In June 2022, I checked into the Oasis Junior Suite at Grand Park City Hall. Situated in the heart of Singapore’s downtown civic and cultural district, the 343-room property is steps away from City Hall MRT Station, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Capitol Piazza and Funan Mall, as well as nearby attractions such as the National Museum of Singapore and the National Gallery. Changi Airport and Marina Bay Sands are 25 minutes and 10 minutes away by car respectively.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Colonial-style charm meets chic modernity in the civic district.
The must-dos (if any): Luxuriate in the outdoor jacuzzi of the Oasis Junior Suite, enjoy afternoon tea at the Crystal Club Lounge, have a relaxing dip in the Swimming Pool.
GRAND PARK CITY HALL
Initially built in the 1990s, the hotel comprises a ten-storey building and a landscaped courtyard connecting to ten two-storey conservation shophouses which formerly lined the historic St Gregory’s Place. The property recently completed a major restoration in 2018, led by the hotel’s original architectural firm RSP Architects (who also designed Funan Mall and Jewel Changi Airport) along with interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (who were responsible for Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou and Capella Bangkok as well as rejuvenations of Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and Fairmont Singapore).
Past the discreet driveway along Coleman Street with its stately bronze gate which fronts the hotel’s arched, colonial-style exterior, guest lifts on the ground level lobby connect you to the 3rd level for the completion of your check-in process. Marrying colonial-style charms with chic modernity, the hotel showcases Singapore’s rich culture and heritage via artwork and visual flourishes throughout the property. The most striking is the “living” copper map installations in the ground floor lobby and reception, while elsewhere black and white photographs of iconic nearby landmarks such as the National Gallery and Supreme Court adorn the walls of various public spaces such as the hotel’s signature restaurant, Tablescape.
Wellness facilities are located on the 4th level. While the fitness centre is rather modest, the swimming pool serves as quite the calming sanctuary, with the tropical-style setting and jet massage coves lending to a conducive environment for deep relaxation. Metal cage-esque pergolas on both ends add a touch of quiet elegance to the proceedings.
OASIS JUNIOR SUITE
Boasting its own garden terrace with a private outdoor jacuzzi and offering direct gated access to the swimming pool, the 75sqm Oasis Junior Suite turned out to be quite the luxurious revelation. The sun lounger, outdoor furniture, lush green landscape and the sound of bubbling water from the jacuzzi (which looks like it fits four) make you feel like you are in a private villa in a beach resort rather than a city hotel, while ambient music piped into the space give the space rather W Singapore pool-side lounge vibes. The jacuzzi offers various modes and settings to fiddle with, including the ability to adjust lighting settings to create whatever night-time feels is needed for your after-dark warm aquatic frolic.
The suite boasts a ceiling fan above the bed which is a rare feature in Singapore hotels (save for heritage properties such as Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore, Raffles Hotel Singapore and Oasia Resort Sentosa) as well as Peranakan-inspired floor tiles and cornice mouldings in nods to the hotel’s heritage design concept. Touch pad controls on the wall allow you to adjust the lights and air-conditioning, although guests are encouraged to download the hotel’s own app to accomplish the same functions and for other service needs such as requests for towels and bath amenities. The pantry provides Robert Timms coffee and The 1872 Clipper Tea Co-tea making facilities.
The marble bathroom offers a spacious enclosed shower area as well as steam bath capabilities, with bathroom amenities from Australian beauty brand Appelles.
Guests who book the Oasis Junior Suite enjoy privileges at the Crystal Club Lounge.
DINING AND CRYSTAL CLUB
Breakfast is served at Tablescape, the modern European restaurant on the 3rd level. The buffet spread comprises selections such as cornflakes, salad, nasi lemak with fried chicken wings, hash brown, roti prata, waffles as well as dim sum. For their a la minute egg order, guests can go for easy, scrambled, sunny side up, omelette, cheese omelette or have an Eggs Benedict. The restaurant is famed for their bread baskets, so guests should definitely help themselves to some.
I had dined at Tablescape previously prior to my stay. The Botanic Garden (seasonal vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers, served with lapsang souchong tea and secret dressing) was quite the fun dish to visually take in and deconstruct, while I surprised myself for not even thinking about protein when I had the Squid Ink Spaghetti (pumpkin and sardinia bottarga). Elsewhere, the roasty Iberico Pork (iberico pork, capsicum, capers, parsley) was a joyous affair.
Guests with club privileges can enjoy afternoon tea as well as evening cocktails and canapes at the Crystal Club Lounge on the 3rd level. The tiered afternoon tea experience was unexpectedly elaborate, while an innocent canape I had during evening service (I believe it to be cured squid with ikura on a rice cracker) was one of the most intriguing, multi-dimensional and controversial things i have ever tasted at a club lounge.
While the boutique property may not offer the same levels of luxury as its neighbourhood counterparts, I was extremely impressed by how luxurious the Oasis Junior Suite experience was – it offered me a kind of private, exclusive villa-style enjoyment seldom available in Singapore. (I believe my last similar experience was when I stayed at the Luxe Sarang at Villa Samadhi Singapore). I would definitely recommend the Oasis Junior Suite for hosting an intimate gathering of close friends for sun and soaks or a romantic city escape getaway with your partner.
Grand Park City Hall
10 Coleman Street