Frequent travellers to Singapore will be familiar with the Singapore Marriott, located above local landmark Tang's department store on the chaotic crossroads of Orchard Road and Scotts Road.
This iconic hotel has now completed a massive A$100 million revamp which sees all rooms and most of the public areas being fully refurbished, and is once again sitting at the forefront of Singapore's upmarket business hotels.
Starting off at the entrance, the new lobby is very impressive, with airy space providing ample opportunities for that sort of meet-and-greet business situation that comes up so often when travelling for work.
In the Crossroads café, where the upgrades were finished towards the end of last year, the ambience hearkens back to Singapore's fascinating heritage -- and, more importantly, looks like a decent place for a bite to eat and something to drink.
Given the location smack bang in the middle of Singapore's shopping precinct, that makes it a good option for businesss travellers who need to meet with a new arrival unfamiliar with Singapore, or for a quick catchup with the plus-one coming along for the trip.
We especially like the look of the bar, with its draught beers and massive mirror. Marriott also promises a stonkingly good wine fridge -- we'll check it out next time we're in town.
In Marriott Café, you'll find ten chefs at open kitchen stations serving up world cuisine buffet style.
Top marks for ambience and décor in Marriott Café too, with a modern, international design that still feels warm and non-clinical.
Java+, a "premium retail deli", is the newest addition to the hotel's public areas. You'll find imported cheese, meats and wine, and you can relax over tapas in the evening or order something lighter to take away.
Heading upstairs, the rooms themselves continue the contemporary upmarket theme. We particularly like the look of that little chaise longue at the foot of the bed and its side table -- potentially a perfect little laptop stand while working or watching a movie.
There's not an inordinate amount of room beside the beds, but the bedside tables do seem to use it efficiently -- none of the tiny, useless mini-tables we see irritatingly often.
There's a luxurious, spacious feel to the bathroom too, and top marks for getting rid of the shower-over-baths that are still oddly prevalent in favour of a walk-in shower with detachable wand.
The Studio rooms, though, are the ones that we reckon will really call to the business traveller. With a separate working nook out of sight of the bed, they're perfect for getting some work done and still being able to relax afterwards.
The Studio rooms also have an entrance hallway to drop your things (or for you/the plus-one to get yourself sorted in the mornings).
Meanwhile, in the larger Junior Suites you'll find an even more spacious layout, with separate living area (and a very inviting L-shaped sofa) and a large desk.
Junior suite bathrooms also include a stylish soaking tub, but retain the contemporary feel of the hotel's other bathrooms.
Spot the business travellers: they're the ones who just went "ah, useful" over the suitcase shelf to the left of the TV in this room below.
And yes, that's a 55-inch full HD 'smart TV' perched against the window in the junior suite -- and the regular rooms get only a slightly smaller 46-inch model.
Want the tried-and-tested verdict on Singapore's most popular business hotels (and real-life pictures that sometimes put paid to the glossy PR snaps)? Check out some of Australian Business Traveller's signature hotel reviews:
- InterContinental Singapore's amazing Peranakan Shophouse Rooms
- Hotel Fort Canning: independent, boutique luxury in a verdant park
- Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi Airport: one of the best airport hotels in the world
- Park Regis Singapore: a chic, midrange newcomer just opposite Clarke Quay
- Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre: the old Parkview, punching well above its brand weight
- Fullerton Bay Hotel: stunningly luxurious, with views to die for