[Hotel Review] Orchard Hotel

Grabbed from official site

This property was on my radar a long time ago until it was slowly but surely over-shadowed by better and newer properties. Doesn’t help that their loyalty programme My Millennium is not the most celebrated. But the timely opportunity to stack multiple offers for a stay made booking a night here a lot more attractive especially when their Grand Deluxe Room has been renovated in 2018.

Address – 442 Orchard Road Singapore 238879. Website.

Contact – Tel: +65 6734 7766. Email: Enquiry.OHS@millenniumhotels.com.

Location – Situated at the far end of the Orchard belt straddling Tanglin Road, the hotel has always been a out-of-sight property no thanks to its black glass façade and design of the main lobby driveway facing the small turn off the main road. Most shopping and F&B options are a 5-mins unsheltered walk away, and Orchard station (NS22) is 10-mins off.

Price – $151.20++ / night under the Spring Into Summer. More with Millennium package which includes the following:

  • Up to 20% off rooms and additional 10% off as a My Millennium member (price already discounted)
  • Breakfast for 2pax
  • 20% hotel dining
  • Book before 30th April and enjoy up to $50 credit (limited time offer)

During the booking process there was also an option to add $150 worth of dining credits for $105 (30% discount) so I added that and my total came up to $301nett.

Stacked with the Amex Millennium offer of $60 with $300 spend, my staycay cost $242 with $200 dining credits + breakfast. Score!

Pre-arrival – No pre-arrival email at all. I did however call up on morning of my stay to ask about early check in (wasn’t in a rush though as I was hopping over from Hilton across the road) and was told it cannot be guaranteed but I can still come by around noon to try.

I also asked to confirm my room type as I had booked that specific category because it is the most recently renovated. But alas, I was told that all their Grand Deluxes are currently used for guests on Stay Home Notice (SHN) and I would be accommodated in a Premier Room. I was annoyed because I had booked that room type with purpose so I asked to view the room first before accepting the move with the condition that I can cancel my booking without any penalty on the spot. At first I was told they “don’t have any show rooms” but with some push-back and after explaining my annoyance, they agreed.

Check In – the lobby was empty at 12pm on a weekday and I was attended to almost immediately. It took the staff some time to understand the above-mentioned arrangement but when she did, I was brought to my room in less than 10mins. Though not before I was again told that the Premier Room is “more expensive” (so I should be happy with the change) – I already know this! But I wanted the ‘renovated’ room!

Room – My Premier Room (35SqM), “upgraded” from a Grand Deluxe Room (28SqM) turned out to not look as aged as it is. I suspect there has been minor touchup instead of a full refurbishment so that helped.

Main bedroom – this section generally follows the dark black glass theme of the hotel (why??) especially with the presence of a large dark wardrobe so no cheery happy fweel if that is important to you. Otherwise, the rest of the room is peppered with wooden beigey sections. Not too bad and definitely better than what I had imagined. The king bed is surprisingly comfy and yays to 2 bedside tables (but no charging ports!?). The ‘work desk’ set up is just a counter top, below the TV which means the TV will literally be in your face if you want to work and TV at the same time. Another corner contains the one-seater loungey chair and coffee table but it faces the wardrobe so I had to reconfigure it so I can eat and watch TV at the same time.

Mini bar was expectedly empty and I can now tell the age of the property by whether the room has a coffee machine, brand regardless. You will only find coffee sachets here I’m afraid – what a waste of all that countertop space.

Bathroom was the most cheery part of the room with white and beige tones, with a single sink accompanied by reasonable countertop space. Bathtub seems alright for 1pax; no bidet toilet, and decent standing shower space. Toiletries were their own Millennium branded ones which does what it does. For a Premier room, I expected better though.

Breakfast – my package did not include breakfast and was told that although dine-in has been allowed, the hotel is still practicing takeaways in the form of a breakfast box which I can add on to my room using my dining credit for $28++, or order room service at ala carte prices and have the food delivered to me. However, I ended up missing this as I fell suddenly ill in the late night and had to depart the hotel at 4:30am in the morning.

