Mandarin Oriental Singapore Staycation
Staycations seem to be the hype for Singaporeans nowadays with many hotels booked out on weekends during November and December. Using my S$100 SingapoRediscovers Vouchers, I joined in the trend after the school holidays to have my staycation at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore with their inclusive meal deals at Melt Café.
Walking to Mandarin Oriental Singapore from Marina Square
There used to be a shortcut from Marina Square to cut through to Mandarin Oriental via a side staircase. This was particularly useful if you are getting to Mandarin Oriental Singapore from Promenade MRT Station on the Circle Line or Downtown Line.
However, this is now not accessible thanks to SafeEntry check-in requirements. The overhead sign with directions to Mandarin Oriental has also been taped off.
The new route from Marina Square to Mandarin Oriental is now by the Central Atrium between Timezone and Pororo Park, which is the escalator down towards Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Take the escalator down and out of Marina Square, and follow the sheltered path on the left towards the Mandarin Oriental.
With this detour, you are now greeted with the façade of Mandarin Oriental rather than the shortcut path leading directly to the driveway.
Although personally I would rather take the shortcut stairs.
Check-in to Mandarin Oriental Singapore
With all open establishments in Singapore, the first check-in everywhere is SafeEntry. I’m glad to see that Mandarin Oriental has an efficient check-in system in place with a walk-through thermal scanner for temperature screening, a huge QR code for those using phones to check-in, and also a barcode and QR code scanner for those using Identity Cards (IC) or TraceTogether Tokens to check-in seamlessly.
The next check-in is the hotel check-in proper. I was attended to extremely promptly by a staff working on a separate area, seeing that I was standing in the queue (an am the only person at that).
Check-in details are filled up on an iPad.
During the check-in process, I was also introduced to the Fans of M.O. membership which would get me a welcome amenity immediately and a room upgrade or complimentary breakfast the next time I book direct with Mandarin Oriental for a stay with them anywhere in the world.
Fans of M.O. Welcome Amenity – Pineapple Tarts
Here’s my tin box of pineapple tarts as my Fans of M.O. welcome amenity.
Here’s how the pineapple tarts look like.
Following my check-in procedures, I was personally escorted to my room by the front desk staff.
I booked a Premier Room good for 3 persons, which already includes a rollaway bed when booking for 3 in advance.
With my request for twin beds, I was informed that the room would be on a lower floor, which was fine.
Heading into my Premier Room for my staycation.
The divider at the entrance nicely transitions between the outside and inside of the room, and also creates more walking and storage space.
There is a luggage and shoe rack on the divider just before the main part of the Premier Room.
Triple occupancy in the Premier Room is laid out with a Hollywood Twin bed and an additional rollaway bed on the sofa side.
The two regular Hollywood Twin beds.
The additional rollaway bed for triple occupancy, which is already part of the cost when booked on Klook.
The television in the Premier Room greets me by name on the welcome screen.
The spacious sofa seats 2 very comfortably, with complimentary welcome fruits placed on the coffee table.
The work station in the Premier Room is also huge – there’s more space here for one than my table in my office.
There’s a full suite of media jacks by the working table to connect your own device to the in-room entertainment system.
The Premier Room comes with a spacious balcony facing Suntec City.
It’s good for actual tourists I guess, since I don’t think Singaporeans will like the heat from outside when there’s aircon in the room.
The Marina Centre view out of my balcony.
Here’s how the Premier Room looks like from the balcony.
The minibar is placed below the TV. Not sure if it’s a trend of COVID or not but the minibar comes empty, which is perfect for storing my own drinks rather than risk being charged for items I didn’t take from hotels.
Coffee and tea making facilities are located on the other end of the shelf below the TV.
Oh look, TWG Tea here too.
3 types of TWG Tea are provided, namely, Moroccan Mint Tea, Emperor Sencha, and English Breakfast Tea.
4 bottles of mineral water are provided in the Premier Room.
Mandarin Oriental ‘We Care’ Package
There’s also a ‘We Care’ package by the side desk.
The M.O. ‘We Care’ package consists of masks, disposable gloves, and alcohol wipes.
The mask also has the M.O. ‘We Care’ logo embossed on it.
The wardrobe has plenty of storage space.
3 pairs of bedroom slippers were provided, but only 2 bathrobes were present. This was fixed with a quick call to housekeeping though.
