Renting in Singapore? Have a look at Great World Serviced Apartments, next to the Great World City mall in River Valley. It recently undertook a complete refurbishment of its 304 apartments. Here, we ask some questions about the reno and also find out what residents think of the new look.
Whether you’re looking for long or short stays, serviced apartments act like a home away from home for residents. Great World Serviced Apartments (GWSA) has been doing this job since the late 1990s. And, with its last minor refurbishment in 2013, the property was due a makeover.
Renovating Great World Serviced Apartments
But how do you renovate a property of this size without major disruption to the residents? DARREN CHER, senior general manager at GWSA, explains that the renovation was carried out in phases. Therefore, the buffer floors between occupied units and those under refurbishment were arranged to minimise noise disruption.
The West Tower was the first section that was earmarked for renovations. This started with 28 units over six floors in September 2019. The next phases involved the common areas: the main reception area, gym, children’s playroom and swimming pool. Darren explains that the outdoor jacuzzi was moved to level three, with the main swimming pool. “In its place now is an outdoor alfresco area where residents can chill or work next to a beautiful manmade waterfall landscape.”
Another change saw the residents’ lounge overhauled to incorporate co-working spaces and booths. Also included was a meeting room for private discussions, to cater to the increasing work-from-home trend.
The final phase has involved renovating the entire East Tower. This started in December 2022, and has just recently been completed, with apartments now being filled. In total, 304 fully-furnished apartments have undergone a transformation, from one bedroom apartments to four-bedrooms as well as the penthouses. Nothing has gone untouched.
The refreshed interiors are modern yet comfy. The carpets were changed in the bedrooms to timberlook vinyl flooring, giving it a more stylish feel, while also being durable and easier to maintain. All the kitchen cabinets have been changed and a dishwasher added in each apartment. “More comfortable sofas and a rug in the living room have been added, too, to give a homely feel,” says Darren. “The bedrooms have also been fitted with new wallpaper and bed heads with reading lights.”
Apartments in Great World City restyled
From a project management point of view, Great World Serviced Apartments needed to minimise the disturbance to residents. “The works were planned and carried out one floor at a time, to reduce the nuisance to all the other floors. We chose a non-peak season for the project, and renovation hours were kept strictly from 10am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays, and till 1pm on Saturdays. We also needed to have good logistics planning for the transportation of all the materials and furniture, and for disposing of debris. It took a lot of organising!”
To ensure smooth execution, there has been a huge amount of preparation work behind the scenes. Each team was involved, including the sales team ensuring residents and potential clients were fully informed of the renovation. There was close coordination with the guest services and housekeeping team to keep affected residents informed, and apartments prepared in a timely manner for residents moving to alternative units. The marketing team prepped all the collaterals for clear communication and the maintenance team ensured everything kept working, as well as liaising with the design and interiors team on the refurbishment progress.
The works have been carried out by Singapore based integrated interior fit-out company Corten Interior Solutions, in collaboration with interior design firm Expression Galleries. Corten has also completed projects for Courtyard by Marriott (with Expression Galleries), Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Winsland Serviced Suites by Lanson Place and the Four Seasons Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. As Darren says: “We knew we were in good hands!”
Reviews from residents renting in Singapore
“One of the best serviced apartments for expats! Great location, spacious, and connected to Great World City shopping mall and MRT. It’s walking distance to restaurants, grocery stores and tourist attractions. Both towers have been renovated, and the room was modern and remodelled. Recommended for family with kids, the staff are also very helpful.” – Budimans86
“An excellent stay. The staff are exceptional and made it a home away from home. I always stay there if the opportunity arises. The serviced apartments, location, facilities and amenities are all great. My thanks especially to Susan Lee, Eddie and Fannie on the front desk and the security guards.” – David M
“We lived at the serviced apartments for over five years while renting in Singapore this time around. And we had three years here during a previous stint. The staff and team are great and extremely friendly and helpful; the apartments themselves were outdated but have been recently renovated. We recommend trying the place out if you need to stay for a few weeks or more.” – Adilsahah2023
To find out more about renting in Singapore in one of these stylish apartments, go to stay.greatworld.com.sg.
2 Kim Seng Walk (next to Great World City shopping mall)
This article on Great World Serviced Apartments first appeared in the November 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
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