For some reason, this property has never been on my radar until now. And of course, I managed to miss the Tangs Members rate which was going for $188++ for 2pax earlier but ah wells, everything is (sometimes) on hindsight isn’t it.
Address – 320 Orchard Road, Singapore 238865. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 7355800. Email email@example.com.
Location – The location is made for shopaholics as it is right smack in the middle of Orchard, with sheltered access to plenty ways to burn your hard earned money. Rain or shine, never mind! A 5-min walk to Orchard MRT (NS22) also makes it easy to get around but kind of defeats the point of staying in town.
Price – $208++ = $244.82nett under the Tangs Member Exclusive which includes daily breakfast and SGD30 Tangs gift card per night. Still good value but only for Platinum Elites in my opinion.
Pre-Arrival – I received my pre-arrival email 3 days prior and the room reservations team was kind enough to exercise some flexibility about my uncertainty in plans til the day before. A good impression for a start!
Check In – The front desk was completely empty on a weekday 1130am and I was attended to immediately. It took all of 15mins to complete the process and I was only accorded an upgrade to an Executive Room which basically means … no upgrade. The staff who checked me in said all Suites are full but I could see that Executive Premier, Executive Club Larger Guest Rooms, and even Suites were still being sold on the app.
I was also given a few letters explaining the necessary details:
Room – My Executive Room, 1 King (32SqM) (2808) was fair sized and actually quite well appointed with everything you’d need for a 2-night stay but also clearly showing its age despite the refurbishments done in 2012. Certain things like the power sockets design and lack of USB ports by the bedside (or anywhere) could be an issue for some, though plenty power points are available.
The king bed was super comfy and I liked the practical design of having bedside tables on both sides of it rather than just one. The day sofa that sits at the end of the bed was under-used during my stay but it adds a pop of blue to the room’s brown / beige colors. The work desk located at one side of the room was rather small but still adequate in getting some work done with the 2x work chairs (abit aged). There are powerpoints close by for your laptops / phone chargers for convenience.
The choice of in-room coffee machine was Lavazza but I didn’t get to try it. On the same console, underneath the TV, is the mini bar equipped with basic amenities.
Bathroom was fair sized but the open concept toilet means no multi-tasking. Toiletries were THANN as usual at Marriott properties.
My only gripe is that the a/c seems to be on full blast no matter how I try to adjust it – so most times the room was freezing cold so I ended up opening up the curtains during the day to get some sunlight in.
M Club – during my stay which is the school holiday period, M Club benefits was accorded at M Club itself rather than Marriott Cafe which I understand is the ‘norm’ for regular weekdays:
- Hors d’oeuvres (Set-Menu) : 5.30pm to 7.30pm Mondays to Thursdays | Marriott Café, Level 1
- Cocktails (Menu) : 5.30pm to 9.30pm Mondays to Thursdays | Marriott Café, Level 1
It was a good adjustment for me as I finally got to see what a nice space it was! Located beside the pool on Level 5, the space offers floor to ceiling windows, cosy seatings, and full views of those frolicking in the resort-style pool (can be good or bad depending on who’s frolicking at that moment). Service was attentive and effortlessly polite and you’d feel well taken care of. Along with completely no judgement if you order more food while ditching what’s on your table. The staff even remembered I needed a towel blanket the day before and asked if I needed it again on the next night.
I choose to think its good service rather than him remembering me because I looked completely ridiculous with the blue pool towel drapped over my icy legs.
M Club guests are definitely a punctual bunch as a queue formed at 5:30pm sharp to enter the space and the more popular seats quickly snapped up. But the space empties out rather quickly too once food stops at 7:30pm.
This M Club is known for its wide variety of food offerings and I have to agree that it is more than enough as dinner. Multiple orders are permitted and the staff even offered a ‘tasting portion’ for 1pax for me which was nice. Unfortunately, Day 1 quality was quite lacking (similar to what you get from bad catering choices) and I didn’t finish most of what I ordered. Day 2 fared much better with better meats and a great light asparagus dish with sliced almonds (they then proceeded to run out of sliced almonds but offered to replace it with carrots.
Drinks variety was more than sufficient as well and I figured one wouldn’t get bored across the whole 4 hours even if you are very fickle. The boring me stuck to prosecco (La Gioiosa Brut) most times and found it perfectly drinkable. Martini was no good but Margarita was nice!
Breakfast at Marriott Cafe – no reservation is needed for breakfast but they do have a prominent signage indicating potential traffic at certain timings. Only a few tables was occupied on a weekday morning 7:45am and my orders were quickly taken. The Chilli Crab Omelette was quite tasty, alongside okay-ish bacon. Smoked salmon was good too, but the mesclun salad was bad so please avoid. Coffee could be stronger as well. On Day 2, the chef forgot the cheese in my ham & cheese omelette. #Sadness.
While taking pics of the space, I was also advised that the management doesn’t allow photos to be taken, especially of the layout. Not sure why as I was not given an explanation but oh wells here are the pics I already took.
Facilities – The pool is located on Level 5 and fitted out to be very resort-y which works very well for some: a big square of water and plenty of day beds lined along the side for sun-tanners. The facility is opened from 8am to 8pm daily and you can book your choice of 2-hour time slots by contacting the front desk. The infamous Pool Terrace rooms are also located on this same level and you can spot their patios as you walk by.
The Fitness Centre is located on Level 4 and opened from 7am – 11pm daily and you can book your choice of 2-hour time slots by contacting the front desk. The space is smaller than I expected but very nicely equipped for a good workout. Not that I tried.
Service Lapses – Platinum Elite members get 2x complimentary pressing each day and I had wanted to get that sorted after I checked in around noon. However, I was told only thereafter that garments sent after 12nn will only be returned the next day 7pm and I’ll incur an express fee if I need it back on the same night – which does not make any sense to me because most people will need the pressed items the next morning. Assuming most guests are only checking in close to or after 12noon, most won’t be able to make use of this benefit for the day of check in – and especially when the quota is non accumulative.
In my opinion, if you have this policy in place, good service would be to highlight to guests checking in before or close to 12noon so we are aware and know to quickly ask for our garments to be picked up in time if we want them back before 7pm on the same night.
So anyways, having missed the cut-off, I arranged for a garment pressing pick-up the next morning at 9am for same day return at 7pm (since items picked up before 12nn runs on same day return) – I waited till 10am and had to make a call to inquire about the status and they staff said he will check “if they are on the way”. No call back after that. 1.5 hours later, at 11:30am, the doorbell rang and my garment was finally collected. I also made sure the staff confirmed that it’ll be back by the same night (which it did).
The entire process was just needlessly painful.
Some calls made to the “At-Your-Service” from my in-room phone also went un-answered.
Check Out – Had to return to work after breakfast on my last day and the process was completed within 15mins and folio emailed to me within the day.
The lack of Elite recognition at this property makes it very hard for me to want to return even at this price point. I can understand if they are truly full, but being stingy even on upgrading an Elite to a larger room seems unacceptable to me. The spotty service puts a further dent in my experience and other than the stellar service at M Club, I find no reasons to recommend other Plat Elites to staycay here.