I don’t want to go over, yet again, my experience checking in to the Grand Hyatt Singapore. The benefit of my misadventures, however, is that I had the opportunity to review one standard room and two suites during a single trip. Except for a few nitpicks, I can recommend this hotel without hesitation.
Singapore is a rapidly modernizing city that still retains, in some areas, vestiges of its colonial past. The famous Raffles Hotel is a favorite of many including my father. We walked by during one day of our visit, and it definitely seems like a relaxing oasis among the skyscrapers surrounding it. I would like to stay there at least once on a future trip. The Marina Bay Sands resort is more typical of today’s construction, with three soaring towers that support a pool and observation deck on the top floor.
The Grand Hyatt Singapore likes somewhere in between. It was originally a Hyatt Regency but was rebranded and renovated in 1998, located just off the main shopping district of Orchard Road. The impressive ION center is a block away. Walk inside the Hyatt, however, and you’ll find a lot of dark marble, dark wood, and more employees offering to help you than any hotel might need.
Other posts in this series:
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco
- Singapore Airlines First Class SFO-ICN (SQ 15)
- Singapore Airlines First Class Menu
- Singapore Airlines First Class ICN-SIN (SQ 15)
- Grand Hyatt Singapore
- Historical Sights, Ethnic Neighborhoods, and Raffles Hotel
- Modern Singapore at Marina Bay and Orchard Road
- Birthday at the Night Safari
- Where to Eat in Singapore
- Singapore First Class Departure and The Private Room
- Singapore Airlines First Class SIN-HKG (SQ 866)
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Central District Parks and Victoria Peak
- Exploring the Markets of Kowloon and Mong Kok
- Day Trip to Stanley Harbor
- Where to Eat in Hong Kong
- Singapore Airlines Business Class HKG-SFO (SQ 2)
- Concluding Remarks
I was originally provided this room as a hospitality gesture since we had arrived immediately after a special event weekend and no suites were available for early check-in. We didn’t really need it, so we left our bags, had breakfast at the Grand Club, and left for a walk around the city. However, I did take pictures.
The bed appeared to have nice linens, with convenient end tables on either side. The room overall was a bit small, requiring the desk to go against the wall, but it was still reasonably large.
Out the window was a pleasant view of the rooftop garden, which you’ll walk through to get to the pool. There is what looks like a second tower of rooms, but we never visited it.
One of the unique features of this room is that the shower has a translucent wall between it and the bedroom. It’s not as exposed as some showers in fancy hotels, but it does permit more natural light throughout the unit.
You’ll also notice that there are no Portico amenities even in standard rooms. Instead, we had June Jacobs green tea amenities. (The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, to be reviewed later, had the same brand but with a citrus scent.) I’m not sure how I feel about these. Although they were nice, there was no real discernable scent.
Grand Suite King
This was the first suite we were provided. I was disappointed that we hadn’t been given a Duplex Suite as confirmed, but the hotel was making an effort to get us in a room as quickly as possible. When I asked if we could move our suite upgrade to a different night, they graciously offered to let us keep this room and move the next morning.
Changing the suite upgrade is not that uncommon at this property, and I know others, like me, look forward to the chance to try out something new like a two-level suite. The hotel claimed the Grand Suite is actually nicer and bigger. (But it’s listed before the Duplex Suite online, suggesting it ranks lower.)
Having had the opportunity to experience both in quick succession, I’ll say that the Grand Suite is not bigger, but it is definitely better. Don’t put up a fight like I did; stick with the Grand Suite if offered.
This room had a small kitchenette and two entrances, but only one main bathroom. After walking in the main entrance, there is a large dining table and a wraparound desk to the right. As I prefer, it faces the window to provide a nice view with no glare on your computer display.
Past this is a sitting area with a sofa, chair, and coffee table. When we arrived, our Diamond amenity was already waiting for us: a trio of chocolate truffles, pineapple pastries, and vegetable chips; two large bottles of Evian; and a half-dozen ripe apples.
The sitting area is separated from the bedroom by a large sliding door. It was heavy wood that moved easily (a sign of quality), but the translucent glass window meant it was hard for me to work in the morning and turn the lights on without waking up Megan.