The Premier Room bathroom is huge with plenty of walking space between each facility.
The amenities are laid out with sufficient space for my own stuff around the sink. Amenities are placed in a side box.
A bathtub is available though I didn’t use it. This doesn’t come with curtains so you would probably wet the whole bathroom floor when using it with the shower.
The toilet bowl comes with its own telephone, however, a bidet spray is not available here.
Instead, you get 2 ready rolls of toilet paper stamped with the M.O. fan.
A standing shower is available at the corner of the bathroom. This comes with excellent water pressure.
Shampoo, hair conditioner, and bath gel are provided in the standing shower.
With Safe Management Measures in place, reservations to use the swimming pool is required, though the staff may let you in if there is excess capacity. The swimming pool is open from 7am to 7pm with each guest getting a 2-hour slot per day, though as the front desk advised, the staff may let you in if there is excess capacity.
I was informed of this via email after my booking was processed after my Klook purchase, and made my swimming pool booking well in advance via WhatsApp before my staycation.
The Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s swimming pool has a nice view of the surrounding Marina Centre buildings.
The south-facing ocean view rooms will also be facing the pool.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
On this staycation, I decided to splurge and went for a steak dinner at Morton’s The Steakhouse.
After taking orders, the meal starts off with Morton’s Onion Bread for the filler. The bread can be cut with the knife conveniently stabbed inside it. The onion bread was fluffy and fragrant, and the whipped butter goes well with it.
For a dinner of 3, we ordered a Porterhouse Steak, upgraded to “Oscar Style” with Jumbo Lump Crab, Asparagus & Béarnaise, Au Gratin Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, and Bacon & Onion Macaroni & Cheese.
Heated plates were provided for sharing.
Here’s the main star of the show, the Porterhouse Steak requested to be sliced for easier sharing.
A nicely pink and tender medium rare steak here at Morton’s.
The “Oscar Style” with Jumbo Lump Crab, Asparagus & Béarnaise goes on the side rather than on the steak, which I’m thankful for, so as to not spoil the quality steak experience.
The sides were all tasty and portions were great for sharing among 3 people.
Breakfast Buffet at Melt Café
The next morning, the inclusive breakfast buffet is at Melt Café, served from 7.30am to 10.30am.
Getting in to Melt Café took a bit of time despite the short queue due to the personalized service by the staff given to each group. Instead of splitting the job between a captain and waiter, the person attending to the restaurant booking also leads the group to the table, introduces the a la carte buffet, and takes the first orders at the table. As such, there’s some waiting for the next available staff.
The dining area in Melt Café.
Here’s the a la carte breakfast menu at Melt Café. Everything on the menu is free-flow, unlike the confusion over at the Mandarin Orchard.
The buffet starts off with a bread basket while the first orders are taken.
Coffee, tea, and juices followed the bread basket.
To start the buffet, I went for the farmhouse eggs option with Eggs Benedict and usual western sides of sausages, bacon, mushrooms, and breakfast potatoes.
I’m surprised that Eggs Benedict would appear in a buffet, but I guess this is the Mandarin Oriental after all. While the World Dream Cruise To Nowhere had Eggs Benedict too, it was more of a hasty batch production line at the buffet (which still worked either way) rather than being nicely plated as you can see here, and also it had the cheaper option of ham rather than smoked salmon.
Next up was a Dim Sum Basket good for sharing. This consists of 2 chicken char siew baos and 3 chicken siew mais.
I tried the Nasi Lemak next to see how good a hotel Nasi Lemak in Singapore can get, and the Mandarin Oriental did not disappoint. The fried chicken was very nicely spiced with the Nasi Lemak lemak-y, something which can be hard to find even in the non-famous hawker centres.
For dessert, banana pancake, since The MileLion says to avoid the waffles. This was fluffy and a nice end to the breakfast buffet.
Lunch Buffet at Melt Café
The inclusive lunch buffet is also at Melt Café, served from 12.00pm to 2.30pm. Yup, it’s a back-to-back buffet. First world problems. I went for lunch late since there was a buffet breakfast to digest, but it was still just around 2 hours apart.
For lunch, the wait was instant, with diners all happily eating inside already to milk the full duration of the lunch buffet.
More diners at lunch as compared with breakfast, since non-hotel guests are also here to eat.
The explanation by the waitress on the a la carte buffet style was addressed when we sat down.
