Planning a birthday celebration for your boyfriend can be really tricky especially if you’ve been with him for years. No matter how creative you are, there will come a time when you’d completely run out of fresh and unpredictable ideas to surprise him. Having dated mine for close to 6 years now, it was one of the biggest struggles I faced while trying to think of ways to make his birthday memorable a few weeks back. From portrait painting to handmaking a Pooh plushie (his favourite cartoon character) to taking him out for a luxurious meal, I had practically done everything my brain was capable of coming up with for the past 5 years.
But this year, after exhausting my brain cells, I decided to be lazy and ask him what he wanted for his 29th birthday directly. It was a no-brainer question. After all, we’ve been together for so long. I knew he had always wanted another staycation but apart from the dreaded packing process and the unnecessary money spent which could be put aside for our year-end trip, I hated to be away from my own bed. Hence I tend to avoid that subject. But since it was already his final year of his 20’s, I relented on the condition that he jointly organised the staycation with me 😆
(Plus a surprise gift – a Braun Buffel wallet – presented to him at midnight of his birthday. Yeah, couldn’t resist buying a present for him in the end #byebyemoney)
We shortlisted a few hotels and finally settled on Naumi Liora, a four-star 3-year-old boutique hotel smacked right along Keong Saik Road near Chinatown and Outram Park MRT stations. What caught our attention was its oriental-themed interiors, its 24-hour gym as well as its close proximity to amenities like cheap foot reflexology parlours (at People’s Park Complex) and hip eateries such as Lime House and Three Buns (review comin’ up after this). Ann Siang Hill is also not very far off from the hotel as it’s just a walking distance away.
We were greeted with a lovely scent and an array of tidbits when we entered the hotel lobby. Called The Nibbles, the little snack bar offers a great selection of complimentary treats which guests can help themselves to anytime of the day. There were crackers, jelly, miniature ice cream (choices may change from time to time), hot beverages and even alcohol (chargeable though) to wallow in when hunger strikes in the middle of the night. These snacks are also replenished daily to ensure optimal freshness.
Payment was made using credit card at the time of booking but the money was not deducted from the bank account until we arrived at the hotel reception desk for check-in. We were also told to place an additional deposit which would be refundable upon check-out (to cover any damages caused to the hotel room).
Being a small boutique hotel housed in a 155-year-old heritage shophouse, there was only one (slow) elevator servicing 79 rooms across all three storeys. Our Liora Quaint room (the cheapest one because we’re poor students 😥 ) was a window-less room located on the uppermost floor. The corridor leading to it was narrow and dimly-lit with blue-tinted lights, sometimes giving me the creeps when I had to take the elevator down to the lobby alone.
At S$140 per night, the room met my needs and expectations and was more spacious and comfortable than I thought. I loved the high ceiling that created a light and free atmosphere and the relatively strong Wi-Fi signal (even though it was only two bars of coverage at most throughout our stay). But the television reception was very weak and the picture quality of all channels was poor and grainy. Boyfriend also wasn’t very pleased with the type of shower faucet used in the bathroom. He was expecting the same ceiling-mounted shower head he saw on other blog reviews (which in fact is only available in Liora Porch, the highest range of rooms in this hotel) but was given the standard kind -_- Well, he has no one to blame but himself for not making sure before booking the room 🙄
Another perk of staying in Naumi Liora is the free access to its 24-hour fitness room as mentioned earlier. In order to avoid the morning crowd (assuming that there was any), we usually go to the gym during unearthly hours like 1 or 2am to burn some fats. The fitness room is hidden beside the stretch of hotel rooms on the ground level (turn left the moment you exit from the lift). It’s pretty small with only one set of every common exercise and workout equipment so unless you don’t mind waiting for other people to be done with the machine you want, you should only go there during weird timings when it is guaranteed to be vacant.
I hardly work out in the gym but after this experience, I still prefer to jog around in the park where I get to bask in the morning sun and enjoy the natural breeze and greenery.
As the hotel does not have its own dining room, breakfast is served at two separate places along the same street until 10am everyday. Based on reviews, if you have opted for Western style, you would receive coupons for The Study beside the hotel. However we, perhaps being guests of a lower-range room (don’t know about you but the clear-cut difference in treatment doesn’t quite jive with me here because I don’t like to be deprived of the freedom to choose when it comes to food 😳 ), didn’t get to choose so we were automatically given Asian style. Therefore our breakfast for both days were fixed at Tong Ah Eating House (a coffee shop) just three shops down the walkway outside the hotel, which… okay lah, was quite good too 🙂
We got to pick between two popular Singaporean breakfast choices – Nasi Lemak and the traditional Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs. Tourists who are planning to accommodate at Naumi Liora may consider opting for the Asian style to have a taste of what the locals eat for breakfast 🙂
I personally enjoyed the meal a lot and it’s honestly one of the most generous portions I’ve ever had for a hotel breakfast. Seeing how pathetic the spread of food for the Western style is on other reviews, I’d most likely opt for the Asian one anyway so alright I forgive you Naumi Liora 😛
Next up, I will be reviewing Three Buns where we dined at on boyfriend’s birthday so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading 🙂
55 Keong Saik Road
Booking: (+65) 6403 6003
Enquiries: (+65) 6922 9000