Seeing how my little travel bubble burst right in front of me the day before departure, it is all but over to squeeze in another trip this year. Seeing The World In Steps is back with another staycation review instead, guess that is all we can do in Singapore! This time round, it will be my beloved Conrad Centennial Singapore! Well, I guess this makes up for Hong Kong. I have been trying to stay at the Conrad since June, from what was supposed to be a birthday staycation, which turned out to be riddled with hurdles of delays. After 6 months of waiting and keeping in touch with Conrad, I am now good friends with their Reservation team. Conrad is approved by STB for local stays and will be reopening on the 16th of Dec. It is commendable that Conrad Singapore had been a part of the effort in the battle against COVID asa quarantine facility. But now, it’s time to find out how the experience at Conrad Centennial Singapore is like, the best and the top tier Hilton property in Singapore. I have previously stayed at Conrad before COVID. You may want to check that post for my experience in normal times.
Booking Process and Pre Arrival
One week before arrival, Conrad will call to confirm your check in timing, which is now on appointment basis and they will also send out an email informing guests of the service changes currently due to the pandemic as well as some information regarding booking for the usage of the facilities. Prior booking is required for both the swimming pool and the gym. Breakfast will be served at Oscars ala carte. For all guests including Executive Lounge guests, prior reservations will be required. One awesome news is that the Executive Lounge will be open from 3 – 10pm and will even be serving afternoon tea in addition to evening cocktails. Both will require prior reservations to secure your preferred time slots. I will be sharing much more in detail later on. Conrad Singapore also offers free parking for all in house guests. Conrad shares the Millenia Walk parking, so unlike its sister property, Hilton, there would be more than enough parking available here. A parking coupon can be requested from the concierge when you are leaving. I was really worried that my experience would be diluted since it’s going to be crowded now, where everyone is flooding with staycations; the school holidays do not help either! I was also very glad to be pre upgraded from the Deluxe King room to a Centennial King Suite with early check in at 11am and late check out at 2pm. You can find more information on the link below here https://sincipr.wixsite.com/conradsingapore
Conrad Centennial Singapore have a total of 512 rooms and suites across 6 categories. Actually their rooms are all the same, measuring a healthy 40 Sqm! You can find the breakdown below. While not the largest in Singapore among their peers, they are also not a squeeze! The main differences lies in their view and location on higher or lower floors. All rooms at Conrad Singapore come with bathtub, so that is key for those who enjoy a luxurious hot bath with a glass of bubbles. Do take note that some of the rooms come with a sofa by the window or a built in full length window bay sofa. I will strongly request for one of the rooms with the built in window bay sofa as the bigger sofa is really good for having a cosy party or birthday celebrations.
|Rooms||Executive Lounge Access||Bathtub||Size||No. of Rooms|
|Grand Deluxe||No||Yes||40 Sqm||95|
|Centennial Suite||Yes||Yes||63 Sqm||24|
|Conrad Suite||Yes||Yes||143 Sqm||1|
I arrived at Conrad Centennial Singapore at around 11 am. Check in is smooth, everything is by appointment now for check in and check out for staggering purposes to prevent crowding. I was told that this is strictly enforced and if you do not turn up at your time slot, you will be turned away. Well I guess this is something good since all early check in and late check out would be guaranteed. I was helped by Nik, the assistant front office manager and went thru all the details and registration. All my reservations for the Afternoon Tea and Evening Cocktails was reconfirm, breakfast reservations were made as well. Nik further escorted me all the way to my suite which is located on the 27th floor. Somehow it came to my realisation that after numerous staycations recently, this is the first one to be at the Marina Area instead of the Orchard area – talk about a change of scenery!
The hotel reopen just in time for the festives. With an iconic Conrad Bear deck out in Christmas Costume, with a little COVID tweak!
King Centennial Suite
I was welcomed to a gorgeous King Centennial Suite on the 27th floor, there is roughly one suite per level, towards the left of elevators. For a 2 night stay, it is super awesome to get 51 hours in this luxurious suite with early check in at 11am and late check out at 2pm, especially during this festive period. The corridors are well maintained and fresh, albeit a little gloomy. As per the norm these days, rooms are in compliance with Hilton Cleanstay standards, enhanced cleaning on high touchpoints and a seal is placed on the door. Seeing the exterior, the suite does have an outer corridor door that can be close to combine with a connecting room to make up a two bedroom suite.
