Conveniently located to some of the most iconic landmarks in Singapore, the Conrad Centennial Singapore, who just celebrated her 20th anniversary last year, has been undergoing some refurbishment since a couple of months ago to refresh the guest rooms and suites. I have previously stayed in an Executive Room and the Centennial Suite on multiple occasions but have always found the rooms to be dated and in need of a refresh. Therefore, when I found out back in May that the hotel was going to be undergoing a series of refurbishments, I was extremely excited since this is possibly the best hotel in Singapore that you can earn Hilton Honors points and nights.
I arrived at the Conrad Centennial Singapore ahead of the check-in time and being a Hilton Honors Diamond Member, I was quite accorded an early check-in (as well as a late check-out the following day). The refurbishment of rooms are currently ongoing and since the hotel started to work their way up, the newer refurbished rooms are located on the lower floors of the hotel at the moment (of course, this will no longer be the case once the process is completed). When I got to Level 8 of the Conrad Centennial Singapore, I realised that the lift lobby area is different - it now features are much more minimalistic and cleaner look.
The newly refurbished Deluxe Rooms at the Conrad Centennial Singapore are nothing like the previous Classic Rooms and that is great. The room configuration may be different as I was accorded a corner room (next to the Centennial Suite) - the corner rooms have a much longer bay window sofa. I absolutely love the new look of the Deluxe Rooms here at the hotel - while the previous design was not terrible, it was definitely showing signs of age. This brand new design features a much more modern and minimalistic design where bold lines are accented across different corners of the room.
Apart from the usual fruit platter, I also received a Special VIP Welcome Amenity that the team at the Conrad Centennial Singapore has arranged specially for me. The chocolate presentation included a tree that is fashioned out of chocolate, fresh strawberries, macarons and chocolate truffles - a treat for both the eyes and the tummy! As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, I also received complimentary Executive Lounge access which meant that I was able to enjoy the following benefits:
- Access to the Executive Lounge from 6:30AM to 11:00PM
- Personalised check-in and check-out at the Lounge
- Complimentary light-pressing for a maximum of 3 items on the day of arrival
- Complimentary local calls and standard WiFi access (Hilton Honors Diamond members get premium internet access)
- Complimentary 2 hour usage of meeting room daily (expect on weekends)
- 20% discount on a la carte treatment at the Conrad Spa and Fitness Club
If you are assigned a corner Deluxe Room, you will notice a small Roman blind towards the end of the room. This can actually be drawn up to allow more light to come in but I chose to leave it down during my stay for privacy - people from the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre might be able to peek in! The long bay window sofa is also excellent to lie on while enjoying a good book or a magazine (check out the in-room dining menu during your stay as well - it's beautiful!).
Despite being assigned a room on a relatively low floor, the view out from my Deluxe Room was not at all terrible. I got a partial view of the famous Gardens by the Bay, the swimming pool and the famous Marina Bay in a distance. I personally prefer getting a room on a higher floor but as I have mentioned earlier, the Conrad Centennial Singapore was (and at the time of writing, still is) going through a refurbishment phase from the lowest levels up.
If you have stayed in one of the older rooms, you will notice that that the new bed frames in the Deluxe Rooms are comparatively lower (the previous beds frames are actually quite high!). Guests who are staying here at the Conrad Centennial Singapore will be able to select from an extensive pillow menu where they get to choose from 15 types of pillows. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial regardless of whether you are a business or leisure guest and the Conrad Centennial Singapore takes this very seriously.
You will also find a universal power socket and a USB charging port on both sides on the bed. One of the most common feedbacks from travellers who stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore is the lack of power sockets (they did not used to be universal as well). With the newly-refurbished rooms, you will now be able to find them by the bed and at the study (work desk) area. Additionally, on one side of the bed, you will also find an automated sheer and drape control that will open and close the day blinds and night curtains respectively. In fact, if you tug at the curtain, it will also trigger the automated motor.
Like all the other Conrad Hotels that I have stayed in, you will find a special teddy bear or stuffed animal on your bed. While I have seen a really cute teddy bear with a hard hat that some other guests have posted on Instagram, I got one of the usual Conrad bears in gold. These stuffed animals are yours to keep and they make excellent gifts for children and friends - there is even an online community that trades the different stuffed animals from all the properties in order to get 'the full collection'.
The Conrad Centennial Singapore has also done away with the more formal work desk in the Deluxe Rooms. What you will find now instead is a small study table in front of the window sofa (which in all honesty, is where you are going to spend most of your time anyway). As mentioned earlier, the corner rooms have a slightly different layout and therefore, unlike most of the Deluxe Rooms, this one that I was in actually had the TV perpendicular to the bed - you might remember this from the previous room! That being said, the TV is actually on an adjustable wall mount bracket and therefore you can easily angle it towards the bed or the sofa according to your preferences.
There are two universal power sockets and USB charging ports by the study table but I noticed that my 87W USB-C Power Adapter (for the MacBook Pro) did not fit here as it was too big. I ended up having to use the power sockets located by the side of the bed instead - no dramas but something worth pointing out.
The new Deluxe Rooms at the Conrad Centennial Singapore also come with a redesigned mini bar area with a massive fridge located at the bottom. A Nespresso machine is also provided here in the room so you can enjoy some decent espresso if you are too lazy to head up to the lounge or out to get it. If you are looking for cafes around the hotel, Patisserie G and Commune Cafe & Bistro No. 50 (both located in Millenia Walk next door) are excellent choices.
