In March 2021, I checked into the One-Bedroom Millenia Suite at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, one of Singapore’s most esteemed addresses. The 32-storey, 608-room hotel is conveniently situated close to various shopping malls such as Millenia Walk, Suntec City and Marina Square, and a short walk away from major attractions such as the Esplanade, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. The hotel boasts arguably one of the most breathtaking, closest and most direct views of Marina Bay, as well as a formidable culinary experience across its various award-winning dining concepts.
For this stay, I used the HoteLux app to make a booking for one night in a Club Deluxe Kallang Room, and subsequently received a complimentary upgrade to the One-Bedroom Millenia Suite. For the uninitiated, the HoteLux app gives guests the ability to book stays which include complimentary perks such as US$100 dining/spa credit and free room upgrades etc while simultaneously enjoying points under the hotel’s loyalty programme (e.g. Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt etc) as well as HoteLux’s own reward point programme which allows you to redeem room vouchers using HoteLux points at any of the participating hotels listed.
Here are 5 reasons why you should book a staycation at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore using the HoteLux app.
1. HoteLux gives you the benefits that Marriott Bonvoy elite status cannot.
Usually, one can rely on a certain level of elite status under their respective hotel loyalty programme (e.g. Platinum Elite status under Marriott Bonvoy, Globalist status under World of Hyatt etc) to enjoy almost guaranteed benefits such as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades and early check-in/late check-out. However, despite being bookable via the Marriott Bonvoy platform, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore does not participate in the Marriott Bonvoy rewards programme, meaning you can neither earn points/nights nor enjoy elite status benefits at the hotel.
In instances such as this whereby you cannot get assistance from loyalty programme elite status for the above-mentioned perks, luxury travel advisor rates such as those offered by HoteLux come in very handy indeed. As of March 2021, all bookings using the HoteLux rate entitle you to the following benefits at the property:
- Daily in-room breakfast for 2pax
- Room upgrade
- Welcome amenity
- Early check-in and late check-out
- US$100 dining/spa credit
You will be surprised how many more things you can achieve during your stay with a late check-out benefit. Thanks to my gloriously late departure time, I managed to use the swimming pool on both afternoons, enjoy a soak in the jacuzzi at the marine-themed Ritz-Carlton Spa, check out the hotel’s new Augmented Reality Hotel Art Tour (see below), have dinner at the Michelin-starred Summer Pavilion as well as attend multiple food presentations at the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge (and guzzle a lot, a lot of champagne).
2. The (bath)rooms are iconic.
The gargantuan 102sqm One-Bedroom Millenia Suite boasts a dedicated study room, a bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and as a living room spacious enough to fit an entire class of pre-school children. Floor-to-ceiling windows extending along the length of the suite offer breathtaking and unparalleled panoramic views of the bay area, providing endless possibilities for Marina Bay Sands backdrop photos (it does feel like the closest hotel to the iconic three-point balance banana structure). The spaciousness of the suite and striking backdrop makes your in-room dining experience (breakfast is currently not served at Colony until further notice) feel as though you had booked a private room just for the meal.
The marble bathroom is no doubt the most essential part of the suite. Like all other guest bathrooms in the property, the bathroom prominently features the hotel’s signature octagonal window behind the bathtub which has formed the subject and backdrop of thousands of photographs across social media, ranging from pensive and celebratory to saucy and sexually-charged, usually involving the strategic use of foamy bubbles and wet backs.
While I had originally booked the 51sqm Club Deluxe Kallang Room for a birthday celebration with close friends, we were generously upgraded to the suite upon arrival, which made for a marvellous birthday surprise indeed. Of course, this multi-room category upgrade is likely attributable to guest loyalty due to my repeated visits over the past few years as opposed to being a HoteLux upgrade benefit, but you never know. In any case, there would usually be a one-category room upgrade – in this instance, to the Club Deluxe Marina Room which showcases similar views – at the very least.
