With a Hilton Diamond status, I set out to maximize my stay in Singapore by trying out 2 different properties in the city. Hilton operates a total of 3 hotels in this island state, the oldest being the Hilton located along Orchard Road, with the newest being the Hilton Garden Inn in Little India. However, the first one I tried was Conrad Centennial located in the Millenia Walk complex of office tower and shopping malls. This luxury hotel is within walking distance to several MRT (subway) stations and to Marina Bay Sands and numerous shopping malls, making it super convenient to get around town. Furthermore on my stopover in Singapore I was due to meet up with friends in the area and having arrived on a 5am flight from Nadi, I set out to the airport via Uber with the sun still not yet appearing.
The hotel exterior has a very distinctive modern facade that makes it easy to spot in the distance. However the hotel has 2 entrances and depending on where you are dropped off, it can be a bit of a walk to the front desk. Furthermore only the entrance facing the Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City is manned by the bell desk. That meant I had to push my luggage to the reception for check in. Fortunately it was a very nice lobby and I was pleasantly surprised to be assigned a room even arriving so early in the morning. The only problem was the room was a smoking room though I wanted to rest quickly and decided to take it.
After the front desk agent prepared my room keys, he went through the list of benefits for Hilton Diamond members. Access to the Executive Lounge on the 31st floor is complimentary for Diamond members and guests staying on the Executive floor. Breakfast is served in the lounge from 6:30am onwards until 10:30am on weekdays and until 11:00am on weekends and public holidays. Afternoon tea is served between 14:30 and 16:30 while evening cocktails are provided from 17:30 until 20:00, after which any alcohol consumed will be chargeable. Other Executive lounge services includes complimentary use of the meeting room for 2 hours per day and ability to borrow CDs and DVDs from the library. On the day of arrival, a complimentary pressing service for 3 items are included as well, along with free local calls and wifi access.
Room No: 921 Category: Deluxe King Kallang View Room
From the reception, it was easy to find the elevators to the room. Initially I was provided a room on the higher floors and it was a non-renovated standard room as far as I can tell. Slightly past the entrance, there is a minibar cabinet on the right with a Nespresso machine and bottled waters.
Past that, guests would see a luggage stand on the left and a flatscreen TV with a console underneath it on the left side of the wall. A work desk with 2 chairs was placed by the window while a coat hanger stands in the corner.
Inside the room was a basic King bed that looked a bit too plain with the headboard being blocked by the oversized pillows. Standard in all Conrad properties was a small bear and this particular one was fitted with a construction helmet to indicate the renovation works ongoing in the hotel. Beside the bed was night stand with controls for the lights and the telephone.
At the extreme right corner there was an armchair facing the TV and the room layout does make it somewhat difficult for guests to lie down on the bed to watch TV so that is perhaps the first downside to the room.
Underneath the flatscreen TV was a console with power outlets and multimedia connections to the TV along with a DVD player. The large desk in the room and the spare chairs all around does make the older rooms feel a bit cluttered and small. These furnishings does look tired and I was somewhat disappointed in the state of the room.
The bathroom beside the entrance was a bit better as it was brightly lit with plenty of marble all around. There was only one sink in the countertop but it does have both a bathtub and a separate glass enclosed shower stall. However the shower stall only has a standard shower head at the top and lacks a handheld shower head.
A standard toilet is found in the corner while a complete range of Aromatherapy Associates bath amenity was supplied by the countertop. Guests could also find the rubber duck common in Conrad hotels by the bathtub along with a loofah.
However as I was less enthusiastic with the non-renovated rooms and the fact that it was a smoking room, I decided to head to the Executive Lounge to request for another room. After all I could use the lounge first if there wasn’t any other rooms available yet. The staff at the Executive Lounge actually managed to find me a newly renovated room on the 9th floor after a short while. Upon checking with the housekeeping staff that it was ready to be occupied, I was assigned the key for the new room. The new room was similar in size to the old one and has more or less the same layout with the bathroom on the right beside the door.
However the bathrooms in the renovated rooms looks spectacular with double sinks and has a more contemporary look with wood finishings by the countertop. The shower area has been updated to have a rainshower fitted on the ceiling and a handheld shower head.
Other than that, the same type of amenities could be found throughout the bathroom and the same toilet was still on the corner. One particular upgrade they could have done was install those Japanese style bidets that many luxury hotels have nowadays.
Anyway I was satisfied enough with this bathroom and I certainly liked the fact that in Conrad Hotels, guests could have a choice of bath amenities, though the default choice by Aromatherapy Associates was nice for me.
