The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore

Prologue

Signage_RCSIN   Facade1_RCSIN

Flanked by the iconic Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore stands tall amongst office towers, shopping malls and luxury hotels. Highly-regarded and regularly hosting royalty, diplomats, celebrities and captains of industry, we check-in to see if it lives up to the accolades and fabled service excellence.

 

Location / Accessibility

Location_RCSIN

Situated on Raffles Avenue and overlooking Marina Bay, the hotel enjoys a prime location in the heart of Singapore’s entertainment district. The Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre and Gardens by the Bay are within walking distance, while the Central Business District and Orchard Road are well-connected by buses and the subway. The address also guarantees a front row seat of the country’s National Day celebrations in August and the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix held in September each year.

 

Arrival Experience

Driveway_RCSIN

Pulling up to the hotel entrance in a taxi just after noon, we were greeted by a chaotic scene on the driveway with vehicles jostling for space coupled with maintenance works on the side. Not a good first impression as the area was clearly overcrowded and traffic management was somewhat lacking.

Lobby1_RCSIN

Things were thankfully calmer beyond the glass doors as we took a moment to admire the swirling-yet-geometric Frank Stella sculpture in the light-filled atrium, one of the 4,200 pieces making up the hotel’s art collection.

Lobby2_RCSIN

Being a weekend, the business travel crowd was replaced by vacationers seeking a short getaway, which made for a busy reception desk. We were promptly attended to and registered by the friendly agent, who was highly professional and composed despite the rapidly growing lines. She was apologetic that our room was not ready (which was not her fault as we were early), offering to store our bags and expedite the preparations. At no point did the check-in process feel hurried, which was very welcome after a hectic morning.

 

Guestrooms

Guestfloor1_RCSIN   Guestfloor2_RCSIN

Our assigned room was situated at the end of the hallway on the 7th floor. This meant a walk from the lifts given The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore’s rectangular building architecture.

Guestroom1_RCSIN   Guestroom2_RCSIN

One immediately gets a sense of space on opening the door, with the already spacious room looking even larger with the abundant natural light from the panoramic window and mirrors placed on the walls. In terms of decor, this was more conservative compared to today’s interior design trends, a reflection of the hotel’s age having opened back in 1996.

 

We found the twin beds to be rather small and closer to a super-single rather than Queen-size. Despite this, the quality of the bedding was very comfortable and of the right firmness. A plus-point also for the large family-friendly (considering this is primarily a business hotel) sitting area comprising a sofa and coffee table, which is considerably larger than the single armchair found in most hotels.

Guestroom3_RCSIN   Guestroom4_RCSIN

Guestroom5_RCSIN   Guestroom6_RCSIN

The bathroom is a key highlight of The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore, with its panoramic octagonal windows for a scenic view in the bath. A good-sized walk-in rainforest shower was also available for use with high-quality Asprey amenities and the toilet was set in a thoughtful separate cubicle. However, this was where things started to go slightly downhill, when we discovered the sink had a faulty plunder and the bathroom door was missing a handle. While damages are inevitable in an operating hotel, we were not expecting these to remain un-repaired in a stellar property often billed as one of the best in town.

Update: When we reported the damages to the hotel, immediate service recovery was undertaken with a waiver of our in-room dining breakfast charges. We have also received a follow-up email after departure.

Guestroom7_RCSIN   Guestroom8_RCSIN

Guestroom10_RCSIN   Guestroom11_RCSIN

Guestroom9_RCSIN   Guestroom12_RCSIN

Entertainment and connectivity options consisted of a selection of cable television channels and personal content may be viewed from the 46-inch flatscreen television by utilizing the connectivity panel built into the workdesk. The panel also provided iPod docking, but this was for the old 30-pin connector rather than the newer Lightning port for the iPhone 5 and up devices. There was also no USB port available, which may prove inconvenient for travellers without a plug adaptor. On a plus side, wireless internet was complimentary and good for 3 days.

 

Dining

SummerPavilion1_RCSIN   SummerPavilion2_RCSIN

SummerPavilion3_RCSIN   SummerPavilion4_RCSIN

We enjoyed a tasty Chinese dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore’s signature restaurant, Summer Pavilion, which is set amidst a landscaped Suzhou rock garden. The dishes were expertly-prepared (including the roast chicken accompanied by a soya sauce concocted from the chef’s own recipe) and portions were adequate leaving us very satisfied.

IRD1_RCSIN   Greenhouse1_RCSIN

Shiraishi1_RCSIN   ChihulyLounge1_RCSIN

The all-day dining restaurant, Greenhouse, offers a champagne brunch on Sundays that is popular with the local population. Wanting to avoid the crowds, we opted for breakfast with in-room dining, choosing from the wide selection of international and oriental options in the menu. This was delivered within 30 minutes of placing the order with the hot and cold food items at the right temperature, something which many hotels do not achieve.

 

2 other venues, Shiraishi and the Chihuly Lounge, offer Japanese dining and afternoon tea. The latter named after American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, whose works adorn the wall of the lounge and the hotel’s public spaces.

 

Facilities

Pool1_RCSIN   Gymnasium1_RCSIN

Recreational facilities at the hotel include a pool oasis and spa, as well as a well-equipped gymnasium. Greater emphasis is clearly given towards the banqueting and meeting areas, with the ballroom being one of the biggest in Singapore and the venue for events such as the Podium Lounge during the Grand Prix weekend.

 

Service / Staff

Shortcomings in the hardware are compensated by the excellent service from the ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton. The staff members we interacted with, from Reception to the Concierge and the servers at Summer Pavilion, were all polite, composed and went out of their way to assist. We also found it commendable that they took ownership of our requests, were empowered to find a resolution and placed guest satisfaction the top priority, which is not always the case at some hotels.

 

Verdict

It is not difficult to see why The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore is regarded as one of the city state’s top hotels. Service levels are worthy of the brand and hold their own against equally stellar neighbours, but the hardware is in need of an update for the 18-year old property as newer competitors enter the market.

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore

7 Raffles Avenue

Singapore 039799

+65 6337 8888

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: