Review: JW Marriott Singapore South Beach (ft. Akira Back!)

The JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is a 634-room property in the city centre that opened in December 2016. Located within the South Beach complex just opposite the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, it retains part of its name as the former South Beach Hotel. There's no beach here though - the development is thus named because it is bounded by beach road, which used to run along Singapore's southern coast until land reclamation projects took place.

Hotel entrance, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
The JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road

South Beach

The mixed-use development comprises of the hotel, residences, offices, and commercial outlets. The hotel is located on the South Tower and occupies levels 1 to 21. South Beach Residences occupy levels 23 to 45 of the same tower (with 190 units consisting of 2, 3, and 4-bedroom units and penthouses). The North Tower, on the other hand, is a 34-storey office building amounting to 500,000 sqft of Grade A office space. On the basement and ground levels is South Beach avenue, a 32,000 sqft retail space with restaurants and bars. The development also houses four conversation buildings - three 1930s army blocks and the former Non-Commissioned Officers' Club built in 1952.

South Tower of the South Beach complex, 2021
South Tower of the South Beach complex

Behind the "JW Marriott" signage on level 18, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Behind the "JW Marriott" signage on level 18

The complex offers underground connectivity to train stations (Esplanade and City Hall), as well as both underground and overhead access to Suntec City.

South Beach avenue (viewed from Esplanade MRT exit)
South Beach avenue (viewed from Esplanade MRT exit)

Overhead access to Suntec City, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Overhead access to Suntec City

First impressions

At the hotel entrance, guests are greeted by a 7-metre tall digital canvas which is an art installation by South Korean artist Lee Lee Nam. The lobby is lined with seating areas and the reception area features a levitating light installation with 160 LED candles.

Dynamic video wall installation at the hotel entrance, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Dynamic video wall installation at the hotel entrance

Hotel lobby interior, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Hotel lobby interior

Griffin sculpture, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Griffin sculpture

Candle light installation above the reception desk, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Candle light installation above the reception desk

The hotel is served by six elevators across its 21 floors. The elevator lights change colours as it ascends and descends the floors.

Elevator lighting, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Elevator lighting

Elevator lobby, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Elevator lobby

Rooms

The room inventory comprises 634 rooms including 47 suites:

  • 332 Deluxe Rooms
  • 94 Premier Rooms
  • 104 Club Deluxe Rooms
  • 57 Club Premier Rooms
  • 24 Deluxe Suites
  • 21 Premier Suites
  • 1 Chairman Suite
  • 1 Presidential Suite
The Club Deluxe King, at 37 square metres, features a king bed with 400-thread count imported linens, distinctive carpentry, 40-inch TV. Curtains and blinds are electronically controlled by switches and can also be operated using the TV remote.

Club Deluxe King, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Club Deluxe King

Room interior, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Room interior

Facing the south-east direction, the room overlooks the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre and offers views of the sea and Marina Bay area (views may be blocked on lower floors). Sofa seating is lined along the width of the windows, and on my floor, the SkyPark of the Marina Bay Sands hotel can be seen protruding from above the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay. It's also easy to spot the Mandarin Oriental, Pan Pacific, and Conrad Centennial Singapore.

View from room at sunrise, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
View from room at sunrise

The bathroom features a large bathtub (comes with bath salts), amenities provided by Aromatherapy Associates, and sliding panels that open into the room.

Bathroom, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Bathroom

Amenities by Aromatherapy Associates, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Amenities by Aromatherapy Associates

Dining

The hotel operates several restaurant and bar concepts, some of which are part of the NCO Club:

  • Akira Back (modern Japanese cuisine)
  • Madame Fan - the NCO Club (Cantonese fine dining)
  • Cool Cats - The NCO Club (music lounge and bar)
  • Fish Pool - The NCO Club (raw bar)
  • Stags’ Room - The NCO Club (wine bar)
  • Tonic (specialty gin-based cocktails)
  • Court Martial Bar (cocktail bar)

Akira Back features modern Japanese cuisine with Korean accents and other culinary influences from across the world restaurant. Opened by the renowned chef of the same name, the restaurant is one of 16 worldwide in major cities including Las Vegas, Dubai, and Seoul. It is located in the South Beach Avenue area just an escalator ride away from the hotel lobby.

