There are no more vacancies at the Merlion Hotel, a five-star suite temporarily enclosing the tourism icon at Marina Bay while some are expressing discontent at the hotel's telephone booking service.
The ‘hotel’, a 100 sq m luxury room built around the Merlion, is actually an art installation by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi. It has been commissioned specially for the Singapore Biennale, which will showcase local and international artworks from March 13 to May 11. The biennale is organised by the Singapore Art Museum.
The Merlion Hotel will host overnight guests from April 4 to May 5 at $150 nett, though daytime visitors can walk through for free for the duration of the biennale. Only 32 nights were available for public booking, with the rest set aside for winners of contests held by the biennale organisers or for sponsors and the media.
The suite can accommodate 2 adults and will be operated by The Fullerton Hotel. It comes with a double bed, bathroom, amenities, as well as a dedicated Merlion Butler. Overnight guests will also get a complimentary breakfast at The Fullerton Hotel.
The reservation hotline switched on at 10am on Monday, 28 February. An hour later, all nights were fully booked by guests eager to snuggle up to the half-lion, half-fish statue.
Among the earliest successful callers was Madam Shana Tai, 35, who hit the redial button non-stop from 10am in the morning and got through to reservations at 10.30am.
Netizens on Stomp, Sharon and asahibeer, tried to make a reservation for the Merlion Hotel when the phone line opened, only to be redirected to a ‘full mailbox’ voicemail message. They expressed their frustrations and disappointment:
“I would like to express my unhappiness and anger I felt when I am calling to make a reservation yesterday morning at 10am,” said Sharon in an email.
“The advertised email which I received states that I can only make the reservation on the phone at a given phone number which I did but to my surprise, I could not get through at all because all I was redirected to was voicemail which said ‘Mailbox full. Please try again later. Thank you.’ Both my spouse and I have tried from 9:50am to 11:30am. So I decided to call the main line and also there was no answer till 11:30am.”
“The party on the line said the booking was full because the lady was busy attending to walk-ins for reservation and answering phonecalls so she had no time to clear the mailbox. But the mailbox was full so how did she answer the calls?” she fumes.
“I am rather disappointed with their service rendered and it is not fair to treat interested parties who are genuinely interested to attend the event and followed the rules to making a reservation. I wrote an email but to my dismay I have not received a reply till now.”
Facing a similar experience, asahibeer wrote:
“I received an email about the Singapore Biennale and as part of an art installation, members of the public can book rooms for the Merlion Hotel from 10am on Feb 28.
“I tried calling in at 10am sharp and I was redirected to a voicemail which said that mailbox was full and I could not even leave a voice message to make a reservation.
“I tried making several phonecalls to the same number several times but all I got was the voice message.
“I wrote an email in to express my disappointment with the way this was handled but so far, I have yet to receive a reply or explanation from Singapore Art Musuem.”
Source: straitstimes, stomp