In April 2019, news broke that the Marina Mandarin and parts of the Marina Square shopping complex were being bought by UIC for S$675.3 million. As part of the purchase, the hotel’s management agreement was switched to Pan Pacific Hospitality, necessitating a name change.
Thus the Marina Mandarin was rebranded to the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay on 1 January 2020, and underwent a S$45m renovation that was initially expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the circuit breaker in April 2020 delayed those plans. The PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay still managed to do a soft-opening in December 2020, but the final stage of renovations (most notably around the swimming pool area) only finished in May 2021.
Booking a PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay Staycation
As with my other recent staycation reviews, this stay was booked during the Traveloka EPIC Sale promotion. I saw an Urban Room with breakfast at an amazing rate of S$118, which I reduced even more with coupons to just S$68- making my stay cheaper than a Hotel 81.
Prior to my stay, I dropped the hotel an email to check if they were able to honour the benefits that came with my DISCOVERY Black status. The hotel graciously did, even though they had no obligation to seeing as how I booked through an OTA. Those perks didn’t include club lounge access, however, but I managed to secure that for S$40++ per person (it’s now been further increased to S$60++ unfortunately).
Currently, the hotel is running a “Hearty Eats Restful Stays” offer which includes breakfast and dinner for two adults at Peppermint, valid on weekdays (Sun to Thu). The price isn’t far off from the Members Staycay Everyday with Breakfast rate, and for just a bit more, you’ll get to enjoy an a la carte buffet dinner for two.
For those using the ongoing AMEX offer for Pan Pacific Hotels Group, do remember that your card will need to be charged by 11 July 2021 for the S$60 off S$300 promotion to be triggered.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Check-in and arrival
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is located at 6 Raffles Boulevard. The closest MRT station to the hotel is Esplanade (CC3). Alternatively, you can also reach the hotel from City Hall MRT (NS25/EW13) by going through CityLink Mall or from Promenade MRT (CC4/DT15).
If you’re coming by bus, there are plenty of busses to choose from that stop at Suntec City Convention Centre which is just opposite the hotel. On the day of check-in, I arrived at around 10.30 am by bus and walked over from Suntec City Convention Centre.
If you’re driving to the hotel, the entrance to the car park is after the hotel’s drop-off area and complimentary parking is available for hotel guests in Marina Square (single exit only).
The check-in area of the hotel is located at level four and level one of the hotel is where the concierge and group check-in counters are located. When the hotel gets busy, the group check-in desks on level one are also used to process check-ins.
The lobby area has been beautifully renovated from its Marina Mandarin days. From here you can already get a peek of the hotel’s atrium.
The reception of the hotel is located on level four and the lifts are located behind the concierge desk.
Before COVID-19 and the implementation of safe management measures, you could access the hotel directly from Marina Square but sadly this access point is now blocked off until further notice.
Before I get to the part on check-in formalities, I really must talk about the hotel’s atrium. The hotel is so proud of this that they have embedded a timelapse video on the home page of the hotel’s website showing its transformation.
Stepping out of the lifts on level four you’ll be greeted by, in my opinion, the most beautiful lobby in Singapore. PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay describes itself as a garden-in-a-hotel and they weren’t kidding. The hotel has kept the centerpiece from Marina Mandarin and beautifully redesigned the entire area. The carpets were ripped out and replaced with vinyl flooring with plants dotting the reception. There are even live birds (in cages obviously) doing mating calls all day long.
To fully appreciate the beauty of the atrium, you should head to a higher floor and look down.
The views get much better at dusk where it isn’t completely pitch black outside yet and there is still some natural light filtering in from above.
The reception area on level four was beautifully designed and bathed in warm yellow lighting. During my stay, I did not see a dedicated DISCOVERY check-in desk so you’ll have to queue up with everyone else.
My DISCOVERY Black benefit of a 6 p.m late check-out was confirmed and I was also informed that I have been given a double room upgrade from an Urban Room to the Signature Marina Bay Room. As I was also given a 9 a.m early check-in, my room was ready when I arrived.