3. The hotel has just launched a new augmented reality art tour.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore has the notable distinction of being the only hotel in the world to offer an augmented reality hotel art tour experience, allowing you to interact with moving computer graphics which will likely elevate your impression and appreciation of key art pieces around the lobby and ground level of the hotel.
You commence the multi-sensory tour with your mobile device by scanning a QR code located near the main entrance, and your web browser will display information on the artist and artwork as well as harness AR technology to introduce graphic effects on your camera screen based on the specific art piece you are viewing. For instance, butterflies will fly around the overhanging “Cornucopia” in the hotel lobby, chrysanthemum flowers drift in the wind in front of Tay Bak Koi’s “Chrysanthemums” painting while colourful anemones swirl in front of all-day restaurant Colony where the Dale Chihuly green anemone wall installation “Sunset” is displayed. My favourite AR effect would be the cute white beluga whale with its chibi sharp teeth in the Stella Gallery where “Moby Dick”, the pair of brightly-coloured wall sculptures near the swimming pool entrance, can be found.
Another memorable but perhaps unintentionally unsettling AR effect is triggered when you view the “China China” artwork by Chinese artist Zhu Wei within Colony restaurant, described as a “life size sculpture (which) depicts terracotta figures in Mao suits leaning forward and adopting a welcoming attitude”. You might not want to be alone when you try this one.
4. You have US$100 dining credit which you can spend on a meal at a Michelin-star restaurant.
Luxury travel advisor rates such as those offered by HoteLux entitle you to US$100 dining and spa credit which you can spend at Colony or the Ritz-Carlton Spa, but I have personally always ended up spending my hotel credit at the Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Summer Pavilion whenever I stay at the property.
The restaurant serves a variety of menus, from lunch and dinner sets to special menus such as their new Nespresso Shanghai Lungo five-course set menu. From their a la carte signatures which I tried across various stays, the Canadian Lobster dishes – one being a Poached Special Fish Noodle and the other being a Poached Rice – conveyed comforting and robust flavours in very different ways, while elsewhere the Summer Pavilion Barbecued Ibérico Pork, Honey Sauce was all sorts of tender pleasure and the Barbecued Combination Platter remarkably value-for-money.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge is exceptional.
Located on the hotel’s highest level and providing an impressive view of the bay area and Singapore skyline, the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offers five culinary presentations per day: breakfast, brunch/midday snack, afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as well as chocolate pralines and cordials. A selection of wines and the hotel’s very own Champagne Barons de Rothschild Ritz Reserve (both brut and rosé) is available for guests to enjoy across all culinary presentations. Yes, that includes breakfast.
The food served at The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge is phenomenal and virtually renders it unnecessary for club guests to leave the property for meals during their stay. The food selection varies daily, with courses like Braised Pork Belly with Mushroom, Kerala Mutton Stew, Chicken Chilli Con Carne and Steamed Fish with Mashed Potato and Mushroom in Cream Gravy making appearances in the evenings. On the day of my departure, as a special treat during the midday snack presentation, guests in the lounge were even treated to an off-menu serving of Char Siew Soup Noodles courtesy of senior executive sous chef Benton Toh.
I must say that the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails presentation as well as the personalised, warm and reliable service from the club lounge staff makes the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge my favourite club lounge in Singapore. I daresay no stay at the hotel is truly complete without experiencing the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge.
HoteLux (available on both Android and Apple app stores) is notable for being the first mobile app which gives you one-stop convenient access to exclusive luxury travel advisor rates as well as information about what benefits you get to enjoy at the specific property. You need to have a HoteLux elite membership in order to access HoteLux rates. When you book a stay using a HoteLux rate, you simultaneously enjoy points under the hotel’s loyalty programme (e.g. Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt etc) as well as HoteLux’s own reward point programme which allows you to redeem room vouchers using HoteLux points at any of the participating hotels listed.
I hear the promo code “KWQYEAG4” gives you access to a substantial discount off a HoteLux elite membership. Go on, #treatyoself.