SINGAPORE – Draw the curtains, and the futuristic facade of Ion Orchard greets me. To the left is the crystalline Wisma Atria, the grand dame of Orchard Road malls. To the right, Wheelock Place’s distinctive cone-shaped atrium reminds me of Christmas trees that will soon be lit up for Yuletide festivities.
Working in the heart of Orchard Road is divine. From a room at Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, I can tap away on my laptop and ever so often glance at the gorgeous view of Singapore’s most famous shopping street. Although the crowds are smaller owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the sight is familiar, even soothing, and a welcome distraction.
The hotel, which boasts 403 guest rooms, has a Work In Style, Stay Connected package costing from $120 a room a day. From 7am to 7pm, I get to use the room as my office. There is no shortage of electrical points for my laptop, smartphone and other devices, and I can work from a marble side table.
The complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is strong and steady enough to write this article, and the air-conditioning hums at a comfortable 24 deg C.
The 46-inch Samsung television has some 60 channels, from ABC Australia to Vasantham. I settle on BBC World News because I am working, after all. Fox Movies would be too distracting.
With plenty of natural light, the room feels like a sleek working cabin. Its contemporary furnishings are pleasing too, including a king-sized bed with cosy and soft Marriott Revive bedding, in case I need to take a rest to better focus, of course.
The in-room kettle and packets of Lavazza coffee and TWG Tea offer helpful perk-me-ups.
The room’s vanity counter, hair-dryer, iron and ironing board also help me look no less than my best during Zoom calls.
My only complaint is that the 1956 leather Eames desk chairs are very squeaky. Each time I lean back, they let out a shrill protest.
In my book, the hotel gets an A for cleanliness. On the table is a card explaining that the room has been disinfected, including bathroom surfaces, doors, handles, telephones, chair armrests and the television remote control. If in doubt, alcohol wet wipes are supplied.
Outside the room, cleaners are hard at work everywhere I turn.
I feel quite reassured with such rigorous measures.
With an appointment, I can use the hotel’s swimming pool and fitness centre. I do not sample the in-room dining, but it is great to know that my package allows me a 30 per cent discount off the menu prices, as well as at five restaurants in the hotel. It is a treat to duck into Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant for braised winter melon with spinach broth and bean curd stick with hawthorn sauce and mango, a definite upgrade from my hasty meals at home.
There is so much to do in the hotel, I forget for a moment that I am in the heart of Orchard Road. Since I have finished a ton of work in the morning, including writing this review, I leap onto the hotel bed for a guilt-free siesta in the middle of the workday.
SINGAPORE MARRIOTT TANG PLAZA HOTEL
WHERE: 320 Orchard Road
INFO: Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel website
RATES: The Work In Style, Stay Connected room package costs from $120 a day (from 7am to 7pm) for one guest, extra guests at $30 a person
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