My first Mandarin Oriental experience!
Akin to Four Seasons, staying in a Mandarin Oriental has never crossed my mind for some reason. Perhaps the loyalty programme, Fans of M.O, also never had a very strong positioning in my opinion. But 2021 is the year to try everything that hasn’t crossed my mind, isn’t it?
Address – 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 63380066. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location – The property is directly connected to Marina Square which provides some sort of shopping + F&B choices so rain or shine, your staycay is not impacted (unless you are booked to swim). The nearest MRT station is probably Promenade (CC4/DT15) but it is a good perhaps 10-15mins stroll via Marina Square though sheltered.
Price – $309++ = $363nett booked under their Stay And Dine In promotion which includes:
- Daily breakfast for two.
- Choice of an in-room epicurean dinner for two from Cherry Garden, Dolce Vita or MO BAR (once per night). An additional surcharge of SGD 75 per person is applicable for Morton’s, The Steakhouse. [Menu here]
- Early check-in at 11am (subject to availability).
- Late check-out at 6pm (subject to availability)
I was also able to pick any choice of 2 Fans of M.O benefits and I picked:
- room upgrade
- dining credit ($65) – can be used at MO Bar, Melt Café, Bay@5, Dolce Vita or Cherry Garden excluding dim sum brunch or at the hotel spa.
Pre-Arrival – I received my welcome email 5 days before my stay. Prior to this, I had also received an email a few days after I made my booking with details on the facility bookings so I suppose you can already book your preferred slots ahead of time. Room reservations was also very accommodating as my original refundable booking was made via Hotelux and already pre-paid for so they very kindly agreed to transfer the payment to my new booking (because better deal. Yays) with the balance to be refunded after check out.
Check In – I was told that the team will communicate via whatsapp on the day of arrival to inform when the room is ready and I got my message at 11:42am (though I ended up making only 1pm). It’s been a while since I received assistance with my barang upon pulling up at the hotel driveway and I arrived to a complete empty lobby on level 1. The process took slightly longer than expected as there were some issues with locating my pre-payment but I was on my way in 15mins anyways and by then, my luggage has been placed in my room. My late check out of 6pm was also confirmed.
Room – My Ocean View Room (upgraded from Deluxe King Room), Room 2129, was the same size of 33SqM with the view being the difference. I actually really liked the room for its refreshed design (new carpets!) and OCD-approved furnishings – everything is linear / angular and spotless to boot!
You enter the hallway and you have your wardrobe and stuff to your right. Look at those fat fluffy slippers!
This is followed by a long line of space for your barang leading into the main bedroom which contains the huge king bed (a little too soft for me) with bedside tables and plugs. In one corner beside the bed is a single-seater sofa for TV-chilling.
There is a big non-swivel TV and below that is your rather well-equipped mini bar including a dangerously tempting personal bar.
For WFH peeps, you’d be pleased to see a Herman Miller chair and a proper work desk with plenty space. This corner also contains your hotel info booklets (all of which I forgot to take a proper pic of so you’ll have to make do with a repeat pic showing them in a far corner), complimentary sparkling tea, and Nespresso machine. Drinking water is made available in the form of 2x sealed glass bottles in the name of sustainability and is refilled during every housekeeping session.
The bathroom is spacious with signs of its old times (black marble tones) but spotless. A single sink but plenty countertop space including shelves, a shower, and a open-concept throne seat ie no doors to close and only partially covered by a partition. There is also an old school bathtub for your dipping pleasure. Toiletries are Diptyque’s Philosykos series which I’ve never seen and turned out to a disaster for my hair (very siap!). It is also useful to note that they don’t provide your regular toothpaste but instead, a chewable tablet alongside the toothbrush which needs some getting used to.
View was great as level 21 is the highest you can get and I could spot a corner of the NDP stuff going on too.
The team also prepared a cute little cake and balloon deco for my special occasion – so sweet ~
Fans of MO also get a special welcome amenity – a box of 2 Taiwanese pineapple tarts
Their care kit is one of the nicest I have seen, although it seems the pair of gloves were missing.
Breakfast – served from 7:30am – 10:30am at Melt Cafe, bookings are required and can be made by scanning the QR code on your welcome letter which will lead you to this page to select your choice of hour.
I was probably the 5th table on a weekday 7:45am and promptly attended to. I managed to take a few pics of the relatively empty space.
A fruit plate was served to me upon being seated and options are listed on a printed menu (a refreshing thing these days) – I skipped the regular ‘big breakfast’ and opted for the Scrambled Egg with Indian Spices (which was to die for!) and a special request to have the siew mai as an ala carte (passable). Great strong coffee though. Service was superb with staff making the effort to address by last names.
In-room Epicurean Dinner (MO Bar) – Absolutely no regrets picking this menu.
It was on time and served on a proper in-room dining tray with all your fancy set up – complete luxury in your own room! The team also did call me to ask if I would like to dine-in at MO Bar instead but I chose to stick to in-room.
Everything was top quality with the seafood being exceptionally fresh! My other favourites were the chicken wings and prawns – all delicious thoughtfully crafted bites. As for desserts, the chocolate fared better but perhaps due to personal preferences. I did wish the lobster claw came pre-cracked though – it was impossible to get to the meat inside unless I slam-dunked it.
The bottled cocktails are not bad too – and I later found out that they each retail at $18++ each which makes the choice of this menu even more high value in my opinion. The accompanying ice bucket did not come with a tong so we fished the cubes out with our spoon instead.
Other dining – I had planned to visit Cherry Garden for dim sum for lunch next day but that changed and I ended up going to MO Bar for my entire $65 dining credit (menus here).The space is a fancy atas way of spending an hour or so and service was fantastic.
I burned my credits on: Sarimanok (Rum | Mango | Citrus) $24++, Milky Way (Whisky | Oolong | Brown Sugar) $24++, and a pair of petite scones which they agreed to let me buy ala carte off the afternoon tea for $9++ a pair (vanilla and truffle cheese). The cocktails are fancy atas and quite delicious with a good amount of alcohol too. Scones are passable – best ones are still Ritz’s.
What I didn’t visit but menus appended anyways are Cherry Garden (menus here), Dolce Vita (menus here), and In-room dining (menu here).
Facilities – the Fitness Centre and Pool are located on level 5 and I zipped by both on a rainy wet day.
The pool is actually quite nice and a view of the marina area will accompany you as you do your laps. The set up is also a little resort-ish and should give off a nice relaxing vibe on a sunny day. Unfortunately, the gloomy weather that day meant limited shots of the area.
The Fitness Centre is bigger than I imagine and very well equipped for a proper workout.
Service – generally excellent except that I was asked THREE times for my in-room dinner timing: once over email, once at check in, then a call to my room thereafter. Phew.
Check Out – Seamlessly done at 4:30pm on a weekday afternoon (wanted to avoid the peak surcharge!).
A great stay and indeed a great deal to check off this property.