It probably comes as a surprise to most that one can actually soak in the tropical resort vibe at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza. It also feels slightly ironic that it does so despite sitting at the crossroads of what is probably the country’s busiest intersection – Orchard and Scotts.
Some of those who have done staycations at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza – especially those who have confined themselves to the usual rooms probably won’t immediately agree to that resort-style proposition but those in the know have been booking out the property’s popular Pool Terrace rooms for years. The Pool Terrace Room is the property’s answer to resort-style living. As there are only 9 of such rooms in the hotel, this room category is able to command a premium and is also always booked out well in advance, especially for weekend stays. During a recent weekend, I was able to check out the Pool Terrace Room at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza thanks to the invitation of the kind team.
The property currently has a “Blissful Escapes” staycation package which comes with the following inclusions:
• Accommodation in a Pool Terrace Room or Executive Suite from Fridays to Sundays
• 24-hour use of room with flexible check-in and check-out
• Delightful English High Tea with Champagne for two persons
• Daily breakfast for up to two persons
• One complimentary parking
My staycation occurred about 2 months after phase 2 was first announced by the Singapore government. My check-in procedure incurred a couple more steps – such as filling out personal details and completing a mini health declaration. It went without saying that I had to have my temperature taken each time I entered the hotel.
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Pool Terrace Room
The Pool Terrace room is a relatively newer inclusion to Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza and debuted at the time the swimming pool was renovated around 6 to 7 years ago. At 42 square meters, the Pool Terrace room is a spacious oasis with a lounge area outside and even a dedicated cabana if your room happens to be at either end of the stretch.
Inside, the predominance of wooden elements and light tones brings to mind the type of lodging you’d expect to have in a tropical island rather right smack in the crossroads of Orchard and Scotts. There are two sources of natural light here – one from the window overlooking the pool which also illuminates the bed area and the second from the skylight spanning the width of the bathroom. Brightly lit rooms are always good to have, especially for a property that seeks to highlight the tropical resort kind of theme.
Similarly, as the main window overlooks the pool, it might be possible that privacy is lessened to a slight extent. This is especially evident when you have quite a number of people frolicking in the pool or sitting in one of the cabanas in the public areas. This is easily solved by drawing the curtains.
As Marriott is a brand that has traditionally been strong with the business traveler segment, there is also a large working desk if ever the need to plugin one’s laptop arises. At the time of my stay, the housekeeping staff also thoughtfully left some wet wipes for me to use. The coffee machine is also situated here. Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza now uses Lavazza coffee in-room as well as in the dining outlets. Owing to the current situation, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza’s usually comprehensive minibar was bare.
The main draw of the Pool Terrace room in my view, is the impressive bathroom – probably the most unique hotel bathroom where Singapore city hotels are concerned. For one, I particularly love the mini rock garden at the far end which is bathed in natural light in the day. It creates something of a “zen” effect, adding to the allure of this room category. There’s a his and hers sink by the side as well as separate enclosures for the shower and toilet.
The bathroom is open concept but it does not mean guests have to compromise in terms of privacy. To really have a feel of the full size of the room, I mostly kept the bathroom open but there are also two ways to shut it. The first is via blinds which can be controlled by a switch and the second is through a sliding door.
The centerpiece of the Pool Terrace bathroom is the standalone tub lying exactly in the middle and acting as an intermediary point from the bed to the wash area. In fact, the tub is so near the bed that one can practically step into the tub from the bed in just two steps. The resort feel is further emphasized with the presence of a toiletries stand filled with a range of Thann products as well as copious amounts of bath salts. If one’s idea of a perfect staycation is to lie on a tub for hours, this room category certainly does the trick!
Club Benefits – Evening Cocktails and Breakfast
By definition, the Pool Terrace room is considered an executive-level room so guests who book this room category get to access the M club lounge which is located at the same level. However, since the lounge itself was closed owing to the current situation, club benefits are instead offered at Marriott Cafe. In a way, the new format is an enhancement to club guests. While you no longer get the buffet spread, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza replaces it instead with a 4-course dinner – with multiple options for each course. In fact, this new 4-course dinner format seemed to be more filling than what I remembered from the lounge. The Truffle Fries were particularly noteworthy, and carried the kind of consistency and quality that a full-fledge dining venue could bring, rather than the generic catering of a club lounge.
Breakfast the following day was served in the same style. Guests no longer get the kind of variety that they are probably used to when it comes to Marriott but owing to the current situtation, the dwindling down of the menu is in line with what other hotels in Singapore are also doing with their breakfast menu.
The upside of this is that all dishes are now made to order and in that sense, there is a higher degree of “freshness” that can’t be achieved with a conventional buffet. All the main types of breakfast food have some sort of representation here, from pancakes to noodles to cold cuts, pastries and healthier options like muesli. Guests are free to order as much as they want.
Afternoon Tea at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Lobby
As international tourism is practically halted at the time of this writing, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza has instead focused on the domestic market for hotel stays and my stay at the property’s Pool Terrace Room was actually part of their Blissful Escapes staycation package. Aside from the stay at a Pool Terrace Room, it also came with afternoon tea served on a three-tiered stand and even one round of champagne.
The afternoon tea is quite a good value given that it is normally priced at S$58++ per person on a standalone basis. While I was having it, I also noticed the entire lobby was full with diners having the same afternoon tea. The stand contained a mix of sweets and savories including Raspberry Lychee Red Velvet Cupcake, Salted Caramelized Rocher and more. The tea comes from TWG while the alcohol is Henriot Brut Champagne. Aside from this, we also received a welcome drink – a special blend of iced tea.
After having stayed at the Pool Terrace Room, it now looks obvious to me why this room type is so popular. Not only do you get that resort vibe, but being at the heart of Orchard Road also means that you can easily go on a shopping spree by day and then soak in the calming ambiance of the room at night. To a lot of locals perhaps, the main architecture of Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza with its pagoda-style roofing, renders it as one of the more traditional-looking hotels in the Lion City. If I were to go by my previous two stays in the main wing, I would probably think the same but being exposed to the contrast of the Pool Terrace Room definitely changed all that.