Junior Suites - Make Work a Luxury

31 Oct 2011

If you have enough reward points or if an entry-level suite costs only a little more, why not treat yourself, writes Tiffany Sandrasageran

Another city, another room… and then your meetings begin. Travelling for business is work – occasionally, it is nice to chill out at the club lounge, but really you are only paying for the club floor because it has wifi, free boardroom hours and a concierge who helps you with errands.

But why does a work trip always have to be so dry? Many entry-level suites cost only slightly more than club rooms, and they add a touch of extra style and pampering that might be just what you need. If you are only in town for a busy day or two you might not have time to fully appreciate the benefits of a move up to suite class, but for a longer trip, the luxe factor can be well worth the money (and reward points).

At comfortable sizes ranging from 50 to 95 sqm, these junior suites do not have acres of open space that you simply don’t need, but they are spacious enough to remove any sense of confinement and give you a feeling of exclusiveness. Often, hotels will add extra perks and amenities such as Nespresso machines to these suites.

Read on for a selection of recommended entry-level suites offered by hotels in various popular business cities around Asia.

Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai

Situated in Pudong, Shanghai’s financial hub, the Pudong Shangri-La has two entry-level suite options available. In its River Wing, staying in one of its entry-level Horizon Suites gives you access to Shangri-La’s Horizon Club benefits, which include the use of lounge facilities, complimentary suit pressing and shoeshine service. The property’s other entry-level suite is the Premier Suite. With a slightly larger room area than the Horizon Suite, the Premier Suite is located in the property’s Grand Tower. Guests can choose their own pillow menus from buckwheat to Chinese traditional medicine pillows for an added touch of luxury. Guests in both suites also enjoy the services of a club purser, who functions like a butler to attend to your travel, hotel, shopping and entertainment arrangements.

Dimensions: Horizon Suite – 82 sqm; Premier Suite – 94 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: From a Horizon Club Premier Room to either a Horizon Suite or Premier Suite, 4,500 Golden Circle points can be used to claim an upgrade voucher from the Golden Circle centre.

Rates: Horizon Suite RMB5,600 (US$878); Premier Suite RMB5,900 (US$925)

Horizon Club Premier Room (club room) RMB3,100 (US$486)

Address: 33 Fu Cheng Road, Pudong,

Shanghai 200120, China

Tel: +86 21 6882 8888

Website: www.shangri-la.com/pudong


Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers

The hotel’s entry-level Executive Suite appears to be like a business traveller’s satellite office; the suite comes with a functional workspace, fully equipped with a fax/copier/printer. For business delegates who wish to show presentations on the LCD TV screen, an audio-visual connections panel with HDMI cable is available. To top it off, the Executive Suites are located both in the main building and the Towers – which gives guests access to the Sheraton’s Towers Lounge, where coffee, tea and evening cocktails with open bar and hors d’oeuvres are served. Guests who stay in a Towers Executive Suite receive additional perks such as the Towers Concierge service, which helps guests arrange for mail, courier and parcel delivery as well as restaurant bookings. Guests also get to enjoy two hours’ complimentary use of the boardroom, express elevators and suit/dress pressing services.

Dimensions: 51 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: An upgrade to an Executive Suite from the Deluxe Room or Harbour View Room can be made with 12,000 SPG points per night during low season, and 16,000 points per night in high season.

The hotel also has a special one-day room up-sell supplement from a Towers Deluxe Room to a Towers Executive Suite for HK$1,300 (US$167).

Rates: Executive Suite HK$5,500 (US$707)

Towers Executive Suite HK$7,000 (US$900)

Towers Deluxe Room (club room) HK$5,400 (US$694)

Address: 20 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2369 1111

Website: www.sheraton.com/hongkong


The Peninsula Tokyo

One of the highlights of the property’s entry-level Executive Suite is its MINI concierge service, which offers the use of a chauffeur-driven MINI Cooper S Clubman vehicle for up to three hours within a 10-kilometre radius of the hotel. The service is available daily from 10.30am to 7.30pm.

The suite boasts mood lighting that dims to the point where you can comfortably sleep in the room but without it being pitch dark, which many hate. It is also available in the suite’s bathroom. In addition, the suite features a dressing area with a weather panel, which gives information about humidity levels and the temperature outside. 

Dimensions: 81 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: The Peninsula does not have a loyalty programme and the rate is high, but with all the perks and luxury on offer, it is worth considering.