If your room rate includes breakfast at Peppermint, you’ll be asked to pre-book a breakfast slot during check-in, and during my stay these were the available time slots:
- 7 a.m to 8 a.m
- 8 a.m to 9 a.m
- 9 a.m to 10 a.m
As I had topped up for COLLECTION Club access, I also had the option of having breakfast at the lounge, with no pre-booking required.
Having gotten my keys, I trotted back to the lifts and made my way up to my assigned room. At the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, access to guest rooms is strictly by keycard and I like that the hotel has implemented an extra layer of security where your keycard only unlocks access to the floor your room is in.
The corridors of the hotel are almost identical to that of the Mandarin Oriental and Pan Pacific Singapore where you’re overlooking the hotel’s atrium. Not surprising given that all three hotels are designed by the same architect (John Portman).
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Signature Marina Bay Room
The PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay has 583 guest rooms spread out over 15 floors. The various room categories are as follows:
|Urban Room||31-33 sqm|
|Lifestyle Room||33-35 sqm|
|Signature Marina Bay Room||31-33 sqm|
|Family Room||63-66 sqm*|
|COLLECTION Room||31-33 sqm|
|COLLECTION Marina Bay Room||31-33 sqm|
|Urban Suite||63-66 sqm|
|Lifestyle Suite||66-70 sqm|
|Signature Marina Bay Suite||63-66 sqm|
|PARKROYAL COLLECTION Suite||199 sqm|
|*Family Room = two connecting rooms|
I was assigned to room 1236, a Signature Marina Bay Room located on level 12. My room was located quite a distance from the lifts.
Entering the room, there was a small ledge by the door to either place some items or have a seat to put on your shoes. In my room, the bathroom could be found immediately to the left of the entrance.
The wardrobe area and mini-bar in this room could also be found immediately to the right of the door.
Inside the wardrobe are standard-issue items of a bathrobe, bedroom slippers, an iron, and the ironing board.
The safe in this room is located above the mini-bar area. Lavazza instant coffee sachets are provided along with Dilmah teabags. For coffee lovers, a Nespresso machine is available in the room.
I didn’t like the design of the wardrobe as if you only discover late at night (read: 1 a.m) that the door doesn’t cut off the circuit for the lights inside, you’ll have light shining out through the slots which was super annoying.
Beside the wardrobe/mini-bar, there was an area for your luggage and a large mirror.
The bedroom itself was spacious but pretty basic with the bed located squarely in the middle of the room.
On both sides of the bed, you can find a power socket and a USB-A fast-charging port (5V 2.5A). Light switches can also be found by the bedside.
In line with the brand’s sustainability theme, you will not be able to find single-use plastic water bottles in the room. Bottled water in glasses was provided, with a little tag warning of the charges if you sneak the bottles home. A Pan Pacific Cares Kit consisting of face masks, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and antiseptic wipes was also placed by the bedside table.
The in-room phone and the QR code to pull up the hotel’s chatbot were on the left of the bed.
Instead of a separate work desk, the room had a long TV console with a regular chair. It was slightly disappointing given how you can find a Herman Miller chair in almost every room at its sister properties. Thankfully, I did not have any issues sitting on it for a prolonged period as the cushion was firm and provided excellent bum support.
Wi-Fi at the hotel is free for all guests and although speeds weren’t the fastest out there, they was more than sufficient.
