On the way back from Bali, we made a two-day stopover in Singapore. The city-state offers a wide range of hotel chains. The Conrad Singapore is one of them and is located near Marina Bay. Basically a great and well-thought-out hotel but with a big problem at breakfast.
The stay took place in June 2019, before the world was shaken up by the coronavirus.
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The Conrad Singapore is located near Marina Bay, which is a good starting point to explore Singapore. The hotel is a bit difficult to reach from the airport by public transport. The MRT takes about an hour and requires two changes. Bus 36 connects the hotel to the airport directly but also takes about an hour.
That’s why we decided to take a taxi (Grab) to get to and from the airport. The trip time is only around 15 minutes. On the way from the airport, we paid SGD 17 (~€12) with Grab and on the way back SGD 21 (~€15) for a taxi.
The Conrad is located opposite Suntec City, a (what else should it be in Singapore) large shopping centre with many restaurants and the Fountain of Wealth as an attraction.
The Promenade MRT station is only 3 minutes away from the hotel, and there are also several bus routes serving the area around the hotel. If you cross two shopping centres on foot, you are right on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and can take a nice walk around Marina Bay. The Gardens by the Bay are also within walking distance or one stop on the MRT. The connection is good overall.
The arrival at the hotel was very accommodating. The suitcases were lifted out of the taxi, and we were directly offered to take them to our room.
The check-in went very smoothly and after the usual formalities, we quickly had our room cards in our hands. In addition, we were given a welcome gift: a drinking bottle made of stainless steel with the request to refrain from using plastic bottles. Since then, the bottle has accompanied me on all my travels.
Hilton hotels in Asia are usually quite generous when it comes to lounge access or upgrades in general, even for Hilton Honors Gold customers. I received an offer by email about a week before arrival: Upgrade to the room category Premier Floor Room with a guaranteed upgrade to an Executive Floor Room upon check-in for SGD 59 (~€41) per night. The offer was certainly not bad, but after thinking about it for a while, we didn’t accept it. We also wanted to experience Singapore from a culinary point of view and not spend all the time in the lounge. Nevertheless, you will find an extra on the two (!) executive lounges in the Conrad Singapore at the end of the review.
As a Gold Hilton Honors customer, we ended up being upgraded from a Deluxe King to a Grand Deluxe King room. The only difference we could tell: the room was on floor 17 of 31. There are no differences in room size or furnishings. Basically, there doesn’t seem to be any major difference in the equipment/room size between the different room types Deluxe (standard room), Grand Deluxe, and Premium.
Since we boarded our return flight to Düsseldorf in the evening at the end of our stay and flights to Europe typically depart late in the evening, we asked for a late check-out when we checked in. We were only offered a late check-out until 2 p.m. free of charge since the hotel was supposedly well booked. Late check-out up to 6 p.m. with lounge access for the entire stay is also available for an additional charge of SGD 100 (~€70)/day, or we could get a late check-out with lounge access on the day of departure for SGD 150 (~€105).
The status benefits have all been granted, but don’t expect any extras at Conrad Singapore. Other Hilton hotels in Asia are much more generous.
At 40 square meters, the room is very spacious. The entrance area leads past the bathroom to the sleeping and living area. In addition to a king-size bed, there is also a seating area with a table, chaise longue, and chair. The rooms have all been recently renovated and are modern, of high quality and very elegant.
The lighting concept is very well-thought-out and creates a nice atmosphere. The night light from the bed to the bathroom is something that I have never found in any other hotel.
The window front stretches across the entire width of the room. The blinds and curtains can be controlled electronically from the bed – as can all the light in the room. You can even activate the do-not-disturb mode from the bed. Connections for electricity, including a USB port by the bed, are embedded in the furniture and the television does not protrude from the wall either.
The bed was very comfortable and there is also a pillow menu to choose from. Of course, the Conrad also offers a turndown service. But we didn’t find out until the second day. On the day of arrival (we arrived in the early afternoon) it was apparently forgotten.
In the bathroom, you will find two sinks, a spacious rain shower and an additional bathtub. Everything is kept in light, warm tones and coordinated with each other. There was also a Conrad rubber duck.
