Hotel Review: Conrad Centennial Singapore (Executive King Room 2018)

Whether you're looking for a staycation or a place to put up a visitor from aboard, Conrad Centennial Singapore is a solid choice, especially for Hilton Gold/Diamond members.

[We were invited by Conrad Centennial Singapore to review their recently-rejuvenated rooms. The following review is Louis’s personal experience. The Conrad Centennial Singapore is offering a special rate for hotel stays and its soon-to-be-launched weekend afternoon tea for Milelion readers. Be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for these offers!]

Conrad Centennial Singapore announced the completion of its rooms rejuvenation project on 12 February 2018, comprising the redesign of 511 guest rooms and suites. I thought this was great news – while I’ve stayed at the property a fair number of times in the past, there was a growing sense that it was starting to show its agepeak.

After spending one night on the property, I’m happy to say that with this rejuvenation, it feels practically brand new. Whether you’re looking for a staycation option or a place to put up a visitor from aboard, Conrad Centennial Singapore is a pretty solid choice, especially if you’re keen on making the most of your Hilton Gold/Diamond benefits (perhaps gained via the Visa fast track offer).

Exterior view of Conrad Centennial Singapore
Exterior view of Conrad Centennial Singapore. (Image by William Cho)

Location

Conrad Centennial Singapore is located beside Millenia Walk (they share carpark space), near a number of malls and hotels and the Marina Bay area, with plenty of tourist attractions in the vicinity.

Even for locals, tourist attractions aren’t all bad – nearby free options such as Gardens by the Bay can be rather enjoyable, especially if you don’t usually get to visit them. Besides, there’s also a fair amount of dining options in the area (perhaps a good opportunity to make use of HSBC Entertainer deals).

Checking in

Enter the hotel lobby and your attention is likely to be drawn to the striking red sculpture in its centre. After years of knowing next to nothing about it, I finally checked with a member of staff who shared its name (Turbulence), also pointing out that it’s paired with the golden sculpture hanging from the ceiling, with concentric rings around both sculptures creating a ripple-like effect.

Turbulence sculpture
‘Turbulence’ sculpture by Raphael Barrios

The check-in desk wasn’t too crowded, and though I’d recently sworn to make use of lounge check-in where available, I decided to just get it done on the spot. Thankfully, with trademark Singaporean efficiency, the process was completed within a few short minutes.

Check-in desk
Check-in desk

For this stay I received access to the Club on level 31 – the hotel currently operates two lounges (more on this later), and I documented the offerings at both during the course of my stay.

Club lounge benefits
Club benefits

The room

The Executive room shares the same 40 sq. m./430 sq. ft layout as the standard (Deluxe) room, though located on a higher floor (mine was on level 28) and paired with executive level benefits (similar to the Club benefits detailed above, but for the Executive Lounge on level 4).

3D Floor plan of Executive King room

For the rejuvenation project, the hotel tapped on the expertise of acclaimed interior designer, Jaya Ibrahim Design, which had also worked on other projects such as Capella Singapore. The refreshed layout replaces the old work desk and armchair setup with a movable table and a full-length day bed.

A more relaxed atmosphere with movable tables and daybeds
A more relaxed atmosphere with movable tables and day bed

King bed
King bed, accentuated with clean lines and soft, neutral palette of fine linens

If you’re looking for new Conrad bears to add to your collection, you should know that the bear I received during this stay is differently coloured from the previous iterations.

New(er) batik bear design
New(er) batik bear design

The Conrad brand is known for offering guests an extensive range of pillows to choose from – I was curious, but figured I’d just stick with the (excellent) default ones already on the bed. Maybe on my next visit…

Pillow menu
Choice paralysis induced by the impressive pillow menu

The property has clearly taken feedback regarding the lack of power points to heart – what used to be the sole source of power in the room has now been supplemented by bedside power/USB plugs, along with two more nearer the TV.

Bedside controls and power/USB plug
Bedside controls and power/USB plug

I really enjoy the addition of the day beds – rather reminiscent of the ones in Conrad Tokyo, they offer great flexibility in allowing guests to sit, sprawl, or anything in between.

Sense of space
The revised layout also gives a sense of spaciousness

Welcome fruit and chocolates
Welcome fruit and chocolates

A shout out to my favourite hotel slippers in the world – Conrad Centennial Singapore continues to provide the fluffiest ones I’ve ever had the opportunity to use.

Fluffy slippers
Those awesome fluffy slippers

All this came together to provide a conducive working environment when doing the prep work for this post.

Hard at work, or hardly working?

If you’d like to make use of a larger screen (whether for work or for play), there’s always the 55-inch HDTV mounted on the wall. I was pleased to note that unlike its predecessor, it’s a lot easier to access the HDMI ports of the updated TV set on the rear right (you’ll need to swivel the TV in order to get to them).

