Hotel Name: Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre
The Room: Even with my extensive notes on The Holiday Inn Orchard City Center, I’m having a hard time recalling the size of this room. In looking at the video parts of it seem small, but I think that’s only because of all the good stuff inside. A pretty cozy king sized bed means that solo travelers can flip and flop like a freshly netted marlin and couples can keep peace nestled a little further from their snoring spouse-monster. A nice lounger/ottoman set is nicely placed in the most open area of the room for relaxing while more upright.
The desk area is blogger/businessman ready with room to spread out. You’re set up with a stylish and comfortable work chair and plenty of options for power (adapters are available if needed). Wired and wi-fi internet comes at a price. If the internet pricing is too rich for your blood but you just can’t go any length of time without staring at some sort of LED, then the good-sized flat panel TV takes care of you with a large handful of broadcast, cable and in-house movie channels in a few different languages.
Mini-bar isn’t bursting with options but there’s enough there for a nightcap or emergency snack. Room service is available 24 hours if you need something more.
If this room has a drawback, it’s the view. Ours was an ominously dark building that exuded creepiness into our space. Thank you, blackout curtains.
Location: You’re certainly within walking distance to good shopping but also close to the Metro for easier getting around. If you’re looking for something closer to the heart of the Orchard Road shopping district, check out Turnipseed Travel’s peek into the Holiday Inn Express Orchard Rd.
Service: Wow. The genuine helpfulness and attitude of the staff here was impressive. The level of service here rivaled that of what we experienced at the Park Hyatt in Hong Kong months earlier, but at a far lower price point. Front desk, lobby bar, breakfast buffet, room service, housekeeping, valet…everyone approached with a smile and at least appeared to have wanted us there. Again, really? This is a Holiday Inn?
Overall: On the cab ride back to Changi Airport, I felt like I had been tricked into thinking I had just spent my weekend at some fancy-ish 4-star business hotel. I checked the receipt more than once. While you can find hints of it’s Holiday Inn roots and the hotel’s age, this is a gem of a hotel for the price.
How we got it: We redeemed Priority Club points for this basic room. Had one of the hotel’s Executive Club Rooms been an option, we would have opted for it as we’re big fans of “complimentary” benefits like the club-exclusive breakfast and evening cocktails, free wi-fi and other perks. But even without, piecing together a great experience here is pretty easy even in the most basic of rooms.