I'm a little late to the game.
While my colleague has tried the Work from Hotel (WFH) packages from Furama Riverfront and Hilton, for months I've been sitting on my cheap-and-starting-to-get-wonky Taobao-ed office chair in the living room with a fan blowing full-blast in my face.
I miss working in an air-conditioned room.
So, I mobilised my office full pack — laptop, charger, mouse, headphones, notepad, pens, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitiser, hand lotion, and pullover — and headed to Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel recently at their invitation to try out their new WFH package.
The hotel is located by a quiet section of the Singapore River at the junction of Havelock and Kim Seng roads with two bus stops just a stone's throw away. However, the nearest MRT stations — Tiong Bahru and Fort Canning — are not within walking distance, so check out the bus guides and routes before coming down here. You don't want to be lugging your full pack on a 'road march'.
What to expect: Lots of space and beverage options, prompt table service, free all-day parking
The promo price of $16++ ($19 after taxes) is one of the cheapest WFH day packages, and it's valid until the end of December 2020. After which, it'll cost $32++.
The package includes usage of the Food Capital and Tempo Bar at the ground floor from 8am to 6pm; high-speed internet; full-day parking at the hotel; 30 pieces of A4 black-and-white printing; a power point at almost every table; complimentary mail service and storage; and free-flow coffee, tea, juices, homemade barley, water chestnut, soft drinks, and water.
I was there at 8am and chose a corner table right by the high floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the Singapore River, which provided natural lighting and a feeling of tranquillity. The occasional jogger and dog-walker eased the mundaneness.
The hotel limits the space to only 40 people and most of the tables are at a height suitable for working, so you don't have to worry about hunching over a low coffee table for hours on end. The tables are also spaced quite widely apart, and I wasn't that bothered even when the man at the table across seemed to have perpetual back-to-back phone meetings.
40 more seats are also available at the Veranda Foyer located at level 2 — where you'll be closer to the washrooms — if the Tempo Bar reaches maximum occupancy. Only the Veranda Foyer will be open for co-working on weekends from Nov 20, as the Tempo Bar will start its a la carte BBQ buffet then.
When I was there, almost everyone was sitting solo and intent at work, so the library-like atmosphere was very conducive for serious stuff — unlike, say, Starbucks where you know you'll get annoyed by giggling students and friends busy socialising.
And if you, like me, appreciate working with music in the background, you'll love the selection of chill coffeehouse songs playing for hours without being on-loop.
What I felt really spoilt by was the variety of coffee and tea choices — expresso, black coffee, decaf coffee, cappuccino, cafe latte, flat white, breakfast tea, chamomile tea, Indian Papadum tea, peppermint tea, green tea, iced lemon tea, Darjeeling tea, Yunnan Pu Erh tea ("less caffeine"), and South African Rooibos ("no caffeine").
The fact that they spare a thought for caffeine-intolerants like myself, and even indicated so in the menu, did something to the cockles of my heart. And my tea came in a French Press. Table service was impeccable, with a service staff walking around discreetly ever so often. When you feel peckish, you can get a grilled tuna or Parma ham sandwich at $4.80++.
Next, let's talk about something else really important — where to get lunch. If you drive, then, of course that wouldn't be an issue.
If you don't, you have a couple of options. You can get the $35++ package ($41 with taxes, also available until the end of December) that includes everything mentioned above, plus a Bento Lunch Set worth $16++ or two snack options from the Alfresco Menu, as well as complimentary gym access (by appointment only). This package will cost $70++ after the promo period.
Or, you can walk about five to 10 minutes to the nearby Great World City shopping mall or Zion Riverside Food Centre.
The verdict: Darn worth it now
If I ever want to work outside of home again, I'll come back here, but only before the end of the year when the $16++ promo is still applicable. The price is a steal for the entitlements, and the environment is refreshing enough for people who need jolts of creativity throughout the day.
If you are meeting friends in town or at Robertson Quay after the workday, you won't need to travel far, too.
But when the price reverts to $32++ for a day package, you might want to check out other WFH packages that appeal to what you really need, be it free parking, proximity to an MRT station, or dining credits.
Also available are weekly rates (promo price $64++, usual price $112++) and monthly rates (promo price $158.40++, usual price $176++).
Where: 392 Havelock Road Singapore 169663
To reserve or for more information, call 6233-1155, WhatsApp 9006-2955, email email@example.com, or visit their page.
AsiaOne was invited by Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel to try the WFH package, but the opinions here are the writer's own.