Hotel Review: The Scarlet Singapore

Here’s my honest review of The Scarlet Singapore!

I was a guest at this The Scarlet from November 15 – 19 2018. I’ll be reviewing my stay based on the 5 most important things I believe a hotel should be rated on: Location/Safety, Staff Friendliness, Room Comfort, Ambience, Amenities.

Location and Safety 10/10

This hotel is conveniently located on the edge of Chinatown less than a 10 minute walk from the CBD (central business district). Singapore is pretty small in general so getting around is easy via taxi or the immaculately clean MRT underground stations. The front desk is more than happy to call a taxi for you whenever you need one.

My favorite thing about the location of this hotel though, is the proximity to the fun local bars in Chinatown. My favorite of which being, Forest Darts Cafe, where the locals come for a night of hilarious karaoke. That being said, the service at this particular bar is a bit racist (they only skip over tables with different ethnic groups in favor of of the local Chinese guests) – but the singing is very funny to watch. I’ll come back to this in a different blog post.

Staff Friendliness 10/10

The staff at The Scarlet are super friendly and polite. All my interactions with them were positive.

Room Comfort 8/10

I arrived after check-in time but my room wasn’t ready and I had to wait in the lobby. I was ok with the short wait, however, when I got to the room it had this weird musky smell that I couldn’t stand, so 2 points off just for that alone. Normally, I’d have asked for a room change but I was exhausted from my flight from Hong Kong so I just went to bed.

The bed was comfortable enough and the room had a fridge which is always a plus for me. There’s also an umbrella in the closet for those rainy Singapore days :D.

My favorite thing about this room however, was the mobile “assistant”. The hotel provides each room with a cell phone for guest to use to make local calls or find their way around the city. Pretty damn cool!

Ambience 9/10

I’m a BIG fan of boutique hotels, and as far as they go, this one was super stylish. It did have a bit of an old muggy feel to it though, hence the point reduction. There’s a difference between antique and just plain old, and this hotel kinda just narrowly misses the plain old vibe.

Amenities 7/10

First thing I’m going to talk about here is the restaurant that’s attached to the hotel. it has different ownership and it complete trash – which really ruins the reputation of the hotel itself. The food is decent but the service is ridiculous.

I went to the restaurant downstairs to get some lunch at Casa Tartufo, and before seating me, the host put his hands in my hair!! He literally reached out and put his fingers on me!! Obviously I was appalled and took a couple steps back but decided to sit down anyway.

This restaurant on it’s own gets a 0/10. Once seated, the host AND the waiter that took my order decided to stand right beside me staring at me and talking about my appearance. Now I’ll say this, a lot of taxi drivers mentioned to me that it’s not very common to see a black person in Singapore, especially one being as dark as myself – but this service was atrocious. I’ve never felt more uncomfortable in my life. I was so uncomfortable that once my food came, I asked for a box, packaged it myself, and went to eat in my room.

The other hotel amenities were fine. I think I just chose the wrong dining option at this hotel(there are 2 others).

Overall rating: 9.4/10

I enjoyed my stay here and would recommend the hotel itself to my friends and followers.

3 Dublin Restaurants You’ll Never Want to Leave

I recommend these restaurants solely on how much time the interior designers spent making them works of art.

1. Xico

The Mexican Day of the Dead theme is evident as soon as you step into this underground restaurant and bar. It’s super cozy and dark, with a hint of horror. Looking for an intimate spot for your next date? Look no further.

2. The Barge

This is a pretty large multilevel bar and restaurant. If you go during the day, the large windows keep the interior pretty well lit. My favorite thing about this venue is the high ceilings that are crafted to mimic the frame of a boat.

3. Idlewild

This Dublin bar is well known for its Espresso Martini, but the lively interior is what drew me in. The bright green velvet chesterfield sofas transport you to a different era. If I had to put a time stamp on it, it’s very reminiscent of the 70s in America.

American Airlines: Premium Economy vs Economy

We’ve been on the flight from Dublin to Philadelphia for about 5 hours now, and while that time hasn’t quite whiled away, I’m comfortable.

American Airlines has launched its newish premium economy class and I used to be a skeptic but now I’m a believer.

Now, you might be thinking, premium economy is a scam. Why pay extra money to get the exact same services that you would in economy class? The answer is, leg room for days 😉 but you’ve gotta know how to get your money’s worth. I’ll share a two tips:

1. Sit in the first row

If you sit in the first row of premium economy, you’re going to get the most leg room possible and you’ll be the first to get your food and drinks.

2. Order free drink refills 😉

You know how you pay for wine and beer in economy class? Put that lifestyle behind you! AA premium economy serves free alcoholic beverage refills.

Ok now onto the pros and the cons:

Pros:

1. As mentioned above, free alcoholic drinks is always an incentive to get me to do almost anything.

2. The seats are much wider and you get more legroom.

3. They give you a little travel kit just like in business class. It contains toothpaste and brush, mouthwash, socks, done tissues, a pen, earplugs, headphone covers, lotions, and an eye mask.

4. Their back pillow and blanket were surprisingly plush and comfy. I usually suffer from severe back pain on longer flights but not this time!

Pictured: My very messy seat 😂 you can see just how much room I had.

Cons:

1. Odd as hell usability design. The amenities on the seats are not intuitive at all. The outlets and earphone hole are located in an odd hole in the back of the armrest. The tv comes up from beside your feet.

2. The footrest is made for people with very tiny legs. I have super long legs and I couldn’t use the footrest without my knees sticking out in the air 😂😭

3. Their “chef inspired” dining was not filling at all.

Pictured: Pre-arrival meal. Noodle salad, fruits, chocolate pudding, and a breadstick.

