One of Singapore’s most iconic hotels, the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza majestically stands in the intersection of Orchard and Scotts roads with its distinct green pagoda roof and unique octagonal shape. Anyone who has been to Orchard Road would be hard-pressed to miss this hotel. With its location just above Orchard MRT Station, this property is also one of the most convenient in the city. Last week, I checked out the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza via a staycation.
Entering the lobby, I was amazed by the high ceiling. In comparison with other hotels in Singapore, the property does not boast of an opulent grand lobby but the floor-to-ceiling height which is about 3-storeys tall creates a spacious environment for those lounging around or for guests waiting to check-in.
As I happened to be in Orchard area in the morning, I thought to drop by the hotel to check whether my room was ready. It wasn’t yet as it was still a few hours before check-in time. Nevertheless, the front desk staff was very proactive in suggesting that I wait in the club lounge or even have breakfast at Marriott Cafe even though technically I was not eligible for breakfast until the morning after.
At around 1 in the afternoon (an hour before check-in time), the hotel called to inform me my room was already available. To my delight, they also told me that I was upgraded to a Studio even though my booking was only for an Executive Double. As I made my way to the room, I noted the friendly demeanor of staff members I encountered along the corridors. The interaction was very American in style – I would always receive greetings of “How are you doing today?” which is not surprising given that Marriott is an American hotel chain after all. It was quite similar to my experience when I stayed at Marriott Manila sometime back.
At 38 square meters, the Studio is slightly larger than the Executive Double’s 32 square meter size. Compared to the normal rooms, the Studio differs in two aspects. The bed and desk are separated by a partition containing the 46-inch high definition TV while a walk-in closet / vanity area serves as a buffer between the bathroom and the bedroom. One notable aspect about the room are the windows – wide and curved due to the octagonal shape of the building, allowing plenty of light to come in.
Aside from the room layout, the next thing most guests will notice is the presence of plentiful in-room goodies. These are all part of the minibar. For late night hunger pangs, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza ensures guests will not be left wanting. There’s also a Nespresso machine with complimentary coffee capsules in the room.
As mentioned earlier, a small vanity area leads to the bathroom. While the Studio does not come with a tub, it does come with a very spacious shower area with a his and hers shower plus seating space for two inside the shower. There are also his and hers sinks. As with other Marriott properties, toiletries are from Thann, the well-known skincare brand.
Executive Lounge at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
My stay came with executive lounge access. While it was being renovated when I was there, the hotel has set up a temporary lounge space at Level 2. The highlight of the executive lounge is the evening cocktails which is served for a staggering four hours each night, from 5:30 PM to 9:30PM. This comes in two parts, with a buffet spread for the first two hours followed by dessert during the last two hours. Drinks are essentially free-flow during these four hours and guests can order champagne, beer and various cocktails.
Here are some highlights of the executive lounge benefits at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza:
- Complimentary continental breakfast from 6AM to 10AM Mondays to Fridays and up to 11AM on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays
- Complimentary evening cocktails from 5:30 to 9:30PM daily
- Complimentary pressing for one piece of garment per day
What I particularly loved about this property’s evening cocktails offering is that it does not just consist of canapes like elsewhere. There is a decent spread of proper dinner-worthy food. During my visit to the executive lounge, I chanced upon crackling pork belly, dumplings, the property’s famous lobster bisque, a decent salad bar, fruit selection and mini dessert station among others. The spread would have looked better when displayed at the actual Executive Lounge which will be ready by January 2016.
As a full-service hotel, the property boasts of 5 restaurants, each with a distinct proposition. The most atmospheric is perhaps the eponymous Pool Grill, located right next to the hotel’s newly-renovated pool.
The swimming pool here by the way is one highlight of the property. Refurbished just this year, it contains plenty of lounge chairs and at least three cabanas to create that resort feel within the city center. It’s especially scenic at night when the glittering lights of the nearby Ion Orchard adds an illuminating effect to the pool.
I was surprised to find a basketball court (a half-court) inside the hotel. Located just next to the fitness center, guests are free to play with fellow guests. Among the hotels in Singapore, this is probably the only property that has a basketball court for guests.
Breakfast at Marriott Cafe
My stay came with breakfast at Marriott Cafe which I’ve had the pleasure of trying a couple of times before for their lunch buffet. But it’s been a while since I went and I hadn’t realized they actually renovated some two years back.
I like the buffet spread at Marriott Cafe. It’s very concentrated within a small area. That doesn’t mean that their selection is small – in fact it’s quite comprehensive and I spotted several items that I don’t see elsewhere. Aside from usual favorites such as waffles, pancakes, croissants, omelets and the usual ham; I found no less than two types of bacon (the crispy and the non-crispy version), Yakult as part of their milk selection, wide variety of fresh juices compounded by a smoothie concoction that changes by the day as well as their centerpiece, the bone ham.
Of all, I particularly loved the bone ham. I’m not a fan of ham in general but this one’s tender and juicy, I couldn’t resist going for second helpings.
Fortunately, the hard and soft product at this property is nothing to sneer at with its well-appointed rooms, service culture that’s sincere, fantastic pool and superior executive lounge offerings. Compounded by its really central location, it’s hard to go wrong with this hotel. I did a rough comparison between rooms with and without executive lounge access and found the difference to be roughly SGD 120++ or roughly SGD 60++ per person per night assuming two persons to a room. For the breakfast and evening cocktails that’s included, the executive upgrade is worthwhile. I personally would be keen to see how the refurbished executive lounge will look like when it reopens in January 2016.
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza
320 Orchard Road