Review: Grand Hyatt Singapore

Must-read Earlier Installments:

Check-in Formalities

The hotel car, comped to me as a make-good for an issue during a previous stay, pulled up to the Grand Hyatt Singapore and I was met in the driveway. Bags were taken, and I was escorted to through the looby and up to the suite I had confirmed when I booked the room.

Instead of being escorted to the club lounge for check-in, as I have been in the past, I was taken directly to the suite.

Check-in formalities were done there, and quickly. I didn’t need any sort of tour of the room (because after all, it’s a hotel room, plus I had stayed at the hotel before and in the same room type as well). The only question I had for the staff member handling check-in was about breakfast.

From my previous stays I know that Hyatt Diamond members received club lounge access, and not restaurant breakfast. But I had recently read one review where breakfast in the restaurant was offered as an alternative, so I inquired. She told me that no, it wasn’t standard practice, but that I could have breakfast in the restaurant if I wanted as an exception and it would be complimentary.

Confirmed Suite Upgrade: Duplex Suite

I began to get settled in the room, a base-level suite which is the “duplex suite.” I had confirmed this upgrade at the time of booking, and it’s certainly a large room.

It’s two levels with a door upstairs (on the club level) and downstairs.

Much of the space is simply open high ceilings with the upstairs portion more of a loft comprising the bedroom, master bathroom, and a dressing area.

The downstairs offers a living room, large dining table, work desk, and a small bathroom off of a galley-style kitchen.

The staircase between the levels is narrow and windy. And there’s no elevator all the way up to the top level of the hotel where the top floor of the room and the club is. Instead you get off at the level where the living room entrance is and go up some stairs.

That means anyone (you or a hotel employee) taking care of your luggage will wind up carrying bags up a flight of stairs. The hotel brought our bags to the front door downstairs and then carried each up the staircase.

On my first stay at the hotel I had been upgraded one room category above this because no duplex suite was available when I checked in. That was a somewhat smaller room, on a single level, but I liked the layout better and found it more comfortable. Plus the master bathroom in that suite was larger.

One interesting thing I found, that I hadn’t noticed on previous stays, was a printed note wrapped around the television remote in the living room, indicating that it had been sanitized. I really liked that — I don’t bring plastic zip loc bags to put remotes into, but I sometimes feel like I should since they’re known to be one of the least hygenic things in a hotel room. Oddly, there was no note wrapped around the tv remote in the upstairs bedroom.

Grand Club Lounge

The club lounge is one of the really nice features of the hotel, and something I’m grateful for as a Gold Passport diamond menu.

You’re greeted upon entry and shown to a table, though of course express any preferences or sit wherever you wish. By the time you’ve been there a couple of times they’ll remember you and many staff members will know your name, at least in my experience. (And not in a creepy way like at the W Seoul years ago where they brought me over to take my picture the first time I checked in – hah.)

Breakfast in the morning features rotating hot items, salmon plus meats and cheeses, and plenty of bakery selections along with typical fruit and yogurt. And they do cooked to order items as well.

In the evening there’s rotating hot selections, refrigerated specialty salads, cheeses, sushi, plenty of desserts and of course cocktails.

The space is nice, the service is good, and the lounge is well-provisioned. This is one of the better club lounge offerings in the Hyatt system. I don’t like it quite as much as Hong Kong, but it’s excellent nonetheless.

The Hotel’s Restaurant: Straits Kitchen

As I mentioned, I asked about restaurant breakfast because I had seen a review where it was given to the guest complimentary. They gave it to me, though I visited only one time.

Now my usual preference is for a nice cooked to order breakfast over both lounge and buffet. But since I wanted to linger over my coffee the lounge was a better space to do that here.

It’s a typical upscale hotel buffet in Southeast Asia, so it’s excellent of course, and having the option was a nice change of pace from lounge breakfast food (which I’d had for several days, not just in Singapore but also Bangkok). They had standard breakfast fare and many Asian items like dim sum and even a soup and noodle station. But I actually preferred the lounge environment — even though I had the choice of the restaurant breakfast I opted for the lounge.

