Last year I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Singapore and really enjoyed it. If you want to be on Orchard Road it’s a great option. Singapore is a very tough hotel town, lots of good hotels but only a few that are close to great — and even the good ones can be pricey. So the ability to leverage elite benefits or points can be a strong benefit.
I booked a discounted paid rate and confirmed my upgrade in advance. Hyatt allows Diamonds to confirm upgrades to suites at time of booking (subject to availability) 4 times per year for up to 7 nights each time. And they allow all members to use just 6000 points to confirm an upgrade of up to 4 nights if paying the ‘Hyatt Daily Rate’.
The standard upgrade here is to a two-level “duplex suite.” Last year I was upgraded one category further, to a slightly smaller single level room that simply struck me as a bit more elegant. But the duplex suite is large if you don’t mind going up and down the stairs to the bedroom.
I had pre-arranged a hotel car for when I landed. It’s cheesy, perhaps, but the hotel advertises in-car wireless internet. And having flown for a day (incidentally, Singapore Airlines’ inflight internet wasn’t functioning on my aircraft) I liked the idea of catching up on my email on the drive to the hotel so I’d feel better-positioned to begin adjusting to the time and the city.
I arrived just a bit before noon and my habit on such arrivals is to allow myself a short nap, then push through to a late-ish dinner in order to set myself to the new time quickly. But if I haven’t been online for a day then I’m going to want to check my e-mail first, that can easily expand into doing a bit of work, and my plan is foiled.
Unfortunately the hotel representative wasn’t there when I cleared immigration and customs.
I looked around, I waited, and I rang the hotel. They confirmed the pickup was requested — and that they did not actually set it up. I suggested I would just take a taxi to the hotel rather than wait for them to come get me, and they confirmed that they would pay for the cab and also offered to comp my return transfer to the airport as well.
I was more annoyed than that though, but when the manager on duty called to apologize I had just laid down for that short nap and was woken and just wanted to get off of the phone so didn’t wish to discuss the matter further.
When I arrived at the hotel I was directed to check in at the desk in the lobby. I asked, “normally they want me to check in upstairs in the lounge here” and the staff member said, “well the person who was to assist you upstairs is busy with another guest.” Gee, that made me feel important, though I was perfectly fine checking in right where I was – that was easier, even.
Except that the woman checking me in let me know that my suite wasn’t ready, and wouldn’t I prefer to check in upstairs in the lounge since that would provide a more comfortable place to wait? She didn’t quite understand why I was trying to check in with her.
I told her that after failing to pick me up at the airport, and being unable to send me straight away to the lounge (a key card is required in the elevator) that surely instead of telling me now to go to the lounge and wait that she could find me another suite?
And so with a phone call and a few key strokes she did. She only warned that there might be someone in the room when we arrived changing out the amenity, as there was one in the room already for a different guest.
Well, no one was in the room changing out the amenity. There was no guest welcome letter. No note about club lounge offerings. Nothing of the sort (nor was one ever delivered). And no amenity choice was offered — amenity choice is new for Hyatt properties in Asia. I was also never asked choice of newspaper, and no paper was ever delivered.
Upstairs is the bedroom, dressing area, and master bath.
Downstairs is the living room, dining area, desk/work space, kitchen and a through the kitchen a small guest bath.
The lounge in the new tower (in which we stayed both last year and this) is a very nice space. Evening snacks are substantial, and breakfast offerings are good — continental offerings plus eggs made to order — although admittedly after day 2 the choices bored me.
Example of the evening spread:
And of breakfast:
The hotel has a nice pool area that’s been mostly deserted the times I’ve passed by.
Ultimately the service failure which began my stay colored my view of the hotel. Nonetheless, it will probably be my choice again the next time I’m in Singapore unless I need to be elsewhere in the city.
That’s largely because everything about the hotel is certainly fine — the upgrades, the club lounge, the property itself — and because it’s not obvious there’s any hotel that is going to be substantially better without also being at a materially higher price point. Which makes the Grand Hyatt Singapore still my go-to.
What’s your go-to hotel in Singapore?