In the bedroom was a large bed, two end tables, a second television, and a small stool and desk for Megan to do her makeup. Beyond that was a very large walk-in closet on one side and a spacious bathroom on the other.
The bathroom was done entirely in green marble, glass, and some brass. The sinks were two stainless steel basins that reminded me of cooking woks. There was plenty of space for us both to get read in the morning, and the hardware and water pressure were great.
The shower, like the bathroom, was also very big with an overhead rain feature. But it’s the tub that gets your attention. It’s the first thing you see as you walk into the room, in the middle against the back wall. Although there was no television, it is surrounded by mirrors. I’m not sure how I really want to be starting at my reflection as I take a bath.
Grand Duplex Suite
Many features of the Duplex Suite are similar to the Grand Suite, so I’ll focus on how they are different. First, the Duplex Suite is two floors as mentioned earlier. Unlike the Grand Suite, which is the size of three standard rooms all on one floor, the Duplex Suite is the size of four standard rooms, two stacked on top of two. Although the suite takes up more real estate, the actual floor space is about the same as a Grand Suite because of the double-height living room.
There are still two entrances: the main entrance is accessed on the 20th floor (all Duplex Suites are on the 20th floor), and the bedroom is accessed on the 21st floor. The Grand Club is also on the 21st floor, and as far as I’m aware the only way to reach the 21st floor is by stairs, whether inside or outside your room. So when you wake up, it’s easy to shower, dress, and head out directly to the lounge for breakfast.
The inside staircase is fairly narrow and made of black marble, making it hard to see in the dark and slippery if you’re wearing socks. It’s also a bit risky clearance-wise for anyone over 6 feet.
I found the living and dining room comfortable, though not as much as the Grand Suite. The desk faced away from the window and was directly next to it, creating that glare I hate and missing a great view of the city.
The dining table had a drop-down projector screen and hidden electrical outlets. This strikes me as a more appropriate room for a business traveler hosting a meeting downstairs and keeping his bedroom upstairs, out of sight.
We had another Diamond amenity waiting for us on the coffee table downstairs, and the fruit was replaced every day, not only replenishing what we had eaten but replacing it with something different. I liked that. Who needs a dozen apples every day of the week?
Upstairs was only slightly crowded because of the open space looking down over the living room. Along the windows were a couple of nice nooks, including a place for Megan to store her makeup and things. But overall there was less closet space. Everything in this room was compartmentalized to adjust to the space limitations.
Similarly, the bathroom was much smaller than in the other suite. It still had a tub and large shower, but the sink was only big enough for one person. There was a second bathroom downstairs, but it was tiny and had no towels. It was utilitarian, intended only for those who might attend your business meeting.
So, there were two big annoyances with this room. First, everything was broken up and smaller, which was necessary because of the two-level layout.
Second, that also made the light switches hard to figure out. For some reason I could never turn on the bathroom light at night without also turning on the living room light, illuminating the entire suite. There were several master switches controlling several lights at once, which I never quite figured out. It was much easier to understand and control these in the Grand Suite.
As I said, this is still a very nice suite, and I liked its location on the Grand Club floor, but the Grand Suite King is definitely a better room if you can get it with your upgrade.
We spent a lot of time at the Grand Club in this hotel, and it was phenomenal. Alcohol is heavily taxed in Singapore, but here it flowed freely. There were usually several varieties of red and white wine, plus champagne each evening. The canapés and desserts in the evening were hearty enough to substitute for a real meal, and servers would come to our table to offer more.
In the morning, we were always shown directly to a table, our order was taken for eggs and coffee, and then we could head over to the buffet to check out the fruit, pastries, and other options. There was always more than we could possibly eat, and it was some of the best breakfast food I’ve had at a hotel. Being a Diamond elite with Hyatt is great already, but the lounge access here really brought that point home.
Finally, the service was excellent. We were recognized every time after our first morning, and our servers would come over to ask about our plans for the day (or what we did earlier that day) and make suggestions. There was never a feeling that they were rushed or under pressure. Every encounter we had with employees of the Grand Hyatt Singapore was intended to make our stay more enjoyable, and they succeeded beyond all expectations.