The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Affordable Orchard Road staycation experience offers convenience and accessibility.
The must-dos (if any): Exploring and shopping at the nearby malls, enjoy nearby takeaway snacks and drinks in-room, enjoy evening cocktails at the Executive Lounge.
Intro: Situated next to the buzzy night-time drink-laxing destination Cuppage Terrace behind The Centrepoint, and minutes away from Somerset MRT station and its various surrounding malls, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre offers an affordable staycation experience right in the heart of Orchard Road, giving you access to endless nearby shopping and food options (both dine-in and takeaway).
Situated on the fourth floor, the Premier Room overlooks the expressway, with the view framed by idyllically swaying trees. If you seek a snazzily new and modern chic aesthetic for your staycation, the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre is unlikely to meet your needs, as the hotel is less Instagram-able Andaz Singapore and more “Tony Leung lying back in the quaint brown armchair with cigar in hand” in its ’90s Hong Kong-retro stylings.
The glass partition of the shower stall fogs up most wonderfully during a hot shower, allowing for steamy, “Titanic”-style hand-on-glass moments. Also, the refrigerator design does not prevent you from bringing in your own bottles of booze, which is often the case with newer properties.
I stayed at Room 443, which is next to Room 444. During the two nights spent at the hotel over the weekend, did I hear plaintive moans, victims screaming “stop” in Japanese, and mysterious thuds from next door? That’s a secret I’d never tell.
THE HOTEL AND AMENITIES
Located on the 8th floor, the hotel’s gym and rooftop swimming pool offers a peaceful health and wellness enclave from the madding Orchard Road crowds. The swimming pool area comprises a fairly deep lap pool, a separate children’s pool as well as an outdoor jacuzzi. Elsewhere, the colourful gym was modestly equipped, with the treadmill room being the happiest area with its overhead natural lighting.
The hotel is conveniently located next to Cuppage Terrace, which houses various drinking and late-night concepts such as Harry’s, Santouka Ramen, Ginger Thai, Five Bar and Wine Connection. The neighbouring Cuppage Plaza is a haven for Japanese dining and late-night izakaya eats such as Gyoza Ohsho, Nagomi Restaurant, Izakaya Nijumaru and tbe muchly-hyped Kappo Shunsui.
The hotel is seconds away from The Centrepoint, a mall with various dining concepts such as Tensho (tempura), Roost (chicken concept), Beauty in A Pot (hotpot), Tsujiri (Japanese soft serve), Dapur Penyet (Indonesian), Honolulu Cafe (Hong Kong cafe fare), Chicken Up (Korean chicken), Misato (Japanese), and 49 Seats (casual Western). As far as groceries are concerned, Cold Storage and Bottles & Bottles will take care of all your staycation in-room needs.
Across the road, Orchard Central‘s Don Don Donki caters to your late night whimsical shopping needs, and the mall’s attractive dining options include Kanshoku Ramen and UPin Hot Pot. Elsewhere, [email protected] serves up Korean dining options such as Yoogane, Masizzim and Chir Chir as well as other dining concepts such as ice cream concept Hvala and Japanese curry concept Coco Ichibanya. As far as takeaway dining options go, Takashimaya‘s basement food hall needs no introduction, with its seasonal fair booths often offering nice sweets and savoury snacks to takeaway for your in-room consumption (I had an interesting Kueh Salat cake from Sinpopo Brand), while Paragon Shopping Centre‘s takeaway options include Chalk Farm (sweets) and Janice Wong Singapore (sweets).
The dining and takeaway food possibilities are endless.
Breakfast is served at Window on the Park, the hotel’s local and Asian food buffet concept. The usual continental buffet choices such as pastries, cold cuts, big breakfast sides (the buffet’s only non-Halal options are helpfully ostracized behind a glass case), waffles as well as pancakes are all present and correct. My personal highlight was the Noodle Station, which served up piping hot noodles in comforting chicken broth. The uncle manning the station was a cheerful and friendly gentleman, and his station was easily the busiest. I made friends with a Chinese lady who interactively prepared her own noodle soup dish when the staff were occupied.
I appreciated that there was a small table set up outside Window on the Park offering grab-and-go coffee, orange juice and croissants for those seeking a quick pick-me-up without needing to queue for the morning breakfast buffet.
Elsewhere, the Lobby Bar offers all-day refreshments, while Tandoor serves up North Indian cuisine, with various lunch and brunch menus available.
THE EXECUTIVE LOUNGE
The hotel’s snazziest and most well-lit area is their Executive Lounge, which offers morning breakfast, tea-time treats as well as evening cocktails and canapes. Situated on the 3rd floor, the high ceiling and very airy Executive Lounge is enviably visible from the corridors above, and makes for a conducive spot for mid-day reading and laptop use while sipping tea.
The breakfast experience at Window on the Park is definitely superior to that of the Executive Lounge in terms of selection, although the serenity and peace of the Executive Lounge is a major plus point. However, the evening cocktails and canapes should not be missed if you have club access. Aside from their signature Singapore Sling and Tequila Sunrise bottled cocktails, the club offers a range of red/wine choices as well as a modest selection of spirits for your self-made cocktail pleasure. I enjoyed the chicken drumlets and curry puffs I had when I was there. Notably, vinegared mackerel sushi (shime saba) is not a dish commonly served at local executive lounges, but I happened to love mackerel and I hit the sushi table hard.
While Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre may not be an obvious staycation destination given its old-fashioned send-up of the staycation experience, the hotel’s affordable price point as well as its proximity to nearby dining destinations and its accessibility to interesting takeaway food options and alcohol stores for in-room dining makes it an interesting getaway option.
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre
11 Cavenagh Road
This post is written at the invitation of Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, although observations are solely mine.