Review: Hilton Singapore (Open for Staycations)

Against the backdrop of entry restrictions for foreign travelers this pandemic, Hilton Singapore has recently re-opened as one of the 200 approved hotels by the Singapore Tourism Board. This means that the hotel has started to accept leisure guests from mid-September 2020, much to the delight of local residents.

Hotel building of Hilton Singapore in Orchard Road
Exterior of Hilton Singapore

Hilton Singapore is one of three properties in its portfolio in Singapore, and the only one to have gained that approval at the time of writing. The two other properties are the Conrad Centennial located in Marina Bay, and the Hilton Garden Inn in Serangoon. In the next year, Hilton is also set to open its flagship hotel in Singapore, rebranding the 1,080-room Mandarin Orchard with its own name.

The present Hilton sits on the northwest end of Orchard Road, in the area known as Singapore's main shopping district. Specifically, it is located between Forum The Shopping Mall and Far East Shopping Centre (not to be confused with Far East Plaza), and about 300 metres from the Orchard MRT station. Shopping and dining options are plenty in the district, and Singaporeans - with queuing as their national pastime - may appreciate the hotel's proximity to some new food establishments; this includes Luke's Lobster at Isetan Scotts, Hang Heung Bakery and Joy Luck Teahouse at Ion Orchard, all new names that have deployed special queuing areas, by the way.

View of Orchard Road from 24th floor rooftop pool
View of Orchard Road from the 24th floor;
Yotel Singapore and Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel can be seen

The staycation experience is, of course, impacted by precautionary measures. Upon arrival, guests will need to complete temperature checks and the government's SafeEntry registration.

Safe distancing markers and SafeEntry post
Safe distancing markers

The check-in area is demarcated with yellow boxes for guests to queue in a socially distanced manner, and counters are fitted with transparent acrylic panels that separate guests from agents.

Hilton Singapore hotel lobby
Hotel lobby

The CleanStay logo, for Hilton's global safety and cleanliness programme announced in April 2020, is visible in public areas of the hotel. Hand sanitizers are also provided in high touch areas.

Hilton Singapore lift lobby
Lift lobby

Initial-branded hand sanitizer
Automatic dispensing hand sanitizer

The elevators are fitted with yellow markings occupying each corner, each having an arrow to indicate the direction that guests should stand facing.

Safe distancing markets in Hilton elevator
Safe distancing markings in the elevator

Hilton Singapore hotel corridor
Hallway

The room itself is not noticeably different from pre-pandemic times, perhaps except for the TV remote in the CleanStay wrapper (although I would reckon that the telephone handset would require it more). Other precautions include the lack of physical room service menus, which are instead offered digitally through a QR code, and in-room mini bars that are kept empty.

Guest room of Hilton Singapore with King bed
Guest room

Hilton CleanStay program
TV remote

The aging TV and telephone set are indicators of the hotel's last refurbishment date, but the room was overall a comfortable one to stay in. The large desk space was appreciated, and would prove particularly useful for business travelers, although the downsides of the glass surface include reflections from the table lamp and a relatively cold surface to touch.

LCD TV at Hilton Singapore
Sharp Aquos LCD TV

Crabtree & Evelyn bath amenities are provided in the bathroom. Other than that, no additional amenities are offered, so guests should bring their own disinfecting wipes as needed.

Bathroom at Hilton Singapore
Bathroom

Crabtree & Evelyn amenities at Hilton Singapore
Crabtree & Evelyn amenities

For recreational facilities, gym operating hours have been revised to between 5am to 10pm to allow deep cleaning to take place overnight. Guests are required to register before entry, and only 10 guests are allowed inside at any time. The rooftop pool on the 24th floor is also open, although it is subject to capacity control. The steam room and sauna are closed for the time being.

Hotel gym at Hilton Singapore
Hotel gym

Weights section of hotel gym
Weights section

Rooftop pool on 24th floor at Hilton Singapore
Rooftop pool

Overall, the stay was pleasant with the key points of the hotel being its location, brand name, and reasonable rate. The available rates include:
Direct bookings are required for elite benefits and nights/points accrual, which will make sense for Hilton Honors members, particularly with the ongoing global Double Rewards promotion (double points and elite qualifying nights, applicable to stays between 8 Sep and 31 Dec 2020, registration required). Otherwise, online travel agencies may also offer competitive deals.

Hilton Singapore is located at 581 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238883.

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