With a hard-to-beat Marina Bay location, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city for staycations. The brand is well-known for delivering Asian sensibilities in its product – from the physical appearance of the rooms and facilities down to the detailed-oriented service standards of the staff. I stayed in the flagship Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong previously and was bowled over by the interactions I had with the staff. It truly was one of my most memorable hotel stays and had me yearning to experience more of the Mandarin Oriental proposition.
The Singapore property has a relatively modest lobby which belies the majestic atrium that you see from Level 4 onwards. The hotel was built in 1987 and was designed by John Portman (who also designed the nearby PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay). Upon check-in, I was informed by reception that the hotel was running full and they would upgrade me instead to a Marina Bay Suite.
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Marina Bay Suite
As the name suggests, the Marina Bay Suite faces the skyline of Raffles Place on one side and Marina Bay Sands on the other. There are quite a number of hotels around the Marina Square area but Mandarin Oriental Singapore is one of the two hotels (the other being Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore) that truly gives you unobstructed views.
My suite was around 67 square meters in area – relatively spacious by any standards. A small foyer greets you as you enter the room which then leads to the living and working area. Due to the shape of the building, the suite is slightly angular with one side running diagonally. If you are expecting visitors, the powder room by the entrance is convenient. It also removes the awkwardness caused by having them walk over to your sleeping quarters just to use the loo.
Altogether, the living area and its accompanying balcony takes up slightly more than half the area of the suite. You won’t face any shortage in seating spaces here. Aside from a couch, there is a wonderfully comfortable armchair as well as an ergonomic desk chair in case you need to catch up on some work. As an added tip – if you are here on a movie or TV marathon, I highly recommend lounging on the arm chair for a really cozy experience.
The audio system inside the room is also something worth noting. You do get a cinematic experience here while catching up on the latest films. If you prefer to listen to you own music instead, the hotel thoughtfully provides audio cables (these can be found inside the desk drawer) to allow you to connect your phone or PC into the in-room speakers.
Part of any stay at Mandarin Oriental Singapore is a pot of tea which is brought to the room shortly after check-in. This is on top of the complimentary TWG tea sachets found in the minibar. For any late-night hunger pangs, you would be pleased to know that the minibar is well-stocked. Aside from the usual chips, sweets and nuts; I also encountered a small (chargeable) bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne in the room.
For added privacy, wooden doors separate the bedroom from the living area. The first thing you notice as you enter the sleeping quarters is undoubtedly the bed – incredibly plush with not a single wrinkle to be spotted, not even on the pillow sheets. The Mandarin Oriental beds are famed for being soft and mine certainly didn’t disappoint the moment I laid myself on it. Coupled with quadruple glazed windows, one is ensured of some peace and quiet. No random creaking sounds at night, thankfully!
The bedroom also comes with its own high definition HDTV which is convenient in case you and your partner want to watch different shows at the same time.
For those familiar with Mandarin Oriental properties, you will find the same amount of detail in the way the amenities are placed and made available to guests in the bathroom. Mine came with a deep-soaking tub with its own set of toiletries from Atelier Cologne placed alongside a pair of small towels and some bath salts. Over at the sink, amenities such as dental kits, comb and razors are neatly arranged and placed inside a container. You even get earbuds without having to ask!
The separate shower area makes freshening up an unexpectedly fun task. Various settings are available by turning the shower head, including “champagne” and “rain” (the latter’s my personal favorite). You also get another set of toiletries here.
Shortly after I arrived in the room, a staff member brought a dining trolley containing chips, nachos and popcorn to my room. The snacks came with a variety of delicious dips which almost stole the thunder away from the show. I was also handed DVDs that I selected a couple of days prior to my stay. My movie marathon was off to a great (and luxurious) start.
Another inclusion of the staycation package I had at Mandarin Oriental Singapore is a pair of GV Gold Class tickets. These can be used at Suntec City which is just a short walk away from the hotel. For those looking for a more intimate movie experience, it is worth noting that Gold Class at GV is luxurious even on its own. You get to enjoy the latest blockbusters while sitting on relaxing Nappa leather-clad recliners. This is on top of a pre-movie dining experience in GV’s own lounge.
If you have a bit of leisure time, I highly suggest checking out the hotel facilities. Most of them – such as the pool, gym and spa – are located at Level 5. The swimming pool is highly popular with guests due to the breathtaking view of Marina Bay that you get from here. I personally go to the pool to swim laps but if you prefer to relax, there are also plenty of massage jets and lounge chairs where you can while an entire afternoon away. If your inclination is to go swimming at night, do note that the pool closes at 9pm.
The gym is another highlight if your preference is to workout during your stay. The fitness center is not the largest in a hotel in Singapore but it is sizable. What I particularly like about it is their good range of exercise equipment, including a Kinesis Wall which I rarely find elsewhere. There is also an atmospheric outdoor stretching area with plenty of couches to relax and wooden floorboards from which you can place your mats. During my visit, I had forgotten to bring rubber shoes and I was told by the staff members that the gym also carried shoes that could be loaned (free of charge).
My stay came with breakfast which is held at Melt. The all-day dining restaurant is personally one of my favorite buffet venues and I have been coming regularly since 2008 (you can check out more details of Melt’s buffet here). For breakfast, you can expect an array of international dishes with an almost equal distribution of western and local fare.
I recommend the delicious cheesy omelet which is made-to-order at the eggs counter. Melt is also particularly known for its Indian section for breakfast and if you’d prefer to spice up your mornings with curry, you won’t go wrong here.
After staying at Mandarin Oriental Singapore, I can safely say that it now makes for a new addition into my personal list of the best staycation hotels in Singapore. There are just so many things to love here – from the plush and well-appointed rooms to the impressive facilities. In between, I also found the service level to be notable even as I compare it to other luxury hotels in the country. With plenty of dining options and extensive wellness areas, the property is like a destination in itself and you do get to have some wonderful r&r without having to leave the confines of the hotel.
Mandarin Oriental Singapore
8 Marina Boulevard
Tel: +65 63380066