Taking over the former space of Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Hilton Singapore Orchard opened in February 2022 with 1,080 rooms – making it the largest Hilton property in Asia-Pacific. The hotel also occupies an enviable location, right in the heart of Orchard Road and with many of Singapore’s iconic shopping malls within 300 meters from the property.
Hilton Singapore Orchard (not to be mistaken with the now defunct Hilton Singapore and present day voco Orchard Singapore) was renovated almost completely, save for minor details like the lift, marbled walls in the lobby as well as certain parts of the swimming pool. The hotel now boasts of a modern contemporary design filled with muted colors as well as a botanical theme made with subtle references.
A few weeks after the hotel opened, I managed to drop by for a stay. It was my first hotel stay in the Orchard area in quite some time.
There are a few access points to the hotel. The first is from a receiving area from behind Mandarin Gallery while the other is through a lift right by the entrance of Mandarin Gallery itself. The main lobby of the hotel is on the 5th floor and this is where a number of the inhouse restaurants such as Estate, Ginger.Lily and Chatterbox are located as well.
My stay for this particular instance was at Hilton Singapore Orchard’s Premium Room. Located in the Mandarin Wing, the Premium Room is one notch higher than the hotel’s base-level Deluxe Room. Despite the higher category, the size is actually a bit smaller – at a modest 29 square meters compared to the Deluxe Room’s 34 square meters. That being said, the Premium Room has better interior design with a large painting by the bedframe and other decor as well as the presence of a tub.
In keeping with newer Hilton hotels, the room is governed by eco-friendly technology. The lights as well as air conditioning turn on with motion sensors and there is no need for guests to hook the key cards on to a slot when in the room.
One of the innovations in Hilton Singapore Orchard’s room fittings is that guests will no longer see enclosed cabinets in the rooms. It is instead an open-concept when it comes to storing and hanging one’s clothes – all without making things unsightly. For instance, the clothes racks are all kept just behind the TV console, easily accessible from the sides. This helps to maximize the space as you don’t get a boxy cabinet jutting out from the wall.
I liked how there were plenty of seating spaces in the room, including a sofa from where one could spend some time with a book or for a cup of tea before retiring to bed.
Hilton is frequently associated with business hotels so I was pleasantly surprised to find that they have done away with the usual rectangular work desks and replaced them with the more versatile round tables. It is a good spot where one can either enjoy some in-room dining or to get some work done. For business travelers, one can find two power outlets just under the round table.
In a sign of things moving back to normal, I found a relatively well-stocked minibar filled with chips and a variety of beverages. Tea from TWG as well as coffee with Nespresso machine were complimentary. Hilton Singapore Orchard offers its mineral water in tetra packs which I initially mistook for milk cartons.
One of the defining features of the Mandarin Wing of Hilton Singapore Orchard is that all guestrooms here come with a tub. I quite liked the dark, masculine vibe of the bathroom with dark green tiles, ambient lighting as well as a large round mirror as a centerpiece.
Tip: Rooms in the Mandarin Wing all have bath tubs while base-level rooms at the Orchard Wing don’t
Toiletries come from Acca Kappa, an Italian skincare brand, with more eco-friendly dispenser-type bottles.
The new Hilton Singapore Orchard comes with 5 dining concepts – Shisen Hanten (Chinese), Ginger.Lily (Lobby Bar), Estate (Buffet), Chatterbox (Local) and the yet-to-be-opened Osteria Mozza (Italian). Save for Shisen Hanten which retained the same look during the Mandarin Orchard era, the rest are either totally new concepts or as with the case of Chatterbox, had revamped their ambiance and menu. I have tried 3 concepts – Chatterbox, Estate and Ginger.Lily with each providing a different atmosphere for guests.
Those who remember Chatterbox from its previous incarnation will find a simplified menu with just 8 dishes. Gone are the salads and sandwiches but the iconic chicken rice has been retained. You can find my more detailed review of Chatterbox here.
Estate is the hotel’s all-day dining and buffet restaurant. The 340-seater space is cavernous and surprisingly feels rather intimate with its partially-enclosed spaces. The buffet here promises to NOT be run-of-the-mill, with highlights such as Gochujang Tacos, Black Truffle Duck, Honey Soy-Glazed Short Ribs and a wide variety of skewers.
Ginger.Lily is the hotel’s gorgeous lobby bar. It gets plenty of natural light emanating from the lobby level’s windows as well as sky lights. The menu is inspired by the hotel’s botanic theme, with spices being a key ingredient in some of the cocktail offerings. I imagine Ginger.Lily to be a popular afternoon tea destination in Singapore in the near future with its relaxing ambiance and showcase of pastries from the talented Cindy Khoo.
At the time of my visit, not all of Hilton Singapore Orchard’s facilities were open. The gym, located on the 6th floor, is huge, but I was told that another gym in the next tower will open in the months to come.
The swimming pool is located on the 5th floor just next to the lobby. For a 1,080-room property, it might get a bit crowded during peak periods as it is not particularly big but it is forgivable if you put it in the context of being right in the heart of Orchard Road where outdoor space can be quite scarce.
Breakfast is served in Estate. Despite staying on a weekend and going for breakfast at approximately 9AM, I did not find a snaking queue outside the restaurant. The morning meal is done buffet-style with plenty of live stations to choose from. Of note is the egg station where diners can even grab eggs benedict as well as the pastries section with many different types of muffins, bread and croissants for those with a sweet tooth.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a fresh juice station here where staff members can concoct not just the usual apple or orange juice but also various detox combinations with carrots, beetroot, ginger and celery. This is something I don’t find in higher-end hotels, not even at some of Singapore’s established 5-star hotels.
There’s no doubt that the new Hilton Singapore Orchard is beautiful. The designers of the hotel managed to achieve it without being garish. Almost everything is subtle and is decked in muted colors. I would think such a look carry a more timeless vibe. For most travelers to Singapore and even to locals, an Orchard Road address alone carries a premium. Combine that with the modern and calming interiors of the Hilton and you have got yourself an excellent backdrop to a stay.
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