Tatler checks into the newly refurbished luxury hotel, located in the Marina Bay area

How do you find time to take a breather and put your mind at ease, even if it’s just for short period of time? For many in Singapore, it seems like hotel staycations have become the best option. It’s a great way to cure your wanderlust and give yourself a well-deserved break amid the global Covid-19 pandemic that has forced most of us to work from home.

With travel restrictions in place, there are those who may prefer to spend their time taking part in outdoor activities, going on local tours to rediscover Singapore, and more. I belong to the group that enjoys staycations. When I was offered the opportunity to spend a night at the recently renovated Conrad Centennial Singapore, I didn't hesitate to take it up.

The hotel reopened its doors in December 2020 so I checked in last month for a change in work environment and to give myself a little treat.

Find out more about my experience below.

First Impressions

I’m going to be honest here, I had expected snaking queues in the hotel lobby due to the uptake in staycations all over Singapore. And with the Conrad Centennial located in such a prime location, I figured I would witness a scenario like that especially since I’ve read news reports about large crowds gathering in various hotel lobbies in the city due to an overwhelming number of people trying to check into their rooms.

To my surprise, I walked into a quiet and peaceful lobby with nary a queue in sight. I had been given a specific timeframe to arrive for check-in, too, due to Covid-19 precautionary measures. Once I completed the Safe Entry requirements at the hotel entrance, I was immediately greeted by the staff at reception as well as a duty manager who kindly offered to extend my check-out time—a move that made my stay even more pleasant as I had more time to explore the hotel and its surroundings. I was checked into my room in a matter of minutes, so my stay was off to a good start.

Do Not Disturb

The hotel’s 512 guest rooms had recently been refurbished and this was evident from the moment I entered my hotel room, which was an Executive guest room that could fit a King-sized bed and up to three adults. The modern contemporary decor was kept simple but nonetheless exuded elegance, coupled with large windows that looked out towards the entire Marina Bay promenade. The view was pretty breathtaking and it quickly became my favourite part of the room. The sofa placed by the windows made for an excellent working space.

The marble bathroom was also spacious and had both a bathtub as well as a separate shower area, which is perfect for guests who’d like to enjoy the best of both worlds. The hotel was also generous in providing amenities, which were by Shanghai Tang, and the little rubber duck by the bathtub was an adorable extra touch. Too bad there were no children with me during this staycation, but the child in me definitely lit up upon noticing the toy. In fact, I was already treated to another toy earlier on: the iconic Conrad teddy bear mascot that was placed on the bed to welcome me. 

(Related: The Best Hotels For a Romantic Staycation in Singapore)

The Extras

Staying in an executive guest room meant that I was given access to the executive club lounge, which is a hotel feature that I look forward to whenever I’m on vacation. It’s a great way for guests to relax and enjoy drinks or light bites with a bit more privacy as such lounges are normally located away from the hotel’s other facilities and accessible to executive room guests only.

I made it in time for tea at the executive lounge and was treated to a three-tiered platter of finger food that included scones, tea cakes and sandwiches. I also went for post-dinner drinks at the lounge, just to take in the panoramic view of the Singapore skyline at night since the lounge was located on the top floor of the hotel. There's cocktail hour at the lounge too, so guests would be able to enjoy free-flow alcoholic beverages, juice, coffee and tea. However, I missed that as I was indulging in a delightful dinner somewhere else in the hotel. More on that below. 

(Related: The Best Afternoon Tea Experiences in Singapore)

Food and Drink

During my stay, I had dinner at the hotel’s award-winning Chinese restaurant Golden Peony where I had requested for a fully vegetarian meal. This wasn’t an issue at all as the restaurant also has a six-course vegetarian set menu, which was prepared for me that evening by Executive Chef Ku Keung and team. Service was top-notch and every dish was beautifully plated, so it made sense to see diners continue streaming into the restaurant even after I had left. 

The gastronomic journey didn’t end there as I rested my tastebuds overnight to prepare myself for breakfast at Oscar’s the next morning. I headed down to the restaurant promptly at 7am, a time slot that I had booked via the hotel concierge the previous day. Due to social distancing measures, breakfast was presented in the form of an a la carte buffet where you’ll get your order taken by wait staff and have your food sent to your table. I do wish the coffee options were better because caffeine is such an important part of my mornings. I also miss the best part of breakfast buffets where I have the freedom of choosing from a wide variety of food and piling anything I want on my plate, so I’m anticipating the day where I can do that again.

Tatler Tip

Guests can manage their stay through the Conrad Concierge service in the Hilton Honors mobile app, which you will have to download, to enjoy easy access to pre check-in and room selection, ordering in-room dining and mobile checkout. And if you want to indulge yourself further, book an executive room so that you will have access to the lounge. 

The hotel also boasts an impressive art collection featuring over 3,400 pieces of sculptures and paintings by both notable local and international artists. So keep your eyes peeled as you wander around the property.

Take advantage of the hotel's prime location and go for a walk around the Marina Bay area after breakfast, to burn off the calories and enjoy the surroundings.

More details and reservations are available on the hotel's website

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