Must-read Earlier Installments:
- Singapore, Cathay, and Qantas First Class.. Some of the Best Meals of My Life, and a Tour of Hyatts in Bangkok, Singapore, and Sydney
- Inside the New Oneworld Lounge at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal
- Cathay Pacific First Class, Los Angeles – Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge, Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific Business Class, Hong Kong – Bangkok
- Grand Hyatt Bangkok: Suite, Club Lounge, and Facilities
- Thai Molecular Gastronomy at Sra Bua in Bangkok
- Getting Custom Tailored Suits Made in Bangkok at Empire Tailors
- Nahm at the Metropolitan: the Best Thai Food in Thailand?
- Thailand’s Iron Chef Cooks Ancient Recipes in a Deserted Top Notch Restaurant
- Eating The Best Local Thai Dishes in the Bangrak Neighborhood of Bangkok
- Louis Tavern CIP Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class, Bangkok-Singapore
The hotel car, comped to me as a make-good for an issue during a previous stay, pulled up to the Grand Hyatt Singapore and I was met in the driveway. Bags were taken, and I was escorted to through the looby and up to the suite I had confirmed when I booked the room.
Instead of being escorted to the club lounge for check-in, as I have been in the past, I was taken directly to the suite.
Check-in formalities were done there, and quickly. I didn’t need any sort of tour of the room (because after all, it’s a hotel room, plus I had stayed at the hotel before and in the same room type as well). The only question I had for the staff member handling check-in was about breakfast.
From my previous stays I know that Hyatt Diamond members received club lounge access, and not restaurant breakfast. But I had recently read one review where breakfast in the restaurant was offered as an alternative, so I inquired. She told me that no, it wasn’t standard practice, but that I could have breakfast in the restaurant if I wanted as an exception and it would be complimentary.
Confirmed Suite Upgrade: Duplex Suite
I began to get settled in the room, a base-level suite which is the “duplex suite.” I had confirmed this upgrade at the time of booking, and it’s certainly a large room.
It’s two levels with a door upstairs (on the club level) and downstairs.
Much of the space is simply open high ceilings with the upstairs portion more of a loft comprising the bedroom, master bathroom, and a dressing area.
The downstairs offers a living room, large dining table, work desk, and a small bathroom off of a galley-style kitchen.
The staircase between the levels is narrow and windy. And there’s no elevator all the way up to the top level of the hotel where the top floor of the room and the club is. Instead you get off at the level where the living room entrance is and go up some stairs.
That means anyone (you or a hotel employee) taking care of your luggage will wind up carrying bags up a flight of stairs. The hotel brought our bags to the front door downstairs and then carried each up the staircase.
On my first stay at the hotel I had been upgraded one room category above this because no duplex suite was available when I checked in. That was a somewhat smaller room, on a single level, but I liked the layout better and found it more comfortable. Plus the master bathroom in that suite was larger.
One interesting thing I found, that I hadn’t noticed on previous stays, was a printed note wrapped around the television remote in the living room, indicating that it had been sanitized. I really liked that — I don’t bring plastic zip loc bags to put remotes into, but I sometimes feel like I should since they’re known to be one of the least hygenic things in a hotel room. Oddly, there was no note wrapped around the tv remote in the upstairs bedroom.
Grand Club Lounge
The club lounge is one of the really nice features of the hotel, and something I’m grateful for as a Gold Passport diamond menu.
You’re greeted upon entry and shown to a table, though of course express any preferences or sit wherever you wish. By the time you’ve been there a couple of times they’ll remember you and many staff members will know your name, at least in my experience. (And not in a creepy way like at the W Seoul years ago where they brought me over to take my picture the first time I checked in – hah.)
Breakfast in the morning features rotating hot items, salmon plus meats and cheeses, and plenty of bakery selections along with typical fruit and yogurt. And they do cooked to order items as well.
In the evening there’s rotating hot selections, refrigerated specialty salads, cheeses, sushi, plenty of desserts and of course cocktails.
The space is nice, the service is good, and the lounge is well-provisioned. This is one of the better club lounge offerings in the Hyatt system. I don’t like it quite as much as Hong Kong, but it’s excellent nonetheless.
The Hotel’s Restaurant: Straits Kitchen
As I mentioned, I asked about restaurant breakfast because I had seen a review where it was given to the guest complimentary. They gave it to me, though I visited only one time.
Now my usual preference is for a nice cooked to order breakfast over both lounge and buffet. But since I wanted to linger over my coffee the lounge was a better space to do that here.
It’s a typical upscale hotel buffet in Southeast Asia, so it’s excellent of course, and having the option was a nice change of pace from lounge breakfast food (which I’d had for several days, not just in Singapore but also Bangkok). They had standard breakfast fare and many Asian items like dim sum and even a soup and noodle station. But I actually preferred the lounge environment — even though I had the choice of the restaurant breakfast I opted for the lounge.
Still, I suppose it can’t hurt to ask at check-in if a Diamond member wants to try the restaurant breakfast.
What was more remarkable was lunch here. Though this was my third stay at the hotel it was my first time dining in their restaurant, for any meal. And my last day it was completely pouring outside so I decided to have lunch on property.
I’ve actually long wanted to try Straits Kitchen, but there’s so much else to have in Singapore that I could never justify it. The rain made for the perfect excuse.
The concept is the Hawker Center. You have different stations set up around the restaurant serving different kinds of local street food. It’s all in one place. Of course having it at a hotel restaurant buffet instead of actually at a Hawker Center means it’s much more expensive, in some sense ‘too expensive’ for what it is. But for someone unfamiliar with the genre I think it makes for a great first introduction.
You’re not going to get the single best of any dish, something as good as if you sought out the one stall with best carrot cake or best char kway teow. But everything is uniformly good. And you can’t beat the convenience.
Remains My Choice in Singapore
I’ve returned here three times, and even after significant service failures on my last stay. This time I didn’t have a single complaint at all.
Singapore is a tough city for hotels. There are a ton of very good hotels, few that are great, and many are often expensive. Being able to leverage loyalty programs with offerings like cash and points and confirmed suite upgrades can be a real value.
This isn’t a city where I’m going to fall in love with a hotel, and probably one where I’d make a choice from among many based on location. But for the Orchand and Scotts Road area the Grand Hyatt delivers.