4.78km from Ling Kwang HomeThe bathtub room facility is not indicated in the official website and travel booking app filters, but I chanced upon it when reading one of the traveler reviews. Limited rooms offer a bathtub at $15 upgrade fee per night. It reminds me of Carlton Hotel, and is a much better alternative than other hotels with the tub enclosed in the bathroom with solid walls.
I booked a 3D2N stay as a work stress-reliever. The location is accessible by a bus ride from Braddell or Toa Payoh MRT. There's 7-11, Starbucks, McDonald's, and other small shops in the attached mall. You can enjoy a quiet and relaxing stay away from the city center. Food at the hotel's New Ubin Seafood restaurant is tasty, and a $20 dining credit is offered to guests. From Mon to Fri, there are affordable lunch sets at $15 with $5 top-up for desserts. The Banana Gula Melaka is a must-try!
In-room dining comes in take-out containers handed in a paper bag. I had expected at least a tray service with proper cutlery. I ordered chicken porridge as it was raining. Taste is not exceptional, but the youtiao is good, with fishcake filling and lots of sesame seeds.
I came at the hotel at 2:15 pm and there's already a long queue. 20 mins later, the front desk staff asked me to check-in inside the business center where an additional counter was set-up. Cha kindly assisted me and was offered an upgrade. She initially said king-sized tub upgrade, but I realized later that it was an upgrade from city view to corner park view room. Check-in took 30 mins overall, so would recommend coming in early to get priority even if you have indicated preferences by email beforehand. They respond to emails fast, btw, and also concise and courteous. Room was not ready until an hour and a half later. I was offered a free drink at the bar while waiting, but I just opted to go for a late lunch.
Room is very clean and the bed is neatly pressed, except for a smudge of dried toothpaste on the kettle and a strand of long hair in the tub which I quickly washed off -- no big deal as I think limited housekeeping staff is rushing to serve all guests. Chiller is smaller than usual and not very cold. The pillows are dense but too soft to my liking, but the firmness of the bed is okay. Desk is a good size for work, but chair is stiff and may not be good for long sitting hours. Park view faces east so the room is not hot in the afternoon and you can enjoy a view of the pocket park and the nearby Buddhist temple. There's a smart TV, but there's no Netflix or YouTube app installed which is a shame. Analog cable TV is available with few channels and a non-working entertainment service (movie selections) which the staff clarified that the vendor is no longer supporting. I wish they had told this during check-in and also handed out the in-room dining menu which I had to ask for later on. A good entertainment system would encourage more repeat guests going for staycation, but I understand that this may not be a priority for business travelers which I think what the hotel is targeting. There are guests serving SHN and use a dedicated lobby entry and elevator.
Few guests are using the pool and gym, especially at night, even during my stay with high-occupancy rate. The service center hotline takes at least 5 rings (not busy tone) before getting picked up probably due to high occupancy. I initially thought it's not working so went down to the front desk. Staff are more friendly and approachable than intimidating 5-star business hotels.
I enjoyed my stay and had a quite relaxing holiday as I had hoped. Would definitely be back and would consider booking a room again for my family and friends when travel from the Philippines is allowed again. Direct booking costs much more even for Wyndham Rewards members, so would recommend scanning travel apps like trip.com.