Over the winter school holidays we headed off to South East Asia for a couple of weeks. We first flew to Singapore and spent 3 nights at the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre Singapore. The hotel is located one street back from Orchard Rd in the main shopping district of Singapore.
When researching accommodation in Singapore, there is so much to choose from, from the very expensive to the fairly reasonable. Compared to other South East Asian countries we’ve visited it is much more pricey. I do like a nice hotel and the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre Singapore, built in 1985, fit the bill perfectly.
The thing I noticed most about the hotel was that it seamlessly blends between business traveller and a family friendly hotel. We both felt welcome and comfortable in this hotel which is a pretty difficult thing to achieve. I noticed a number of business men in the executive club lounge and in the foyer bar but I also chatted with a few families around the pool, that like me, thought it was a wonderful hotel and they had been very happy with it.
The hotel is located just behind Orchard Road, the main shopping precinct in Singapore. It’s also has great access to public transport with busses on Orchard road and a station (MRT) about 5 minutes away by foot allowing you to get to any part of Singapore efficiently. The MRT is easy to navigate and covers a great deal of Singapore. If you don’t feel like catching a train you can always get a taxi. There are 22,800 taxi’s in Singapore and they are very inexpensive. This is due to the high taxes on car ownership but that’s a story for another day!
Behind the hotel there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from on Cuppage Terrace, with plenty of variety if you can’t find something in the hotel restaurants! The nearby MRT will quickly get you to Gardens by the Bay or even over to Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island.
We arrived at the hotel before 9am, we checked in and left our luggage with the concierge as we were heading off to Legoland Malaysia for the day. Our room wasn’t ready at that time, nor was I expecting it to be. This did mean though, that I didn’t get to see our room until 9pm that night when we returned after a long day. Getting to Legoland Malaysia from Singapore is a bit tricky, although we had a private driver take us from door to door.
I wasn’t disappointed, after collecting our room key we took the kids up to our premier double room and found our bags already there and the beds turned down ready to slip the kids straight in! How’s that for service?
The room was much larger than I was expecting. It was a very reasonable size with a King and a Double bed and plenty of space to spread out. We were on the fourth floor with a busy road outside but we were unable to hear any traffic noise which I was expecting to. We also arrived to a complimentary fruit platter that was perfect as the kids gobbled that down and went straight to bed. I also received a welcome letter and gift which I felt very honoured to receive.
The bathroom was small but functional, I much prefer a smaller bathroom that does not encroach on valuable room space. The best thing was the bathroom products, I always love shower products that smell like lemongrass. Not sure why but its just the aroma of expensive hotels. They were replenished everyday too which was great because the kids tend to go through that stuff pretty quickly.
The room had a study nook located in the corner of the room that would suit the business traveller. We of course used this area as our recharge station for the copious amounts of electrictronic gear that we bring along to keep the kids entertained. Also located at this desk is a universal power outlet meaning that we did not have to use our adaptors. I was pretty impressed with this and thought how great it will be when all hotels have this option, eliminating the need to carry them ourselves.
Another thing that set the Holiday Inn apart was their ‘Pillow Menu’. Located on the beds was a list of pillows you could chose from to make your stay more comfortable. Each bed has a soft and a firm but should you need an extra firm pillow, a memory pillow, a body pillow, a melody pillow (plays music while you sleep!), hypoallergenic pillow, a water filled pillow or a magnetic therapy pillow, feel free to ring reception and order yourself ones that helps you sleep better! How’s that! I stuck with my soft pillow!
All in all, we were super impressed with our room, the products in the bathroom and the kids were very happy with the cable TV, they loved their kids channels in the morning and meant that Craig and I could get ready while they entertained themselves.
Below I have included a few photo’s of other rooms to help you decide what is suitable for you.
When you’re travelling with kids, the first thing the kids want to know is, does it have a pool! Yes, this hotel has a great pool area located on the roof and it gets a lot of sunshine which we love. There is also a toddlers pool for the young kids and a spa/hot tub for those that like to soak. We spent a morning up by the pool and chatted with a couple of other Aussie families that were also loving the hotel.