Adjustable TV with connectors accessible on the right
Adjustable TV with connectors accessible on the right

If you’re tired of looking at screens, you can also look out the expansive windows to take in the sights outside. The view from my room probably wasn’t the best on the property, but you can still take in quite a bit of the cityscape.

Windows with curtains drawn
Windows with curtains drawn

Looking out towards Marina Bay
Looking out towards Marina Bay

Beside the entrance to the bathroom is the minibar area, where guests can help themselves to complimentary Nespresso coffee, tea, and (charged) minibar items.

Minibar area
Minibar area with Nespresso machine, kettle and beverages

Refrigerator drawer
Camouflaged refrigerator drawer

For the bathroom, the main change would be the replacement of the old round counters (and single sinks) with a new rectangular counter featuring dual sinks. No more waiting for your partner to finish brushing their teeth before you get to use the sink!

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The default bath amenity provided has been changed to Shanghai Tang, though Temple Spa and Refinery products are also available upon request.

Double-vanity sinks
New double-vanity sinks

Every room now features a bathtub, which would be an upgrade for the basic rooms since (as I recall) the old Classic rooms did not come with one.

Toilet, shower and bathtub
Toilet, shower and bathtub

The classic yellow duck remains, with bath salts now pre-packaged and sealed instead of coming in a glass container. I prefer the new format, since that reduces the chance of contamination before you even get to use it.

Conrad duck and bath salts
Conrad duck and bath salts

Breakfast (restaurant)

Guests enjoying club/executive benefits, or with Hilton Gold/Diamond status, are able to enjoy complimentary buffet breakfast at Oscar’s.

Oscar's buffet
Buffet spread at Oscar’s

I’ll let the pictures tell the story – suffice to say, I really appreciate the range and quality of food on offer at Oscar’s, so much so that I’ve always opted to have breakfast here instead of the lounge when staying here.

Pastries
Various pastries

Salad station
Salad station

Cold cuts
Cold cuts   

Porridge station
Porridge station

Hot buffet items (Asian selection)
Hot buffet items (Asian selection)

Hot buffet items (Western selection)
Hot buffet items (Western selection)

You can get eggs cooked to order here. (Not pictured – a noodle station to the right, where you can do the same for noodle dishes.)

Egg station
Egg station

Cheese
Selection of cheeses

Selection of fresh fruits
Selection of fresh fruits

Freshly made waffles and pancakes
Freshly made waffles and pancakes

Ice Cream station
“Ice Cream in the morning is always a good idea.” Why not?

A tale of two lounges

One topic that has generated quite a bit of buzz on FlyerTalk has been the fact that Conrad Centennial Singapore is currently operating two lounges. I chatted with a member of staff about this, who shared that the property receives a significant number of Hilton Honors Diamond members on a daily basis, thus the original lounge on Level 31 was often operating beyond capacity.

To address this, the property committed to continue operating the current Level 4 Executive Lounge, which acted temporarily as the property’s sole lounge while the Level 31 lounge was undergoing refurbishment. Now that the Level 31 lounge (now designated as the Club) has been renovated, Conrad Centennial Singapore will continue to operate both lounges in order to better manage guest load.

In practice, this presents the tricky situation where you have the nicer, recently refurbished Club on a higher floor… and another lounge on the fourth floor, beside the swimming pool. Though I found the food offerings to be comparable, the Level 4 Executive Lounge was significantly more crowded than the Level 31 Club.

On its own merits, the Executive Lounge is pretty decent – if I were new to the property, I think I’d be pretty satisfied with it. For guests used to accessing the old Level 31 lounge, though, I can see why it would feel like a downgrade.

The Level 4 Executive Lounge is due for upgrading and renovation later this year, though, so hopefully the disparity will be evened out somewhat after that!

Access guidelines

The dual lounge system is still relatively new, and I imagine adjustments would likely be made in order to optimise the use of both lounges, but as of now the guidelines for who gets to access what are as follows:

  • Executive Lounge (Level 4): For guests booking Executive rooms, Hilton Honors Diamond members, as well as Hilton Honors Gold members booking at least Premium rooms.
  • The Club (Level 31): For guests booking suites, as well as Hilton Honors Diamond and Gold members booking at least an Executive room.

Executive Lounge (Level 4)

The Level 4 Executive Lounge was used as the temporary replacement lounge while the old Level 31 lounge was undergoing renovations. Located by the pool, it continues to provide a family-friendly area for guests to relax/work. The decor doesn’t look quite as chic as the Level 31 Club – hopefully the upcoming renovation will remedy that!

L4 Executive lounge seating
Well-lit by windows looking out to the pool

L4 Executive lounge seating
The space still gets packed during peak periods

Breakfast

As is common in most properties, the lounge breakfast offers a smaller variety of food options in a less frenetic environment as compared to the restaurant breakfast. It’s still pretty extensive, outdoing a fair number of restaurant breakfasts I’ve had abroad (especially in the US).

