Monday, December 21, 2020

Toddler Staycay: Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay (Lifestyle King Room)

👍 Gorgeous lobby, well-designed rooms, great Food & Beverage options.
👎 Renovation (drilling, hammering) noise in the daytime, no wading pool for toddlers.

Note: At time of stay, the hotel has only just partially re-opened. Several public areas and many guest rooms are still under renovation, so construction-related issues will undoubtedly clear up with time.

We continue our year of the covid 🦠 Staycay* tour at the newly-reopened Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay hotel! We've never had a chance to visit the hotel prior to its rebranding (previously the Marina Mandarin), so we won't be able to give any before-and-after comparisons, but we imagine that the old lobby didn't look anywhere as gorgeous as the new one.

* 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.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

The hotel markets itself as the first "Garden-in-a-hotel." I'm not totally convinced, really, but in any case the building's triangular design allows a cavernous lobby area in the middle, which is used to pretty great effect by the current interior designers. Wanting to skip the ~3pm crowd, we turned up at check in at ~12pm and there was hardly anyone in the queue. Thanks to Discovery Black membership we were able to get our room immediately, with a one-category upgrade* from Urban King to Lifestyle King.

* Discovery Black members normally get two-category upgrades, but the hotel currently only has these two room types ready.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

In any case, we make our way up to the 12th floor to check out the room, and are pleasantly surprised to find a seat at the entrance to make putting on shoes easier. I am not sure why all hotels don't do this, it's annoying as heck to have to sit on the floor to do up your laces. p.s. please ignore the messy socks and sneakers on the right.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

The Lifestlye King room itself is ... pretty nice? The floor is tiled, not carpeted, which I personally don't like so much, but otherwise I find the decor modern and elegant. As far as I can tell the only difference between the Urban & Lifestyle rooms is that the latter has a sofa / daybed at the end (which is extremely useful if you have a toddler who only naps in dim lighting as you can draw the curtain and get some sun on the daybed while he/she naps in the room).

Speaking of napping, though ... because many of the hotel's rooms are still undergoing refurbishment, there are drilling & hammering noises throughout the day. We're fortunate that our little one is a fairly heavy sleeper, but I can imagine the more easily startled kids having trouble staying asleep for their entire usual nap time.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

In the far corner of the room we find a mini tent for the little one (with adorable dinosaur, toy car, and Le Petit Prince child amenities), and (presumably) a Discovery Black welcome amenity of cakes & macarons.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

Opposite the bed there's a long desk/counter with Nespresso Machine & universal power socket. While the TV did have the usual complement of cable / pay TV channels, we couldn't activate any 'personal' content (e.g. Netflix, Youtube, or streaming from phone via chromecast/etc).

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

As is par for the course these days, all lights are controllable from the bedside table. There aren't any USB ports (which I don't care for anyway as most of my devices are now USB-C).

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

The cupboards house the kettle, coffee & tea, somewhat utilitarian bathrobes & slippers, ironing board & iron, fridge, and in-room safe.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

Moving on to the bathroom, we see that the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay has decided to 'go green' by providing a filtered tap water faucet instead of bottled drinking water. As we drink filtered tap water at home we're perfectly fine with this, but if you're used to other types of water you might need bit of time to get used to the taste.

We also noted that the underside of the sink countertop was messy & a little unkempt, which may or may not be an issue for you (you probably won't even notice).

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

A reminder that the hotel first opened almost 35 years ago is the separate bidet, which I totally don't dig at all. Of course I understand that this is down to personal preference (or more perhaps to which part of the world you grew up in), but I'd much rather have a hand-spray next to the toilet.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

As we didn't feel like filling up the entire (adult) bathtub, we requested for a baby tub to bathe the little one in. I think it took less than 5 minutes for the tub to arrive - plus points for efficient housekeeping!

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

The shower was perhaps a little bit of a minus though. We're not sure if it's because of the hotel's 'go green' goals, or if it's because of its' age, but the shower water pressure was only adequate.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

When we stayed, the Marina Bay view rooms weren't ready yet, so we got a city-facing one (which in our opinions is still quite pretty).

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Lifestyle King Room

As the club / executive lounge is still under renovation, Discovery Black members are given snacks & drinks from 6-8pm every day at the Atrium Lounge. We didn't pay a visit as it conflicted with some dinner plans, but were able to get a copy of the drinks menu thanks to a friendly Milelion Telegram member:

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay GHA Black Cocktails

In this covid age, bookings are of course required for Gym & Swimming Pool access. Bookings can be done via the hotel's chatbot, which is great.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Gym and Swimming Pool

The gym is large and seems fairly well equipped. Treadmills & cycling (spin?) machines face Marina Bay / Marina Bay Sands. The pool is great if you want to swim laps, but not so great if you want to entertain a toddler as there is no shallow pool for him/her to wade in.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Gym and Swimming Pool Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Gym and Swimming Pool

Breakfast is in the hotel's general-cuisine restaurant, Peppermint, and is semi self-service, semi table-service. For 'small' items like fruits, juices, cereal, salad, and cold cuts, you have to go up to the buffet line and request it from a waiter/waitress, but main courses are ordered at and delivered to your table.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peppermint Breakfast

The variety of food items on offer is perhaps a little on the low side, but food's decent (not outstanding). Except maybe for the terribly dry turkey bacon that comes with the eggs. Skip that.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peppermint Breakfast

Our room rate includes 50% discount on all F&B in the hotel, so we also had a festive lunch ala-carte buffet at Peppermint. The cost ended up around $40 nett/person which was amazing value, especially considering that the food was also really good. Yes, there were a few hiccups in the (chatbot-driven) ordering, with some orders going missing, but the wait staff were more than ready to rectify.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peppermint Festive Lunch

We also visited the Chinese restaurant Peach Blossom for a light dim sum lunch. Peach Blossom does seem to be positioned a little more upmarket than Peppermint - the decor is pretty & elaborate, food's full of atas ingredients (like iberico pork ribs and abalone woo kok). Service is good, food's good, 50% off makes it great value. Without any discount the prices are a tad steep, perhaps, but I think the food's still good enough to plan a return visit for a special occasion.

Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peach Blossom Dim Sum Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peach Blossom Dim Sum Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay Peach Blossom Dim Sum

In short, we found our stay at the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay to be really enjoyable. Yes, there's some renovation noise, and yes, the pool isn't particularly toddler friendly if you don't have floats for him/her. Other than that rooms are nice and fairly clean, the hotel restaurants are good, and if you want some variety, Marina Square is just next door. I'd totally come back again if the price is right.


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