The breakfast buffet is served on the ground floor in the Oscars restaurant and costs a whopping SGD 49 (~€34) + tax per person (free of charge for us thanks to the Hilton Honors Gold status). But there is a quite big range of warm and cold dishes on offer:
We particularly liked the fresh juices and the large selection at the Egg and Waffle & Pancakes stations. However, there were a few points that really bothered us about the breakfast:
The Oscars just isn’t big enough to handle the rush of guests. We were always lucky and only had to wait a few minutes, also because we were only two people. However, there were sometimes very long queues in front of the entrance. The restaurant got very busy dealing with the crowds. The tables were cleared very quickly and set anew, but at the same time, the cutlery and plates were sorted in the restaurant (unfortunately noticed several times in Hilton hotels), which led to very loud and uncomfortable background noise. You couldn’t have a leisurely breakfast here. It would be desirable if breakfast was offered in a larger room or in a second restaurant.
Once you got one of the few tables, you will be escorted to the table and offered tea/coffee and orange juice. Tea and coffee are then served in small pots, with the black tea already prepared including tea bags in the water in the guest room. Due to the extremely long brewing time, the tea was bitter and not exactly tasty. A tea and coffee station would be much more pleasant here. Unfortunately, reordering was hardly possible due to the hectic waiters. In addition, the orange juice was not freshly squeezed juice, but juice from concentrate. I don’t understand why a glass of orange juice is offered at all when you have a very nice juice station with freshly squeezed juices.
The atmosphere at breakfast is simply unworthy of a luxury hotel and, in my opinion, especially considering the price they normally charge, one does expect that one could have an extensive breakfast and not be annoyed by sorting dishes and cutlery. We felt like we had to get out as soon as possible. Even my former university cantina had a more comfortable atmosphere.
On the 4th floor, you will find a spacious outdoor pool. From midday, an attentive pool boy will provide you with towels and water. There were also enough pool chairs, and they were comfortable.
The staff were always nice and courteous from arrival until check-out. Our wishes, e.g. a second duvet, were fulfilled. The only point of criticism here is that the turndown service was forgotten on the day of arrival. But that will certainly be an isolated case and didn’t bother us.
We had a lovely two-night stay at the Conrad Singapore. The rooms are very spacious and well-equipped, the location is not perfect but OK. Only the minimum has been met for the Hilton Honors Gold benefits. Because of the breakfast situation, we probably wouldn’t book the hotel again.
Bonus: Executive Lounge
Travel-Dealz.eu editor Ditmar was in the hotel’s executive lounge thanks to his Diamond status and can therefore tell you how it is. The Conrad Singapore has two executive lounges since the renovation in 2018 – still the lounge on the 31st floor, and now also one on the 4th floor next to the pool. While the food is almost the same in both lounges, apart from small things, and the staff in both lounges is very friendly, the lounges are very different:
The lounge on the 31st floor is more elegantly designed and also offers great views of the Singapore skyline, the Gardens by the Bay, the National Stadium and the Fountain of Wealth.
A major downside of the 31st-floor lounge is the huge crowds, especially during the evening cocktails. Usually, you have to sit down at a table half an hour before, otherwise, you will be sent to the lounge on the 4th floor because the lounge is overcrowded. In any case, a cosy ambience is not to be expected during this time.
The lounge on the 4th floor is larger, and you can also order freshly made cocktails directly from the bar. As families with children are not allowed to use the lounge on the 31st floor, the lounge on the 4th floor may have an extremely high number of children, which can make it very noisy.
Food & Drinks
Conrad Singapore’s lounges are very generous when it comes to alcohol consumption. From the afternoon until 20:00, unlimited alcoholic drinks are served. However, the food is not always satisfactory. Especially with the evening cocktails, the choice of food is not quite worthy of a 5-star hotel. Chicken wings, tacos, nachos… amusing for a day, but not enjoyable in the long run. Tea time is much better there, with scones and a selection of sandwiches.
Having breakfast in the lounge (it doesn’t matter in which one), is highly recommended. Especially since, as Johannes had described, breakfast at the Oscars is very hectic, you should consider having breakfast in the lounge instead. The lounge, even on the 31st floor, usually isn’t particularly busy and offers a wide variety of breakfast items: cereal, cold cuts, a station where you can order freshly made egg dishes, sausage, bacon, and more.
Cover Picture: Ditmar Lange