The makeover is most evident in the bedroom. While the minibar is still in the same spot and still has a Nespresso machine, the TV console has been updated to provide storage space with the power and connection outlets hidden for a clean view.
The bed still faces the window but it has a nice soft headboard at the back flanked with glass mirrors on the sides. There are larger bedside tables on both sides of the bed with electronic switches to control the curtains and lighting in the room. Instead of the work desk there is a round table by the window and the whole length of the window is furnished with cushions, pillow and backrest bolsters. This meant the whole setup allows for a mixture of lounging and daybed use. There is a chair by the round table for guests who would like to work in the room. Do note that the new rooms does not have a high back work chair so it might be less comfortable working for a long time in the room but it certainly makes the whole room more spacious and livable.
Another new piece of furniture is a free standing table that could be moved around by the window. Guests could place their magazines, laptop and coffee cup here while lounging on the daybed to do their work or read in the free time. This updated room certainly is more useful to me as a traveller and it is way better than the older rooms.
Both rooms I was assigned has a view of the Kallang river and the new National Stadium which means I get to see the sunrise from the room. I would say neither side is really superior since the best view in the hotel should be from the Executive Lounge on the 31st floor.
Since I arrived early in the morning, there was not yet any welcome amenity in this room that I moved into. However there was apples on a bowl. Later on, the staff sent over new plate of mixed fruits with a box of chocolates as a welcome amenity.
On the 31st floor Executive Lounge, guests could get an excellent view of the bayfront and the Padang area with its historical colonial buildings. And I got to enjoy the nice light while having breakfast on the day I arrived. I found the hotel was quite generous in that respect.
The Executive Lounge itself is very well appointed and have some quieter nooks with sofas that acts as a reading room on times when no meals are served. There is also a space with a PC and printer to do some work and a well stocked magazine and newspaper shelf.
Breakfast was served from the buffet and guests could also get some eggs cooked to their preference. The staff in the lounge made it a point to offer guests coffee or tea, while one could still make one themselves using the espresso machine setup on the main lounge. For an Executive lounge, the breakfast fare was respectable since Hilton Diamond guests do not get the choice of having breakfast in the main restaurant. Cold dishes includes salmon gravlax and smoked salmon with condiments, assorted hams and cold cuts and some cheese.
In the main buffet setup in its own room, there was a pot of congee with the toppings in small bowls by the side. A variety of pastries and croissants are next to it along with plain bread and a toaster. There was chocolate spread and fruit jams on the sides, and the hotel made it a point to indicate the spread did not contain palm oil.
Other cooked food includes bacon and 2 type of sausages, one was pork and another chicken. There was a vegetarian fried noodle and baked beans as well. Again, there was a sign indicating the beans were free of palm oil. It seems like this property has a beef against palm oil.
In the center of the room was a buffet island where guests could find a variety of cereals, granola, and dried fruits. There was a salad bar on the other side and a good variety of fresh and cut fruits. It was nice to find some red jambu (rose Java apple) on the buffet and even the vegetables in the salad looks fresh.
Finally in the corner there was packed yogurts, bircher muesli and bottles of mango and chia seeds shake. I particularly enjoyed the smoothie served in the individual bottle. After several days of bad hotel breakfast I kind of missed porridge since it is an Asian comfort food. Add in fresh vegetables, fruits and smoothies to the mix and I was satisfied and would have to say this was one of the most enjoyable hotel club lounge breakfast that I ever had.
Inside the hotel, guests could also find a gift shop selling the Conrad souvenirs on the lobby level across from the reception desk. The spa, fitness centre and swimming pool are all located on the 4th floor. The outdoor pool area has a couple of covered gazebos and plenty of deck chairs on a weekend evening. The pool is adequate in terms of size for a city centre hotel and the deck ambience was similar to the other hotels in the area.
The fitness centre is located next to the poolside restaurant which is used as a lounge of sorts for certain guests staying in the hotel on a special rate. I believe it is currently being used as the space for the Executive Lounge while the lounge on the 31st floor is being renovated. While the fitness centre is not that big, it was well equipped and I liked that they provide 3 kinds of water – hot water from the dispenser, individual bottled water from the fridge and citrus-infused water.
A one night stay here costs around S$270++ (~$203) and at this price it was cheaper than the St Regis which usually costs above $300. The Conrad has one of the best location for first time travellers and is located close to numerous amenities like malls and restaurants, and if you are a Hilton Diamond member, I would strongly recommend this hotel compared to the Hilton which can sometimes be more expensive. Even if the Hilton is $50 cheaper, I would still recommend the Conrad for its great views from the Executive lounge and the renovated rooms which has a neat layout and versatile furnishing.