Hey everyone, Seeing The World In Steps is finally back! It’s been a tough and boring couple of months in terms of travelling and exploring new places with all that is going on. 2020 is literally the worst year for me, simply saying my life plans disrupted is clearly an understatement! I am glad to have been safe from this awful virus, hope you guys are too! With my original, amazing summer plans for Europe, Turkey and Bali being screwed, that translate to the missing content over the past few months as well! Things are looking slightly brighter now and after being cooped up at home due to the “travel ban” for Singaporeans, Staycations are the next best thing right now! The number of great deals right now is also undoubtedly exciting. For the first time ever, I can finally say that I am packing up my carry on, hop on the train (AKA THE Metro) and tour the central part of my country (ORCHARD RD)! Bringing back, The Hotel Life series, in the coming few post I will be sharing a bunch of upcoming staycations in Singapore. There would be a combination of Marriott and Hilton properties, while it perhaps might not reflect the actual experience in the future, it will be interesting to see how hotels are coping with this pandemic and the service changes we might be coming to get used to for good. Buffet Breakfast and Socialising by the pool as well as the lounge? We might not have that again! Sadly, since I have some of the best travelling stories there! Coming right up would be my first Staycation, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel!
Let me first share a little on the rate I book as well as the booking process. Hotels have only recently been allowed to accept leisure guest after proving they have taken certain steps outlined by the Singapore Tourism Board to ensure the safety of both guests and the employee. Previously, they are mostly assisting the government efforts with regards to returning travellers as quarantine facilities. Prices are definitely attractive nowadays as well as hotels having all sorts of packages and deals to attract the local demand. I book a promotion package that the hotel have tied in for Citi Prestige Cardholders. 2 nights in a Deluxe room, which is the hotel base room for 350 SGD Nett. That is a very attractive price since it is basically a one night free promotion. Furthermore it comes with Daily Breakfast for 3 adults at Marriott Cafe, 100 SGD Nett F&B credit, Early check in and late check out as well as free parking! Taking into account of the credit, outlay for 2 nights comes to only $250. Furthermore the F&B credit will tie in very well with the 30% dining discount from Marriott Bonvoy. You can also enjoy your status benefits as well. As a Marriott Platinum member and with the current promotion, I earn a total of 8896 Marriott points and 2 qualifying nights from this stay including the 2500 points promotion that they are having now! In airlines terms, that is almost 3500 Miles earned in total. This deal is available for booking until end of the month so do check it out if you are keen! 350 Nett for a room that will cost me 1446 SGD? HMU!
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel is an icon in the prime shopping district, Orchard Road! Situated besides the Tangs department store, the octagon tower have been a lovely sight for years. The hotel was refresh about 2 years back. There are plenty of malls and eating places surrounding the hotel with the metro also easily connected to take you all around the city. I am really looking forward to staying here for the first time as well as experiencing Platinum Elite recognition and benefits measure up since I am usually a Hilton Loyalist. Towering 30 floors up in the air, the hotel have a total of 384 rooms and 19 suites, spread across 10 categories.
|Rooms||M Club Access||Bathtub||Size|
|Premier Deluxe||No||No||32 Sqm|
|Executive Room||Yes||No||32 Sqm|
|Executive Premier||Yes||No||32 Sqm|
|Executive Club||Yes||No||38 Sqm|
|Pool Terrace||Yes||Yes||42 Sqm|
|Executive Suite||Yes||Yes||54 Sqm|
|Family Suite||Yes||Yes||69 Sqm|
|Premier Suite||Yes||Yes||60 Sqm|
|Tang Sok Kiar Suite||Yes||Yes||120 Sqm|
Pre Arrival & Checking In
Although I was told that a couple days prior to your stay, the hotel would reach out to advise on certain service changes like pool reservations and all due to the current COVID situation although it never came in the end at all. Thankfully, I was doing a weekday stay which means that I still had my pick of choice when it comes to pool reservations. Although I would really want to pre book if I am staying on the weekends. I call up ahead prior to enquire if my room was ready and also about early check in, although the reception was a unwelcoming one, giving the official 3pm check in timing. Usually at the night before or in the morning front desk will have a good idea what time your room will be ready, given that allocation would already been made and a clearly idea on those who are checking out and checking in. Thankfully the rest of the staycation experience goes mostly without a hitched. While my booking was for a base level deluxe room, I was pre upgraded before check in to an Executive Club Room which was a 4 category upgrade. At check in, I was also offered the Executive Suite option on account of being a Platinum Elite member, however the room will only be ready in the evening. Given that I had a 2 night stay with my family, I figures that the suite will be worthwhile for the extra space and for review purposes as well.
