My first night in Singapore turned out to be New Years Eve. I already had two nights reserved at the Grand Hyatt but had some IHG points I wanted to use up. The InterContinental Singapore had award nights available. It is located a few blocks from Marina Bay where the fireworks are displayed, so decided to book it for a night and give it a shot.
Location: Most of the hotels in Singapore seem to be either by Marina Bay or Orchard Road. The InterContinental Singapore is located northeast of Marina Bay. It is a block over from the famous Raffles Hotel.
The InterContinental Singapore is located near the Bugis MRT station. It is directly connected to the Bugis Junction shopping mall. If you are brave, you can get from the hotel lobby to the MRT station through the mall without stepping foot outside. The EastWest Line of the MRT goes to the airport (with a quick transfer) so the InterContinental Singapore is accessible via public transportation.
Marina Bay is only a quick subway ride away or a moderate walk. It actually isn’t that far, distance wise, but Singapore isn’t a very walk friendly city so it takes longer than it should to get to Marina Bay.
With the mall adjacent to the hotel, there are plenty of food and shopping options nearby.
Check In: I arrived around 6:00pm and was greeted in the lobby by a staff member who walked me to the front desk. I was not given an upgraded room despite my Platinum status with IHG; but it was New Years Eve so I wasn’t too surprised. All the hotel amenities were explained to me. The agent also informed (sold) me about the New Years Day brunch at the onsite restaurant Ash & Elm. The agent then walked me to my room. I’m glad she did because it was a long maze of a walk.
Room: I reserved and received a Heritage King Room at the InterContinental Singapore. There are two sections of the the hotel: the Heritage Wing and the Tower. The rooms in the Tower are a bit more modern where the Heritage rooms try to bring in some of the local influence.
The Heritage Rooms are on the second and third floors of the hotel in renovated traditional “shophouses”. The rooms are not handicap accessible, there are steps that you must go down without the option for an elevator. Not only that, but you have to go across a catwalk that, I kid you not, goes through the mall. It is quite a walk from the lobby.
The room itself has been updated. As you walk in there is a small entry with the bathroom on the right. The main room has high ceilings with a chandelier over the bed.
The floors are all real hardwood. I found the bed to be quite nice but the rest of the furniture, especially the couch, seemed quite dated. Some of the decor had the authentic vibe, but I felt like it could have been higher quality.
Next to the TV was a desk with comfortable chair.
While there were universal electrical outlets, the panel by the desk had fallen off.
A fruit basket and water were left as a welcome gift.
There was also a “Handy” smart phone that you could use for free calls and internet in or out of the room. It seems like many hotels in Asia have these for guest use. My T-Mobile plan allows free use around the world so I didn’t use the Handy, but some might find it helpful.
The view from the room is terrible; an alley that leads into the mall. I am sure the Tower rooms would have a nicer view.
Bathroom: The bathroom is relatively large with a soaking tub and separate (small) shower. Dual vanities are helpful but the lighting was a bit off in the room I had. Might just need new bulbs. If you look closely at the photo below you will also see the “clothes line” is drawn over the bathtub. That’s because it was broken and wouldn’t retract. It was like that when I checked in.
The bath products were nice; much nicer than Grand Hyatt’s June Jacobs products. And two bars of soap were provided! Thank the hotel heavens.
Pool: The pool area is on the 4th floor of the InterContinental Singapore. It is outdoors and was quite nice and seemed like it was well used. I didn’t see the gym but I believe it was on the same floor.
Restaurants: There are a number of restaurants at the InterContinental Singapore. The main restaurant is Ash & Elm where I had breakfast. Huge buffet with a ton of options; Western, Asian, Indian.
Additionally there is a Chinese restaurant on the second floor and the recently renovated lobby bar which had guests eating and drinking at all hours.
Overall: This was my first stay at an InterContinental property and I quite liked it. I would compare it to Grand Hyatt properties but with perhaps not quite the same level of service. I did not have access to the club lounge but there was one on the second floor. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay at the property again although I believe there are better options in better locations.