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Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre
(former Holiday Inn Singapore Parkview)

The Holiday Inn Parkview is located next to Orchard Road. It is not a really nice looking building and lacks any special design or decoration. It is one of these buildings which was built in the early 80ies.

It has eight floors and the entrance is next to the expressway and therefore not towards Orchard Road, which is in my eyes a downside, since this makes it a bit difficult to reach the hotel from Orchard Road, if you are walking and not familiar with the area. The entrance is via a covered driveway. Right next to the entrance is the concierge desk. The check in desks are opposite the entrance. There are two desks to check in and out guests.

On the right side of the lobby is the bar, which is not really big and open to the lobby. On Saturday Evening there were a singer with a band and performing in the bar.

There are two restaurants in the hotel, “Tandoor North Indian” is located on the ground floor and “Parkview” is located on the first floor. The first one was closed during our visit, while the later was open. “Parkview” restaurant is also the restaurant which serves breakfast. My impression of this restaurant is not the best, it is more or less a huge room without any sort of decoration and the tables are really close. Definitively not the best place for a nice dinner.

There is also an open atrium from the the first floor up to the eight floor. During our stay the executive lounge was located here, but I am not sure if this was only due to the renovation or a lasting relocation; there were still signs in the hotel showing the executive lounge being located on the 7th floor. Anyway, the lounge looked not that bad and it was for sure a nicer place than the restaurant, but the downside is, that everybody can look at the people in the lounge form the higher floors.

The pool, steam bath, sauna and gym are on the 8th floor. The rooftop pool is big by hotel standards with a pool of approximately 20 x 7 meter, a small jacuzzi and a small pool for children. Lounge chairs are placed around the pool with a few covered by sun shades on one side. The area is mediocre, the pillows on the lounge chairs were not really clean and it seem they were not covered during the night or if it rains and the water in the pool seems not be cleaned for a longer time.
A small sauna for each gender is located in the changing room while the steam bath was accessible from the pool area.
The gym is small with a few machines. It was not used that often during our visit there, but I have experienced nicer gyms than this one. Especially if the hotel is booked, this gym seems to be rather too small.

stays November 13, 2009

visited on Hong Kong + Singapore 2009

direct link to hotel Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre

Arrival Date: 13 November 2009
Departure Date: 16 November 2009
Room type booked: 2 Double Beds Premier Room (got Junior Suite)
Rate Plan: Weekend Special
Room Number: 0601
Room Rate: 206.00 SGD (excl. taxes)

Status of PC: Platinum

We arrived around 1:10 since our flight from Hong Kong was delayed. We were checked it by the night clerk who worked slowly and was not the friendliest one. I was either addressed by name nor was I in any way welcomed in the hotel. The first question was about my method of payment. Why is it that difficult to offer at least a warm welcome. This costs nothing and can really make a difference. Therefore the first impression was not the best. He told me that we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite due to my Platinum Status with them, but did not mention that this meant that the booked bed preferences would not be honored. I really prefer to be contacted if an upgrade would mean that the booked preferences could not be guaranteed anymore, especially since in this case I put a remark in my booking that this was important to me. Another thumbs down for this hotel.

We were accompanied to our room by the bellboy who directed us instead of going ahead, since we had the keys.

There was a small hallway if one was entering the room with the bathroom on the left side and a sort of walk in closet in the right side. Here was a place to put one trolley, the closet with iron and ironing board and safe as well as tea and coffee facilities and the minibar.

The bathroom was of medium size, with sink, toiled and bath. The bath had a normal shower head and in addition a rain shower head. A glass panel was featuring as shower curtain. Here, this glass panel was big enough to prevent that water was dripping on the floor. The big mirror behind the sink was a heated one and therefore fog free. Bathroom amenities were placed next to the sink. A cosmetic mirror as well as a hairdryer were also placed in the bathroom. Bathroom amenities were nothing special and restocked daily. Towels were changed also daily and given for two people.

The room itself was featuring a king bed on the left side with two bedside tables with lamps on each of them and also a phone and an iPod docking station. In addition to the lamps on the bedside tables, there were two reading lamps in the ceiling above the bed. On the right side of the room was a sofa with a small table with could double as lounge chair. Next to it were two small tables. On the far left side was the desk with another phone, LAN connection and desk lamp. A nice feature was the ledge with international power outlets, therefore no adapter was needed if one like to plug in the laptop or charge a mobile device. I really would like to see this feature in more hotels, especially the one focusing the international business traveler. The TV was a wall mounted flat TV and placed between the two windows of the room. Below was the sideboard, where the DVD player was placed.

The design of the room was modern and really nice. The quality of the furniture was good and there were no visible scratched or stains. The carpet was in brown color which worked quite well with the light brown sofa and the dark brown furniture. Each wall were decorated in a different way. Some had wooden application with wall mounted lights while other were just painted in a light brown color. The overall impression of the room was quite good. The design was nice and modern. The colors used are warm colors and therefore the room looked cozy and nice. The downside was the lacking of any local touch, though one is not really expecting local touch in Singapore.

Unfortunately there was only one bathrobe and one pair of slipper in the room for two people. And it took the hotel not only more than one request to deliver this two items for the second guest in the room but they needed also more time for a blanket or quilt.

Breakfast was included in our rate and it was served in the “Parkview” restaurant on the first floor. I do not have the impression that this was only a temporarily location for the restaurant, however this was exactly the feeling one had sitting in the restaurant. The tables were standing (too) close together, but the feeling was more in a office or university cafeteria than in a restaurant of a four-star hotel. The buffet was okay, there were several different  Japanese, Thai, European and US dishes available, e.g. fried noodles, fried salmon, scrambled eggs, hashed potatoes, pancakes, rolls, different types of cheese, fruit and fruit salad, salad and vegetables, cereals, yoghurt and toast as well as pastries. Available were also different type of juices. Tea and coffee were available on request and brought to the tables by the staff working in the restaurant. However, they were on the one had not very attentive and the coffee or tea mugs were only filled half, so one had to request a refill quite often. The number of staff working in the restaurant were okay, but somehow the service was disorganized. They were walking through the restaurant but only the guest who put the first order was lucky to get his ordered item, all other guests were out of luck. Also no dirty dishes were taken away while an order was taken. There was a supervisor but he was also unable to organize the staff working in the restaurant. The staff was simply not proactive and unable to handle more than one order or take orders and take dirty places with them on the way to the kitchen. Waiting more than twenty minutes for coffee is in my eyes not acceptable. I saw guests waiting twenty minutes before the table were cleared and prepared for them. I have mentioned this unacceptable 'disorganisation' to the front desk while I requested a second pair of slippers and a second bathrobe. It seems that on the second day service had a little bit improved and they were a bit more attentive but still unable to do more than one thing. Taking an order and take dirty plates from the same table away seems still impossible for them. There is the strong need to improve the service in the restaurant. I would have not liked to pay money for this service. The food items were okay and so was the quality, but there is room for improvement of the presentation of the dishes, so it would helpful to clean dishes or replace forks and spoons more often, especially during peak time and when the wrong spoon was used (mixing sweet yoghurt with spicy noodles is not really nice).

My overall impression is mixed. The location is good with good access to public transportation and a nice design of the rooms. The features of the hotel are also nice, though the pool area could be cleaned more often. The gym is small, but at least there is one. The downside is the worse service in the restaurant. This is unacceptable and the worst one I have experienced at hotels of the IHG chain. I will give them for sure a second try and see how and if they have improved. Of course an option would be to have breakfast elsewhere.