Other Dining – During my short stay, I only managed to attempt their in-room (menu here) which you order via scanning a QR code. I tried my usual Nasi Goreng kosong test and was successful – I even got more satay in return. Yays. Taste wise, one of the better ones I’ve tried and I’d very certainly order this again although expensive ($28++). Their style of in-room is also not as fancy as other hotels: like Andaz, they will bring the clingwrapped items to you on a black (again!) tray which you have to bring in yourself.

I also ordered their mushroom soup ($9++) at 330am due to my sickness but it took one hour to come and by then I felt sick enough to want to go home. It did look good though.

My only issue is the ordering system is almost similar to the public ordering system and you have to enter details like your mobile, email etc each time you make an order, and you need to order min. 1 hour in advance. This means even if order just a mushroom soup at 330am, it will only come at 430am. There is also no way to edit or cancel your order except by calling someone up which I did but at that ungodly hour, my calls were not picked up despite several tries.

Due to my sudden change in situation, I was not able to experience dine-in at Orchard Cafe nor Intermezzo Bar but both looked really nice when I stopped by to take some pictures.

Facilities – The pool and fitness centre are located level 4 and both were adequate for a 4-star hotel – nothing to complain about but nothing wow either.

Check Out – Half hobbled to the front desk at 445am and the one staff seem surprised to see me. Explained my situation (and I did look sick) and he was decidedly flippant and showed utmost nonchalance while displaying little to no helpfulness. I asked if the hotel can grant an exception for me to come back to use the balance of $150 dining credits and was simply told to call the room reservations next day as they ‘don’t do this here’. No show of concern nor offer of help with my luggage at all.




Service – I mean I know this property is cheap (Trip.com was offering $69nett for a room-only stay in the same Premier Room during the day of my stay!) but I think there are some basics they should do right:

Lack of proactiveness to changes in SHN situation and shift in room type:

No thanks to constant reminders, I obviously know that Premier Rooms are more expensive and a better room type BUT I am still annoyed that the hotel did not reach out proactively and just assumed that everyone will be okay with the change. I booked the stay in late April wanting to experience a Grand Deluxe and from what I understand, the hotel started blocking out the room type since May. So for almost 2 whole months, it never occurred to the property that they should reach out to guests whose bookings has been affected. And I know of some people who are actually not comfortable staying in a property with partial SHN so that is even more important to ne upfront and give your guests a choice in situations like this – either to cancel or reschedule. But seems that they decided to go with the ‘we have upgraded you to a non-renovated more expensive room so you should be contented” approach.

Lack of support in late night hours:

When I made the decision to leave the hotel urgently and realizing that maybe I should try to reach someone and also cancel my breakfast orders for the morning, I could not reach anyone at all via the in-room phone. No buttons worked and all my calls were not picked up: not the 1 Connect, Not In-room Dining, not even the Emergency button (Am I unreasonable to expect an ’emergency’ button to be manned?) I then tried to call the hotel’s mainline using my mobile phone but that also went unanswered. I know its 4am+ in the morning but for a 4-star hotel, I do actually expect in-house guests to be able to get some help even at this hour.

Lack of concern at departure:

The lack of empathy from the sole staff at the front desk was staggering. I was not expecting to be fawned over like a medical patient and carried on a stretcher to my grab but he could have at least tried to displayed some level of professionalism in handling the extenuating circumstances. Being less flippant would have helped. To have to deal with that when I am sick and trying not to puke is not fun at all.

Lack of hospitality with extenuating situations:

I dropped the property an email right after I got home at 6am and as of 2pm the next day, I got nothing. Called to ask for updates and was told my request to come back and utilize the un-used dining credits has been sent on to the Duty Manager. At 4pm, I received an email from a Senior Reservation Executive asking for a medical certificate as proof. It is incredulous that this is their approach. I mean, if they needed to verify that sick guests are indeed sick, they should have made it easier for sick guests to reach someone while still on the property. WHY ON EARTH WOULD I GO ON THIS CHARADE FOR FUN?



In Summary,

If I can’t trust the property to take care of its guests, I can’t recommend anyone to stay here. Sorry.

[UPDATE] The Front Office Manager has reached out to offer service recovery.

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