Entrance, Akira Back restaurant, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Entrance to Akira Back

Live station, Akira Back restaurant, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Live station

A recommended starter is the Tuna Pizza ($26), a cold sharing plate of sliced tuna on a thin crisp crust with a touch of truffle oil. It's also a good idea to have it half-and-half with the Mushroom Pizza. Other popular items are the 48 hours “Sanchoku” Beef Short Ribs ($50), Wagyu Tacos ($25), King Crab Fried Rice ($22). Various rolls with fancy names are on the menu, such as Perfect Storm (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, salmon belly aburi, chipotle mayo). There's a selection of Japanese sake available too.

Tuna Pizza, Akira Back restaurant, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Tuna Pizza

"Perfect Storm" roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, salmon belly aburi, chipotle mayo) and line caught pacific halibut in the background, Akira Back restaurant, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
"Perfect Storm" and line caught pacific halibut

Spicy King Crab Miso

The restaurant is popular and tends to be full on weekends, so it's recommended to make a reservation ahead of time (you could try requesting the booth seats along the staircase for a cosy experience).

Beach Road Kitchen, on the other hand, is a 200-seat all-day dining restaurant. "Chefs-on-Show" lunches and dinners are available, as are champagne brunches on Sundays.

Restaurant entrance to Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Entrance to Beach Road Kitchen

Restaurant interior, Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Restaurant interior

Desert and drink area, Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Desert and drink area

For breakfast, an ala-carte buffet style is currently offered (as of mid 2021). The items available to order are listed in a digital menu. Some egg dishes are shown in the pictures that follow:

Breakfast menu, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Breakfast menu

Truffle scrambled eggs with grilled brioche bread, Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Truffle scrambled eggs with grilled brioche bread

Signature lobster eggs benedict, Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Signature lobster eggs benedict (flows perfectly!)

Mushroom & spinach egg white omelette with baked tomato, Beach Road Kitchen, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Mushroom & spinach egg white omelette with baked tomato

Pool and gym

There are two outdoor swimming pools. The higher one on level 18 is a great photo spot; it faces the south-west direction and features the Marina Bay area and Central Business District in its background. In fact, there are two chairs positioned in the infinity pool perhaps for this purpose. But the water is cold - this tends to be a problem for covered pools that lack direct exposure to the sun's rays, and unfortunately the pool is unheated.

Outdoor infinity pool on level 18, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Outdoor infinity pool on level 18

A picturesque spot, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
A picturesque spot

Infinity pool, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Reflections off the infinity pool

Views of the Marina Bay area, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Views of the Marina Bay area

Views of the CBD area, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Views of the CBD area

The outdoor area is also a bar (Flow 18) and sky garden with seating areas and recreational facilities along the perimeter of the floor.

Flow 18 bar, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Flow 18 bar

Ping pong table in metallic finish, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Ping pong table in metallic finish

The gym is located on the same level, adequately sized, and well-equipped. The floor-to-ceiling windows offer city views in the north-west direction.

Row of treadmills with city views, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Row of treadmills with city views 

Fitness equipment, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Fitness equipment

Other facilities

Other facilities at the hotel include the Executive Lounge, which is located above Beach Road Kitchen and connected via a bridge.

Walkway to the Executive Lounge, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Walkway to the Executive Lounge

Spa by JW is located on the second floor of the East Tower and features 10 treatment rooms.

Spa by JW, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Spa by JW

The hotel itself has 1,771 square meters of meeting space. This includes a 520 square meter Grand Ballroom, which is housed in a historic Drill Hall from the 1930s, and features a dramatic 11,520-light Forest of Lights installation on its ceiling.

Overall thoughts

The hotel is both stylish and sophisticated, and the infusions of art into the interior spaces are very much appreciated. It benefits from a beautiful sky garden and pool, and the underground connectivity to train stations and the nearby malls are great. One would be very envious of the those living in the South Beach Residences units above the hotel, who undoubtedly enjoy even great views of the Singapore skyline.

Drop-off area, JW Marriott Singapore Beach Road, 2021
Drop-off area at South Beach Towers

JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is a Marriott Bonvoy category 6 property (50,000 points per standard night). It is staycation approved by the Singapore Tourism Board since December 2020. 

Address: 30 Beach Road, 189763 Singapore
Telephone: 6818 1888

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