Measuring at 63 Sqm the suite is extremely spacious! While not the largest in Singapore, the regular almost “L-Shaped” shape of the suite allows for space maximization unlike irregular configurations like the weird pillars in St Regis. With strong usage of dark brown and grey colours as well as warm lighting, the ceiling to floor panels of windows bringing in an abundance of natural light, the place was extremely inviting! Needing a little more privacy? The blinds and sheers are fully automatic and easily controllable. A little downside to the suites here at Conrad Centennial Singapore are their views. They do not face the Marina Bay area but instead the surrounding Suntec Area. It’s still pretty sweet and thankfully, my suite was located on a higher floor as the view stretches as far as Padang and the National Gallery. This would be nice on the National Day.
The living area is mainly a long sleek rectangular configuration, with a short corridor entryway. Immediately after entering you can find some storage areas towards the left and right of the entrance. I have to say the right one acting as a mini bar area looks pretty underwhelming. Tiny little bottles of Conrad house brand water are placed here. Measuring only 250ml, I had to request for many more bottles of water to keep my thirst at bay. You can find a kettle and a Nespresso coffee machine with 6 coffee capsule comped. You can also find some Ronnefeldt teas in the drawer, which I am not a fan of. TWG is the basic standard for me and in fact it should for a 5 Star Hotel! With the Executive Lounge being operational, I am slightly more forgiving. It’s also rather weird that the suite does not have a half bath, given that it is a full size suite. Definitely a first world problem but it’s much more convenient with one, especially when you are staying with your family or having a gathering!
Towards the side of the living room, near the entrance you can find a proper working desk and an armchair with conveniently placed outlets. There is no phone on the desk or in the living room. Sometimes it’s rather annoying to have to walk all the way to get the phone from the bedroom and with the lack of instant messaging at this particular hotel. This might be a slight inconvenience!
The main living room area is highlighted by the spacious L-Shape Window Bay sofa set which is both aesthetic looking and comfy to laze on. I do get rather annoyed with the L Shaped part of the cushion as it keeps sliding off the frame and moves when you are lazing on it. Nonetheless, the suite is really amazing for parties and gathering! Limit to 5pax for now, at least till 28 Dec! Please adhere to the COVID measures. It faces a nice Samsung Smart TV in the living room which is just right for the suite size and distance from the sofa! Sadly even though it’s a Smart TV it’s only compatible for screen mirroring with Android phones.
The living area also comes with a full size dining table with an armchair on the far end which can seat 3-4 person nicely, pleasingly incorporated with the sofa set. Left on the table was some welcome amenities consisting of some homemade cookies and sweets alongside a bottle of juice!
A sliding door separates the bedroom from the living room, aking it more conducive for families and work. Located just past the sliding door you can find another armchair around the corner. There are ample amount of space to lounge around in the suite.
The bedroom is less spacious in comparison to the living room but you can still find a luxurious King Size Bed in the middle facing a mounted Smart TV. The bed is comfy and not too soft. Pillows were pretty good and not paper thin, you can also request for firmer pillows from the hotel. As per the norm, a little Conrad soft toy is placed on the bed. You can find a little bear.
The bedrooms does have pretty sweet views of the Suntec Fountain as well as the iconic Shears Bridge and Costa Rhu Apartments.
The bed is surrounded with two night stand on each side. Crucially, they have switches, blinds controls as well as power sockets on both side of the bed. They even have USB chargers, something all hotels should have installed these days. Wifi connection is strong throughout the hotel and the suite has no issues even streaming videos. A care kit, consisting of Disinfectant Wipes, Hand Sanitizer and Masks were left on the nightstand which seems too common these days as an amenity.
On the far end of the room you can find two huge wardrobe that line up the entire wall, with a little vanity area in the middle, which the missus will definitely love! I love the built in flip up mirror with lights; the hairdryer was also nicely placed here. Very Hyatt or Andaz looking. The wardrobe are really spacious and even comes with a safe and ironing kit inside. I do find it a little funny that there isn’t any luggage storage area in the entire suite, with the exception of the wardrobe. Neither are luggage racks offered. While not an issue for my light packing for a short stay, this is definitely tricky for travellers with huge suitcases. Do note that during this period, turndown service is not offered.
The bathroom is really spacious and bright with His and Her sinks and decked out in marble. You can find both a bathtub and a separate standing shower with TOTO fixtures. The bathtub is spacious and both bath salts and loofah for a relaxing soak are provided. A little rubber duck is placed for some company if you require. The standing shower area is more than spacious for one, perhaps a little tight for two, but isn’t that the way to go? Water pressure and temperature control is excellent.
As usual, in Conrad, Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea toiletries are provided; one of my personal favourite. It would be good if they could install some hooks or hangers in the bathroom as places to hang your towels and clothes are definitely lacking. In addition to the toiletries, a full set of amenities were also provided, including dental kits and more!
Conrad pool is located on the 4th floor, just beside the Gym and fitness centre! It is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Due to current social distancing measures, the pool has a maximum capacity of 20. Prior appointment will be required and you are limited to 60 mins per slots, to prevent hogging as definitely 20 slots will not be sufficient for a hotel of this size to cater to the crowd, especially during this period. You will be able to secure your slots 5 days in advance on the website above and I definitely recommend you to do it at the earliest possible time. Funnily enough, the system allows me to make reservations for multiple time slots, so you are not just limited to one per day or stay!
The pool is a nice relaxing place with views of the Singapore Flyer. There are plenty of sunbeds and some cabanas, all on a first come first serve basis. The attendants here are extremely polite with attentive service. They immediately bought towels over and constantly offered refills of water. However it is more of a chilling pool rather than for swimming. It ranges from 1.1 to 1.4m, although the regular shape does allow some laps to be done.
Located just towards the side, by the pool, the gym is open daily from 7am to 10pm. Similarly, capacity will be capped at 15 due to social distancing measures. Prior reservations will be required, up to 5 days in advance and you are limited to 60 mins per slot. While I didn’t use the gym, I had a brief look and it seems to be well equipped!
Conrad used to have a second executive lounge, known as the Lounge by the Pool, although that has since been revamped into a kids club. I went for a brief look and got some pictures. For those who are keen, they cater to kids age 3 – 10 years old and activities cost 15 SGD unless included in your rate.
Executive Lounge and Afternoon Tea
Once known as the Conrad with 2 Executive Lounge, currently only the lounge on level 31 will be open. Due to COVID, there is a slight change in operations and it only opens from 3pm to 10pm, starting with the afternoon tea service. I will definitely recommend making the earlier slots reservations for both afternoon tea and evening drinks. I will also come earlier before 6pm to secure a good table by the window for some Marina Bay / sunset views.
I love having access to an executive lounge in hotels, especially when you can just pop by for some coffee or tea in the middle of the day rather than those instant coffees and packet teas. Here are also some of the other privileges that Executive Lounge guests can enjoy: Unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks throughout the day, Daily Set Menu Breakfast at Oscar’s by the Lobby, Complimentary use of the meeting room at the business centre at level 5 for two hours per day, Complimentary local calls, Complimentary Premium wireless internet access and 20% discount on all a la carte spa treatments. The Lounge is a nice space with awesome views of the surrounding area. Staff to guest ratio is very good with more than 5-6 staff on hand.
It is really commendable that Conrad upholds their standards and presentations prior to COVID and kept the Afternoon Tea service in the lounge. It is served from 3pm to 5pm daily with a 1hr slots prior reservations needed. Afternoon Tea will also be served in a 3 tier stand since buffets are not allowed now. I certainly prefer this format and would love for it to stay! You can find the menu here and it alternates between Even & Odd days.
Here is the Even day offering! Some of the standout items to me are the Prosciutto di Parma, Fresh Ricotta and Crackers, Macarons and the Apple Crumble Tarts. Refills are offered and you can just get the items that you like. Their scones are alright but nothing memorable.
On my second day, I got to try the Odd day offering. I really love the Smoked Salmon Tartlet, Truffle Egg as well as the Maple Walnut Cheesecakes.
I am also very glad to announce that they are still maintaining the alcoholic drinks in the day where you can order beers, either Tiger or Heineken, or wines during afternoon tea service. I will share more on the wines later on. Sadly champagne is no longer served. I also love how they are reserving the lounge for guests above 12, with children only allowed in for afternoon tea. Lounge and kids are not a good paring together, take note Hilton Zurich!
From 6pm to 8pm, the lounge serves evening drinks with hors d’oeuvres. Similar to afternoon tea, the menu alternates between Even and Odd days. Here is the menu for evening cocktails.
The clear difference between both services lies in the booze selections with the evening reception offering a much more robust offering. Besides beers and wines, you can also order liqueur, sparkling wine and cocktails. The lounge is serving Chandon Sparkling Wine which is one of the better ones out there. They have 3 cocktails on the list and I have tried all of them, with the Negroni and Sea Breeze being my favourite. I do love that they does it strong. The Mango Belini is a tat too sweet for my liking. I’m sure the staff will be alright to customize any simple drink orders like Gin Tonics for you!
As for the wines, I am really impressed by them. They serve up to 2 reds and 2 whites. A French Bordeaux and an Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. The Bordeaux is especially good! A simple search shows that it is on sale at 42 SGD, making it a pretty generous offering in the lounge. For the white, I tried the Australian Chardonnay and the French Sauvignon Blanc, both was lovely as well. I did not tried the other one.
The food will be served on a three tier stand as well and it looks really awesome. Everything will be served to you and you can go for your second serving or just replenish your favourites. For my first night, the Even menu was on offer. The memorable ones were the cheese and cold cuts, mushroom and cheddar tart as well as the chicken wings.
On the second evening, I had the Odd menu. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the Impossible Meat Guaca Slider! The cold cut ham and salami was really good that I couldn’t stop snacking on. Eclairons was a no brainer, all-time favourite!
Breakfast is served at Oscar’s currently, including executive lounge guests. Breakfast is offered from Mon to Fri from 7am to 10.30am and on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays from 7.30am to 11am. Reservations are definitely recommended. Given that buffets are currently not allowed, breakfast is a set menu ala carte format. Multiple orders are allowed though. Breakfast cost 40 SGD per pax if not included. Certainly an upgrade for the lounge guest currently as they get the full restaurant breakfast now!
Drinks orders were taken and I started with a latte and their daily juice which is a blend of freshly squeezed apple, carrot and ginger, known as the Natural Glow. Certainly one good detox drink to kick-start your day. Coffee drinks were pretty good at Oscars and I realised that they are “semi barista made”. I might have just invented this term! The coffee is from a coffee machine but the froth and milk are poured manually!
There was a slight wait for the food which is understandable since it’s all on an ala carte concept now and we ordered an assortments of dishes to try! A bread basket and fruit plate was to start. The Pain au Chocolat and Danish were particular good! I love the Kiwi and Watermelon which were ripe!
Here are some of the stand out items. I really love the Smashed Avocado Toast with Poached egg. The addition of sun dried tomatoes really elevate the dish and even the trimmings were delicious.
Another one was the Asian selection. The Glutinous Rice was outstanding and we went for seconds. As good as what you get in a local stall.
We also love the Seafood Nasi Lemak; the rice was flavourful and the Kembung fish was fresh. The sambal prawns and squid goes so well with the rice. I didn’t like the mussels.
For a Singapore flair, try out Oscars Kaya Toast!
Here are some of the other pictures and food that we tried that were pretty good, they get the basics right but nothing memorable. Sunny Side Up were executed well. You can get some off menu items like omelettes as well.
What is breakfast without some Ice Cream? The perfect way to show that you are on a holiday! Grab some Movenpick Ice Cream before you head back up for a lazing nap.
Without saying, Conrad is definitely a step up above their sister hotel! You will not be disappointed! Breakfast was good and being a Hilton Diamond member it is just so worthwhile with breakfast and lounge access included. With rates currently being depressed, it is the best time to try now! I would love for Conrad Singapore to partake in the Hilton App messaging as well App check out. I truly enjoyed my stay. Scored an awesome upgrade and with both afternoon tea and evening cocktails, that was a couple of fun days. Although I am quite sure the service and experience will be even better if you avoid the school holidays and peak periods.