Grand Hyatt has always exuded a highly corporate and business-y vibe, that’s why I never thought to explore staying here even though I do frequent their restaurants for special occasions. But I’m very glad I did, thanks to Klook’s unbelievable packages and discounts (click here to sign up for an account via my link, which will give both you and I $5 credit!). With a good deal in hand, my husband and I proceeded to book a stay here to celebrate his birthday (:
There was a substantial queue at the reception counter when we arrived around 3pm but thankfully it moved along quite quickly. When it was our turn to check in, the staff apologetically informed that our room was not ready yet. However, compared to the other hotels we’ve stayed at during this covid season, we got our room relatively quickly within 30min. The front-of-house staff were absolutely professional and polite, and I would eventually come to be very much impressed with their service (more on that in the next section!).
We were originally assigned a King Bed Deluxe Room on the 6th floor that had quite a dull view of the back of the building (I struggled to take a decent photo of it). It seemed a little sad to be stuck with this view when we’re celebrating my husband’s birthday, so I checked with the front-of-house team whether anything could be done. They very kindly arranged for a room on a higher floor, and even though that entailed a wait time of about a few hours, I still really appreciated their flexibility and willingness to offer options in managing the situation. I was utterly impressed by the clarity of their communication and their high level of initiative, just all-round excellence in service. To our surprise, they transferred us to the King Bed Club Access Room on the 21st floor, the top floor of the hotel! It was so high there wasn’t even lift access to that floor, but we were more than happy to walk up the flight of stairs from the floor below.
The layout and elements of the two rooms are pretty similar: An awesomely large space with a bedroom and separate living area, low-lying furniture creating a zen-like aesthetic, as well as huge marble-tiled bathrooms (though the tile colours are different). There was a bit of an issue with the sink in the first room, for some reason it took much longer for water to completely drain out. My husband, being the architect that he is, also noted that the bathroom ventilation in both rooms could be much improved. But these were minor issues, especially since our new room had ledges by the windows I could sit on to read! That was a winner for me 😀
As part of our package, we could enjoy a 3-course lunch at Mezza9, one of the many dining options located within the hotel. As I foresaw us being too full from breakfast to have lunch on the second day of our stay, I called ahead to check if we could have it on the first day instead before our check-in. The staff was able to accommodate this request and promptly went on to make a reservation for us.
We arrived at Mezza9 around 12.30pm and were shown to our table, which had thoughtful items like brown paper bags to store our masks and sanitizing wipes already prepared. The restaurant has an open-concept kitchen where chefs whip up orders in full view of the guests, while the industrial-sized exhaust hoods above the stoves ensure your clothes don’t end up smelling of food. Overall, it was a refined yet intimate setting with a classy ambience to enjoy our lunch in.
For appetizers, my husband and I got the sashimi salad and mezza9 salad to share. The salmon sashimi was yummy but unfortunately the chefs weren’t too generous with it. My husband particularly liked the seeds in the mezza9 salad. For mains, I ordered the steamed barramundi while my husband ordered the beef steak. My fish and rice was the ultimate comfort food and it tasted like it came out of a good old Chinese restaurant, just that the sauce was a little on the salty side. The steak was nice, but not out-of-this-world fantastic. For dessert, we went for the green tea soft serve and belgian chocolate fondant, both of which were pretty solid. My husband likes his matcha rich and milky, which this dessert delivered on, and the red beans went well with the matcha. The belgian chocolate and vanilla soft serve tasted of quality ingredients with just the right level of sweetness. Hard to go wrong with these classic dessert pairings!
After lunch and check-in, my husband rested in the room while I went about exploring the hotel. The swimming pool and Oasis Restaurant are located next to each other in the Terrace Wing (our room is located in the Grand Wing). Guests are required to book a slot during peak hours to use the pool, whereas for non-peak hours, walk-ins are accepted.
On the same level as the pool was the Damai Spa & Fitness Centre. The moment I entered, I was attended to by a staff who was incredibly warm and welcoming. She showed me around the premises, pointed out the facilities and services they offered and gave me thorough answers to my questions, which I greatly appreciated.
The gym has enough capacity such that guests do not need to book a slot to use it and it is accessible 24-7 (just that guests have to enter via a different door after a certain timing). In the ladies’ room, there is a plunge pool, steam room, sauna, shower stalls, toilets, lockers and a recliner lounge area. Truly comprehensive facilities indeed. Then there are the spa rooms, oh my goodness. Maybe I haven’t been to enough hotel spas but this was so fancy and inviting! With the glass windows letting in natural light and overlooking a water feature, this place made me feel a little closer to nature despite being in the city amidst concrete buildings. As I was about to leave, that same staff thanked me for coming and let me know that I was more than welcome to use the facilities here. Aww, we really need more wonderful people like her ❤
Heading back to the Grand Wing, I wanted to check out the ballrooms and meeting rooms on level 3 and 4. Boy, these rooms and walkways really put the GRAND in Grand Hyatt. Wide luxurious spaces made cosy with great interior choices, creating a contemporary and stylish feel. I was extremely intrigued by the use of traditional wooden windows as decor, and how the designers managed to skillfully modernize these historical motifs to fit the overall aesthetic.
Once I was done gallivanting around the lux hallways of the hotel, my husband and I went out to run some errands. We arrived back at the hotel around 8pm and made our way to Pete’s Place for dinner after settling down in our new room. I fondly remember this iconic Italian restaurant (opened since 1973!) and the many memorable dining experiences I had here with my good friends and family. Located at the basement level of the Grand Wing, this restaurant felt homely and comforting with the lovely brick walls and warm lights, plus actual opera music to suit the ambience as well.
Recalling my previous visits here, it seems like covid has lamentably brought about some major changes. There was no bread and butter served as a starter, the menu has significantly shrunk in the number of items offered, and if my memory serves me well, the free flow salad bar automatically came with any main item ordered. Now, it is a separate entry on the menu at $16++. Oh well, new normal.
Given the 20% dining discount we had as part of our package, we ordered 3 pastas to share: Spinach and ricotta ravioli, tagliatelle bolognese and linguini vongole. The rustic and authentic flavours of the food were delightful, my favourite being the linguini vongole as the cheese in the other two dishes were a little strong for my liking. On the other hand, my husband said he couldn’t taste the cheese (he likes strong cheeses), so I guess it’s up to your individual tastebuds to judge!
The next day, we had our complimentary breakfast at 10 Scotts instead of StraitsKitchen as it was completely booked out for the timing we wanted. It was such an alluring space, with one particular section having a view of an actual waterfall located within the premises. As for the menu items, we could order as much as we liked without restriction. Do note that although they mentioned that their portion sizes were small when I checked (since we prefer variety over quantity), it turned out to be quite a decent serving size. Tastewise, the food was okay, not bad but not awesome either, except the delicious Char Kway Teow and the soft, flavourful chicken rendang from the Nasi Lemak dish.
My overall rating of the experience: 5 out of 5 stars. Insanely spacious and comfortable room on the top floor of the hotel, as well as pretty decent food from all 3 restaurants (specially served on either heated or refrigerated plates). But the one that takes the gold is undeniably the impeccable service from all the staff we had the pleasure of interacting with. They were courteous and accommodating, making us feel genuinely well taken care of. Usually a 5-star rating in my books would entail some respectable experience in the hotel’s club lounge (which was regrettably closed during our visit), but the hospitality and consistency in service across all staff here simply blew me away! For the amount we paid for this experience, I’d say we got our money’s worth and much more. Looking forward to coming back and checking out the club lounge in future (: