Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Orchard Hotel Singapore

31 Aug 2006 by intern11

What’s it like? Marble dominates the small but perennially busy lobby which reverberates at night with bouncy (but somewhat loud) band music. Doormen are quick to get a cab when you need one.

Where is it? In the tranquil part of Orchard Road which is more residential but still a pleasant walk to its retail and after-dark temptations.

How many rooms? 653 guestrooms occupying twin blocks Orchard and Claymore wings. The Orchard Wing recently benefitted from a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, which enlisted the skills of renowned designer Pierre-Yves Rochon for its Signature Club Floors. Each of the 20 Club Deluxe, 29 Club Rooms and 16 suites (with kitchenette) reflects one of three traditional Chinese colours – imperial red, Ming Blue and celadon – that serve as a backdrop for a raft of Oriental-influenced furnishings.

Room facilities: The U-shaped layout of the bathroom/vanity area/walk-in wardrobe takes a bit of getting used to, but we saw the designer’s aim to get the most out of a compact space. In a Club Deluxe, two 32-inch LCD TVs are in the sitting room and bedroom which can be linked to a laptop, MP3-Compatible Bose music system with CD player and alarm clock, broadband internet access and one-touch control panel for mood lights among others.

Restaurants: The hotel landed a double whammy at the annual World Goumet Summit with executive chef Eric Teo winning Executive Chef of the Year and master chef Chan Kwok winning Asian Ethnic Chef of the Year. Taste their handiwork at Orchard Café and La Terrasse (Teo) and Hua Ting (Chan).

Bar: Intermezzo with a live band in the evenings and the alfresco Beer Garden which not only serves the fizzy but the latest play of the day on a large projector screen.

Business facilities: The Signature Lounge is supervised by manager Sulaiman who is service personified. I was surprised he was aware that I had requested washing powder the night I arrived only to be told none could be supplied (it was possible, the operator informed me, except that it involved opening up the laundry room). He noted my suggestion to make it available along with the other toiletries (particularly when the guest is a female traveller) and made sure a packet was waiting for me after I returned from an appointment later that day. Instead of the usual scrambled eggs, he suggested I try the lounge specialty – coddled eggs in a charming Wedgewood cup – which was yummy to the last scoop.

Those in need of a business centre can contact the front desk for translation, photocopying, word processing and the usual secretarial services.

Leisure facilities: Gym with a view of the swimming pool; outdoor giant chess set, putting green and table tennis.

Verdict: This may be one of Singapore’s older hotels that looks it in some parts but it’s got the service ethic right. We would stay here again.

Price: Internet nightly rates start from US$136 for end of September.

Contact: 442 Orchard Road, tel 65 6734 7766, www.orchardhotel.com.sg.

Margie T Logarta

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