Overall rating: 8/10

I would fly premium economy again for the price I paid. About €750.

Getting your nails done in Dublin 101

Dear friends, today I’m going to save you a good €40 by sharing my fav nail salon with you.

While living in the US I got hooked on acrylic nails. It was almost like an addiction. They’d start threatening to fall off after two weeks and I’d frantically rush to the nail salon to get them refilled.

You can only imagine my horror when I arrived on Dublin ready to get my nails refilled and acrylics cost like €65. 😱😩😭

So after paying that exorbitant price once, I vowed to never pay it again…and after weeks of searching I found Elite Nail Bar, a privately owned boutique nail salon run by just the owner herself.

Acrylics here go at about €40 but she showed me how to get the very same stiletto nail look I love using my real nails and gel polish! So now I pay €25 for the gel and occasionally an additional €8 if I’d like for her to add 2 coats of gel nail hardner before putting the polish on.

The best way to reach her is via text and her number is on her website.

Acrylics:

My real nails:

Avoid this Italy tourist trap!

Ok… let me start by saying – it was totally my fault and I should have known better. Now that I’ve eaten that slice of humble pie, let me tell you all what happened to me outside the Duomo Cathedral in Florence.

I was down to my last few hours in the city, so I decided to wander around and squeeze in as much touristy stuff as I could before I had to head to the airport.

Now, I’d seen a few people getting their portraits done by local street artists and considered getting one myself…if I was going to do it, it was now or never. Against my better judgement, I approached a street artist sitting outside the cathedral and began to question him about the work he had on display. Here were the warning signs I should have paid attention to:

1. He was super arrogant and boastful about the little work he did have on display…overly so.

2. When I finally agreed and sat down, he began yelling at a woman and children that were sitting on the bench behind us. When I told him to stop immediately, his response was “they’re just tourists”. I told him that we are all just tourists in other peoples countries and then I helped the woman and her kids. Not sure why I didn’t just leave then 😩

3. I kept looking in his sunglasses at the reflection of what he was drawing, and it looked like trash but I wasn’t sure if it was distorted by his lenses.

4. People kept stopping and staring with very amused looks on their faces.

When it was finally done. He turned it around and showed it to me:

I told him it looked like a lion and nothing like what he had on display. He began to yell that he would never draw what he had on display for such a small price (€30…not small at all)…and in such a small amount of time.

A group of people started to gather…I began asking others if it looked like me, to which one man answered, “more or less”.

With people around me, I was faced with the dilemma of whether to pay this crook or not.

It kept going through my mind that black people can’t get away with throwing public tantrums and that individuals tend to then represent the whole race. If I didn’t pay him it’d become, black people are the worst tourists…or some other stupid generalization to that effect. So I paid him…for the worst possible reason, which really put a bad taste on my whole Italian experience.

For context:

Most people can’t guess which Eiffel Tower picture I took in France from the one I took in Las Vegas…can you?

What’s up with Irish phone numbers!?

If you’re like me and haven’t gotten around to getting your own Irish phone number, you’ll know that figuring out the dial out codes can be a bit tricky. So I’ll save you the 3 months it took me to figure it out by providing the below cheat sheet! You’re welcome! 😉

Here’s what a barebones phone number looks like here: 6110101

You’d type it exactly that way if you had a local Dublin landline.

If you’re dialing from anywhere else in Ireland, you’d add the Dublin prefix, 01.

The number now looks like, 016110101

Now, if you’re dialing from an international number, you’d add the Irish prefix +353 or 00353 and take away the 0 from the Dublin prefix.

The number now looks like, ‭+353 (1) 611 0101‬.

Here are other Irish geographic dial codes.

My 3 Favorite Places to Eat in Boston

If you’re as much of a foodie as I am you’ll appreciate these 3 restaurants!

1. Little Donkey

In the #1 spot is Little Donkey in Cambridge. Combine sweet and savory by mix and matching their Brioche French Toast with a side of the Habanero Maple Sausage. I promise you won’t taste anything yummier than this!

2. Row 34

Our #2 spot goes to Row 34. Looking for the best lobster roll in town? This is where you’ll find it!

3. Cafe ArtScience

With cocktails named after endangered species and a robotic server on display, this Cambridge eatery is the classy nerds haven. My personal favorite menu item is the duck on their dinner menu which I believe is seasonal (fall/winter).

Boston Massachusetts: Pros and Cons

Thinking of moving to Boston? Planning a quick trip? Just wondering what it’s like over there? Well, I lived in Boston for about 7 months so you’ve come to the right place to learn a thing or two about this historical New England city.

Pros:

  • Having just moved from Philadelphia, I absolutely loved how clean Boston is.
  • Boston’s rich culture is evident throughout the city. There’s tons to do when it comes to visiting college campuses or learning about the city’s history by visiting local museums.
  • You’re a stones throw away from Cambridge which is home to both MIT and Harvard.
  • Lots and lots of seafood!
  • If you’re a young professional, you’ll be glad to know that you fit the demographic mold.
  • It’s a sports fans haven.
  • It’s also a sailors haven. If you’re lucky enough you might make a friend or two that’ll take you out on their boat.

Cons:

  • Boston is severely segregated by ethic groups which makes it a bit uncomfortable.
  • Trying to make new friends as a young professional? Sorry, this city isn’t for you. Most Bostonians already made all their friends in college and aren’t accepting new applications.
  • Winters can be brutal but if you’re coming from any other North Eastern state, this won’t phase you at all.
  • Most restaurants are just ok. Moving from Philly, I was shocked by the lack of flavor in Boston restaurant meals. That being said, I did find a couple of hidden gems.

Click here to find out the best places to eat in Boston!