Orange juice, cereal, milk
Orange juice, cereal, milk

Selection of bread/pastries
Selection of bread/pastries

Buffet spread
Buffet spread

Cold cuts
Cold cuts

Hot food selection
Hot food selection

I was especially impressed by the egg station they had in the lounge – there’s a chef on standby to prepare your orders on demand.

Egg station
Egg station

Selection of cheeses
Selection of cheeses

Selection of cheeses
Selection of fruits

I found the crowd at breakfast to be relatively light – this was not the case during afternoon tea and evening drinks, though.

Afternoon tea

I came to the Executive Lounge relatively late for afternoon tea, and found many of the dishes to be almost empty – I attribute that to having a larger crowd being able to access the lounge.

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Still, it’s not like any of the dishes were totally empty – I could have quite easily helped myself to whatever was left.

Buffet spread for afternoon tea
Buffet spread for afternoon tea

Homemade scones with fresh cream, strawberry jam and clotted cream
Homemade scones with fresh cream, strawberry jam and clotted cream

Parma ham sandwiches
Parma ham sandwiches – clearly a popular item

Salmon sandwiches
Salmon sandwiches

Selection of fruits
Selection of fruits

Actual tea (and coffee)
Actual tea (and coffee)

Evening drinks

I felt the same way about the evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres – the food itself was comparable enough, but the increased crowd and corresponding effect on the amount of food left in trays did detract from the experience.

Still, objectively speaking I’d say that there was a pretty impressive range of snacks on offer.

Buffet spread for evening drinks
Buffet spread for evening drinks

Salad and cold cuts
Salad and cold cuts

Pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets

Falafel hummus
Falafel hummus

Soy basil garlic prawns
Soy basil garlic prawns

Selection of cheeses
Selection of cheeses

Selection of desserts
Selection of desserts

Butter cake
Let them eat cake

Alcoholic beverages
The good stuff – selection of alcoholic beverages

The Club (Level 31)

Finally, we get to the Club on Level 31. I don’t have great pictures of how it used to look, but the change in decor and choice of furniture has definitely given it a more modern, Asian feel (the overall theme for the entire property, really).

Main Club lounge seating area
Main Club seating area

Fountain of Wealth viewed from Level 31
Fountain of Wealth viewed from Level 31

Sofa seating in the main Club lounge area
Sofa seating in the main Club area

Long table seating in main Club lounge area
Long table seating in main Club area

The lounge used to have several annexes that had previously served as overflow rooms, or sometimes for families with young children. These have been refreshed as well and continue to functional as additional capacity for the lounge, though I find that they’ve become more organically incorporated now.

One of the many annexes, with window-side seating facing the bay
One of the many annexes, with window-side seating facing the bay

A former meeting room, now used as an overflow room
A former meeting room, now used as an overflow room

Another one of the Club lounge's annexes
Another one of the Club’s annexes

Breakfast

I found this rather similar to what was on offer at the Level 4 Executive Lounge, except with even fewer people competing with the food options. Food offerings weren’t completely identical (e.g. I don’t think I saw baked tomatoes in the Executive Lounge or even the restaurant), but I wouldn’t really say the quality of food was significantly different.

Club lounge breakfast buffet spread
Club breakfast buffet spread

Cereal, milk and bread
Cereal, milk and bread

Selection of pastries
Selection of pastries

Cold cuts and salad
Cold cuts and salad

Selection of hot food (Western)
Selection of hot food (Western)

Baked beans and scrambled eggs
Baked beans and scrambled eggs

Congee
Congee

Selection of cheeses

Yoghurt and fruits
Yoghurt and fruits

More fruits and beverages
More fruits and beverages

Afternoon tea

There were many overlaps in the offerings available here as compared to the Executive Lounge – the availability of the chilled shelves here allowed the cold dishes to be stored and presented rather differently, though.

Afternoon tea dishes available for selection from the chiller
Afternoon tea dishes available for selection from the chiller

Scones are are staple of afternoon tea in the property’s lounges.

Raisin scones with fresh cream, strawberry jam and clotted cream
Raisin scones with fresh cream, strawberry jam and clotted cream

Selection of beverages
Selection of beverages

Evening drinks

As with afternoon tea, the selection of evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres was comparable to what was being served at the Executive Lounge, with great overlaps in the items served.

Gotta admit though, even the style of presentation gives it a different feel.

