The Goodwood Park Hotel is, well, it’s no spring chicken. It says something about the vintage of a place when you need to dig up newspapers from 1900 to tell its origins story (note that it’s 1900, not “the 1900s”).
It all began in September 1900, when the doors opened at the new location of the Teutonia Club. The club, established in 1856, was meant to be a little home away from home for the German community in Singapore. Built at a cost of 20,000 Straits dollars (a small fortune at the time), the building was fashioned after the castles of the Rhine to reflect its German heritage, with a distinctive tower overlooking Scotts Road.
Despite its Germanic roots, the club soon became the social and recreational hub for the entire European community. Membership grew as guests bonded over concerts, sports, and meals at one of the finest restaurants in town.
World War I, unfortunately, put paid to such ideas of kumbaya. The British disbanded the club and confiscated the premises under the Custodian of Enemy Property. After the war, the building was sold to the Manasseh brothers, who converted it into Goodwood Park Hotel (named after the Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester) in 1929.
This makes the Goodwood Park the second oldest hotel in Singapore, after the Raffles. In that time, it’s seen everything from kaisers to princes, nobel laureates to famous ballerinas, wartime administrations to war crimes tribunals. That’s a lot of history, in just six hectares.
But it’s the Raffles that hogs the limelight and holds the public imagination whenever “heritage hotel” is mentioned. Is the Goodwood Park destined to play second fiddle, or can it be a landmark in its own right?
Only one way to find out.
Booking a Goodwood Park Hotel Staycation
For a 5-Star hotel, Goodwood Park certainly prices towards the lower end of the range. Room-only nights can often be had for just a hair over S$190 all-in, making it a good option for someone wanting to burn SRVs without paying too much out of pocket.
I’ve long since spent my SRVs, but found an excellent deal through Trip.com. A Deluxe Premier Room with breakfast for two and S$99 of F&B credits was going for around S$210. A DBS promo code helped knock a further S$56 off the price, and I paid just S$154 nett in total.
Goodwood Park has also featured in WOW Weekend sales for HSBC cardholders, the most recent offering 1 night in a Junior Suite with breakfast and a 6-course dinner at Min Jiang for two at S$400 nett.
Since Goodwood Park is not part of any loyalty programme, you can be pretty much platform-agnostic when making bookings (update: apparently it’s part of World Hotels, if that floats your boat).
Goodwood Park Hotel: Arrival and Check-in
Goodwood Park Hotel is located at 22 Scotts Road, near the start of Orchard Road’s western tip. It’s close enough for those who want to access the action, but far enough to avoid the associated crowds and noise.
The nearest MRT station is at Orchard, although you should remember Goodwood Park is on a hill, and dragging your luggage up won’t be fun (plus, there’s no shelter when it rains). Guests enjoy complimentary open-air parking in the hotel’s car park.
I arrived at the hotel at noon on a Tuesday. What’s odd is that you’d think this driveway beneath the majestic Grand Tower (a gazetted national monument since 1989) would be the drop-off and reception area…
…but it’s not. Hotel guests instead use this entrance at the top of the hill, which somehow manages to stick out while still being nondescript. Its modern style glass panels clash with the hotel’s old world design, yet it’s also the barest hotel façade I’ve ever seen- no logo, no flourishes, just a plain, overhanging shelter.
I kept thinking it was only a temporary measure until the other entrance was restored, but as it turns out, this is the entrance, now and forever. The one beneath the Tower hasn’t been used as a reception area in ages, after the hotel outgrew the space.
I found the plainness of the entrance curious, but perhaps this is a property that doesn’t place too much weight on that sort of thing. Step inside, and there’s very little hint of where you’ve arrived. The walls are unadorned and the check-in area is bare. It’s not very impressive.
Some hotels use their lobbies to say “hey look at all this stuff we have”, but Goodwood Park is awfully reticent in this regard. Granted, I’m not much of an art connoisseur, but a few paintings or installations would liven up the place to no end.
Explore the area a little more, however, and the hotel’s personality starts to open up. Off the main hall is the Tang Treasures suite, a collection of artefacts on loan from the ACM. These were recovered from an Arab dhow wrecked off Belitung Island in Indonesia, and loaned to the hotel since 2007.
Elsewhere is a series of exhibits including newspaper clippings, dining ware and other mementos charting the hotel’s history from the Teutonia Club till now.
Check-in was completed quickly, and since my room wasn’t ready yet, I went for lunch and returned just before 2 p.m.
