Also, birds were flying around and who knows what went into the food? Last but not least, one of the coffee machines was down, so a long queue of caffeine-deprived guests started to form at the other machine.

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As noticed, my review starts to go downhill from here.

When we checked in, we found there were no bath robes, so we called for them to be delivered. At the same time, we also informed that we wanted more shower gel. The first time they delivered the bathrobes, but not the shower gel. Interestingly, the bathrobes were torn and had holes, so we asked for replacements. The 2nd time around, the bathrobes came without holes, but the shower gels only got to us after we reminded them for the 3rd time.

Truth be told, this is a place only for novelty. Among the Millenium Copthorne brand of hotels in Singapore, Studio M is not the cheapest product on offer. However, considering the lack of maintenance and lack of service attitude, the value does not correspond to the money paid. This place is only good for the fact that it is one of the unique products in the market, and it can only survive on new customers and non-discerning youngsters raring for something special.

The next time I return to this place, well, could be another 5 years when I have something else special to celebrate, and I forget how bad the experience was.

Studio M Hotel

3 Nanson Rd

Singapore 238910

Read my Tripadvisor review here.

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