The Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, is a five-star hotel close to Marina Bay. Built in 1987, the property reopened in September 2023 following major renovations.
I was given a hearty welcome to the hotel by Krishan, a uniformed doorman whose Panama hat I would happily have traded for my travel-battered headgear. After polite small talk, he gave me a bottle of chilled mineral water and offered to take my suitcase into the air-conditioned lobby. We subsequently chatted several times and Krishan’s personable manner helped make me feel very welcome at the Mandarin Oriental.
My check-in was smooth and quick, in front of opulent oriental panelling. While checking in, I was presented with a refreshing towel and offered a cup of tea.
My room (2032) was on the 20th floor of the hotel, and I rode up to it in a glass-sided lift with a Mandarin Oriental employee. I was shown how to operate the wall-mounted television and how to lower and raise the roller blind and blackout curtain of near wall-sized window offering impressive views of Marina Bay and the nearby Singapore Flyer.
I appreciated a quiet moment, sitting in the broad armchair by the window and sipping tea made using the kettle stored inside a beautifully carved wooden cabinet – topped by Chinese pottery and a stylised bird figure – that also housed the minibar and a coffee machine.
Had I wished, I could have sat back in the reading chair opposite, but I was happy enjoying the view. Had I changed my mind, a copy of Mandarin Oriental magazine and travel-related reading material was supplied on a bedside cabinet.
The carpeted room was spacious, comfortable and quiet, featuring pleasant touches such as a potted plant. The vast bed had high-thread-count cotton pillows and sleep came easy, aided, perhaps, by a lavender pouch that was left next to complimentary water bottles on a bedside cabinet during the evening turndown.
My deep sleep could also have been aided by soaking in the bathtub. The bathroom also had a walk-in shower, twin wash basins, a shaving mirror and wonderfully fluffy towels.
The wardrobe presented ample space for me to order my clothes and store away my suitcase. The safe was large enough for my laptop, camera gear and valuables. It also held a tote bag, provided for use while staying at the hotel. That would undoubtedly have been ideal for carrying reading material, clothing and a towel down to the pool deck, something that I didn’t have time to do because of spending time exploring Singapore’s attractions.
Perhaps I’m being overly critical by mentioning the room did not have a traditional desk for undertaking work. To read and respond to emails I had to place my laptop on the coffee table or use the ledge between the television and drinks cabinet.
That did not detract from the overall quality of my stay at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, which has a reputation as being one of the best places to stay in Singapore.
The hotel also has a spa, nail salon, a 25-metre swimming pool, a fitness centre plus eight food and drink outlets.
If you enjoy starting the day with a good breakfast, rise early and make the most of the impressive breakfast buffet in embu, the Mandarin Oriental’s all-day restaurant. The delectable spread encompasses Western and Asian cuisines, and you can browse a newspaper while grazing. It doesn’t matter if you favour pastries, dim sum, fry-ups, curries or charcuterie and cheeses – all are plentiful. And if you enjoy a nightcap, then pop into the Mandarin Oriental’s chic MO BAR to sip a cocktail while gazing at Singapore’s skyline.
Should you want to enjoy and explore your surroundings, the Esplanade Concert Hall is diagonally across the street from the hotel. You are also a 10-minute walk from the ArtScience Museum and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, one of the many upscale shopping malls in Singapore. The Singapore Flyer is a 15-minute walk and it is a 20-minute stroll to the popular Gardens by the Bay.
Visiting the hotel after its 2023 reopening, I found it a luxuriously comfortable and pleasant base for my sightseeing in Singapore.
Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797.
Tel: +65 6338 0066
The Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, is a 20-minute taxi ride southwest of Singapore’s Changi International Airport. The hotel stands across Raffles Avenue from Singapore’s Waterfront Promenade, which offers impressive views of Marina Bay. The city’s attractions are walkable or a short taxi ride away.
Type of Hotel: 5-Star Hotel
Number of Rooms: 510 rooms and suites with complimentary Wi-Fi.
Price Band: High
Insider Tip: Look out for the Mandarin Oriental’s offer of a complimentary fourth night if you book and pay for three night’s accommodation.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
See the Mandarin Oriental Singapore website for a full list of facilities available at the luxury hotel and to check the availability and price of accommodation.
Discover things to do nearby on the Visit Singapore tourist information website.
Stuart Forster is an award-winning freelance travel writer based in North East England. He operates the travel and food blog Go Eat Do.
Photographs by Stuart Forster