Just as the hotel had promised, a driver
was waiting for us at the train station. A short 10-minute drive later we were pulling into the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. I've heard a lot about this property, including that it's the only six-star hotel in the world. My first impression was that it sure didn't look all that nice from the outside, but yet again I was reminded not to judge a book by its cover. Yes, the hotel's 32-story shell is unimpressive, but as you are about to see, it's what's on the inside that counts. The interior, the service, and the views of this 608–room hotel are a real gem.
The bright, airy corner room featured one of the most comfortable beds ever. It was the first time in 14 days that I slept eight-plus hours--I'm sure part of it was due to the electrical roller blackout blinds. The room had not one but two flush wall-mounted 46-inch Hospitality LED TVs. There was a large work desk with multiple power adapter including for U.S. plugs (there was also more next to the bed) and the room was wired with ridiculously expensive high-speed wireless Internet access: 1 hour S$15 (US$12), 24 hours S$30 (US$23), one week S$180 US($142), one month S$450 (US$356). Other notables included the killer views, sleek Nespresso coffee machine, iPod docking station, and mood lighting. The only negative: the windows aren't completely soundproof, but I'm not sure if anything could've blocked out the music from the Chinese New Year festivities below. See this one-minute video for a taste of Singapore's Chinese New Year.
The all-marble bathroom had a deep soaking tub bigger than some kiddie pools. There was a walk-in glass shower with a rain showerhead. The bathroom was equipped with anti-fog mirrors, Acqua di Parma bath amenities, and his and hers micro-fiber Ploh bathrobes (they were heavy but soft). Other notables included fantastic water pressure (the bathtub fills up quickly too), long soft towels, a ballsy hair dryer, and little touches like a one-quart clear plastic bag for airport security in the amenities tray.
We took a quick tour of the hotel and admired a few works of the 4,200-piece contemporary art collection including those of Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Dale Chihuly. We glanced at the landscaped tropical gardens and waterfalls around the swimming pool, saw the gym that I wouldn't find time to use (lazy), and then explored the city. There's an MRT (subway) stop a couple blocks away, and if it's raining you can get there without getting wet by going through the next-door mall.
We had access to the Club Level, which was on the 32nd floor. I felt silly at times because the service was so thorough. All the staff know your name and remember what you like. I doubt celebrities get treated this well at other hotels. I finally had to say, You don't need to call me Mr. Jet after each sentence. What's nice about being up here is that meals are prepared throughout the day, and we always made a point to hit the dessert table before they closed shop at 11 p.m. Oh and just like in our room, the club has unobstructed views of the Singapore skyline and Marina Bay.
Since our departing flight was so early, the only place open for breakfast was the buffet. It's not cheap, S$49 (US$38) per person, but the food choices and quality are extraordinary.
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