|🌐Hotel Wi-Fi Speeds|
|Mandarin Orchard||273 Mbps||294 Mbps|
|Villa Samadhi||62 Mbps||53 Mbps|
|M Social Singapore||46 Mbps||49 Mbps|
|Conrad Centennial||40 Mbps||44 Mbps|
|YOTELAir Changi||29 Mbps||49 Mbps|
|W Sentosa Cove||34 Mbps||34 Mbps|
|Ascott Orchard||29 Mbps||29 Mbps|
|Duxton Reserve||28 Mbps||29 Mbps|
|PARKROYAL Beach Road||28 Mbps||29 Mbps|
|Mandarin Oriental||28 Mbps||28 Mbps|
|The Fullerton Hotel||23 Mbps||24 Mbps|
|PARKROYAL Pickering||24 Mbps||23 Mbps|
|Oakwood Premier AMTD||20 Mbps||20 Mbps|
|Shangri-La Singapore||19 Mbps||18 Mbps|
|Pan Pacific Singapore||19 Mbps||19 Mbps|
|Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore||19 Mbps||19 Mbps|
|InterContinental Bugis||15 Mbps||15 Mbps|
|The Capitol Kempinski Hotel||16 Mbps||13 Mbps|
|Grand Hyatt Singapore||14 Mbps||13 Mbps|
|Hilton Singapore||13 Mbps||14 Mbps|
|One Farrer Hotel||11 Mbps||21 Mbps|
|Marina Bay Sands||11 Mbps||11 Mbps|
|The Clan Hotel||9.6 Mbps||9.6 Mbps|
|PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay||9.4 Mbps||18 Mbps|
|Andaz Singapore||8.0 Mbps||9.5 Mbps|
|Four Seasons Singapore||6.7 Mbps||9.8 Mbps|
|The Barracks Hotel||7.3 Mbps||7.7 Mbps|
|Hotel 81 Tristar||7.0 Mbps||6.8 Mbps|
|Raffles Hotel||6.9 Mbps||6.8 Mbps|
|Hotel Soloha||4.7 Mbps||5.1 Mbps|
|Hotel G Singapore||4.4 Mbps||4.8 Mbps|
|Internet speeds based on Speedtest.net scores|
A welcome amenity was placed on the coffee table later that afternoon consisting of some sweets and what seems to be a deconstructed cheesecake.
A 55-inch LG Smart TV can be found in every room and is Chromecast enabled. The TV can be swiveled out too, granting access to the spare HDMI port at the back of the TV. No HDMI cables were provided in the room so do bring your own.
A good selection of cable TV channels is available here at the hotel too with a mix of sports, lifestyle, and news channels.
The bathroom was what gave away the hotel’s age. These were inexplicably not given a makeover during the hotel’s renovation, retaining the bathtub, toilet and European-style bidet from the hotel’s Marina Mandarin days. While the sink was redone to match the colour scheme of the main bedroom, the rest of the tiles had not.
My room had a rain shower, but this isn’t a standard feature across all rooms.
Toiletries are from Metis which seems to be the new brand standard at all Pan Pacific Hotel Group hotels. I really love the Metis branded toiletries, having used them at Hotel G and the PARKROYAL on Beach Road.
A filtered water tap can also be found in every room.
The two-pin shaving power socket here has been sealed up and there were no power sockets in the bathroom.
In most if not all rooms at the hotel, there is a small balcony. A coffee table and a single-seater sofa were placed by the balcony windows.
The balcony itself was tiny and unsheltered from the elements from above.
The views from the Signature Marina Bay Room were great and rooms on higher floors will have a better view of the floating platform, perfect for those staying during the National Day Parade and on New Year’s Eve.
One final point for light sleepers: the curtains were not full blackout, and some light still managed to creep in from above.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Cleanliness issues
During my stay at the hotel, I faced some cleanliness and wear and tear issues with my room. Despite the newness of the hotel, the door had already been badly chipped.
I also spotted some uncleaned hair and dust balls around the floor, and stains on the bed skirting.
Coming back in the late afternoon, I grabbed a glass to get some drinking water and to my disgust, the glass was filthy. I could still see the lip marks left behind by the previous user and clearly, the cups were not properly washed when the rooms were made up.
Thankfully the other drinking glass in the mini-bar looked clean enough but I still gave it a wash prior to using it.
Later in the evening as I was taking a shower before heading down to the lounge for evening cocktails, I noticed that there were quite a number of flies in the rain shower. On closer look, these were drain flies, which feed on clogged hair in the sewage system.
I headed down for evening cocktails and requested a change of rooms. The first reassigned room had a very noisy air conditioning unit, so a second room was reassigned- 1338. Sadly, the issue of the filthy cups popped up again. This time, it was a food residue of sorts on the base of the glass that was very visible.
