The first thing you should do on arriving is look up: while building isn’t necessarily unique from the outside, inside you can easily identify the distinctive fan-shape of the soaring atrium, built to replicate the enduring signature of Mandarin Oriental. Such an internal atrium may hark to the 1980s but it’s still impressive. All 527 guestrooms feature views, whether that’s of ocean, bay or city; the best are arguably the bay views, which take in Marina Bay Sands, the ArtScience museum and the skyscraper skyline of the business district. Facilities include five restaurants and a contemporary-cool lounge bar, as well as a bright, airy gym, a luxe spa and an inviting outdoor pool.
Sitting almost on the foreshore of Marina Bay (pictured above), this property doesn’t just have great views: it’s also in a stellar location. Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by The Bay and the Merlion Park are within walking distance. The property is 20 minutes by car from Changi International Airport and it’s no more than a five-minute walk to Promenade MRT station.
Floor-to-ceiling windows in all rooms ensure they feel light-filled and spacious. Décor is true to the Mandarin Oriental DNA: subtle decorative pan-Asian accents, linen-lined and wood panelled walls, and intricately patterned carpets. It’s not a minimalist aesthetic – but it is tasteful, comfortable and luxurious. Bathrooms feature granite and timber, with a separate bathtub and shower as standard.
Food and drink
All-day dining can be found at Melt Café (pictured above); this is also where the very extensive breakfast buffet is served. Additionally there’s Chinese restaurant Cherry Garden, Teppan-ya, serving Japanese cuisine, poolside Italian Dolce Vita and Morton’s The Steakhouse. But perhaps the coolest of the culinary options is the new MO Bar. At this lounge/bar hybrid overlooking Marina Bay, you can indulge in a decadent afternoon tea or hit the harder stuff with cocktails and canapés. The bespoke drinks list shows flair and innovation (try the gin-martini-inspired 7000 Leagues Ahead), while excellent snacks, such as Indo-China prawns and a Singdog, with traditional Nonya sausage, could easily serve as a full meal.
For business travellers
The business centre on the fourth floor has quiet and secluded individual work stations, and there are staff on hand in case you ad-hoc secretarial, translation or courier services. Sixteen meeting rooms are fitted with high-tech AV, LCD projectors, built-in projector screens and wireless broadband.
For wellness travellers
Exercise buffs will appreciate the well-equipped gym and adjacent outdoor patio, which doubles as a yoga platform and TRX training area. You’ll find blissful relaxation in the six treatment rooms at The Spa, while the 25-metre outdoor pool on the fifth floor is ideal for lapping – and the poolside cabanas are perfect for lounging. Unlike many high-end hotels, the cabanas are free and do not need to be booked in advance. Get there early in the day to nab one.
The fab factor
The bay view rooms really do offer something more than their ocean- and city-view counterparts: from these you can watch the nightly Marina Bay Sands outdoor light and water display without having to leave the room.
Best for: Luxury travellers – whether business or leisure
Number of rooms: 527
Rates from: $359SGD a night ($363)
Wi-fi: Fast and free
Parking: Valet only
Address: 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore
Telephone: +65 6338 0066