Sep 1, 2013

Staycation at Naumi Liora

What's your criteria of a staycation? It mainly lies in the purpose of the staycation. If you were like me, who wishes to hide from the hustle and bustle of a quick-paced weekday life through a staycation, then stay with me, as I analyse my stay with Naumi Liora according to these criteria:

1. Checkout Time
This is one of the main draws of this hotel. Under a special corporate package with my company, they offered late checkout till 3pm. However, there was a minor hiccup at the checkin. In the system, my checkout time was still stated as the usual 12pm. Luckily, another receptionist staff did some quick service recovery and maintained my 3pm checkout. Of course, it helps that I came prepared (the email correspondence of my booking)

2. Cost
Under the package, it offers the usual one-night stay, basic amenities, breakfast and late checkout at 3pm. It costs $198++ for 2. Pretty economical for a 4-star boutique hotel.

3. Room
I don't actually require a big room, so I am not looking for the size of the room like those I have stayed at I-Hotel (Batam) or Sheraton (Macau). I would say, the concept is like the one I stayed in Taichung at CityInn. Very compact. Only the necessities, and no redundant space.

As seen, there is no cabinet, but a steel bar for us to hang our clothes, economical. :) They offer an ironing board too! (quite out of the ordinary, I would say.)

However, a big minus for me, would be that the room comes with a very small window which is shut (I can't open). So, I can't get any sunrays into my room. (=_=)

Oh, and a big no-no for me, noise! The walls are pretty thin here, everytime a fellow hotel guest open or close their doors, or someone moved their furniture or huge trolley luggage around, I can hear them. Thank god... when it enters night-time, all these quieten down. Thus, it kinda failed me as a relaxing staycation spot. (>_<)

4. Character
Usually, I don't look for character of a hotel, especially for business hotel, as they are quite similar. But as a boutique hotel, it has its charisma. For Naumi Liora, as it is located in Keong Siak Road, with a colourful history, it has a retro twist. At the lobby, they offered snacks, including our favourite biscuit snacks topped with sugary twists (snacks from our childhood), M&Ms, cookies, chips, tea, coffee and even ice-cream. The bar is open 24/7. There is no room service for food, but we have the snack bar, or just venture out, Keong Siak, Duxton, Bukit Pasoh or even Chinatown and Tanjong Pagar, to settle midnight cravings.

5. Bath
The bath and toilet area is actually quite important, especially so when we are overseas, as the hotel stay is mainly for baths and sleep. As for staycation, I am looking forward to a nice leisure bath. Especially so, when the website has shown pictures of bathtubs for their rooms. I even prepared bath salts for my rare bubble bath experience. (I don't have a bathtub at home.) So, I was quite disappointed to find that I only had a shower head. Though actually on regular travel days, a shower head is all I need.

And the major big turnoff is the lack of a shower door. The shower room and toilet is shared. There is no glass pane to separate the two. And unfortunately, the floor titles for the toilet area is not slip-proof. So you can imagine the aftermath of a shower. Wet and slippery toilet, which is on raised ground, actually quite dangerous for guests, if we should slip and fall backwards and hit the cabinet.

6. Breakfast
People who know me, know that I like buffet breakfasts at hotels. I love the big spread. It is probably the only time I can stomach a sumptuous breakfast regardless of how early that is. At first, when I know the breakfast is provided by Keong Siak Snacks, which is helmed by Michelin star chefs, I was very very looking forward.

As the expectation gets bigger, the disappointment gets bigger too. Honestly, the spread is quite miserly. Luckily, the ambience made up for some of the short-fall.

Keong Siak Snacks' normal menu was not that bad though. Tried their seared scallops with crispy pig's cheeks, an item under their regular menu. I love how they did the scallops. The pig's cheeks in ball form, came as a surprise to me. Not a great fan of pig's cheeks, eating it alone, was a tad too much. But eating with the dressings, tasted pretty good.

7. Amenities
They advertised that they have big name brands for their toiletries on their website. Mmm.. sorry I don't really know about branded toiletries, but I like what they provide. A nice lavender-peppermint fragrance.

And for coffee lovers, you have nepresso machines in your room. All complimentary.

But another big drawback for me is the lack of a pair of disposable slippers. Maybe they are going eco, so they didn't include this item. But no worries, I brought my own.

8. Accessibility
For us, Singaporeans, accessibility is not that much of an issue. We don't need to lug our huge luggages around, and we know our transport systems inside-out, almost. Naumi Liora is within walking distance between Outram MRT and Chinatown MRT. Perhaps it might be a bit complicated for foreigners, as it involved cutting through a few alleys amongst the shophouses. But it is nothing a Google Map can't solve. The orange exterior helps hotel guests to locate it as well.

Hence, there are lots of makan, shopping and tourist attractions around. Lots of interesting restaurants around Duxton and Bt Pasoh districts. Actually, just next door, there is a very interesting spot, The Library, which I read on reviews, it doesn't really sell or rent books, it is a bar which requires a password (seems like you can get them from the Keong Siak Snacks) to enter. The bookcases are just a distraction, or rather a cover. A pretty interesting way to draw consumers. Using mystic. Nevertheless, I did not venture into The Library. Instead I had a great time doing touristy stuff in Chinatown instead. Half-day as a tourist.

Talking about that, I am very surprised to find out that there are actually many hotels in this district. So many hotels have sprouted in recent years. Ulu me only knew about Hotel 1929 and Majestic.

As such, I guess for my next staycation, I shall obediently choose what most of my peers will pick - MBS or W Hotel. Either go glam at MBS, or a nice getaway at W Hotel which is located at the scenic Sentosa Cove.

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