All the room changes gave me an opportunity to see a few different room layouts. In some rooms, the bathroom is further inside, and has not been renovated at all from the hotel’s Marina Mandarin days. Telltale signs are the lack of a rain shower, and the discoloration of the tub.
I chatted with one of the staff who confirmed that some bathrooms weren’t renovated at all. Even some of the suites weren’t spared this decision, as seen in this review from Youtube.
So even within the same room category, your experience may be quite different. My advice would be to check with the hotel during check-in whether you have a renovated bathroom.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: COLLECTION Club Lounge
The hotel’s lounge is located at level five, and open from 7 a.m to 10 p.m daily. Guests will enjoy the following benefits:
- All-day refreshments (non-alcoholic)
- Daily buffet breakfast from 7.00 a.m to 10.30 p.m
- Afternoon Tea from 2.30 p.m to 4.00 p.m
- Evening Cocktails from 6.00 p.m to 8.00 p.m
The COLLECTION Club lounge is not in the same location from its Marina Mandarin days but instead is by the swimming pool. Although COLLECTION room guests can technically check-in at the lounge, I don’t really see how that’s possible since access is keycard-only. I suppose you could flag it out on level one and have a staff member escort you to the lounge.
Renovation works to the COLLECTION Club lounge were only completed in early May 2021 so the whole space around the swimming pool is brand new.
The floor-to-ceiling windows here at the COLLECTION Club lounge are heavily tinted and you can’t really look into the lounge from the outside unless your face is flat against the glass.
The interior of the lounge was beautiful with dark tones and contrasting bright sofas dotting the lounge. While the windows were heavily tinted, a good amount of natural light was present.
I asked the staff about the meringues on the centre table in the lounge and was sadly told that they were inedible.
A beverage area is located by the entrance which should be operational once diners are allowed to take their own food and drinks again when COVID restrictions are further eased.
Power sockets available fitted on the long tables in the lounge and on some of the pillars in the lounge.
Officially, children under the age of 12 are not permitted into the lounge but during my time there, I did see children at breakfast, afternoon tea as well as evening cocktails.
A QR code linking you to the hotel’s chatbot is placed on every table and the menus can be accessed through the chatbot. During my stay, these were the menus for breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails.
Afternoon tea is served daily in the lounge between 2.30 p.m to 4.00 p.m and is served in a birdcage-like tray. Extra servings can be requested, but they only come in a fixed set.
The food choices are rotated on alternate days so if you’re staying for more than a night, you wouldn’t be having the same thing two days in a row.
I had afternoon tea on an even date, 24 June, but was served a combination of items from the even and odd dates menu. The chicken pies were replaced by curry puffs, pecan tarts by ondeh-ondeh swiss rolls, and the flourless raspberry cake by nonya kueh which on that day was a tapioca kueh.
The quality of the food here was pretty average with only the smoked salmon sandwich being the only item that tasted good to me. The kuehs were too sweet and the ondeh-ondeh swiss roll was very mediocre, with the coconut not having enough gula melaka fragrance and taste.
Evening cocktails are served between 6.00 p.m to 8.00 p.m in the lounge. On the day I had evening cocktails, the menu was as follows:
Evening cocktails here at the COLLECTION Club lounge were definitely not a dinner substitute. They were served in a bento-box style presentation and extra portions can be ordered but come only in a fixed set so you are not able to mix and match items.
Again, there was a slight mismatch in what was served vs what was listed on the menu with a 9-layer kueh taking the place of the Turkish Baklava in the first set that I had. Overall, the quality of what was served was again only passable although I really loved the black truffle sauce on the chicken cheese meatball and the plant-based beef mushroom cassoulet. The chicken cheese meatball itself was nothing fantastic and if my taste buds don’t fail me, they’re the frozen ones that you can get at all supermarkets.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Facilities
|Yes: 7 a.m to 10 p.m||Yes: 7 a.m to 10 p.m||Yes: 11 a.m to 8 p.m (Weekdays)|
10 a.m to 8 p.m (Weekends/PH)
|Kids’ Club||Business Centre||Others|
|No||No||Kids Play Room|
At the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, pre-booking of slots is required for the pool and the gym, and can be done via the chatbot. As you’ll need to input your room number to secure your timeslot, pre-booking of facilities isn’t possible prior to check-in.