Still, I suppose it can’t hurt to ask at check-in if a Diamond member wants to try the restaurant breakfast.

What was more remarkable was lunch here. Though this was my third stay at the hotel it was my first time dining in their restaurant, for any meal. And my last day it was completely pouring outside so I decided to have lunch on property.

I’ve actually long wanted to try Straits Kitchen, but there’s so much else to have in Singapore that I could never justify it. The rain made for the perfect excuse.

The concept is the Hawker Center. You have different stations set up around the restaurant serving different kinds of local street food. It’s all in one place. Of course having it at a hotel restaurant buffet instead of actually at a Hawker Center means it’s much more expensive, in some sense ‘too expensive’ for what it is. But for someone unfamiliar with the genre I think it makes for a great first introduction.

You’re not going to get the single best of any dish, something as good as if you sought out the one stall with best carrot cake or best char kway teow. But everything is uniformly good. And you can’t beat the convenience.

Remains My Choice in Singapore

I’ve returned here three times, and even after significant service failures on my last stay. This time I didn’t have a single complaint at all.

Singapore is a tough city for hotels. There are a ton of very good hotels, few that are great, and many are often expensive. Being able to leverage loyalty programs with offerings like cash and points and confirmed suite upgrades can be a real value.

This isn’t a city where I’m going to fall in love with a hotel, and probably one where I’d make a choice from among many based on location. But for the Orchand and Scotts Road area the Grand Hyatt delivers.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. “The staircase between the levels is narrow and windy. And there’s no elevator all the way up to the top level of the hotel where the top floor of the room and the club is. Instead you get off at the level where the living room entrance is and go up some stairs.”

    Gary, I’m not clear on the stairs issue. Does your comment refer only to this room, or do the general elevators not go to the Lounge (Like Sydney IC, which at least has an aux elevator in addition to stairs)?

    thanks

  2. There are 2 towers at GH SIN. The elevators in the Front Wing do not go up to the top floor, where the Lounge is located. To access the lounge in the front wing, one must use one flight of stairs.

    The back (Garden Wing) has none of that condition and IIRC, that lounge is not on the top floor.

  3. Louis, thanks so much. While I could two-handed “pull/walk” a stairway with railing, the pic in Gary’s review was undo-able for me.

    And, don’t get me wrong – ususally the staff is amazingly helpful in accommodating. But sometimes if I see potential issues in advance, I would tend to book elsewhere.

    Thanks again .

  4. I was very unimpressed with this hotel. As a Hyatt Diamond I’ve generally had very positive experiences with Hyatt’s across the globe, but this Hyatt experience was subpar. Don’t even bother emailing the hotel ahead of time as it’s an exercise in futility.

    In general, I found the staff very unhelpful, and not particularly knowledgeable. I gave the hotel 2 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.

  5. Gary, my wife and I recently stopped in Singapore for a weekend to visit friends who live there. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt and ate at the restaurant there for dinner one night at the urging of the locals who really recommended it as a great taste of Singapore all in one place. You are correct that you can find any 1 dish better in a hawker center, but for something easy and known to be of high quality you can’t go wrong with straits.

  6. I’m surprised you know what char kway teow is haha as per Mark the Shark service in Singapore is a hit and miss thing.. staff come and go and it is hard to get consistent service .. anywhere. Have you guys tried St Regis? If any of you are visiting Singapore anytime soon might I suggest ME@OUE located at the penthouse level of OUE Bayfront for great food and awesome views.

  7. Had dinner at the straits kitchen a few weeks back with my family and honestly it’s I felt it wasn’t worth it. Everything was so underwhelming. Food was bland, satay sauce too sweet, things I personally find unacceptable for the price you pay. My advice would be to skip this.

  8. Has the property changed recently? The Duplex suite is not the base level suite on the website. There’s a perfectly reasonable Grand Suite King listed first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *