Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Grand Park City Hall, Singapore

7 Jan 2019 by Jackie Chen
Grand Park City Hall, Singapore

Background

Starting in operation in 2007 and having recently completed its latest round of renovations, Grand Park City Hall is the flagship luxury hotel of Asian hotel developer Park Hotel Group, chaired by CEO Allen Law. Following the renovation, the hotel has been furnished with six pairs of inter-connecting family rooms with specially designed facilities for children, a new swimming pool, new gym equipment, a new executive club lounge for Crystal Club guests and a rooftop garden space.

Where is it?

Located in Singapore’s Civic District, the hotel is close to major business hubs and tourist attractions including the National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House and the National Museum of Singapore, as well as shopping centres Capitol Piazza and Raffles City.

The hotel is a three-minute walk from City Hall MRT Station and a 30-minute drive from Changi Airport. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle services for guests that connect to Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, Raffles Place and Suntec Convention Centre.

What’s it like?

Inspired by the neighbourhood’s historical buildings, the hotel’s design integrates the cultural characteristics of Singapore within a contemporary architectural style. You encounter several different artworks in the hotel: a copper art installations of Singapore street maps in both the arrival foyer and the reception lobby, and black-and-white photos along the corridor and in the guestrooms capturing the beautiful landscape and landmark buildings of Singapore.

An interesting feature the hotel is keen to plug is its mobile app, available on both iOS and Android. You can use it for pre-arrival registration, check-in and check out, in-room appliance control, and service requests (including direct messaging with hotel staff). There’s a demo video on YouTube so you can see how it works.

On first entering the hotel, you will be in the arrival foyer on Level 1 and should take the lift to the Level 3 reception lobby. If this is your first time to the hotel, there are staff members offering hands-on instructions on how to use the app for digital check-in.

One of the app’s most pioneering features is its use as a digital room key. Just open the app, place your device at the sensor door lock and tap the screen. Hotel staff will issue you with a traditional keycard as well, though, in case the app doesn’t function properly.

Grand Park City Hall

The rooms

The hotel has 343 rooms, spanning from Level 4 to Level 9. The guestrooms are divided among 10 categories, with both king and twin rooms available. Sizes start from 28 sqm and the largest, Park Suite, covers 57 sqm.

I stayed at a 35-sqm Junior Suite on the eighth floor, outfitted with a king-size bed, a 50-inch smart TV, and a work desk. There’s also an armchair and a small sofa, but they’re placed at a hidden corner of the room in a rather awkward location.

Grand Park City Hall

Other amenities include a wardrobe with a full-length mirror, a well-stocked mini bar with juice, coke, beer and gin, as well as tea and coffee-making facilities. Ceiling fans, a necessary measure against Singapore’s near constant heat, are installed in rooms with a higher ceiling.

However, as it’s only a 10-storey hotel, the guestrooms, or at least the one I stayed in, do not offer very good views of the city, though you can still see the famous surfboard-looking Marina Bay Sands from the window.

I tested out the hotel app to control my room’s lighting and air conditioning. Quite convenient: I didn’t need to jump out of my bed to have all the lights switched off or look for the air-con remote control. Fortunately for the less tech savvy, there are touch pad controls on the wall that serve the same functions.

Grand Park City Hall

One of the two bedside tables is equipped with two USB ports and a wireless tabletop charger, meaning you can charge up to three devices at the same time. I used one of the USB ports for my power bank and the wireless tabletop charger for my iPhone 8 Plus. This design is perfect for a self-confessed smartphone addict like me who needs to check his fully charged phone for any new messages immediately upon waking, without having to leave my bed.

Grand Park City Hall

The spacious bathroom has a rainfall shower, outfitted with Sydney-based Appelles Apothecary bath amenities. Bathtubs are available in some other room types. Although I didn’t get a chance to try it myself, the bathroom can be used as a sauna room as well, with a shower bench and a touch pad control that you can use to adjust the temperature and humidity.

Grand Park City Hall

Food and beverage

On Level 3 just next to the hotel lobby, Tablescape Restaurant and Bar serves modern European cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a communal bar. Breakfast is served from 6:00 to 10:30am with guests able to order a set breakfast or choose from a varied buffet. For the buffet breakfast, you can find a choice of salmon, bacon, scrambled eggs and baked beans, as well as bread, cakes, fruit and salad.

Evening drinks – cocktails, wines and craft beers – are served from 5:30pm. If nothing on the menu takes your fancy, the bar staff can create a customised drink for you. I’m a bit alcohol intolerant, so I got a beautiful mocktail called Merry Fruity-Fruitea, containing earl grey tea and berries, specially made for me.

Dinner starts at 6:30pm. In addition to the set menu, the à la carte menu offers four to five different dishes for starters and main dishes. An impressive dessert trolley offers different kinds of cakes, crème brulée, soufflé, brownies and puddings.

Crystal Club Lounge, Grand Park City Hall, Singapore

Crystal Club Lounge

Crystal Club Lounge is on Level 9. Guests who have booked a Crystal Club guestroom get access to this lounge, open from 6:30am to 11:00pm every day. The lounge is not too spacious, but it’s much quieter than Tablescape. There’s also a rooftop garden event space where you can enjoy a better view of the city than from Tablescape and the guest rooms. Buffet breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10:30 am, but the food choice is rather limited compared with the main restaurant. Evening drinks and canapés are served from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, and light refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks are available all day.

Grand Park City Hall, Singapore

Leisure facilities

The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool on Level 4, open daily from 7am to 7pm – not particularly friendly hours for business travellers. There’s also a 24-hour Fitness Centre located on Level 3, but it’s pretty small and has limited equipment.

However, according to Jiahui Lim, the hotel’s marketing and communications manager, the current indoor gym room may be later moved beside the swimming pool and become an outdoor fitness center, and the original gym room will be turned into a meeting room.

Verdict

Generally speaking, it’s a nice hotel. Thanks to its central location, it’s easy to get around and the hotel’s mobile app adds a good deal of convenience. Staff are friendly and helpful, though minor drawbacks include the rather limited leisure facilities, and the current lack of business and meeting facilities.

Quick Facts

  • Best for… Central location and integrated mobile app
  • Don’t miss… Ordering a customised drink at Tablescape Restaurant and Bar
  • Price Internet rates for a Crystal Club Premier Room in mid-January start from S$340 (US$248) including service charge and GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Contact 10 Coleman Street, 179809, Singapore; +65 6336 3456; parkhotelgroup.com
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