Formerly known as Marina Mandarin Hotel, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay Hotel has now taken over the site with a new management. It recently opened its doors and had a launch celebratory offer with pocket-friendly prices, so my husband and I decided to book ourselves a room to celebrate our dating anniversary!
Due to the current covid-19 situation, the hotel seemed mostly empty of guests. Once we had our temperature taken at the entrance, we made our way up to the 4th floor where the reception counter was located. Much to our surprise, we were given a double room upgrade to the Premier Room situated on the 19th floor! Everything about the check-in process went smoothly, from the clarity of the payment process to the accounting for our package inclusions. Great start (:
We were warmly greeted by the staff we met en-route to our room. One of them who was overseeing the preparation of our room informed us that there was a faulty lightbulb inside but that someone was already on his way to rectify the issue. I really appreciated how openly they communicated with us about the problem and what they were doing to solve it, very professional.
The Premier Room was beautifully bathed in natural sunlight streaming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows with a nice open view of the bay area. There were welcome amenities waiting for us on the table as part of the package inclusions. The furniture, however, was clearly aging and in need of replacement – the carpentry looked old and scuffed, the desk chair and cupboards creaked when moved. With that said, the overall cleanliness was excellent and helped make up for the dated furniture.
The well-lit bathroom was equally sparkling clean and looked well-maintained. There was plenty of space to move about, which was awesome. Some downsides were that the tiles got too cold with the air-conditioning switched on, and the bathtub was a tad shallow to be entirely comfortable in, but these were minor issues that we didn’t mind very much.
The facility I’m usually most excited about is the hotel’s club lounge. Unfortunately when we got there, we saw a notice on the door saying that it was closed and apologized for the inconvenience! That was a real bummer ):
We checked out a few other facilities like the swimming pool (with comfy-looking lounge chairs to chill on), the spa (reservations only, no walk-ins), the gym (I hope they’re planning to change the current wooden flooring to something more modern-looking), and Ruth’s Chris Steak House (we didn’t dine here as we already had dinner plans, plus it was a little pricey).
Our package included daily complimentary buffet breakfast for two at the AquaMarine restaurant. Not sure what exactly happened in the morning but I probably muted my alarm entirely and only woke up in horror at 9.46am! Last entry for the buffet was at 10am, we were told. I was immensely thankful that the staff were more than gracious despite our super late entry, still cooking us made-to-order eggs and clearing our plates with a smile.
The buffet was a pretty decent spread with food from various types of cuisines. Although the menu largely comprised Chinese and Western dishes, I thought it was a good effort on the chefs’ part to include a few classic dishes from Japanese and Indian cuisine. Tastewise, my husband and I concurred that there were some hits and some misses, but I was generally satisfied (especially with the fish porridge). Don’t get the hot chocolate from the dispenser though, it was extremely diluted and tasted strange, so I left it alone after the first gulp.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. Despite the hotel’s general aged state, coupled with the unfinished and ongoing construction works throughout our stay, I felt that it genuinely was a nice and pleasant experience. The staff here really made the difference for me – they were hospitable, professional and gracious. Even as we were checking out, the manager specially came over to ask us whether we had any feedback and wished us a good day ahead (: The cleanliness and comfort of our room was also on-point, though the food could afford to be better in terms of the consistency in quality. I would’ve given this experience a full 5 stars had the hotel already completed their refurbishment plans (supposedly due in August this year). Excited for that, maybe we’ll be back to check out the finished product!