Last month, I was on a weeklong business trip to Singapore. This trip came up at a short notice, only enough to get a visa processed in time. Luckily for me I was able to get a rate of SGD 195 ++ at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre, thanks to the Book Direct rates where I got a liberal 10-15% discount on my price. This was a fantastic rate especially because due to the upcoming Formula 1 race, the hotel prices in Singapore were skyrocketing.
IHG has multiple properties in Singapore. The Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre is located on Orchard Road in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district. The hotel is an easy 5 minute walk from the Somerset MRT station. The hotel was conveniently located in the centre of the city and only a few MRT stops away from my place of work in Singapore. Finding a good rate further helped me nail down the decision to stay here.
The decision to book an IHG hotel was driven primarily by the fact that this stay alone allowed me complete all my IHG Accelerate challenges and earn 45,000 IHG Rewards Club points. As a cherry on top I will also managed to earn an extra 15,000 points by combining IHG’s Book Direct promotion that is running through December 31, 2016. While the points to complete the Accelerate promotion were posted shortly after, I am still waiting for the Book Direct points to post to my account.
I arrived at the hotel late evening after my flight on Jet Airways from Delhi. On arrival I noticed that the hotel has a large lobby with a grand chandelier in the centre. The bar, which is located at the far end of the of the reception, has live music every evening. During check-in, I learnt that the hotel was running a lucky dip contest for Rewards Club members where you had to pick a chit out of bowl and the prizes varied between 500 up to 3000 bonus points. I managed to win 1000 bonus points which was not bad (still to post though!). I was also handed over a complimentary drink voucher that came as a part of my booked rate.
After completing check-in formalities I headed up to my room that was located on the 8th floor. Inside this hotel all rooms are located around a central atrium which gave it a rather old design feel.
My room was large and it was good to know how spacious the base category rooms at this hotel are. The interiors were done in pastel green. Past the king size bed there was a comfortable lounge chair with an ottoman with a huge window in the background. My room had a street view of the Orchard Road.
The room had a large wardrobe with extra area to stow the bags, an armchair with ottoman, a spacious desk on one side. There is a large flatscreen TV fixed on the wall opposite the bed.
There was a welcome fruit platter placed on the side table along with a small box of assorted chocolates. Surprisingly, there was no mini-bar, but just an empty refrigerator placed in the room.
The bathroom was functional with a bathtub and shower heads. The toiletries were the regular Holiday Inn branded stuff, which I am not particularly fond of.
The great thing I realised was that the hotel gives all its guests complimentary access to a personal handy phone. This was amazing because this phone gave me access to mobile internet while I was on the road and allowed me to make unlimited free local and international calls, including calls to India.
Next morning before heading out to work I grabbed some quick breakfast. Breakfast was not a part of the rate I booked, but I had the option of booking a discounted rate at the time of making the reservation. Breakfast at the hotel is served daily between 06:30 am and 10:00 am at Window on the Park restaurant. The spread was reasonably good with a wide assortment on the buffet that included Japanese, Indian, Malay and Western options on the hot buffet. There were a variety of cereals and freshly squeezed juices, eggs to order and fresh bakery items. I tried Poha in the Indian option one day and stuffed paranthas on another day and they were quite delicious. The staff were, efficient and kept the coffee coming even when the restaurant was busy.
Over the next few days I did use the gym. The hotel has a small basic gym located on the top floor with a view of the pool. The outdoor pool is located on the terrace and had a number of lounge chairs around.
Overall I was quite impressed with this hotel. At under 200 Singapore Dollar price point this is a great value hotel with an amazing location in the centre of the city. The rooms are comfortable and the staff are always smiling and delightful. Having access to Handy was a definite plus and I would love to come back to this hotel on my next trip to Singapore.
Have you stayed at this particular Holiday Inn? What has been your experience with them?