Mandarin Oriental Singapore is one of those rare hotels which appeals equally to business and leisure guests. It’s got all the facilities business travellers might need along with a pool that would have them wishing they could leave the office early. With its soothing water features, semi-submerged day beds and lounging cabanas, this pool area is one of the best I’ve seen at a CBD hotel. If you want to check out the famous sights there is no need to go far as the hotel is located within walking distance of many major attractions. You can reach the Singapore Flyer in five minutes or cross over the Helix Bridge to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands for some retail therapy then continue on to Gardens by the Bay. If you would like to venture further afield or don’t feel like walking, the friendly doorman will get you a taxi.
We arrived early and were promptly shown to our room overlooking the futuristic Art Science Museum and Marina Bay Sands. All of the regular rooms are similar in size and decor but have different views. A Marina Bay Room is the top pick as it has the best outlook, especially at 8pm each night as you can watch the light and water show outside Marina Bay Sands from the comfort of your bed. You can also pay to upgrade and access the Club Lounge on the 19th floor which offers the usual inclusions such as daily breakfast and evening drinks and canapés.
There are many things to love about the rooms at this hotel but for me, the soft-as-cloud bed and luxe shower were the biggest hits after coming off a long international flight. The toiletries from British luxury brand Aromatherapy Associates were also a favourite with both my husband and myself. Not to girly-smelling for him and not too masculine for me. We awoke well-rested after a deep sleep and headed down to enjoy the pool. Unfortunately during our visit there was a lot of smoke haze blowing over from Indonesia so the outdoor atmosphere wasn’t the best.
I have used a photo of the pool (and our room) provided by the hotel because the grey, gloomy skies and limited visibility in my shots didn’t do this hotel justice. If you stay mid-week and are lucky, you could have this pool area pretty much to yourself. The cabanas were virtually empty when we arrived but began to get busier as the weekend approached. The spa is also located on this level and epitomises the concept of ‘small is beautiful’ with just six treatment rooms, one of which is a plush couple’s suite. So is the fitness centre which has something you don’t see in many gyms – a chandelier!
It is pretty much impossible to fault anything at this superb hotel – except the cost of the room service which was astronomical, even for a hotel of this calibre. A toasted ham and cheese sandwich with fries was $26 (plus tax!). Fortunately there are a number of restaurants throughout the hotel as an alternative, ranging from the poolside Italian restaurant Dolce Vita to Cherry Garden which serves Cantonese cuisine and the popular American chain Morton’s Steakhouse. If you can drag yourself away from the hotel’s luxurious surrounds, there is also an excellent food court at the shopping mall next door.
We didn’t try the on-site restaurants for dinner but very much enjoyed our breakfasts at MELT – The World Cafe. On our first morning we were offered a ‘tour’ of the buffet which we almost didn’t take but were glad we did. The offerings were so extensive they were spread across two rooms. I won’t list everything on offer but I will say that I’d be (very) surprised if what you wanted for breakfast wasn’t there. And if you couldn’t find it? Ask and they would no doubt make it for you. Mandarin Oriental Singapore is that kind of place.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of Mandarin Oriental Singapore.
Looking for some things to do in Singapore? Check out our reviews of Singapore ZooRiver Safari , the Orangutan Breakfast at Singapore Zoo, and our guide to finding some of Singapore’s best cafes at Tiong Bahru.