Salad, desserts and fruits in the chiller
Salad, desserts and fruits in the chiller

Bread at the serving table
Bread at the serving table 

Cold cuts and salad
Cold cuts and salad

Vegetable broth
Vegetable broth

Soy basil garlic prawns
Soy basil garlic prawns

Jalapeno peppers
Jalapeno peppers

Falafel with hummus
Falafel with hummus

Pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets

Selection of cheeses
Selection of cheeses

Alcoholic beverages available here
Alcoholic beverages available here

Facilities

Once you’ve stuffed yourself silly with all that food, you might want to venture out to make use of the other hotel facilities and get some exercise. The swimming pool and gym are both located on Level 4, pretty much beside the Executive Lounge.

Open-air swimming pool, with views of the Singapore Flyer
Open-air swimming pool, with views of the Singapore Flyer

The gym, due for a renovation later this year
The gym, due for a renovation later this year

The hotel spa is also located in the same area. Both the spa and gym are due for a refresh sometime later this year; alternative arrangements will likely be provided for guests when this is going on.

Weekend afternoon tea (Lobby Lounge)

As part of my stay, I got the chance to get a sneak peek (taste) of the upcoming Weekend Afternoon Tea at Lobby Lounge, one of the property’s dining establishments.

Lobby Lounge
Lobby Lounge, one of Conrad Centennial Singapore’s dining establishments
(Image from Conrad Centennial Singapore)

You begin the experience by choosing your beverage – you’ll get to ask for refills, or simply choose another beverage, along the way.

Weekend Afternoon Tea beverage menu
Choice paralysis induced by the many tea options available

The Weekend Afternoon Tea was designed to replace the buffet experience and allow you to enjoy many of the highlights of a seafood or dessert buffet without having to leave your table.

Fresh oysters, prawns and lobster, accompanied by Prosecco
Fresh oysters, prawns and lobster, accompanied by Prosecco

Teatime desserts on a spinning tray
Teatime desserts on a spinning tray

Fresh scones
Fresh scones

Cheese platter
Cheese platter

I found that they achieved this goal really well – despite not having had lunch, I was stuffed by the time the cheese platter arrived. None of the items served was a dud – I enjoyed every single one of them.

The quality, quantity and range of food served were all excellent. Those with smaller appetites could probably get away with sharing the meal (with additional beverages ordered a la carte).

“You know,” I mused to The Wife, “I think I’d actually be willing to pay full price for this!” Thankfully, Milelion readers won’t need to, having been invited to enjoy a 15% discount (more on this below).

Conclusion

With the completion of their  rooms rejuvenation project, giving their rooms a modern feel with an Asian twist, Conrad Centennial Singapore has greatly increased its attractiveness to would-be guests. As I’ve stated earlier – whether you’re looking for a staycation option or a place to put up a visitor from aboard, Conrad Centennial Singapore is a pretty solid choice, especially if you’re keen on making the most of your Hilton Gold/Diamond benefits.

Special offers

For the readers of the Milelion, Conrad Centennial Singapore has made available the following special offers:

  • $380++ for Executive room weekend stays (with Club access and S$75 F&B credit) – Mention ‘SG75’ when making reservations by email at [email protected] or by phone at +65 64327192 to access this special rate for Friday, Saturday and Sunday bookings. This rate guarantees access to the Level 31 Club as well as $75 F&B credit that can be used at the property’s outlets during the stay. Rooms are subject to availability. This offer is applicable until Sunday, 2 Sep.
  • 15% off Weekend Afternoon Tea at Lobby Lounge – Mention “Milelion” when making reservations by phone at +65 64327357 and get 15% off your total bill! Valid for bookings from 19 May to 1 July 2018.

These offers cannot be used in conjunction with other promotions, offers, discounts or vouchers, so unfortunately you won’t be able to make use of both of them at the same time.

(Featured image from Conrad Centennial Singapore)

Louis Tan
Louis believes he caught the premium travel bug after attaining KrisFlyer Elite Gold and occasionally being upgraded while shuttling between the UK, Singapore and Japan (in economy class). These travels have led to a wonderful marriage, as well as a burning desire to avoid flying long-haul economy. He travels with a gryphon plush toy, Griffles, which often stands in for him in vacation photos. Griffles continues to amuse (and confuse) air stewardesses, hotel staff and just about everybody else, all around the world.

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anon

amazingly thorough review Louis.

one question – if I am Hilton Gold, and I have booked a Deluxe Room, but got upgraded to Premium at check-in, will I be entitled to Level 4 Lounge usage? And maybe for Level 31 as well (Premium upgraded to Executive)?

Danny

Hi Louis,

Is there any restrictions to offer as I just attempted to book a room using the code but was told by their reservation desk that this offer does not exist?

Thanks
Danny

AP kia

I can confirm that the mileslion promo works as I have confirmed my booking with the SG75 promo code.

[…] something luxe (especially if you don’t have status in the initial 90 days) you can check out Conrad Centennial Singapore – Mention ‘SG75’ when making reservations by email at [email protected] or by […]

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