Goodwood Park Hotel: Deluxe Premier Room
The Goodwood Park Hotel has a bewildering range of rooms, so a brief lay of the land is in order. There are a total of 233 rooms and suites, split across four different wings: Mayfair, Lobby, Tower, and Parklane (the hotel’s long-stay wing, although also open for short-term guests).
|Room type||Wing||Size||No. of Rooms|
|Deluxe Mayfair Room||Mayfair||31-44 sqm||66|
|Deluxe Poolside Room||Mayfair||31 sqm||8|
|1-Bedroom Suite||Mayfair||90 sqm||1-2|
|2-Bedroom Suite||Mayfair||121 sqm||1-2|
|Deluxe Premier Room||Lobby||39 sqm||44|
|Poolside Suite||Lobby||48-55 sqm||13|
|Junior Suite||Lobby||50-65 sqm||14|
|Deluxe Poolside Suite||Lobby||65 sqm||5|
|Heritage Room||Tower||36-48 sqm||15|
|Rose Marie Suite||Tower||260 sqm||1|
|Split Level Studio Suite||Parklane||56 sqm||32|
|Split Level Suite||Parklane||74 sqm||32|
Room numbering can be a confusing affair. Even though my room started with a two, it was located on the third floor. Apparently it’s some weird hangover from the early days; 2nd floor rooms are a mixture of 1- and 2-series, while the 3rd floor consists of all 2-series room.
I’d been assigned to room 213, noticing as I entered how the doors don’t close automatically.
Now, one of the main concerns I had going into this staycation was the hotel’s age. I had this vision of decrepit, “rustic” rooms filled with tired furniture and yellowed wallpaper. So imagine my surprise when I opened the door and saw this.
Goodwood Park’s been keeping up with the times, evidently. This Deluxe Premier Room (together with the rest of the rooms in the Lobby Wing) finished an extensive renovation in February 2021, overseen by architect Ernesto Bedmar (other projects: Laemsingh Villas in Phuket and Ambalama Wellness Resort in Bali).
My Deluxe Premier Room measured in at 39 sqm. It felt spacious and still had a hint of “new room” smell, the kind you get with freshly-laid flooring and carpentry. They even kept the ceiling fan, a rare sight in a hotel these days.
I have to say, it was much better than I expected. The design philosophy focused on clean lines with an earthy colour palette, stylish white quartz, bronze fittings and white leather furnishing. Photos on the wall featured yesteryear local scenes captured by Singapore-based French artist Gilles Massot.
The room overlooked the Main Swimming Pool, although the overhang of the roof (and the moss growing on it) rather spoiled the view.
In the corner was a lounge chair and ottoman. I was pleased to see the white leather upholstery was in very good condition, with nary a nick or scratch.
The Goodwood Park bed features a Simmons mattress, and the sleep experience was fantastic (I’ve realised that the older I get, the firmer I like my mattress).
It helps that you can choose from a wide selection of pillows, with six different options including buckwheat, neckcare and hypoallergenic.
Both bedside tables had a universal charging outlet and two USB ports. There was some light scuffing on the cover plate, but otherwise they were in good shape. Despite all the modernisation, however, curtains are still controlled the old-fashioned way, i.e. get up and pull.
At the coffee table was a welcome plate of fruit, and some cakes and savory items.
The rectangular work desk had a white marble table top, and the chair was fine for short spurts of work (though it benefitted significantly from the addition of a pillow).
Inside the drawers were stationery, as well as some nice commemorative postcards (yours to keep).
Goodwood Park doesn’t have a hygiene kit as such, but two individually-wrapped surgical masks were on the desk.
Along the wall were two universal power outlets, two USB ports and a HDMI connection.
Guests can choose from two internet plans: a basic and a premium. The basic plan is free; the premium one costs a hefty S$20 per 24 hours. While I can’t fathom why a hotel is still charging for a 15Mbps internet connection in 2021, the basic connection got the job done.
Basic connections are limited to 8 Mbps, and that’s indeed what Speedtest reflected.
|🌐Hotel Wi-Fi Speeds|
|Mandarin Orchard||273 Mbps||294 Mbps|
|Sofitel City Centre||95 Mbps||92 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|
|PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay||9.4 Mbps||18 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|
|Andaz Singapore||8.0 Mbps||9.5 Mbps|
|Four Seasons Singapore||6.7 Mbps||9.8 Mbps|
|Goodwood Park Hotel||7.8 Mbps||7.5 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|
While the suites in the Lobby Wing get spanking new 55-inch Samsung TVs, the Deluxe Premier rooms are stuck with older, smaller models. I don’t have the exact size, but I’d hazard this was perhaps 43 or 46 inches at most- not ideal, given the distance between the wall and the bed. The TV didn’t have any smart features, so you’ll have to bring a HDMI cable to connect your devices.
