There was some sort of buy-out/merger/etc. that linked-up Fairmont with Swissotel though they still maintain their own, separate branding. Same with Raffles Hotel(s) which is also part of the same group.
I like the Swissotel in Clarke Quay for the location and the pool. Right on the river between CQ and BW, and the pool is way better than the one shared by the Swissotel/Fairmont. Plus it's next to the CQ MRT line which takes you to Harbourfront/Vivo or a quick one-stadion hop to Dhoby.
I don't fly any more than I need to, and I rarely fly for business nowadays. Still, having status is handy for the extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, lounge access, etc. And it's not that hard to get. I currently hold status with Singapore Airlines so I also get to clock up miles with the likes of Lufthansa, LOT or Air Canada in the process, but I am considering a switch to BA EC simply because of Finnair's new connection to Singapore. And if you can put an address from continental Europe onto your BA EC account then you would only need 1/2 the tier points for Gold compared to UK residents.