Nestled in the atmospheric Balestier Road, Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park is a refreshing respite from the concrete and steel of downtown Singapore. Although a mere 4 kilometers away from the city center, the Balestier area harkens back to Singapore’s quieter and more laidback past with old-style bakeries, historical sites as well as eateries that have been around for decades. The low-rise environment is also a plus for those seeking something less dense.
I had the pleasure of checking out Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park over Christmas weekend via a staycation. The property’s part of a complex of Wyndham properties, with the Days Hotel next door separated by, you guessed it, Zhongshan Park – a zen-like recreation area for the public. There are a couple of attractions within walking distance including a Burmese temple and the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall which guests of the hotel can enter free of charge.
Despite checking in during Christmas day, I had no problems getting to my room. After the usual formalities, I was there in no time. The front desk was thoughtful enough to inform me of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service with hourly departures to Orchard Road and half-hourly departures to Novena MRT station.
Having stayed at the Days Hotel next door previously, I could see similarities between the two properties, room-wise. The layout for instance is quite uniform even though the rooms at Ramada are obviously much more spacious and more well-appointed. I checked online and the room area is advertised at 23 square meters though it definitely felt more like 25 to 28 square meters to me.
A key feature of the rooms at Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park are the distinctive floral prints on the pillows and bedding. Add to that a painting of traditional Singaporean shophouses or of bamoo by the wall and the ambiance seems to reflect the surrounding area very well.
What I particularly love about the rooms across the Wyndham properties in Singapore are the expansive sitting areas right by the window. It’s a great place to relax after an excruciating day at work or after a long day exploring the city. With the complimentary teabags and Nescafe coffee, I enjoyed just lounging around in this part of the room with the oversized pillows sheltering my back from the wall.
As with the bedroom, the bathroom follows a similar layout to the neighboring Days property but is obviously larger. While there is no bathtub, I found the rainshower to be more than sufficient. A complete set of amenities such as razor, cotton buds, shower cap, dental kit, etc were also available.
Facilities-wise, the hotel has an integrated wellness area located in one floor. There’s a gym which impressively had a punching bag as well as more than enough equipment for a holistic workout.
The pool is located just outside, and beside it is a garden which doubles as an event area for weddings and other celebratory occasions.
At the ground level, there is a business center which can be accessed by guests. Simple printing and facsimile services are available here as well as 4 desktop computers for surfing.
My stay came with breakfast which is held at Flavours @ Zhongshan Park. If you do opt to stay here, it is best to pre-book breakfast as it’s cheaper than booking it on the spot. Given the hotel’s park-side setting, the all-day dining restaurant is strategically placed allowing diners with wonderful views of the zen gardens while having breakfast – a great way to start the day if I may say so!
The breakfast buffet is evenly split between local and western dishes including bacon, scrambled eggs, an omelette counter, a selection of salads and pastries as well as Chinese-style porridge.
As you can see above, the local selection is quite extensive with three hot dishes aside from the porridge.
A great alternative to staying at the city center, the hotel offers guests the hourly connectivity to Orchard Road while locating itself in a quieter but charming neighborhood with a lot of character. Those who have “seen it all” in Singapore may very well do themselves a favor by staying here. Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park is the most highly-rated property in the area with rates that are also pretty competitive when compared to the city center. I did a random check online and found rates as low as SGD 160++ per night which is reasonable for a 4-star property in Singapore.