Marina Mandarin, a flagship Hotel of the Meritus Hotels and Resorts was built in 1987 and was designed by John Portman. This 575-room hotel is located at the heart of the city overlooking Marina Bay and the financial district. It boasts of a breath-taking atrium with 21 floors and a translucent glass ceiling with natural lighting throughout the day.
I decided to head for a quick getaway to the Marina Mandarin for the weekend. The hotel is easily accessible by cab and is also conveniently located near the Esplanade MRT. The hotel seemed to have two reception areas, one on the first level, primarily for the banquet halls and general assistance and the hotel reception on the fourth floor. I was quite.
prepared for a delay in getting the key card as it was a weekend, but surprisingly the process was quick (save the small delay in offering a complimentary room upgrade). I was bumped up to a premier room in the 19th floor with a city view. It must be said that the Hotel atrium was what it boasts and much more. It was indeed magnificent. Going up to the room in the open glass elevator showcases the grandeur of the Atrium, with a clear view of the restaurants, lobby and the different floors as you ascend.
My premier room looked pretty inviting with a nicely made king bed, a fully stocked mini bar, a work table and a balcony. There is also a convenient luggage stow right at the entrance where you can leave all your bags. The balcony at the far end of the room opened out to a spectacular view of the esplanade, the nearby malls, financial capital and a little of the hotel pool. The balcony door being extremely stiff and hard to open, didn’t quite hinder me from frequenting it, just for the view.
The room décor was pleasant and complimented the requirements of a corporate traveller. The hotel also offers a handy phone with complimentary calling and mobile data which the guests can make use of. There also seemed to be some great offers for tourist spots like Universal Studios and the Singapore Zoo which could be booked with the handy phone.
The mattress was extremely comfortable with nice pillows to go. The air-conditioning however was extremely insufficient. On-site mechanics checked the Aircon and came to a conclusion that it did seem to be underperforming. A cascade of calls followed explaining
that the air-conditioning was indeed performing to accepted standards and if I needed the room to be changed I would have to go to a lower floor. Naturally I declined 😉 (no way I was going to give up on that view!
The bathroom was nice and spacious with a separate bath area and a tub. The hotel features in house brand toiletries which were stocked up neatly. Despite being a star property, the bathroom decor exuded signs of aging and the whole arrangement (fittings, décor, amenities) somehow fell short of expectations. The floor of the bath area was worn out and the shower lacked requisite pressure. The water temperature control also seemed to be off with intermittent hot and cold bursts. However, one very cool thing in the room was the bathroom lighting in the night. With translucent glass doors, the lighting was quite perfect to enjoy a movie or relax with only the bathroom lights on.
The reception area was vibrant in the evening and filled with people making their way to the restaurants or to the Atrium Lounge Bar. There was pleasant live music to go with the happy hour at the Lounge Bar. There also seemed to be several private events happening at the banquet hall.
I didn’t have enough time to check out the gym or the much talked about mineral water swimming pool (among the very few pools completely filled with mineral water) but headed to breakfast in the morning. Breakfast in the aquamarine was a busy affair. The hotel seemed pretty full judging by the number of people at breakfast. The staff was very prompt and courteous and the breakfast buffet was everything you expect of a five star – a live omlette station, a salad bar, a Japanese sushi bar and different varieties of Indian, Chinese and Continental dishes.
Though Marina Mandarin is a five star property, it seems to be more suited for corporate travellers. With great proximity to Marina Square, Gardens by the Bay, Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre, as also easy accessibility, Marina Mandarin is unrivalled in terms of convenience. But if you’re heading for a luxury stay, St. Regis or any other luxury hotel might be a better bet.