WHAT'S IT LIKE? What used to be a cosy four-star property has metamorphosed – due to an extensive two-year refurbishment – into a bustling complex with more rooms and facilities catering to corporates. The service hasn’t suffered in the transformation though. Everyone is still eager to please.
WHERE IS IT? Its location, off the commercial buzz of Raffles City, has always suited guests wanting a sense of seclusion but with accessibility to activity spots. (Raffles Hotel, the Esplanade and Marina Bay are a relaxed and breezy stroll away.)
HOW MANY ROOMS? Since the renovation, 159 Premier Rooms and Suites in the Premier Wing have been added to the inventory. The Carlton Wing holds the remaining 471 units.
ROOM FACILITIES: My Premier Room with a king-size bed is full of the usual sleek and contemporary lines which are so de rigueur these days. Its simple lines were softened by the padded headboard in mocha tones and warm golden light from the bedside scones. The bathroom has a separate shower and tub (which I never had time to use) and personal safe large enough to store a laptop. Broadband access at US$13 plus GST for 24 hours is one of the amenities.
RESTAURANTS: Café Vic, a local institution for its tasty Asian fare, still runs all day long and now boasts an alfresco option; the Café Vic Terrace, which features a wood-fire pizza oven; and the hotel’s jewel, award-winning Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant continues to command a loyal clientele.
BAR: The music from Lobby Lounge in the evenings can be quite overwhelming. The Pool Bar is better for quiet discussions.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: Wi-Fi is available throughout the public areas of the hotel (including poolside) – guests need only to place a refundable deposit with reception for the rental of the wireless card. A ballroom and five meeting rooms are located on the second floor, all equipped with the latest conference tools.
LEISURE FACILITIES: An outdoor swimming pool with a two tier sundeck and waterfall and fitness centre with steam and sauna.
PRICE: A Premier Room Promotion from US$136, single or twin share, was running on the web at press time.
VERDICT: The restaurants are outstanding for the local fare served and location-wise, it remains a highly recommended bet.
CONTACT: 76 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189558, www.carlton.com.sg
Margie T Logarta