[Hotel Review] Hilton Singapore Orchard

Grabbed from official website

The opening of this property in April 2022 was much awaited because the Hilton properties in Singapore very much needed a new hotel to inject some excitement about their brand. As expected, prices for this property soared to pre-covid times especially after Singapore announced the rather blanket re-opening of borders so I am super glad I booked this almost 8 months ahead!

Time to experience the largest Hilton in APAC.

Address – 333 Orchard Road Singapore, Singapore 28867.

Contact – Tel: +65 6831 6047. Email: hiltonsingaporeorchard.info@hilton.com.

Location – right smack in the middle of the Orchard Road happenings, this massive property is for shopaholics wanting to buy out the street with a fancy rest stop in between. Every shopping mall imaginable is but a max. 15mins walk away (though unsheltered). The atas peeps can also choose to burn their wallet at the directly connected but super high end Mandarin Gallery. The hotel straddles in between Orchard Station (NS22) and Somerset Station (NS23), with the latter slightly nearer if you need to be elsewhere via public transport.

Price – $274++ = $323nett for a King Deluxe Room booked under the Hilton Honors Prepay & Save for room-only, which is fine as I’d get lounge access as part of my Diamond benefits anyways. This was made more palatable with the Amex offer of $60 off for a min. $300 spend. Sadly, this rate is very unlikely to be seen again as the hotel occupancy rises.

Pre-arrival – no welcome email but I received a generic ‘reminder’ note on the morning of my stay. I was also invited to complete the in-app check in but I didn’t as I wanted to see if there was any chance of an available Suite as a Diamond, even as recent datapoints show very low likelihood.

So I initiated my request (along with a 12pm check in request) via the in-app chat on the morning of my stay highlighting that Suites are still being sold and received a response that Suites are all occupied and hence will not be available for early check-in, but they will note my request.

Check In – For those unfamiliar with the property, the check in process happens on level 5 of the property, which is accessible only via the hotel’s arrival lobby on the ground floor, not within the Mandarin Gallery mall itself.

The area on level 5 is super spacious and is a very welcoming look from its Mandarin Orchard days – a sign of good things to come and certainly a solid testament to the results of it’s $150million renovation.

I arrived to a sparsely occupied lobby about 12pm and approached what seems to be the Hilton Honors desk and check in processed within 10mins. I enquired about any Suite availability once again and the friendly staff confirmed that I’ve gotten a Suite as a Diamond member – yayyyyyyy. Shows it never hurts to ask nicely huh, even though a late check out of only 1pm was accorded.

A welcome letter for Diamonds were also given and briefly explained.

Room – Located in the Orchard Wing which guests access via a separate set of lifts, my King Corner Suite (49SqM), 2507, definitely made an immediate impression as I stepped in!

Settle in our spacious Corner Suite, ideal for those looking for extra space or families. The botanical-inspired elements of the suite evoke a sense of space complemented with windows illuminating the room with natural light and panoramic city views. Relax on the chaise lounge with a cup of coffee from the in-room Nespresso coffee machine and watch your favourite programme on the 55-inch LED TV.

Refresh in the marble bathroom with an oversized bathtub, bulk bath amenities and separate walk-in rain shower. Suite level guests enjoy exclusive access to the hotel’s Executive Lounge, with benefits such as complimentary breakfast, beverages and snacks throughout the day.

From hotel website

The space felt calm and refreshing to me due to the grey / netural tones of the furnishings and everything still felt relatively new. The doorway opens up to a brief corridor which contains your ironing board and elegantly designed open-concept cupboard space to the left. Opposite this spot is a little nook for luggage and random barangs which I found quite useful.

This space streamlines into the TV console containing one of the biggest in-room TV I’ve ever seen, with hanging racks built in behind the structure. I really like not having to fight with wardrobe doors during stays so this unusual use of space is really my kind of style!

Leading along the same length is the mini bar with its usual offerings of a Nespresso + capsules, TWG tea bags, cup wares, and a fridge stocked with canned drinks. Water is provided in the form of (replenishable) small cartons in the theme of sustainability.

Opposite this entire length is a super plush kind bed with bedside tables, one of which is more than sufficient space for anything you need bedside, including charging ports and in-house phone. Lighting controls are also duplicated on both sides which is useful.

Instead of a conventional work desk, the property has elected for a round desk which can serve as both a WFHotel spot or a dining space for 2pax. The fixed lamp at this spot is thoughtfully designed with charging ports as well.

Unlike too many other refurbishments, the bathroom space is also completely renovated and is a classy area of grey glossy tiles equipped with a single sink with generous countertop space, a separate toilet space, and a shower + bathtub area. Toiletries are still Crabtree & Evelyn branded but this time in big dispenser pump bottles.

A welcome amenity of a very tasty cake (for being a Diamond) + chocolates later appeared in my room that evening which was a nice gesture.

