Business Traveller (Middle East)

Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore

- Michael Allen

BACKGROUND An extensive renovation of this 511-room property was completed in December 2018.

WHERE IS IT? A few minutes’ walk from Orchard MRT station. The Grand Hyatt is across the street, and The Tanglin Club and The American Club are both within walking distance.

W H AT ’ S IT LIKE? The lobby looks welcoming following the refurb, with two carpeted staircases leading upstairs left and right and chandelier hanging overhead. By the lifts is a small internet lounge if you don’t have your computer with you.

ROOMS I stayed in a Royal Club Premier room on the 14th floor with access to the Royal Club Lounge on Level 15. The bed pillows, yellow armchair and paintings above and next to the bed lend a freshness to the room.

There are ample power sockets and there’s also a portable wifi device, giving you internet access outside of the hotel. Some hotels are opting for Handybrand smartphone­s, but general manager Patrick Garcia Fiat told me they opted for the portable wifi as they think guests prefer to connect with their own devices.

The welcome gift was a Singaporet­hemed cup. There is a desk and office chair for working, and a Nespresso machine with three types of coffee pods, including a decaf option, along with two types of TWG Tea: Emperor Sencha and Earl Grey, as well as a free minibar (non-alcoholic).

My room’s window overlooked another property managed by Royal Plaza on Scotts: 8 on Claymore Serviced Residences.

The highlight of the bathroom is the rainfall shower. There’s also a good-sized bathtub. A selection of amenities are replenishe­d daily, though bear in mind no mouthwash is provided.

EXECUTIVE LOUNGE The 15 th-floor Club Lounge is a fresh, well-lit space that, during my three-day stay, was rarely busy, even during breakfast. However, since my stay I’ve learnt that the lounge is going to undergo some changes and move more towards a self-service lounge.

FOOD AND DRINK Guests without Club Lounge access can try the hotel’s newly renovated buffet restaurant, Carousel, which has up to 17 food stations of internatio­nal cuisine, including “seafood, Mediterran­ean,

Asian and Japanese”. One of the latest additions to the Carousel buffet includes the Brazilian churrasco station, which offers smoky 24-hour marinated meats. There is also a signature bread and butter pudding that the hotel has been offering for 45 years. Carousel is open for breakfast (6.30am10am), lunch (noon-2pm), high tea (3.30pm5.30pm) and dinner (6.30pm-9.30pm).

LEISURE The fifth-floor gym is small but rarely busy; on Sunday morning there was only one other person in.

One downside was that the headphone jack on the machines didn’t match that of my headphones, so I couldn’t listen to the TV while exercising. I mentioned this to the GM and he said the hotel plans to distribute compatible headphones to gym-users in future.

There is a water station with paper cups, which seems more eco-friendly than giving out bottled water as some hotels do. Near the gym is the pool, which is small but also not busy.

The first time I went to look at the pool there was a family using it, but when I took a swim on Monday evening I only had to share it with one other person.

VERDICT A well-located hotel whose recent refurbishm­ent has given the entire property a fresh feel. The rooms are great and the Club Lounge is an excellent place to get some work done while enjoying the service of the attentive staff, though its future is uncertain with the upcoming move to a self-service concept.

The recent refurbishm­ent has given the entire property a fresh feel

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