If you have stayed in one of the previous rooms or suites here at the Conrad Centennial Singapore, you will notice that the bathrooms of the Deluxe Rooms are vaguely familiar. The marble looks exactly the same but certain enhancements have been made. Firstly, the sink area has been replaced with a much more modern looking one - there are now double sinks! There is also space now to place the new towels (instead of having to place them on the rack on top of the toilet) as well.
Expect to find the same rubber duckie design as well - do note that this is something you can take home with you as a souvenir of sorts. While it isn't as impressive as the one I got from Conrad Tokyo (where the duck actually wears a crown!), it is still one that will bring a lot of joy to any kid who receives it. I noticed that bath salts were no longer provided here at the Conrad Centennial Singapore but I am not certain whether this is something that people see value in. Perhaps having a bath tablet (that is big enough) will do the trick for most guests.
Most, if not all, of what you need can be found in the bathroom and in the event you can't get whatever you want or you require more of, there is always the Conrad Concierge feature that you can use to order more things from housekeeping or the concierge. This used to be a separate app that you have to download but it appears that Hilton has integrated it into the Hilton Honors app to streamline it. While the interface of the Conrad Concierge may not be the most modern and sleek-looking one, I see great value in this - especially when you are able to call for turndown, or simply request for more amenities with the touch of a button.
As always, bath amenities are provided by Aromatherapy Associates by default but guests staying in any Conrad hotel may select from Refinery, Tara Smith Vegan Hair Care and Shanghai Tang as well. There are also rumours that the bath amenities from Aromatherapy Associates will be phased out in the near future and it will be replaced with the Shanghai Tang ones by default but we will definitely have to see about that. Like most luxury hotels, these bath amenities are replenished during the evening turndown if necessary or in the morning when you request for housekeeping to make-up your room.
While the Deluxe Rooms do not come with Executive Lounge access, I received complimentary access into the Executive Lounge due to my Hilton Honors Diamond Status and as such I was able to enjoy complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea as well as evening cocktails at the Executive Lounge on Level 31 for free. While the Executive Lounge does get extremely busy when the hotel's occupancy is high, I was lucky enough to find myself a table by the window. Evening cocktails and refreshments are served from 5:30PM to 8:00PM daily and you will be able to enjoy a selection of red, white and sparkling wines, alongside selected spirits and beers. Non-alcoholic drinks are available from the time the lounge opens until 10:00PM daily.
Having worked in the Promenade area for two years previously, looking out to this familiar sight brings back memories. If you are unable to find a good spot in the main seating area of the Executive Lounge, there is a smaller room between the reception and the main lounge where you can be seated as well. From my understanding, the Conrad Centennial Singapore does not have plans to refurbish the Executive Lounge yet but this is definitely something that they should consider in the near future. While the food and drink selections are decent, the look and feel of the lounge is in line with the previous design and therefore, when all the rooms and suites have completed the whole refurbishment phase, the lounge is going to look out of place.
While there is definitely sufficient food to substitute for a light dinner, guests staying at the Conrad Centennial Singapore have plenty of dining options to choose from. There are a number of malls located right at the doorstep of the hotel - Millenia Walk, Suntec City and Marina Square just to name a few. If you are looking for something local without wanting to venture too far out away from the hotel, the Makansutra Gluttons Bay has a great selection of local food at reasonable prices. Otherwise, simply head to Marina Square to find Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Restaurant which is in my opinion, one of the best chicken rice you can get in Singapore.
I got back to the room after spending an hour at the Executive Lounge to find that my room has been turned-down. The bed has been made, slippers have been carefully placed on the side of the bed on the floor and more importantly, everything that needed to be replaced has been replaced - coffee pods, tea bags, bath amenities and bottled water just to name a few.
I found a carefully-curated tray of ingredients by the bay window sofa when I got back. The expressions of London Dry Gin has been put together by the Director of F&B (who is a personal friend of mine) and his team to allow me to create a version of gin and tonic that the Conrad Centennial Singapore is so famous for. Seriously, they were perhaps one of the first hotels in Singapore to embrace the whole gin trend and they started a happy hour price of just S$12++ (more affectionately known as gin o'clock) for a G&T which I took advantage of during the time that I worked in the area.
While the Deluxe Room that I was booked into at the Conrad Centennial Singapore did not come with breakfast, I did get a choice of having a continental breakfast at the Executive Lounge or a full buffet breakfast at Oscar's for having Diamond status with the Hilton Honors program. Even though I really like the spread at Oscar's (especially the delightful Sunday Brunch), I have decided to give it a miss that morning as I wanted to enjoy a more peaceful setting and more importantly, I did not want to overeat (something I do quite often) at the buffet.
With the refurbishment of rooms due to be completed by January 2018, it is fairly obvious that the average rack rate of the rooms will go up in price. If you already have plans to stay at the Conrad Centennial Singapore next year (especially after when the refurbishment is expected to be completed), it may be a good idea to book a Classic Room now to take advantage of lower rates. Let's face it, you will definitely be staying in a brand new room if you are looking at a reservation pretty far out. Personally, I am really glad that the Conrad Centennial Singapore has decided to put in money in order to bring the property to a more current state and to equip the refurbished rooms and suites with the necessary power outlets as well as living space that will cater to a modern traveller.