A full-service hotel occupying a strategic position overlooking the waterfront, Mandarin Oriental Singapore offers a sophisticated environment where art and elegant design meets hi-tech functionality. It has a contemporary Asian feel complete with subtle water features and vibrant flower arrangements. This ambience extends to the guestrooms which are thoughtfully designed in warm tones, accentuated by floor-to-ceiling windows but only the upscale suites have the benefit of a balcony. The hotel features six acclaimed wining and dining outlets and the Oriental inspired spa offers the last word in luxury pampering.
The hotel is set back from the Marina Bay waterfront behind the Theatres on the Bay arts complex. Access to and from the business district is via Raffles Avenue, however for an adventurous stroll, follow the promenade in front of the hotel along the waterfront to the Singapore River and Colonial district. There is little chance of losing your way – right next to the hotel is the immense Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, the ideal point of reference as it can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city. You are never too far from a huge shopping mall wherever you may be in Singapore, and staying at Mandarin Oriental is no exception. For a quick fix of retail therapy head to nearby Suntec City or Marina Square.
Rooms and amenities
There are 524 rooms in all and a dozen different options, each with city, ocean or harbour views. While all room types are individually styled, they all follow a general template of smart contemporary décor in warm colours, infused with subtle touches of Oriental art. The showstopper is the Presidential Suite – a cavernous 250 square metres with a fully featured kitchen, dining room and study. This is eye-popping luxury with a serious price tag. A more affordable option is a cosy deluxe or a business-like club room, the latter offering Oriental Club perks such as afternoon tea and use of a meeting room.
Bars and restaurants
Italian, sushi, an American steakhouse, Cantonese, an all-encompassing International buffet and tapas pretty much covers all bases at Mandarin Oriental Singapore. At MELT, the lively show kitchens offer an upscale version of the Singapore hawker food experience while contemporary Italian eatery Dolce Vita can boast its own Michelin-starred chef Marco Pedrelli. Axis Bar is the late night hangout of choice, not least for its sweeping views of Marina Bay. There is an extensive (and pricey) menu of cool cocktails and tapas bites.
Despite its compact size, the Mandarin Oriental’s spa is one of Singapore’s best. It comprises six individual spa suites, a tea lounge and reflexology area all bedecked in warm tones and classy furnishings. Located on the top floor is the Oriental Club Lounge, exclusively for guests staying in a Club Room. Although modern in design, it runs to an old world colonial timetable – where champagne breakfasts and canapes and cocktails at sundown are the norm. It is reputed to be the largest hotel lounge in the city. The hotel can also boast a 25 m swimming pool, a fitness centre and two ballrooms.
The Mandarin Oriental will win no awards for its exterior architecture, especially in comparison to near neighbours the historic Fullerton Hotel and the ultra swanky Marina Bay Sands. However it is a fine example of a modern atrium-style hotel with an attractive lobby of dark wood and marble and a wealth of modern art displayed in public areas.