The most iconic Grand Park hotel in Singapore is probably the one that is directly above Abercrombie & Fitch in Orchard Road. However, not many people (me included) know that the Grand Park City Hall located in well, City Hall, used to be the Grand Plaza Parkroyal Singapore hotel. The Grand Park City Hall is just minutes away from City Hall MRT, making it an excellent base to explore the area surrounding the hotel. If you are interested in photography or gadgets, you are also a stone's throw away from Funan IT Mall (which you should go instead of Sim Lim Square).
The Grand Park City Hall is within walkable distance to Clarke Quay (approx. 10 minutes), Fort Canning Park (approx. 5 minutes), Raffles City and surrounding shopping malls (approx. 5 minutes). If you are into the art scene in Singapore, there is a handful of destinations to choose from as well (e.g. The Arts House, Victoria Threatre and the iconic Esplanade) - all within 10 minutes walking distance!
I stayed in a Crystal Club Superior Twin room that was located on the far end of the floor as I personally prefer my room to be away from the elevator - remember that you should always convey your room preferences to the hotel prior to arriving so that they can better prepare for your arrival. The room was 28-30 sqm in size (relatively small) but it had all the amenities required for a nice staycation. If required, you may also request for connecting rooms that can be arranged based on availability.
A reed diffuser can be found in each room so if you are allergic to fragrances, be sure to let the hotel know prior to arriving so that they can prepare one without for you. The Crystal Club Superior Twin room comes with two super-single beds which makes it ideal for friends to share.
The bathroom of the Crystal Club Superior Room is slightly small and it comes with a decent-size bathtub (without a separate standing shower). Although it isn't particularly luxurious, it is definitely more than sufficient and I really like the bath amenities (albeit in-house) provided.
As mentioned previously, bath amenities are provided by s.p.a. (short form for Spark Park Asia) with lavender as the dominant fragrance. While there seems to be a shifting trend towards in-house brands as opposed to international labels (even amongst luxury five-star hotels), the quality of these amenities remain superior.
One thing I liked about the Grand Park City Hall Crystal Club Superior room were the controls that were conveniently located by the bed. The controls allow you to set the room temperature, fan speed and control various lights from a centralised location - many hotels have buttons and switches scattered all over the room, making it frustrating to get the lighting right (especially when you've just woken up in the morning).
The long desk by the window allows you to get work done whether you are on business or pleasure - there aren't many connectivity options but the WiFi works perfectly so you do not have to worry about being unable to get a signal. Those of you sharp enough will recognise the reed diffuser on the table from Yankee Candle. A hotel directory and in-room dining menu can also be found on the table should you require more information.
Basic tea and coffee-making facilities are also available in the room. However, since you have access to the Crystal Club when you stay in a Crystal Club Superior room, I will strongly urge you to go to the lounge instead - take a walk and talk to the friendly staff there! When I visited the Crystal Club on my last visit, I found out that one of the lounge staff there used to work at a previous organisation that I was in and apparently he remembers me (from 4 years back)! Teabags are provided by Gryphon Tea (my favourite brand of tea in Singapore) in the lounge as well as in the room. If you are a coffee person, you will not be finding a coffee machine in your room.
The freeform swimming pool is also a great place to work on your tan or simply just to take a dip in the almost-azure blue waters (from the colour of the tiles, of course). There is also a small separate jacuzzi pool located next to the main swimming pool for you to relax and ease out that muscle ache. A small but well-equipped gym can also be found next to the swimming pool for you to work on that summer OOTD. A physical instructor is also in the gym should you require any advice or assistance.
Guests who stay in The Crystal Club rooms will have the following benefits:
- Private check-in and check-out at the Crystal Club Lounge
- Business support services
- Complimentary breakfast – 7.00am to 10.30am
- Complimentary evening cocktails – 5.30pm to 8.00pm
- All-day light refreshments at the Crystal Club Lounge
- Complimentary high-speed Internet access
- Complimentary laundry service for two items per day per room,
- Two hours usage of the Club Boardroom per room per stay (subject to availability)
- Waiver of 20% surcharge for in-room massage service
As a Crystal Club guest, you will also be able to choose to have breakfast between Indulge at Park (which serves a full breakfast with greater variety) or at the exclusive Crystal Club (which serves a smaller variety of breakfast but with greater privacy). Since the Grand Park City Hall may get pretty busy on weekends with the tour groups, I chose to have my breakfast in the Crystal Club which is conveniently located on the same level that my room was.
Having breakfast in the Crystal Club doesn't mean that you have to give up eggs done to your liking. In fact, at the Crystal Club, all you have to do is just take a seat and the friendly staff will come by to take your order - no more waiting aimlessly behind the snaking queue of the omelette station!
I checked out the s.p.a. (Spa Park Asia) located in the conservation wing (which won a URA Architectural Heritage Award in 1998) of the Grand Park City Hall. Couple and single rooms are available for your treatment and massage but since there is only one couple room, you should definitely call in advance to reserve it.
The spacious couple treatment room comes also with a massive soaking tub and a separate shower for you to wash up after you are done. For my own indulgence, I opted for a 60 minutes Deep Tissue massage (S$128++). If you like, a 90-minutes massage is also available at just an additional S$50++. Even though I am generally not a big fan of massages, I thought that the masseuse was actually really skillful in helping me relieve my lower back and shoulder aches. I understand that many people can not quite justify paying >S$100 for a massage when they compare it to an unbranded spa establishment elsewhere. That being said, I believe that the entire process of the spa treatment is equally important - right from the moment you walk into the compounds.
The Grand Park City Hall impressed me from the moment I walked through the main doors. The food at Park Palace is excellent (and I will share this soon in a separate post) and the quality of the s.p.a. is equally impressive. If you are looking for a staycation experience, you should definitely indulge in a Crystal Club room which covers unlimited cocktails in the evening, complimentary breakfast and a huge range of benefits.
Grand Park City Hall x The Shutterwhale
Grand Park City Hall has very kindly offered a special upgraded experience for The Shutterwhale readers! With every Crystal Club room booking made through the official website, the hotel is offering a complimentary perk:
1 bottle of red wine
1 session of 30 mins Spiritual Relaxation Head and Shoulders massage.
To claim your complimentary perk, please book a crystal club room stay at http://www.parkhotelgroup.com/cityhall/default-en.html and quote promo code 'The Shutterwhale Staycation' and state your selected perk on the comments box. Exclusive promotion is valid for stays from now until 30 June 2015 at the Grand Park City Hall.