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Singapore Hotel Choice: Mandarin Oriental, Regent, or Shangri-la?

Singapore Hotel Choice: Mandarin Oriental, Regent, or Shangri-la?

Apr 8th, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Singapore Hotel Choice: Mandarin Oriental, Regent, or Shangri-la?

Will be there post-cruise at the end of February 2009.

We can stay in any of them and the TripAdvisor reviews are all good.

More interested in a great pool, relaxing than shopping, or the so-called "snob factor" of staying one place or the other, etc.

Any thoughts appreciated.
Dukey is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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I used to stay at the Regent often up to a few years ago. It's very nice, but it is a bit of a hike from the nearest subway station. And, while it's nice, the Regent is a bit souless.

I think the Shangri-La is probably the best of the three, but I haven't stayed there.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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There are so many excellent choices in Singapore. I like Raffles the Plaza, lovely hotel, great location above Raffles City shopping center and the MRT. I have to say that I wouldn't stay anywhere that didn't have good MRT access.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 8th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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The Regent is about a 5 minute walk to the MRT. Taxi's are also quite inexpensive in Singapore.
mjs is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 09:35 PM
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Haven't stayed at any of the hotels you mention, but we did take Kathies advice and used Raffles The Plazza, during our visit last month.....absolutely fantastic!!! Right up with the best hotels we have stayed at.

We didn't use MRT at all. Taxis are very cheap and convenient. And from our hotel, we were able to walk to many of the sights we wanted to see.

Our son is staying at Mandarin Oriental next week whilst on a business trip, so will get a report from him. Is there anything in particular that he can check out for you?
LeighTravelClub is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 11:32 PM
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If you have the option, check out the Ritz Carlton Milennia. It's pretty tough to beat.
Bisbee is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 11:44 PM
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I'm pretty sure the Regent is farther than 5 minutes from the MRT Orchard...the Four Seasons is closer by a good bit and took us under 10 minutes to walk, but probably more than 5...Regent is at least 10 minutes walk, probably more. Regent pool is small and uninspiring.

Shangri-La is 10 minutes downhill to Orchard MRT, and then 10 minutes uphill on the way back. Pool is gorgeous, hotel is big, but the Valley Wing feels exclusive and offers good "snob factor" along with a free flowing champagne service, canapes and drinks all day exclusively for Valley Wing guests.

Many like the area near the Marina where the Mandarin Oriental is, but we did not. We are not interested in shops or sterile atmosphere, and that is what that area felt like to us. The MO gets good reviews though.

I'd say for relaxing and pool, Shangri-La might be best. If you wanted to consider other options, we had a fantastic stay at the Four Seasons and would go back there without hesitation...completely without pretention, fantastic breakfast, peaceful location set back on Orchard Blvd, near MRT, and a pool for children on the roof and a separate one for adults on the 7th? floor, with a nice health club and spa. If you wanted peace by the pool, the Shangri-La may not be perfect, as they have one pool (large) and it is a very popular hotel with families.
KimJapan is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 12:32 AM
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Thanks, everyone for your detailed and very helpful replies.

I was considering the Ritz Carlton but was a bit put off by the mixed reviews on TripAdvisor.

Normally we would make extensive use of any public transportation system vs. taxis but as we are only going to be doing one overnight the proximity may not be as much a factor as it usually is with us.

Again, your reponses are deeply appreciated.
Dukey is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Dukey, For spacious grounds and pool you can't beat the Shangrila. I prefer the Garden wing because you get a big balcony but only if you have the pool view.

I've never stayed at the Regent, but I spend a fair amount of time there and I'd say it's a notch down from the Shangrila and that neither of them are as "elite" (for lack of better word) as the Four Seasons or the Ritz Carlton.

I always stay at the Four Seasons because I like the decor, the service, the location, but the pools are both kind of pokey.
marmot is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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Marmot, thanks for your reply.

Right now I can get a deluxe club room at the Regent with late check out the next day (which is going to be helpful as my flight leaves at almost midnight) for less than 300 Singapore dollars

I looked at the Sangri La and something comparable would be more than twice as much.