All facilities at the hotel are on level five.
The swimming pool is open from 7.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m daily. Each room can book one pool slot per day and slots are all one hour long. During my stay, the maximum capacity of the swimming pool was capped at 30.
The swimming pool at the hotel is different from that at other hotels as it claims to use mineralized water, which is supposed to be less dehydrating on your skin. The only other hotel that I’m aware of that uses “special water” would be the Capitol Kempinski and their saltwater pool.
There is also an area called The Green Space which is a small astroturf area with three sofas beside the swimming pool area.
The hotel has also installed fiber optic lights on the bottom of the pool and the pool really shines at night.
The gym at the hotel is open daily between 7.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m. Pre-booking of slots is required and each room can book an hour-long slot per day, with the maximum number of users capped at eight.
The gym had adequate equipment for a full-body workout. There was no one manning the gym and towels are not provided, so it might be a good idea to bring one from your room.
As in most Pan Pacific Hotel Group hotels, there is a St. Gregory’s Spa at the hotel located on level five. It is open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m on weekdays and from 10 a.m to 8 p.m on weekends and public holidays.
Kids Play Room
While this isn’t the same caliber as the one at the Shangri-La Singapore, there is a small play area for toddlers located on level four of the hotel behind the lifts. The playroom is opened from 9 a.m – 9 p.m daily. This small playroom is not listed as a facility on the hotel’s website and I chanced upon it while exploring the hotel.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Breakfast
|Peppermint/ Club lounge||Adults: S$36++|
Children (6-12) : S$18++
|A la carte buffet|
|7 a.m to 10.30 a.m||No||No|
Breakfast at the COLLECTION Club is served daily between 7.00 a.m to 10.30 a.m. No reservations are required and it’s done a la carte buffet style. I reached the lounge at around 8 a.m and the lounge was still empty.
Drink and food orders were taken shortly after I came and I ordered a cappuccino and a glass of orange juice which took quite some time to arrive. The coffee was alright, and even though the juices weren’t freshly squeezed, the orange juice was decent- not overly sweet, didn’t taste like battery acid, and had some pulp in it.
For breakfast, I got the omelette with all of the side dishes, the dim sum basket, and the rice noodle soup with shrimp dumplings. My partner ordered a fruit bowl and the Eggs Croissant Bowl “Benedict” which was an interesting way to serve up eggs benedict.
The dim sum was horrible. The har gao had a mystery filling inside it that did not taste at all like prawns. The siew mai stuck to each other and tasted mass produced. Thankfully, the lotus leaf rice was passable.
The omelette was pretty normal but the hashbrowns that came with the order were freshly fried and still super crispy.
The sausages used at the hotel remind me of the Pan Pacific brand sausages, I highly suspect they are the same Pan Pacific brand ones sold at supermarkets and at the marketplace in the Pan Pacific Hotel. These were excellent in my opinion.
The bacon was your good old crispy streaky bacon although I felt that it was too salty for my liking. The chicken patties were a little bland although it was a good clean meat option.
The wantons in the rice noodle soup were amazing, and I believe they are handmade.
The eggs benedict were alright and the hollandaise did not overpower the eggs.
I was contemplating taking breakfast at Peppermint as well as the club lounge, but upon seeing a snaking queue extending across the lobby, went back to the club lounge for round two.
I did manage to get the menu for the breakfast options at Peppermint, however.