The associate also went thru the various items and offerings with me as well, including making reservations for the facility. Given that breakfast is included in my rate, I opt for the F&B Amenity for my welcome gift, which was chocolates and 2 beers. Parking was advised and you are allowed one complimentary ticket each day which translate to one entry and exit a day. Late check out was guaranteed till 4pm despite the high occupancy and even further extended till 5pm on the day of check out. Appreciated! Despite getting the room late, I will get to enjoy the suite for a full 48 hours! Mission success! Woots! First ever suite under Marriott Bonvoy!
King Executive Suite
My suite ended up being ready at 5pm and I was assigned one on the 24th level. It is just a short walk from the lift. With the hotel building designed in an octagon manner, you have different views depending on where your room is located. The King Executive Suite measures in at 54 Sqm and it is a full suite with a separate living area. What a sweet upgrade, paying 175 SGD for this a night is a deal. Upon entering, I am greeted with a commanding view over the stretch of Orchard Road and facing the famous ION Mall. The view stretches far away given how unblock the views are.
Shortly after arriving, the staff came by with some amenities as well as the F&B option that I choose as my welcome gift. It consists of a box of chocolates as well as 2 bottles of beers.
Right next to the entrance you can find a half bath as well since this is a full suite. Spacious and decked with Thann toiletries.
Then it opens up to the spacious living area with a size proper working desk. It is rather squarish in size and appropriately furniturise. The decor still look fresh despite the age of the hotel, I really love the dark warm colours as well as the use of marble. Although the carpeted floor add some age to it. The room still felt fresh and new. There is a full size L shape Sofa and an arm chair around the coffee table which is located along the floor to ceiling windows boosting the Orchard Skyline. It could easily sit 5 – 6 people. This suite is perfect for a birthday party.
Opposite the Sofa, you can find a proper working spacious working desk with 2 ergonomics chairs! Plugs can also be found easily on the table. It is a delight to work here! Working with a view I would say. On the desk, you can also find some sanitising wipes left here, weirdly there are no mask or hand sanitizer amenities provided given that this seems to be the norm this days in a Covid world.
Alongside the wall you can find a huge high quality smart TV with cable channels. Watching the US Open is a delight here. The mini bar area is located right below the TV, this is also where the fridge is found. They do have an espresso machine although it is one from Lavazza and not my preferred Nespresso. You can also find some instant options, it sure sparkles my eye when I saw that they had TWG teas stocked. Otherwise the minibar is rather empty, I do not know if this is due to covid.
This is a full suite and the bedroom is separated from the living area! Tried and tested the partition and door is pretty soundproof, which is useful if you need to do some work or catch a show while your partner is resting. The bedroom features a lush full king size bed separated by two night tables! There is also a very luxurious ottoman in front of the bed. The bedroom had similar views as well. Do not be afraid as the curtains are pretty good at blocking out the light. I also appreciated that on both side of the bed, outlets can be easily found, this is such a crucial point and hotels sometimes can get it wrong so easily. In the bed room you can find another tv as well.
I really love the bed which is firm and lush! The bedding was perfect too! Pillow are alright, not the best but not paper thin as well. Turndown services are provided automatically in the evening which is a nice touch but nothing much besides leaving more water in the room! The wardrobe and luggage holding area is located behind the bed. Along the walkway there, you can also find a little vanity desk, perfect for the lovely ladies. This area is rather small, especially the wardrobe which may be hard to access, you sure do need to maneuver gently. You can find a safe, the hairdryer as well as bath slippers, bathrobe here.