I'm not cheap and can easily afford a higher rate but in this case I think I'll stick with the (as one reviewer on TA called) "70's opulence" of the Regent.
Dukey is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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I stayed at the Shangrila and was underwhelmed. Found it super cold and commercial -- not my type of hotel at all. Moved out after two days to Raffles which I liked much better,
glorialf is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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I have stayed at both the Mandarin and the Ritz Carlton and have to say that the Ritz Carlton was quite superb in every way - especially if you can get a deal on a room with club lounge access. The staff were outstanding: every time we came back to the hotel we were greeted by name by whoever was on the door. How do they do that in a hotel of that size?
GrahamC is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Over the years We've stayed at the Ritz, The Mandarin Oriental and the Shangri La (on the horizon floor, in the garden wing, and most recently in the Valley Wing)

For us the Shangri La is by far the best. Both the Ritz and the MO we found to be in a very sterile part of town. Nipped into the MO during a recent visit and had a very poor lunch at MELT. The hotel seemed very quiet on a Saturday afternoon, very quiet! Only stayed at the Ritz once, it was nice, but that was about 10-12 years ago, shortly after it opened - not sure to what extent it has been refurbed since then.

Our in depth review of the Valley Wing at the Shangri La can be found on trip advisor -

Ricky_Tickitavi is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Dukey, The Regent has its advantages. You can spend your savings on a knockout dinner at Iggy's. Experimental and very pricy, but, I think, one of the best (Western)restaurants in Asia. Be sure to sit at the counter.
marmot is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 08:34 PM
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Of the three on your list, IMO the Shangri-La probably has the best pool, which is the only criterion you have listed in your post, although the Regent’s pool is pretty nice as well. I am not sure that I would call any of them “great” but the Shang’s IMO is the most lushly planted, followed by the Regent which is surrounded by greenery. You also want to relax, so any would be fine for that, as you aren’t interested in shopping. The Regent or Shang would be a good location for walking in some of the lovely neighborhoods to see the “black and white” colonial bungalows which you will find in the Nassim Road area near both hotels (and which most tourists are too busy shopping to bother with, but you might be interested in seeing, certainly relaxing to walk these quiet streets.) If you were tempted to do any shopping in Singapore, the one place I might recco would be the Tanglin shopping centre for both the Tang Horse and Antiques of the Orient (http://www.aoto.com.sg/index.htm, the former carries just beautiful little antique items and the latter has travel posters, antique maps, etc. (including cruise line posters like P&O). Either would make a great souvenir of a trip to SE Asia, IMO. This shopping centre is walkable from the Regent in just moments.

I am not really a fan of the MO, the neighborhood does not bother me so much (see below), I just don’t like the hotel that much. The pool is nice, but a bit of too much concrete as well. (I have to say that in February, you may in fact not be doing a lot of sitting by the pool, as you may have a good bit of rain or just overcast skies at that time, as it is still winter monsoon in Singapore and the eastern part of the South China Sea, i.e. the east coast of Malaysia, Bali, etc. See weatherbase.com. This should not affect your ability to enjoy Singapore, which offers a ton of stuff to see and do. You might, however, want to pick a hotel for a good spa rather than a good pool.)

For hotels not on your list, I actually think that the pool at the Fullerton might be the most interesting pool, as you would get a city and river view from it. That hotel is walkable to the Empress Place museum and the other good museums along the Padang area. (I think the hotel gets some uneven reviews on tripadivsor.com, but it is a very interesting design.) The Ritz-Carlton’s pool is quite nice too, lushly planted as well, but no views as it is really below the main street level. None of these pools are huge (although the Raffles Plaza is a good size, but almost no trees). I am a big fan of the Ritz-Carlton and stay there often, it’s got a very nice location on the waterfront with really good views. (I would not, however rate it high for the spa, which does not really exist, it’s a few massage rooms off the gym locker rooms.) The waterfront is good for walking and jogging and has some little restaurants, esp the very good upscalish hawker stall area of Glutton's Bay. I agree that there is no “neighborhood” as such there, as it is out on the point. But, the Singapore Flyover is yards away (see http://www.singaporeflyer.com.sg/ make your booking now), and Singapore’s first casino will be open by the time you get there and will be very close as well, which is not really a plus for me, but may be for you. (You may even want to wait to decide and stay at the hotel there which will have some very good views of the city, see http://www.marinabaysands.com/; they may have the best pool of all, but can’t comment on how great the hotel would be). Also, you can walk to the Arab Street and Little India areas in one direction and the colonial Padang area in the other, a bit of a walk in some cases in the heat, but doable.

Cicerone is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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One more thing on February for Singapore, you should check to see if your visit will coincide with the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. If it is, you should definitely plan to go to the temple on Tank Road and also to the Little India area to observe events. This festival is really something to see, and is only celebrated in Singapore and in the Batu Caves near Penang. Devotees piece their bodies with skewers which hold up huge headdresses and walk barefoot about 2 miles between two temples. There is firewalking and other similar physical feats going on at the temples. I don’t think the date has been fixed yet for 2009, it has something to do with moon phases, but you might check the Singapore tourism website to see if they have any info yet and see if your dates coincide with it.

Cicerone is offline  
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