Rates: Executive Suite JPY120,000 (US$1,563);

The Peninsula Tokyo does not have club rooms

Address: 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, 100-0006, Japan

Tel: +81 3 6270 2888

Website: www.peninsula.com/tokyo 


JW Marriott Seoul

Book a Junior Suite at the 497-room hotel, located in the thriving business district of the Korean capital, and you will get exclusive access to the Executive Lounge, including complimentary use of meeting room for two hours, while multilingual staff are on hand to assist you with business and travel arrangements during your stay. The suite contains a useful remote jack pack, which offers a single-source interface for video, audio, iPod and other digital devices to connect to the in-room TV and internet.

Dimensions: 67 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: Points cannot be used for upgrades. However, an upgrade to a Junior Suite is available for a supplementary charge of KRW125,000 (US$109) for single occupancy and KRW145,000 (US$127) for double occupancy.

Rates: Junior Suite KRW533,000 (US$467)

Executive River room (club room) KRW493,000 (US$432)

Address: 19-3 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 137-040, South Korea

Tel: +82 2 6282 6262

Website: www.marriott.com/seljw


Fairmont Singapore

The two categories of entry-level suite at the Fairmont Singapore, the Junior Penthouse Suite and Junior Theme Suite, are equipped with business-friendly benefits such as a hotel mobile phone rental extension service, foreign exchange and same-day laundry and valet service. At the business centre, business travellers can receive 24-hour financial reports on request, and make use of the parcel service. In addition, guests staying in either suite enjoy Executive Club privileges such as private lounge access, evening cocktail hour and concierge services that facilitate guests’ reservations for restaurants inside and outside the hotel. Fairmont President’s Club members are also entitled to added benefits such as 250 bonus airline miles per qualifying stay, along with in-room delivery of complimentary Fairmont Fit items such as Adidas apparel.

Dimensions: Junior Penthouse Suite – 85 sqm; Junior Theme Suite – 85 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: Room upgrades can be obtained by redeeming a certificate through the Fairmont President’s Club. To be eligible for the certificate, members must have a Premier status, which requires either five or 10 room nights’ stay in the hotel in a calendar year.

Rates: Junior Penthouse Suite S$1,500 (US$1,180); Junior Theme Suite S$1,500 (US$1,180)

Executive Club Room S$470 (US$370)

Address: 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189560

Tel: +65 6339 7777

Website: www.fairmont.com/singapore

Marriott Singapore

The Junior Suite at Marriott Singapore is perfect for those who love to multi-task and get work done. With a “plug-and-play” network connection in the room, you can connect your laptop to the 42-inch TV monitor to work, or even split the screen to watch DVDs and work on the laptop simultaneously. Personal camcorders and digital cameras can also be plugged into the network connection to view slideshows on the TV screen, which also doubles up as a good presentation tool for small business meetings you might wish to hold in the suite itself. Located on the 27th floor, guests enjoy access to the Executive Lounge, which offers personalised service and cocktails and canapés from 5.30pm to 7.30pm daily.

Dimensions: 54 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: Upgrades to a Junior Suite are not available under the Marriott Rewards points programme, but the comparative rate for this suite is very reasonable.

Rates: Junior Suite S$680 (US$535)

Executive Room (club room) S$550 (US$433)

Address: 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865

Tel: +65 6735 5800

Website: www.marriott.com


The St Regis Singapore

The St Regis Suite at the St Regis Singapore gives
you a high level of luxury at rates that are less than half those of suites in the next category. Perks include an airside transfer to JetQuay, Changi International Airport’s private terminal, that gives you personalised meet and greet, immigration and baggage services
upon touchdown, after which you will be driven to the hotel in a Bentley limousine. The suite allows you to work in comfort and style at a regal leather-bound writing desk, and, of course, wifi is complimentary. The St Regis Suite also takes the high-tech amenities up a notch with a bathroom mirror that has a built-in ad notam mirror TV.

Dimensions: 70 sqm to 80 sqm

Points needed for an upgrade: 20,000 to 25,000 Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) points are needed for an upgrade from a Penthouse Room to a St Regis Suite. 

Rates: The St Regis Suite – S$1,200 (US$944)

The property does not have club rooms

Address: 29 Tanglin Road Singapore 247911

Tel: +65 6506 6888

Website: www.stregissingapore.com

Butlers with BlackBerrys

Butler services offered by a range of hotels add a nice touch for guests who seek the added value of a personalised service, but things will be taken to a whole new level of convenience when the eButler service makes its first foray into the hotel world at The St Regis Abu Dhabi, slated to open in February of 2012.

The eButler service is part of The St Regis Butler Service. All butlers in the hotel will be equipped with BlackBerrys, so that guests can contact them via email. With this service, guests can simply drop an email to their butler whether they are inside or outside the hotel premises.

The St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE; 

tel +971 2 658 1288; www.stregisabudhabi.com

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