The bathroom is also located towards the right of the bed and it is a spacious one that coomes with his and hers sink accompanied with a cosmetic mirror as well which I love. There are separated area for the tub and the shower. Toiletries are provided by Thann, which is really good. I really love the scent of this brand, it is definitely one my favourite.
While I am delight to see the gorgeous freestanding tub and a rainforest shower, the bathroom is the most negative part for me during the whole staycation experience. The water pressure is very very bad! Especially the bathtub which takes ages to fill up! This is one main crucial point for me! Not only the tub, but the rainforest and handheld shower head had the same issue as well. Water, power plug and water pressure! These are the main point for me to determine a good hotel room or suite. I was dreading taking a shower everyday. Showering was a burden daily!
The pool is located on the 5th floor, an oasis in the middle of all the famous orchard road shopping malls. This is also the same floor as the M Club, which is close for the time being. Due to COVID, usage of the pool requires prior reservation and is subjected to capacity control at 42 Pax every session of 2 hours. Same goes for the gym if you would like to use it, although I didn’t check it out during my stay. Although since I was staying on a weekday, there are no such issue. I would really recommend reservation of your preferred timings on weekends and holidays. There is something weird if you would like to use the locker in the changing room, you got to get the key from the lobby, but there is a registration desk just before the entrance to the pool for verification of capacity? Seems probable to streamline it?
The pool is nice and chill, I certainly enjoyed how empty it was on both days that I use it. It is rather quiet early in the afternoon although tend to get a little chaotic when the family crowds arrive. Service are lacking since there are no staff roaming around to tidy up and offer drinks. You are able to order food and drinks by the pool and there are QR codes menu available, but no one to order from. Some ice water are a basic necessity for a hotel of this caliber. There are plenty of sunbeds and even a couple of cabanas available, all on a first come first serve basis. I got my tan and certainly enjoying lazing my afternoon away in the sun. From the pool I also saw some of the pool rooms and suites which have direct access and view of the pool! While the idea is nice! It certainly won’t be my first choice here given the lack of privacy, especially if you are staying on the weekends.
Guests staying in the Executive Rooms and above get access to the M Club, as well as Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Members and above. The perks includes, breakfast from 6am to 11am and evening cocktails from 6pm to 10pm. These are very generous hours I have to say. It is my first time experiencing 4 hours of drinks buffet and I certainly took advantage of it. Due to the fact that the M Club is currently non operational, guests are instead invited to the Marriott Cafe, the hotel main restaurant.
We were invited in after giving our room number and informing that we were here for the cocktail hours. I would say that the service is a mixed bag here, well intended and genuine, the staff were polite but messy. We were shown to the seats but without mentioning anything on the offerings. Upon enquiring, the staff just rambled a couple of drinks options and not the full list of offerings. Then when asking what cocktails are included, we were shown a little menu of 5 options, consisting of Singapore Sling, Margarita, Tequila Sunrise, Cuba Libre and Long Island. The bartender lean towards a heavy on the dose, so go easy on those drinks! You can also find one option of Red, White and Prosecco on offer.
However over the period of our stay, tried and tested, you could also have draft beers (Tiger), juices, soft drinks, tea and probably any cocktails or spirits that you have in mind. The staff are willing to provide. I got Gin Tonic too. After all it’s a full bar. The manager was nice to offer me Heineken instead as well! It’s very worth it, given how cocktails and pints of tiger beers goes for around 20 bucks at ala carte prices here. Well intended, generous and all, I just wish that they could convey it in a more clearer and structured manner. A simple menu print out could be designed and printed in no time.
Sames goes for the food, there are no buffet currently due to COVID and no mention of anything by the staff, upon enquiring we realised that each guest is invited to enjoy the 4 course set dinner that they have in the restaurant. This is available to outside guest as well. In fact the food and drinks offering cost a total of 77 SGD for outside guest. Whoa! It goes up in my head. That is awfully generous. It means that on face value, as an elite member, you get up to 154 SGD worth of food and drinks? Heck of a deal! This is the menu for the 4 course dinner. Most generous offering I have ever encounter.
I can definitely say 100% that this lounge access can be an evening equivalent! The menu changes every week, which shows it might be awesome to check in on sun and then you will get different menus on each night for a 2 night stay! I will actually suggest for them alternate daily instead. Food was rather good. First up was definitely the Potato and Leek Soup which was served with some bread.
