Got an irresistible deal for this hotel so proceeded to book a baby-moon staycation for the missus and me. Reading through the numerous 1* reviews here got us a little wary though. Having completed my stay, I'm glad to report that Amara Sanctuary is nowhere near as rough as described by some naysayers here.
That said, some of the accusations are probably quite true. The rooms are a tad dated (likely not been refreshed since they opened around 2007), grounds maintenance is not exactly top-notch and there's no seating area in the lobby so any delay in checking in/out would likely require you to stand for quite a while. The Sky pool above most of the rooms seemed pretty nice from my brief visit whereas at the Dream pool, which is a fair walk away but probably more suitable for swimmers like me who actually wanted to clock laps, waters seemed a tad murky.
Nonetheless, one might also choose to be an eternal optimist and marvel at the idyllic historic grounds the hotel is nestled in, the pretty good breakfast served at Shutters, the superb location (less than 4min walk to the beach from the open-air carpark and just opposite RWS), convenient shuttle services to Harbourfront MRT and spacious rooms on offer. Service was warm from my short encounters with staff at check-in/out although I must confess my wife and I are not the kind to impose on the hotel staff generally. It appears many complaints were directed at the lack of service/long waiting times but do be reminded that we are in the midst of a pandemic so staff numbers likely have been curtailed. Apparently, the Aileron wellness gym is not open 24hrs for now too as the staff who chased me out when I was getting ready for my 1am workout informed me. Nothing some in-room static exercises couldn't fix!
All in, it was an enjoyable stay at the Amara Sanctuary and I hope to be back to savour its full glory once the pandemic is over and operations are back to full swing.
3 thumbs up for Amara Sanctuary Resort.
Everything went so smooth to book 8 rooms with Hotel Mgr Poom Samkasat, very realiable, systematic and prompt. Personally felt it was not only efficient, yet a good sound understanding of things from a broad perspective. As we are a big group seeking a quiet resort to break the "work from home" routine, a staycation with yoga to stretch our mind, Poom suggested an ideal venue for our practices, big enough for safety-distancing, so serene with much privacy despite the non-stop heavy rain throughout our stay. Thanks to the complimentary breakfast offered and a balcony room with a lovely view (for my anniversary)
Guest Relation Mgr Tommy was so kind, he had the venue cleaned, prepared and to our delight a carton of complimentary water was delivered before we start our yoga sessions, so thoughtful, there was nothing else we lack. He also generously offered me a complimentary late check out when I asked about the day rate and was ready to pay for it. His extended gesture of making himself available for us made us feel so looked after, we cant thank him enough.
An average venue for dinning, too cold indoor, at dinner, service slow to respond, staff look unmotivated, food is average and service was short, staff at dinner seems not trained and unable to understand guest's special request. However a dynamic breakfast team was prompt and "alive" a total contrast. Some office staff came to help on different mornings, service was a delight at breakfast !
Amara Resort is indeed a Sanctuary, the outdoor area of Shutters restaurant is set amidst nicely manicured, lovely lush greens, trees with squrriels, birds and peacocks to add vibe to our breakfast experience, best to dine outdoor. The surrounding landscape so healing for the senses when you take strolls, giving a soothing mental bath despite the rain forbidding a swim in the clean refreshing-looking pool.
I had a deep tissue massage by San San, a small frame friendly lady with great deep pressure to my liking to unknot my body, a rejuvenating experience.
Overall, a 5 star service experience that is memorable and making me want to return. Our group is planning another staycation in August, see you soon Amara Sanctuary. Thank you for the wonderful staycation, a great team !
1. Asked for early check in, they told us to come at 12. Upon arriving, was told that we had to wait for the previous occupants to leave. Fine, but theres not a single seat in the lobby for us to sit. We were told to go to their restaurant to wait thus had to eat their mediocre food as it was raining heavily and we had so many stuff. To make it worse, we were planning a birthday surprise for my mum so we wanted to prepare by checking in early. Ended up having to ask my mum to wait around while they prepared the room (1 hr +). I know early check in is not an expected, but they shouldnt have told us to come at 12pm when theres no reason to do so, and furthermore when there is nowhere to sit.
Service at the restaurant was sub par, with inattentive staff- note that this isnt at peak hour, there was only three tables of customers at the time.
We were able to check into the room, but to our horror, the sofa was so dirty and there was stains on the bathtub. The floor felt quite dusty as well. (See images)
TLDR: I really regret not booking a more respectable hotel for a special occasion. If you are finding somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, look elsewhere because they are NOT reliable at all.
We had a nice 2 nights stay at Amara Resort. Due to some issues our Courtyard room was upgraded to Villa rooms and had a great stay in Villas. Rooms were clean and service was very good. Nice ambience and green surroundings all along.
Checked in during Xmas eve. Check in was swift and fast despite its a peak season. Service Manager Tommy served my family and I upon check in with so much passion he is literally all over the place. My family saw him in 1 of the room cleaning up the room as well. From check in counter to cleaning rooms?
Breakfast at shutters was gastronomic worthy to be in the books of Michellin.
I must say good well done to Amara..truely a gem away from City