A very simple mini-bar featured TWG teabags and Nescafe instant coffee (Nespresso capsule machines are reserved for suites guests). The mini-fridge was empty and could be used for storing your own personal items.
Inside the wardrobe were two bathrobes, bathroom slippers, an ironing board and a digital safe. Next to it was the room’s built-in luggage rack, with space for two small or one large suitcase.
The toilet area in the Deluxe Premier Room was on the narrow side, and it looks like the renovation was constrained by the existing structure.
To give you an idea of the cramped quarters, observe how precariously close the bathroom door comes to the countertop and toilet seat. They just about managed to fit everything in there.
While some Deluxe Premier Rooms have combination bathtub showers, I dislike the concept and requested a room with just a shower. The shower cubicle was relatively more spacious, its elongated shape allowing for the placement of a bench on the opposite end. Shower fittings were from hansgrohe, but water pressure wasn’t great, perhaps a combination of the age of the hotel and the fact we were on the top floor.
While guests in suites get very lovely Etro amenities, it’s a much simpler affair in the lead-in categories. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash were in generic Goodwood Park bottles, and let’s just say they’re not the type you’d steal from the housekeeping cart.
Likewise, toothpaste was the Colgate-imitation AM.E, which the Milelioness (registered dentist) refuses to use on account of its lack of fluoride.
One thing to highlight to those of you who are light sleepers. I don’t know whether it was just our bad luck, but when we turned off the lights to sleep, an audible popping noise started coming from behind the headboard. It’d sound every 20 or 30 seconds, and we couldn’t for the life of us figure out what it was- contracting metal maybe?
It got so annoying we switched rooms. The second room had a similar issue but it wasn’t nearly as loud, so by cranking up the air conditioning to full I could generate enough white noise to get to bed.
That aside, I was very pleased with the room. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s not what I expected at all. I can safely say that someone in the Lobby Wing won’t have any complaints about modernity.
If you’re in other wings, do note that the Heritage Rooms last went under the knife in 2016, the Parklane Wing in 2015, and the Mayfair Wing in 2013.
Goodwood Park Hotel: Facilities
|Yes: 7 a.m to 8.30 p.m
||Yes: 7 a.m to 7.45 p.m
|Kids’ Club||Business Centre||Others|
Goodwood Park has two outdoor swimming pools: the imaginatively-named Main Pool, and the Balinese-inspired Mayfair Pool. Both are open from 7 a.m to 10 a.m daily, and guests can make hour-long bookings at either one.
The Main Pool sits in a courtyard area outside the main lobby, and in terms of style, it’s no MBS that’s for sure. It reminds me of one of the pools you’d find at an old country club, apt, because that’s what Goodwood Park used to be anyway.
The regular shape makes it a great option for lap swimmers, but be warned, it’s 2.8m at the deepest end. You’ll definitely want to keep a close eye on the younglings.
One unfortunate quirk of the hotel’s design is that guests in the Main Pool are very visible to those in the lobby, where prim and proper ladies having afternoon tea in their Sunday best can gaze out at your white and flabby belly.
If you’re looking for privacy, the Balinese-inspired Mayfair pool may be more your style. This is blocked off from prying eyes by the surrounding wings, with vine-draped gazebos and tall palm trees.
A word to the wise: both pools are surrounded by greenery, which while pleasant also comes with certain downsides. We got bitten a few times by mosquitoes near the Main Pool, and a large (but docile) carpenter bee was exploring the flowers near the Mayfair Pool.
Goodwood Park’s gym can take three fully-vaccinated individuals at any time, and is open 24 hours a day. Like the pool, bookings are required and can be made any time before arrival or during the stay. No fixed timeslots are enforced.
The gym is extremely basic, with a small assortment of cardio and weight-training equipment. The hazard tape strewn across random machines for social distancing doesn’t exactly help the aesthetics either.
Plastic-wrapped towels and hand sanitizer were available, as was bottled water.
Goodwood Park does not have a spa of its own, but on the grounds of the hotel is Spa Rael. AMEX Platinum cardholders can redeem their vouchers here (a pity that the Platinum Charge has swapped its complimentary treatment for S$100 off S$180 spend).
Expect to pay upwards of S$200 for a 60 minute body massage.