There’s a gym for those who like to keep fit while travelling. The best thing is that the gym is located right next to the pool so if your kids were that little bit older, you could workout and keep one eye on the kids at the same time.
Breakfast is available on the 2nd floor in Windows by the Park, it’s a full buffet breakfast. If there’s anything missing from that buffet I’d be stunned because I cant think of it! There’s everything to suit every traveller from eggs and turkey bacon through to noodles and steamed vegies. Caelan enjoyed pancakes and the girls eggs on toast. There is also cereal for those that like it plain (Caelan on his second course for breakfast) and the girls ate their body weight in fruit, particularly the berries. This restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner.
The Lobby Bar is a nice place to relax and enjoy a beverage and watch all the other travellers come and go in the main foyer with it’s impressive chandelier. There’s a piano in the bar which gets a run on Friday and Saturday evenings. The bar is located on the corner of the building and is a good spot to enjoy a cocktail and watch Singapore life going on around you. There’s nothing more I love most when arriving in a new city than finding a spot to sit and just take it all in!
The hotel has various function rooms, space for weddings and convention areas if you needed a bigger space for such an event. They really can cater for every need.
On this occasion we were honorary Executive Club Lounge members for the duration of our stay. This entitled us to use the Executive Club Lounge on the second floor for breakfast and complimentary non alcoholic drinks throughout the day. You are also able to enjoy complimentary alcoholic drinks between 6-8pm, although children under 12 aren’t allowed during these times, if you are travelling with kids you are still able to enjoy this option from the Lobby Bar.
We had breakfast in the Executive Lounge on one morning, there was a buffet breakfast with various options to choose from and with a chef on hand to cook your eggs how ever you like them or in Caelan’s case his pancakes!
Being in the centre of the building it’s a nice open, comfortable space to enjoy some quiet time or just for some time away from your room to read the paper and have a drink and something to eat.
The Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre is rated a 4.5 star hotel and it is every part deserving of that. I felt that the Holiday Inn provided 5 star service at a 4 star price. In my opinion the hotel was very reasonably priced and affordable for families.
For the latest rates, click here to direct you to the hotels booking page.
There are various booking sites that are worth checking out for special deals, my preferred site for Asia is Agoda, click here.
Located on the lower ground floor of the hotel is the Tandoor Indian Restaurant. We were guests of the restaurant and enjoyed a 5 course degustation meal with accompanying wine. Craig loves Indian food but I have to be honest and say that for me it’s not my favourite but having eaten at this restaurant I think I am going to have to eat it a bit more often. Great Indian food is brilliant. Craig said that it was the best he has ever eaten!
I loved how the chef made the curries mild enough for the kids to eat as well. I was so proud of them, they tasted and enjoyed every meal placed in front of them. At the back of the restaurant is a glass wall that looks in over two large tandoori ovens where you can watch the chefs make naan and cook the meats. When the kids went up to have a look they were invited into the kitchen to see how it’s done up close. They even got a photo with the head chef.
What really set the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre apart for me was that they employee people with special needs. I was quite surprised when I was informed by the Marketing Manager as it wasn’t at all noticeable but these young people are trained in various parts of the hotel operation and then afterwards provided with a job for life. The jobs range from room service to customer service depending on their disability. I think this is a wonderful initiative and one that’s obviously working well for them.
I will definitely stay at this Holiday Inn again, I love that it seamlessly crosses between a great hotel for business travellers but is also a great family friendly hotel as well. We loved the location and found it a great city to get around on public transport and the kids loved the pool. I spoke to other Australian families that also said that they really enjoyed their stay and would be more than happy to return there next time. We can’t all be wrong!
If you are heading to Singapore with the kids, make sure visit the Singapore Zoo, rated one of the best zoos in the world. The attached Night Safari is also a great night out viewing nocturnal animals doing their things at night. Kidzania Singapore is a great experience for kids, they can role play some amazing career roles, including pilot, flight crew, doctors, dentist, radio DJ, courier and shop assistant.
Sal & Co!
Disclaimer: We had a mutually beneficial arrangement with the Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, but as always our opinion is our own.