The items on offer are similar to what was served at the COLLECTION Club lounge with a few extra breakfast dishes. If I do return to the hotel for another staycation, I’ll probably have breakfast at Peppermint instead.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Other Dining Options
|Peach Blossoms||Lunch: 12 p.m – 3p.m |
Dinner: 6.30 p.m – 10.30 p.m
|Atrium Lounge||10.30 a.m – 10.30 p.m|
|Skyline Bar||10.30 a.m – 8.30 p.m|
|Ruth’s Chris Steak House |
|Lunch: 11.30 a.m – 3.00 p.m |
Dinner: 5.30 p.m – 11.00 p.m
|Sushi Jiro |
|Lunch: 11.30 a.m – 2.30 p.m |
Dinner: 6.00pm – 10.30pm
Pan Pacific DISCOVERY Gold, Platinum, and Black members get to enjoy a 15%, 20%, and 25% discount respectively off the total bill (excluding alcoholic beverages) at all hotel operated restaurants at the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Sushi Jiro are not run by the hotel and are independently run restaurants, so you will not enjoy any privileges of being a DISCOVERY member or being a hotel guest at these restaurants.
I didn’t try any of these outlets, but here’s a brief rundown.
Peach Blossoms is the hotel’s Chinese restaurant and is located on level 5 of the hotel. It has two dining sessions per meal period and the restaurant is open daily. I heard great things about the dim sum that’s served here so this should be a nice place to spend your credits if you have booked a Stay and Feast package.
The Atrium Lounge is open from 10.30 a.m to 10.30 p.m daily. It’s a stunning place with a birdcage-like structure as the centerpiece.
The Atrium Bar currently has a very long Happy Hour period that runs from noon to 10 pm daily with drinks starting from S$10++. The Atrium Lounge also participates in the American Express Chillax! program and eligible cardholders will enjoy either a 1-for-1 first drink promotion or a complimentary set of whisky flight with a minimum spend of S$40.
The Skyline Bar is the hotel’s poolside bar and is located on level five beside the swimming pool. It is open from 10.30 a.m to 8.30 a.m daily and serves up light bites and drinks by the poolside.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Ruth’s Chris Steak House opened back in 2012 at the then Marina Mandarin and has remained at the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay. The restaurant is open for lunch between 11.30 a.m to 3.00 p.m and for dinner between 5.30 p.m to 11 p.m.
The world-renowned steakhouse isn’t operated by the hotel so you will sadly not get to use your credits from the Stay and Feast package here.
Sushi Jiro is a Japanese restaurant serving up premium Japanese food at the hotel. The restaurant is open for lunch between 11.30 am to 2.30 pm and dinner between 6.00 pm to 10.30 pm daily.
Sushi Jiro is not a hotel-operated restaurant so you will not enjoy any dining discounts through your DISCOVERY membership or be able to utilize your Stay and Feast credits here.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay: Service
The staff at the hotel were generally great from my limited exchanges with them. When I flagged the issue of the drain flies to the lounge staff in the evenings, they were helpful in helping to check for an alternate room.
Moreover, when I called to flag out the issue of the noisy air conditioning with the room that I was reassigned to, the staff came round and brought me down to inspect another room to make sure that the room was generally clean and to my liking.
The service at the COLLECTION Club was great as well but there was something that I observed which felt a little weird to me.
During all of the lounge’s meal periods, the staff would all disappear inside the kitchen and there was quite a long wait before a staff member reappears again in the lounge. This meant that during meal periods, you’d have to wait a little longer than desired before being able to order another round of food or drinks.
Regarding the cleanliness issues that I faced during my stay, I dropped the hotel some feedback on this highlighting all the issues and they replied acknowledging they could have done better and offered COLLECTION Club access for my next stay with them as service recovery.
For now, the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay remains one of the more affordable hotels around the Marina Bay area, and you’re likely to find some great deals over the next few months as it opens up. For DISCOVERY Platinum and Black members, it could also be a decent option to pick up a Local Experience for less during flash sales.
The cleanliness issues were unfortunate, however, and guests should note the possibility of bathroom roulette, whereby rooms in the same category have different quality fittings.
On the plus side, the COLLECTION Club lounge is a nice place to relax, and if they improve the food offerings, there’ll be a lot more to like about it.
|🏨 In Summary|
|The PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay is stunning in places, with an Instagram-friendly atrium and beautifully renovated facilities. However, other aspects (most notably the bathroom) are still stuck in a time warp, like a job half-done. A strange mix of the new and the what could have been.|