Goodwood Park Hotel: Breakfast
|Coffee Lounge||S$35++ (Adults)
S$19++ (Child aged 6-12)
|Weekday: Set menu
|6 a.m to 10.30 a.m||No||No|
Breakfast is served at the Coffee Lounge from 6 a.m to 10.30 a.m daily. If breakfast is not included in your rate, it’s chargeable at S$35++ (S$41 nett) per adult.
Your breakfast experience will depend on when you visit the hotel. During weekends and public holidays, Goodwood Park serves a buffet with items like oven baked chicken chipolata, hash brown, baked beans, sautéed vegetables, bacon, fishball noodles soup, congee with condiments, stir-fried noodles, and a modest selection of Japanese items like miso soup and steamed tamago.
During weekdays, it’s a much simpler affair, with a choice of either an American or Asian breakfast set.
It’s one set per person officially, but the staff have no issues with offering guests additional servings of anything they wish.
At the risk of stating the obvious, neither item was inspiring. This is about as standard as a hotel breakfast gets, although if it’s any consolation, the bee hoon and congee were tasty.
A roving trolley with fruit and a small selection of pastries is also wheeled around to every table.
Other Dining Options
The package I booked came with S$99 of F&B credit, which further stacked with a 15% discount for in-house guests.
The discount doesn’t apply to set menus like the Taiwan Porridge a la carte buffet, but my goodness, this was good value still. For S$33++ per adult, you can choose as many dishes as you want, practically a zi char menu’s worth.
It wasn’t just quantity, the items were pretty darn good. The prawn omelette was crispy outside and fluffy within, the kung pao prawns were generously sized, even the prawn paste chicken did more than just go through the motions.
I’m not much of a porridge person, but the buffet lets you choose rice if that’s your thing. It’s good quality rice too, not some mushy ill-defined grains. Refills were proactively offered, and I went away stuffed.
Definitely something to try while you’re there.
Min Jiang is Goodwood Park’s award-winning Chinese restaurant (it has a Michelin Plate, which recognises “very good food”), serving up all the dim sum classics during lunch.
I spent the rest of my dining credit here (the 15% off applies to dim sum), and we ordered all the recommended items: siew mai, xiao long bao, salted egg custard buns, the Min Jiang dim sum quartet, and deep fried bacon rolls with mushrooms and prawns.
While the items were competently done, I’m not sure I’d call it life-changing. For me, the title of best hotel dim sum is still squarely in the hands of yi by Jereme Leung (Raffles Hotel) and Summer Palace (Regent Hotel).
Excellent bacon rolls, though.
Goodwood Park Hotel: Service
Unlike my recent stay at the Sofitel City Centre where the staff profile was overwhelmingly young (suggesting temps or high turnover), the team at Goodwood appeared much more senior. That’s not a bad thing, mind, as they came off as more empowered, more experienced and more service-oriented.
There were lots of nice little small touches. Even though it’s a relatively short distance from the lobby to the main gate, the chief concierge (formerly from the Raffles) was always offering to drive guests down in the hotel’s buggy, even giving us a brief tour of the grounds on arrival. We casually mentioned to the server at breakfast that we were heading to Min Jiang for lunch, and he proactively made a reservation on our behalf. The elderly aunty serving tables at the restaurant wasn’t just there to be seen and not heard, she was amiably chatting with guests whenever the opportunity arose.
Nightly turndown service was available- the bed was made, curtains drawn, bottled water topped up and towels replenished. These are simple things, but relatively uncommon now with many hotels facing a labour crunch.
When we had issues with the mysterious noises in the room, a switch was arranged and fulfilled within 10 minutes. We didn’t even need to move our things from the previous room, which was a relief at five minutes to midnight.
No complaints here.
While Goodwood Park may be dismissed as “Raffles-lite” in some quarters, perhaps it’s not a bad thing to have a colonial-style option with old world charm and great service, without the four digit price tag.
At S$154 with S$99 of F&B credits and breakfast, this was quite simply one of the best value staycations I’ve ever booked. The rooms (at least those in the Lobby Wing) struck the right balance between heritage and modernity, and while the facilities could use an overhaul, the hotel grounds still make for wonderful photography opportunities. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about it, or whatever its equivalent is in German.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
|🏨 In Summary|
While it may not the final word in heritage hotels, stellar service and updated rooms help the Goodwood Park clean up surprisingly well.
Do say: The Goodwood Park is an ode to melancholic age, juxtaposed against the inevitable flight of time’s arrow.
Don’t say: Hee hee. Good wood.
|Milelion Staycation Ratings|