For the starters, Over the course of my stay, we tried all 3 of them. I will definitely go for the salad and the chicken tenders. The salad was refreshing and tasty. I love the croutons and it is not overly dressed as well. Mantou was ordinary.
I also tried all 4 of the main course. Stand out ones includes the Spicy Korean Marinated Pork as well as the Jerk Spiced Chicken. The pork was especially tasty. Fish was alright and the Laksa Pasta seems to be a poor rendition of fusion cuisine. The noodles were blend and the sauce was soupy. Definitely not a good pasta. Dessert is the most lacklustre part, you were served some mini cakes that seems to be leftovers from afternoon tea service earlier.
You can also order dishes or add on from their Ala carte menu and enjoy get 30% off as a platinum member! I got the burger and the calamari. Get the Fried Calamari, costing 16 bucks after discount. They were tasty and the portion were generous as well. It is the perfect snacks to go with your unlimited drinks. I would rate the lounge 90 points! 100 if they have champagne and provide some snacks like nuts or chips to go with your drinks. Besides the course dinner, there is no other food offerings.
Breakfast was served at Marriott Cafe, the hotel main restaurant from 6am to 11am. No reservations are needed and they have one of the longer timings I have ever seen, although I would say that it must be partly due to the COVID situation to spread out the crowd. Lounge guests are invited here as well since M Club is closed. Breakfast is now on Ala carte Buffet basis and cost 42 SGD per person if it is not included in your rate. Service is again a mix bag even when it’s not crowded, it always felt like they are understaffed and it’s funny how they will always show you to the table but then you are left alone and the menu is not brought to you as well. Here is the menu for breakfast and you can order all you want.
One very great thing about breakfast not being a buffet anymore are freshly made espresso drinks by an actual espresso machine from the bar! So that’s something good and better than those machine drinks. Coffee were lovely! Furthermore, they use TWG teas for breakfast as well too. I ordered and tried an assortments of food throughout my stay! Egg dishes were fresh and made to order! Everything was alright although nothing outstanding. Eggs dishes are generally good as well as the Chicken Noodle Soup. Honestly I might just prefer this style of breakfast nowadays rather than buffets.
Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant
My rate comes with a 100 SGD F&B credits and the best place to use it was for a meal at Wan Hao. Do make a reservation beforehand as they are rather full actually. I went for lunch on my last day right before check out, which use up the remaining credits nicely. Do note to get the 30% dining discount for Marriott Bonvoy members too. We got an assortments of dishes and every dishes lives up to its reputation. First up the Peking Duck, this cost 48 SGD before discount, it was served in two ways. The crispy skin was wrap in crepes and slather with sauce and little vegetables garnishes. Then the meat was simply tossed in the wok with some green onions.
The highlight of the meal for me was the Deep Fried Prawn with Black Truffle Mayonnaise and Broccoli. This cost 36 SGD. The prawns were huge and juicy! The batter was light and crispy then you also have the superb saliva licking truffle mayo. I could eat tons and tons of shrimp.
The Stir Fried Grouper Fillet with XO Sauce (42 SGD) and Braised Chicken Fillet with Garlic in Chinese Wine (28 SGD) were good as well. They were perfect dishes to go with rice and we had such a satisfying meal. Service is excellent as well! Prices are high, as expected, although thankfully the 30% Marriott Bonvoy discount and the dining credit soften the blow hugely!
A very awesome staycation and a heck of a deal! Especially when combined with your status benefits. While not the most glamourous and option for Staycations in Singapore, Marriott Tangs still met my expectations and even exceed them in most areas! While it can be said as a normal business hotels. Undeniable, this deal is a very worth one. 350 Nett for all I have got, is a deal. Some of the main areas I believe could be improve on would be their pre arrival touch point, especially in lieu of check in timing and upgrades. Pool situation is another one although I will not blame them since these are unprecedented times. The only huge disappointment I had was the water pressure in the bathroom. Making showering the one burden for a staycation is a no no. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 night stay. Definitely looking forward to be back when the M club is open in the future! Seeing The World In Steps rates it 90/100!