Sunday, December 6, 2020

Toddler Orchard Staycay: Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel!

👍 Orchard location is great, large toddler-friendly pool, great value proposition.
👎 AirCon really cold, Service isn't the greatest, children not allowed in club lounge.

Staycaytions* are the new normal now, aren't they? We've gone so long without vacations that it seems perfectly normal now to spend a night (or two) in some hotel somewhere in town, ordering room service and lazing away the afternoon sipping champagne at a club lounge. Well, perfectly normal to some of us, anyway - a number of friends can't get why I spend all that money and effort to temporarily relocate to a hotel when there's a gym and (far better) pool downstairs at home.

* Hotels in the Staycay tour:
Raffles Hotel | Capella Singapore | Marriott Tang Plaza | The St.Regis Singapore | Grand Hyatt | The Fullerton Bay Hotel | Parkroyal Collection, Marina Bay | Marina Bay Sands.

I mean ... come to think of it, I can't get it myself either, but that's a story for another time as we pull up to the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel. No doormen available: You pretty much have to manage all your luggage on your own (may or may not be an issue depending on your group's adult to young child ratio).

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

We really dig this huge Christmas tree in the hotel's intimate (read: small) lobby. Check-in was quick & efficient (even with all the additional covid-19-related declarations). We managed to get a 2-level upgrade from the basic Deluxe Room to an Executive Room, and 11am early check-in, thanks to Mariott-Bonvoy Platinum status.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Lobby

The roughly ~350sqft Executive Room was pretty spacious! Decor isn't the most modern or luxurious, perhaps, but the mattress & sofa were comfortable, and there was loads of space for our 15-month old toddler to run around. He also figured out really quickly how to get up and down the bed using the sofa, which was comforting for the parents.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

The TV is a 46-incher, but thanks to the size (and layout) of the room, looks pretty small when you're trying to watch when lying on the bed. The aircon vent blows onto the open space / table rather than directly onto the bed, which was great as the air con in the Marriott Tang Plaza is really cold. We ended up leaving one keycard in the slot when going out because otherwise the 'default' setting would kick in, turning the room climate into something more suitable for penguins or polar bears.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

Speaking of the table: It's a pretty nice and solid table, with thoughtfully-placed universal power sockets. It would be perfect to get some work done if you needed to.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

The console below the television houses the nespresso coffee machine, kettle, and tea, and is most-certainly not toddler-safe. Our toddler could reach anything placed on this console so we had to be extra considerate on what we put there (I forgot one time and left a cup of soluble Vit C, which he promptly ran over to and pulled down on himself).

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

Cabinets in the room have the requisite bathrobes (one is already hanging in the bathroom), slippers, safe ... and an iron / ironing board.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

The bedside consoles have power sockets (so you can plug in your phone after snuggling into bed), and electronic light switchs. Drapes and day curtains aren't electric, though, so you'll still need to get out of bed to draw them.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Executive Room

Our room was facing the East direction of Orchard Road: Always fascinating to get a different view of a familiar place. I've lived in Singapore for more than a decade and never knew that there were rows of landed houses just behind Lucky Plaza.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel View

The bathroom is great. It feels modern and luxurious, and has basically everything you'll need in a bathroom ... except perhaps a bathtub, so if your baby / toddler hasn't quite transitioned to showering standing up, you might have better luck borrowing one from the hotel (they do have some available). On a side note, this blogger clearly didn't bother making sure white balance is consistent across photographs, which is super poor form.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Toilet Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Toilet Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Toilet

The conundrum with longer staycays is how to handle wet swimming suits. Sure, you can hang them up, but in the cold air they won't actually dry, so the next time you go to the pool they're wet and cold. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments!

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Toilet

The welcome & birthday gift was quite nice (yes, I really celebrated my actual birthday here).

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Welcome Gift

As with all other hotels in the covid era, the pool is capacity-controlled and reservations are recommended. That said, I feel like the (relatively) large size of the pool allows a higher number of swimmers. I had no problems using the pool as many times and whenever I wanted to during my stay. There are also three pretty large areas where the water's only a few inches deep, perfect to let your toddler wade alone without needing to worry (too much) about him drowning.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Pool Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Pool

The fitness center / gym seems pretty well equipped. The area also has a sauna, which was great for warming up after a cold swim on a cold day.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Gym Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Sauna

Our stay also included lounge access, but the Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel's M Club doesn't allow children (this would be a plus or minus depending on your circumstances) - no worries though, we get alternate happy hours at the Marriott Cafe on the first floor.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Cafe

The alcohol list is decent, and the food was pretty good (although it took around half an hour to arrive). Do keep in mind that the portions are really large, though, so it'll be quantity over variety if you've got a smaller family.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Cafe Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Snacks

Breakfast is also at the Marriott Cafe, and as might be expected from our 'new normal,' is unlimited ala-carte style (instead of a buffet). Service is quick and food orders arrive promptly; Food itself is perhaps best described as adequate? We didn't think any item was particularly standout, but we can recommend not ordering the dimsum (underwhelming) or the bacon (extremely salty).

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel Breakfast

Despite the somewhat underwhelming breakfast we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, and also found it to be terrific value (our rate was s$350nett for 2 nights inclusive of breakfast and $100 dining credit). Huge plus points were easy accessibility to the toddler-friendly pool, generally toddler-safe rooms, and toddler-friendly restaurants. And of course the location being right at the heart of the Ion / Wheelock / Tangs / Isetan intersection is AAA. Would totally come back again.


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