Nature-inspired residential calm
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Nature-inspired residential calm

Conrad Singapore Orchard debuts a sophisticated oasis

Nature-inspired residential calm

To escape the horrid heat of Bangkok, a quick weekend escape to Singapore is always welcome. In the Garden City, it rains long enough to keep the temperature cool and humidity modest, unlike here.

What better place to check out while on this weekend escape than the newly-refurbed and rebranded Conrad Singapore Orchard. The 445-room property was formerly a Regent hotel.

One of the few atrium hotels in the Lion City, the Conrad Singapore Orchard is expansive. The service is friendly as soon as you step out of the car and enter the lobby and continues throughout your stay. With four elevators in the middle, the lobby is bright, thanks to the atrium. The greenery all around makes the check-in process even more inviting. 

The hotel is a low-rise in Bangkok terms, the highest floor being 12. Though while in the elevator, eyes all go straight to the “Singapore Shower” installation by Japanese kinetic sculptor Michio Ihara, which cascades from the glass roof catching rays of the sun. All the suites are on higher floors offering views of urban Singapore. The renovated rooms are designed in neutral tones, with wood taking a primary focus. The suites have balconies should you want a bit of fresh air for a coffee or tea. But they are not shaded from the rain, be warned. 

One of the best things about the renovation is that the rooms are fitted with motion sensors, which get into action when you enter the room. None of the key-in-the-slot business. Another good thing is that the curtains, which close automatically when no ones in the room to maintain cool temperatures, open as soon as the sensors come on. A pleasant welcome during the day. 

The suites are spacious and each one is fitted with a drinking water tap at the bar. Though missing was a water bottle for those who prefer cold water. Bath amenities are by Byredo featuring the Mojave Ghost scent.

The hotel offers a “Sleep-To-Wake Ritual”, accessible on the TV in the privacy of your room. As you wind down for the night, sip on a calming tea of native botanicals, left on your beside table during turndown service, whilst taking in the tones of the in-room sound bath, nestled in bed. To add to the luxury of this sound bath, there is also a pillow menu on offer. Though it is at these times, one wished there was a bathtub to soak in. 

However, turndown service in suites also includes shower steamers from Savan Baths. Put one of these above the drain and take a nice, long hot shower. It will be the most rejuvenating shower experience ever. 

The ritual carries on in the morning with a Private Morning Intention Session in tandem with holistic wellness centre Trapeze Rec Club. The one-hour session could be yoga, a sound bath or stretching done by the pool’s serene surroundings. 

Suites have the advantage of the Executive Lounge, which is a quiet place for a quick breakfast, afternoon tea or cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the early evenings. One of the examples of fine service at the Conrad Singapore Orchard is that if you ask for a teh tarik, not on the menu, it will be made and delivered to your table.  

If breakfast is your most important meal of the day, then the bigger spread is at Basilico, which offers Western and Asian delights, Indian included. Evenings at this all-day dining spot offers a buffet of antipasti, charcuterie and indulgent Italian mains, though there is also a seafood on ice spread. The buffet is very popular with locals, which is always a good sign. There is also a spectacular array of cheese. In fact, there is an entire room of at least 40 different types of cheese on offer, all of which come from Italy. Should you wish to take these cheesiness to greater heights, Italian chef de cuisine Davide del Gatto offers a cheese infusion, which is a workshop on infusing artisanal cheese with flavours. Think squid ink on burrata or Gorgonzola with truffle spread and white chocolate. 

There are no shortages of restaurants and bars in this hotel, with its 10 outlets. Of the 10, two stand out the most. Summer Palace is one of Singapore’s most favoured Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurants. The renowned Manhattan bar menu is inspired by the golden age of cocktails and fine drinking. In fact, one doesn’t have to leave the hotel at all… for a few days, at least. The bar also does a Sunday brunch that DIY cocktail stations, an adult affair. 

One of the best experiences to be ever offered by an urban hotel is the Edible Garden Walk, hosted by Alexius Yeo, an urban farmer and author of the “101 Edible Plants: A Guide to Designing Foodscapes in Singapore”. The walk leads participants up the garden path with edible plants found along the way to the Unesco-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The “Orchard” in the name also means that the hotel is close to Singapore’s main shopping area. That’s a bonus! The hotel takes your shopping spree a step further. In partnership with Greensquare, a local textile recycling initiative, Conrad Singapore Orchard offers guests the opportunity to donate unwanted items to be collected and upcycled, and even leaves a bag in the room for such items. In with the new, out with the old! Ingenious!

A stay at the Conrad Singapore Orchard means after a a quick weekend escape, one can return to Bangkok fresh and baggage-free. Pun intended.

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