While I loved the room, I only thought that the hotel could have included a care kit which is important these days – face masks especially.

Executive Lounge – located on level 6, the huge space is a elegantly spacious and has plenty of seating for any group size, be it solo, cosy 2-seaters, or larger social groups.

Other than the main areas after walking in, I later learnt that there is another section deeper into the space which basically doubles the capacity of the first section – this is also where the food & drinks are. Was completely impressed by the space – this lounge sure looks like it can accommodate the ever many number of Diamonds if need be!

While the lounge is opened from 6:30am – 10:30pm and coffee/tea/soft drinks are available all day, the food presentations are limited to the folllwing:

  • Breakfast 6:30am – 10:30am (can also opt to have this at Estate if you prefer)
  • Afternoon Tea 3:00-4:30pm
  • Evening Drinks 5:30pm-7:30pm

I missed the afternoon tea on the day of check in due to work commitments but managed to snag a spot on my check out day as I was given a temporary access card after my 1pm check out. I saw warm scones (quite nice!), 2 types of finger sandwiches, 2 types of tea cakes, and a fruit salad which was quite refreshing. Coffee was Nespresso but it serves its purpose well. I thought it was a rather small selection though even as I know the crowd will be thin on a weekday.

Evening Drinks were a heavier affair – but of course – and I probably missed some really nice photos as I only got to the lounge with 45mins left to the end of the session but ah wells, the life of a salaried employee who wants to staycay and save annual leave at the same time.

The selection of hot food were very oriental focused – a variety of dim sum, baos, and fried stuff. Little to no protein choices sadly. There were also a small selection of tea cakes, breads and fruits if you like.

On a separate shelf are cold cuts, cheeses, and salads + accompanying stuff. Fairly basic but good enough for a healthy choice.

For drinks, you get Prosecco, white/red wines, some cocktails (heard Gin Tonic is available), and of course beers. Non alcoholic options are the same as what you get all day: coffee / tea / sparkling water, soft drinks.

My honest thought about the offerings? A really limited selection for the size of the lounge / hotel and hot foods in particular were very oriental focused with little to no protein options, which was a little odd given the international profile of guests. Quality of what I tried were rather meh, including the Prosecco and white wine. For a more seamless experience, it would also have been nice to have a small menu of the drink offerings instead of having to ask after the staff.

I also want to point out that by the time I got there, the cold cuts and cheese selection was pretty much half empty and it remained so throughout – there were no efforts at all to refill them which I felt was surprisingly stingy of a flagship APAC Hilton property. I asked for more hummus and was told they’d ran out which I find hard to believe as it was only a soufflé bowl size. In comparison, JW Marriott South Beach’s had plenty quality and sizeable options for a similarly spaced executive lounge.

Service in the lounge was attentive and professional though.

Breakfast @ Estate – I of course chose to have mine at Estate and boy was I impressed with the sheer variety on offer! You know “normal” times are back in when you get to your buffet breakfast at 7am and the space is already pretty lively – you quote your room number at the reception and are invited to make your own way in and find your own seats which is not an issue given the vast seating available.

I only had 1 somewhat photo of the seating as it the place were dotted with guests but the restaurant is huge and is basically cut out into separate blocks of seating which makes the place feel semi private which is always nice!

With one of the biggest selection on offer, this breakfast is an affair on its own. Local, western, Indian, International, hot noodle station, egg station, freshly squeezed juices, yoghurts, cold cuts, cheeses, and an impressive length of cereal choices etc etc etc. Quality was middling though – nothing I tried was really impressive but I’m sure most will find something to eat.

Facilities – I popped by the Fitness Centre and the pool for a quick look:

The Fitness Centre is located on level 6, on the other end of the Executive Lounge and no bookings are required for usage. The space is actually quite spacious I was very impressed with the variety of equipment – plenty enough for any gym rat to get that workout done!

The pool on level 5 did not receive as much love from the renovation so the structure is still the same smallish rectangular pool but with added landscaping, furniture, and what I think is a fresh coat of paint. No bookings are required as well.

Service – Service was generally professional and if not, sufficiently attentive and efficient. I did like that the front desk staff sent an sms asking after the stay / room which was a useful prompt for guests to give feedback easily. In my case, I found a discarded grape branch on my carpet and apologies were promptly provided.

Check Out – Seamlessly completed at 1pm on a weekday and the e-folio received almost immediately thereafter (something which some Bonvoy property can certainly learn from).

In Summary,

The hardware was lovely, with nice service to boot. But the Executive Lounge offerings were a letdown, both in terms of quality and the decision not to replenish food items for guests who arrive later. I would not be happy if I had paid a premium for club access – and by that merit, even the base room is not cheap. So to fellow Diamonds, manage your expectations!

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