By: Lara Sage
I first stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore 12 years ago when we were doing a “recce” in Asia before relocating. I remember looking down from my octagonal hotel window, watching taxis crossing the pink bougainvillea-lined bridge to the CBD. I recall wondering if one of them was the vehicle taking my husband to an interview that would bring us to live in Singapore.
Today, the 32-storey hotel’s location remains as ideal as ever, right in the heart of Marina Bay. The distinctive windows frame an array of Singapore sights. From our 15th-floor Premier Suite, we could see architectural marvels spanning almost a century, from The Fullerton Hotel through to Merlion Park and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, to more recent constructions such as Marina Bay Sands. Being in a corner unit, we also enjoyed the sight of the sea and the slowly revolving Singapore Flyer from our bathroom, content in the thought that we could walk there in just three minutes if we wished.
On the doorstep
There’s obviously a huge variety of things to try with your family over the course of a weekend staycation, and if you’re at the Ritz-Carlton, this could involve everything from museums and gardens to cheap hawker centres and fine dining, and plenty of easy jogging routes, including to the Marina Barrage. The hotel concierge has crafted a guidebook that leads guests on a walking tour of the precinct, highlighting historical and modern landmarks.We took an easy stroll over the Helix Bridge to the incredible Gardens by the Bay, where we ambled around in the gigantic, air-conditioned glasshouses, in awe of the achievements of growing and maintaining such an array of plants.
My husband jogged along the Kallang River and marvelled at how close we were not only to the F1 Pit Building but also to the Marina Bay Golf Course – where, incidentally, you can even play by night, thanks to special lighting. Later, we took an evening stroll along the Jubilee Bridge, which opened last year, to watch the Merlion spraying water, before making our way along the Singapore River to the pubs and eateries of Boat Quay, and enjoying a riverboat ride with the children before the light show started.
Also right on the doorstep is the lotus-inspired Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands, which houses major international touring exhibitions and renowned collections. We took in the Van Cleef & Arpels exhibition during our visit, including a 400-piece collection of rare and fine jewellery, and the fascinating permanent exhibition Future World – great for kids – which featured interactive digital artworks across a 1,500-square-metre space. Speaking of art, while the Ritz offers easy access to many of Singapore’s popular attractions, it’s also home to some of its own, such as a 4,200-piece contemporary art collection including works by Frank Stella, Dale Chihuly, David Hockney and Andy Warhol.
Enticing extras for kids
The Ritz Kids Night Safari room package (available until 30 November 2017) is perfect for children. Arrivals are always exciting, but this one took my little ones by surprise when they walked into our room to find their separate section of the suite set up with a tent for an in-room camping experience. Bedecked with mini lamps, children can sleep in the tent, along with a safari-themed lion beanie. At turndown time, our room was transformed: the lights were dimmed, and a small lamp set up to create a scene of stars moving across the room.
Speaking of treats, the hotel’s Ice Cream Pass entitles young guests between the ages of four and 12 to one scoop of ice cream daily at The Patisserie, in its Colony restaurant on Level 3. Even better: when kids stay in the hotel on their birthday, they receive a complimentary cake and a special turndown gift. And all young guests are presented with a personalised Polaroid image to commemorate their stay at the Ritz.
Not all the indulgences are for children. Any adult who has stayed at this hotel is sure to remark on the panelled rooms in muted tones, and the incredible views from the bathrooms. And the luxurious pastime of wallowing in a large bath can now be enhanced with a new collection of Asprey bath and body products, featuring their signature scent, Purple Water, that come in jacquard-print tubes specially designed for the hotel. It’s said that the fragrance was originally created to be a distillation of the rich and creative past of Asprey, and its exciting present; a fresh citrus fragrance blended with spicy undertones.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, is at 7 Raffles Avenue
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