Opened in 1987, this pyramid-shaped Marina Square stalwart underwent a renovation in 2004, and re-opened the following year with luxuriously-appointed rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows framing postcard-perfect views of the ocean, the bay or the city.
Located along Marina Bay, the hotel is connected by an indoor walkway to the massive Marina Square Mall, which houses a plethora of retail as well as food and drink options. The Singapore Flyer and Esplanade theatres on the Bay are both steps away from the hotel, as is the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. Public transportation is also a breeze — the Promenade MRT station is just a stone’s throw away while the Esplanade MRT station is no more than 10 minutes away on foot. Both Marina Bay Sands and the Central Business District can be accessed via a five-minute taxi ride. Orchard Road is a little further but will take you no longer than 15 minutes by taxi.
Style & character
Its austere, 28-year-old concrete façade may look dated relative to the city’s cadre of towering glass and steel-clad skyscrapers, but this quietly confident luxury hotel still draws a strong following. Thanks to its facelift in 2004-2005, the public spaces here look as alluring as before — think dim-lit lobby decked with art installations and a soaring lift landing atrium overhung with a 15-metre-long crystal chandelier. However, this zen temple comes under stress during the 12 noon peak period when hoards of hotel guests crowd the lobby to check in and out.
Service & facilities
From the spa, swimming pool, and business centre to the gymnasium, fitness centre and outdoor yoga patio, there is no lack of facilities in the hotel. Service is always top notch and polite no matter how busy the staff are.
- Fitness centre
- Tennis court
There are a staggering 527 rooms and suites in this hotel, although you won’t feel its sheer scale once you’re cocooned in your room and treated to a postcard-perfect view of either the ocean (by far my favourite), the bay or the city. Outfitted in a neutral palette of grey matched with polished wood panel, olive-swathed bed spread with twig motifs and textured ivory-fabric-wrapped headboard, the rooms are elegant and luxurious, but not ostentatious. Book one of 59 suites if you want to pamper yourselves. The Premier Suite, for instance, comes with an airy living-cum-dining room, and a separate master bedroom with its own living area. Depending on your room package, breakfast and Wi-Fi are not always included. All rooms come with tea-making facilities, but Nespresso coffee machines are only available in the Mandarin Suite and the Oriental Suite (upon request, it is available to all guests who book other suites). Standard Mandarin Oriental bath amenities apply in all rooms but the more luxurious Aromatherapy Associates bath range is only available in the suites.
Food & drink
There are five restaurants and two lounges within the property, and they seem to pack in the crowd on weekends. Of note are Dolce Vita, which serves an à la carte weekend buffet brunch with free-flowing champagne popular with the expat community, and Melt, which serves an international buffet spread where quantity — rather than quality — impresses.
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