The Milelion had very nicely summed up the background and history of the property in his post here so please feel to hop over for the historical nuggets 🙂 Also, much has been written on this property so I’ll just focus on my experience in this post.
Address – 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 67373644. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Price – $320++ = $377 booked on a Garden Wing Deluxe Poolview room via HoteLux which entitles me to the following benefits:
Daily breakfast• Up to USD 100 hotel dining / spa credit per stay• Complimentary room upgrade (subject to availability)• Early check-in & late check-out (subject to availability)• Double dip on points – earn both hotel loyalty program and HoteLux points• Pay upon check-in and flexible cancellation policy• Welcome letter / amenities.
(Am I the only one who thinks a welcome letter is not a real benefit?)
I have to say I really only made the booking purely because of this post by The Milelion and I was lucky enough to be successfully upgraded to the Valley Wing due to the closure of the Tower Wing (for SHN), being one of those who were caught in the transition between the original terms and the property announcing that they will no longer fulfil the upgrade. This is quite the unbeatable rate for a Valley Wing experience for sure. Yay!
Valley Wing – Much has been talked about this exclusive wing of the property and it has always seem quite elusive to the staycation peeps due to its price point. Honestly, I also wouldn’t have paid full price for the experience, especially when offerings are very much scaled down in COVID-19 times. But the exclusivity is exactly the main draw. And FREE.FLOWCHAMPAGNE.ALL.DAY.
Location – Nestled in the Orange Grove area where all the atas people stay, off one end of the Orchard Road belt. It’s a good 10-min unsheltered walk from Orchard Delfi, so depending on the weather, it may or may not feel accessible enough.
Prior To Arrival – received my pre-arrival email 3 days prior but the email was geared towards upselling add-ons and it came across as rather ….. transactional / commercial. Didn’t pick any.
Getting There – The nearest train station is Orchard (NS22), a full 20-min walk point to point. But otherwise, take a grab like me and arrive there in air-conditioned comfort. Milelion’s tip about setting Valley Wing as the drop-off point was well heeded.
Check In – I arrived on a Thursday 1230pm and there was no other guests at the lobby. The strange thing is, the doorman came to open the car door for me as I alighted my Tada and then…… immediately turned around to walk away without offering any assistance with my luggage and laptop. A rather patchy service start – was it too much to expect him to help me especially at Valley Wing?
My room was ready, and I was given my welcome letter stating the Valley Wing benefits. I was also given a late(r) check out of 1pm from the original 12pm. My other letter explaining the USD100 dining credit was later slipped under my door.
Room – I am all for modern luxury than old school opulence but I really liked my Valley Wing Deluxe King (57SqM)! Although I’ve seen multiple reviews of the space, nothing beats seeing it in person and I liked it much better than I thought I would. Although dated, the room was spotless and the multiple pockets of space were very well-designed too: the sofas, the work desk, the vanity area, the mini bar, the dressing area. The massive king bed was super comfy too!
Welcome amenity was a fruit basket as well as a box of well made chocolates. Szechuan chocolates anyone? A welcome note accompanied these little delights too.
The bathroom were stocked with L’Occitane toiletries, had a bathtub (have bath salts!), and the double sinks equipped with a set of amenities more than you would ever use for a 2D1N staycation. I liked having the shower and toilet separate for multi-tasking so was quite happy to see that incorporated into the huge space.
Valley Wing Lobby & surrounds – I quite liked the overall ambience of this wing – everything seems to be created along the same theme of old school opulence and it never felt like it was too much. In the Valley Wing lobby itself, the digital menu is available upon a quick scan of the QR code laid out on the table – not sure if the menu changes but my stay’s menu is here.
Afternoon Tea – served from 2-5pm in a set which contains your typical sandwiches, an outstanding chicken ngoh hiang, and desserts which were cloyingly sweet. Scones were also served and they were at most passable. But nothing that a glass of champagne (or four) can’t save!
Evening Canapés – served from 5-7pm, this comes in a form of a small platter of 4 types of small bites: I saw popcorn chicken (the best), salami squares (okay), brie cheese on crackers (not bad), and mushroom puff (stale). A selection of gin cocktails during this time and because I was tired of champagne at this point, I tried my best to make the best value out of my stay by ordering a compilation of random alcohol. I tried to ask for a second serving of only selected canape items but was told the chef does not allow such mix and match and he ‘will not be happy’ about it. Erm, okay.
Breakfast (Summit Room) – Ah, THE SUMMIT ROOM. We were the 2nd table to be occupied on a Fri morning 8am and service was barely functional. A small buffet of continental items (think cold cuts, cheese, cereal, yoghurt etc) were laid out but you need to approach a staff to take items for you due to COVID measures. Otherwise, you may pick 2 items from the breakfast menu which offers some seasonal items. The Bak Kwa and Char Siew was honestly terrible – rubberized tough cuts of what could have been mystery meat for all I know. Thankfully, the Crispy Egg Confit and Egg Benedict made up for it.
Facilities / Healthclub / Hotel surrounding – They did not allow me to take pics of the gym due to ‘privacy’ reasons so here’s what the pool and other random surroundings of the hotel premise looks like.
Service Issues – Here’s the thing. While I do not expect to be fawned over like a VIP, it is still reasonable to expect good service from a Shangri-La, especially at Valley Wing. But apart from 4 individuals who stood out, most times what I saw was really disinterest and unprofessionalism. The doorman was a patchy start. And when we moved our car from the main wings’ carpark to one of the Valley Wing lots located in front of the lobby (as advised that we could by one of the staff), we got a semi lecture from the doorman who saw us park – he simply told us that parking lots at the Valley Wing are limited, that they are mostly reserved for long-stay guests, and perhaps next time we can consider parking at the main wing instead. Service was slow at the Valley Wing lobby and it was difficult to get attention at times. During evening cocktails, a staff served us an order and walked away without clearing the soiled plates on the table.
Other random stuff – Because alcohol impairs judgement, we used part of our dining credit at the main wing’s Lobby Lounge and ate expensive Bak Chor Mee, Laksa, and Kopi C Kosong. The balance was spent on a shopping spree at The Shophouse.
Check Out – On the day of check out, I managed to get them to extend for another hour til 2pm (yays to more wine!). The process was quick, although they mistakenly charged me for my Shophouse loot and I had to highlight that I had balance dining credits to use.
Great hardware all round but definitely an underwhelming experience in terms of service. Unfortunately, I won’t come back again assuming its going to be full Valley Wing price but I’m still glad that I’ve checked this off my list.
After submitting the post-stay survey, I received a call almost immediately from the Duty Manager who was very concerned about the multiple service issues I highlighted and promised to follow up with an email addressing them. He also said to let him know when I will be next back so he can make sure I get the proper Valley Wing experience. Kudos to them for taking feedback seriously!
The email never did come but after completing another stay under the CPMC promotion, I am pleased to update that the service standards was way above and beyond my first stay – that’s what Valley Wing should be about!
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