Monday, November 27, 2017


My fourth time to experience the Singapore Grand Prix live!  It is always the best! A night race in one of the greatest cities on earth! There is always so much to do and see, on-track and off-track, that it is hard to decide what to do first!

The downside this year was the weather. It rained! And it rained a lot! If you are not seated under cover, you will be soaking wet and despite the warm weather, the wind blowing in still feels cold after a while.  

I always love to be so close to the F1 drivers and in Singapore you really have a huge chance to see them face to face. With a Premier Walk About ticket there are so many viewing places to chose from that I really just enjoyed the Friday and Saturday Practises from a wide variety of viewing platforms. My favourite one being in turn 3 but it is getting really full these days. 

The Singapore flyer is actually free for ticket holders and offers the best view over the city, so I took several rides this time at day and night. And of course the amount of concerts and entertainment is just breathtaking. I took my chances to listen in to Ariana Grande, who was surprisingly good! I never expected to like her music. The Chainsmokers on the other hand was not my thing and obviously they did not meet the taste of a lot of other people. I watched hundreds of fans leave the Padang after a few songs. Calvin Harris' show after the race on Sunday was great again, except that I don't like his way to to bridge over to the next song. 

I watched the F1 Qualifying session from the area around the Esplanade and the Padang (because I wanted to watch the data on the big screens) . To watch the race itself on Sunday, I chose a seat on the platforms around the Singapore Flyer. Simply because I have always missed the awesome fireworks after the race and I wanted to see it this year. So, unfortunately no standing upfront at the Podium for me this time, but I taped over 4 minutes of the fireworks instead!

The race itself started late due to the rain and we were all wet to the bone and sitting covered with our rain ponchos when the race started and we all know what happened even before the first turn. To me and about a dozen fans from the Netherlands, the race was over before it really began!

rain rain rain


Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific

Ariana Grande Concert

Ariana Grande Concert

Calvin Harris Concert

Calvin Harris Concert


The same old game when staying in Singapore during Formula 1 days! Where to stay for a somewhat acceptable price? I have given up! I have stayed in so many hotels in Singapore and finally came to the conclusion that you either just accept their horrendous prices or skip going there completely! 

Misleading location, the entrance is actually on Niven Road!
For the 2017 Formula 1 race I had reserved my usual small room in Chinatown where I had stayed several times before, but then I fell for the positive ratings of my Hotel Booking Site and cancelled the room for a "better rated" and somewhat cheaper room along Mackenzie Road. "Cheaper" here means really just that all hotels are overpriced and not worth the money! 

To start with, the taxi from the airport did not find my ZEN Rooms Mackenzie Hotel (located in Rucksack Inn @ Mackenzie). It went right past it and due to the the one way street, I had to pull my heavy luggage down the street and into Niven Road. It would have helped it the hotel had either a clearer signage or even mentioned their hidden entrance location in the confirmation mails. 

City Inn, Rucksack Inn or Zen Rooms?
Strangely there is no lobby, but rather a lift up to the fifth floor where you can check in. All went swiftly and with friendly staff. The room was down on the third floor and though I had imagined it nicer, based from the positive reviews, it was ok-ish. For a week during the Formula 1 action, I was not going to spend much time in the room anyway. The double room was big enough to drag my luggage inside and not stumble over it. The bathroom was not clean when I moved in. The floor looked much cleaner after housekeeping came the next day. All in all it was an acceptable room. No facilities for breakfast though and the noise level was much louder from the street outside than inside the hotel. 

Double room with window!
Room cleaning all week was really really late. So late that I actually called and asked if they had forgotten my room. One day I actually cancelled the room cleaning because it was already getting dark outside anyway! So, big minus points for the cleaners! 

While I had a window in the double room for my Formula 1 week, I came back a few weeks later for my trip home and just booked two nights in a single room. I had no idea that the room came without a window and it was as tiny as those rooms in Chinatown. Upon entering the room I knew that there was no way of me sleeping in this stuffy little room. The bathroom was filthy, the bed looked like it had been used already and the TV set was leaning on the desk and against the wall, unplugged and blocking the light switches. Just impossible to stay here, so I just sat down and booked myself a much better room for a much higher price, down the street!  

Had the second room been comparable to the first room I had, I would have rated Zen Rooms Mackenzie a bit higher in my personal rating system, but the horrible second experience, combined with the fact that not one single taxi driver found the hotel due to the bad signage, misleading location and the unacceptable room cleaning service, I will surely never use this Hotel again and mis-trust those ratings in the two Hotel booking sites I used. 

Double Room with window

Double Room
Single room

Single room TV set

Single room barhroom

Single room bathroom

The entrance to the hotel