WHAT’S IT LIKE? This is an old friend from the 1990s when I lived in Singapore, originally a Hyatt Regency. In 1998, it took on the Grand Hyatt persona after emerging from an extensive renovation that added the zen-oriented touches in the lobby (rocks and flowing water) and produced a unique show-kitchen restaurant that set off the trend in hundreds of hotels across Asia and beyond.
In 2004, another round of refurbishment created the Grand Wing, and from further works completed in March of this year, emerged the Terrace Wing, which has the benefit of overlooking an elegantly landscaped gardens.
WHERE IS IT? “Never too far from where the action is” goes the tagline from a press release, and it’s one we heartily agree with. Smack on Scotts Road, it’s minutes away from what main drag Orchard Road is all about, via footbridges and underground walkways, to malls, malls and more malls (the latest being ION Orchard beside the MRT station) and our personal favourite Borders bookstore.
HOW MANY ROOMS? The Terrace Wing has 264 guestrooms including three Presidential Suites. The Grand Wing has 39 guestrooms and suites.
ROOM FACILITIES My 42sqm Grand Room in the Terrace Wing belongs to the entry-level category. The light-hued interiors, both walls and flooring, and lack of clutter made me feel that I could breathe easy and walk around without bumping into any sharp corners.
I would, however, advise a room further away from the lift, which number 864 wasn’t. I could clearly hear the various comings and goings of my neighbours, especially those who spoke loudly. This jarred my concentration quite a bit.
I spent a considerable amount of time at the spacious workdesk, which fitted nicely into the contour of the V-shaped window. I alternated between using the Wi-Fi and wired internet access, which never gave me any problems during start up. One is charged S$25 (US$17.70) for 24 hours. Other highlights include a 37-inch wall-mounted LCD TV with personal audio/video connection, a DVD/CD/VCD player, goose-down bedding and laptop-ready safe.
Those with club privileges can use the Executive Lounge on the 15th floor (the Grand Wing also has its own on the 21st floor), offering private check in and check out, free Wi-Fi connectivity, continental breakfast, light refreshments, canapés and evening cocktails. Guests of guests are welcome but there are fees for meals or drinks consumed by them.
F&B The hotel’s restaurants, mezza9, Straits Kitchen, Pete’s Place, Scotts Lounge and Brix, are bywords with regular overseas customers as well as the locals. mezza9, which brought Japanese design firm Super Potato to the attention of other hotel chains, made waves from the moment it opened in 1998 for bringing together nine different cuisines in the “show kitchen” concept and engaging diners in the preparation of their food. Years later, Straits Kitchen elevated the hawker-dining experience to five-star level without compromising the scrumptious flavours that Singaporean street cuisine is renowned for.
Pete’s Place still serves seriously good Italian fare and a range of tantalising breads with irresistible flavoured butters to match.
BUSINESS FACILITIES Meeting spaces are located well away from the main lobby and boast a separate entrance, ensuring traffic does not mix. The Grand Ballroom and two smaller ballrooms take up to 1,000 for cocktails and 900 theatre seating. There are 20 function rooms, four boardrooms and a Balinese garden for breakout sessions and events.
LEISURE FACILITIES Damai, meaning “peace” in Malay, was the name chosen to reflect the hotel’s various lifestyle offerings, consisting of a spa with 11 treatment rooms, free-form pool, modern gym with LCD screens on the equipment, steam and sauna, whirlpool baths and cold plunge pools, tennis courts and indoor badminton courts.
VERDICT My room’s work corner was most conducive to getting things done and the restaurants continue to be outstanding.
PRICE Internet nightly rates for a Grand King or Twin Room stay during the first week of January 2010 starts from S$395 (US$282).
CONTACT 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211, tel 65 6738 1234, www.singapore.grand.hyatt.com
Margie T Logarta