Notice the two paper items laid out on the dining setting.
The QR code behind the ‘We Care’ sleeve for keeping your mask is where you access the lunch buffet menu, which can be ordered through the staff.
What’s interesting is the provision of the Buffet Visiting Coupon where it grants you access to leave your table once to view the buffet line to see exactly what you are going to get when ordering from the menu on your phone.
Basically the Buffet Visiting Coupon like a toilet pass back in primary and secondary school.
The buffet starts off with 3 plates for sharing.
First up is a sushi and sashimi platter, which is a smart move by Melt Café since it comes with rice.
Next is a plate of oysters which is definitely what diners would want from a seafood selection.
And a seafood platter of Tiger Prawns, White Clams, Mud Crab, and Snow Crab to start the meal off.
Following the starters, I used my the Buffet Visiting Coupon to see the other food I’m thinking of ordering.
The cold kitchen is where most appetizers come from.
Buffet items from the cold kitchen:
- Garden Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Seafood Salad
- Vegetable Salad
- Smoked Salmon and Smoked Trout Platter
- Charcuterie Platter
- Cheese Platter
- Selection of European Gourmet Cheeses Served with Crackers
Some cold cuts and smoked fish for the Smoked Salmon and Smoked Trout Platter and the Charcuterie Platter.
Some cheeses here too for the Cheese Platter.
The western kitchen is where most of my buffet orders came out from.
Buffet items from the western kitchen:
- Daily Cream Soup with Garlic Bread
- Beef Stew with Root Vegetables
- Gratinated Oyster
- Char Grilled Chicken Chop
- White Wine Mussels
- Pan seared Fish Fillet
- Oven Roasted Chicken
- Slow-roasted Angus Beef Sirloin
The food is laid out in small portions in crocks and pans on the counter, just like how I remembered it before COVID-19.
The roasts are carved just before serving.
With my short lunch time here at Melt Café, I didn’t try much of the Asian stuff, but here’s what’s on offer:
- Double Boiled Chicken Soup
- Signature Prawn Laksa
- Chili Seafood with Fried Mantou
- Steamed Catch of the Day
- Wok Fried Beef
- Braised Chicken with Scallions and Ginger
- Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Seasonal Wok Fried Vegetables
- Cantonese Fried Rice
- Roasted Pork Belly
- Barbecue Kurobuta Pork
- Vegetable Kebab
- Tandoori Chicken
- Tandoori Fish
- Lamb Curry
- Chicken Masala
- Paneer Curry
- Dal Makhani
- Mixed Vegetables
- Basmati Rice
Melt Café is well-known for their Indian food, and the spread here at the Asian kitchen is impressive.
Some of the Chinese food available. I spent my stomach on the western and cold options though.
The dessert counter is located away from the main dining area on the elevated side near the entrance.
Buffet items from the dessert counter:
- Signature Melt Chocolate Cake
- Morello Cherry Tart
- Cheese Cake
- Choux Pastries
- Assorted Nonya Kueh
- Peanut Banana with Hazelnut Mousseline
- Forest Berries Mousse
- The Mandarin
- Assorted Cookies
- Assortment Praline
- Eggs Tart
- Baked Waffles
- Chocolate Ice Cream
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Yoghurt Ice Cream
- Strawberry Sorbet
- Assorted Chocolate Praline and Cookies
- Seasonal Fruit Platter
The dessert bites on offer at the buffet counter. Don’t worry about the number of food items on display as the chef might retrieve the desserts from a separate box in the kitchen instead of this display.
Ice cream can be ordered individually or with baked waffles.
The whole experience at Mandarin Oriental Singapore was very personalized from the start after booking on KLOOK, with a separate welcome email following to gather more details from me and to make my bookings way before the start of the staycation.
Over at the actual stay, I was addressed by name throughout the stay whenever staff had records of it. The value for the price I paid was certainly worth it with an early check-in, late check-out, and two buffet meals.
If there was something to nitpick just for the sake of it, it would have been the timing of the buffet lunch at Melt Café which was really close just after breakfast time. Perhaps if the Mandarin Oriental Singapore staycation deal could change to a buffet dinner on the first day, or have the buffet lunch available on the first day before check-in (or maybe it was but I didn’t ask? hmm…), the staycation package would be perfect.
But otherwise, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore staycation was pretty much perfect to me.