I stayed at an IHG voco resort for the first time — listed here are 7 causes I would keep once more

Once I booked my first journey to Singapore in July, there have been a number of completely different resorts on my radar.

I may keep on the iconic Raffles Singapore, go for ultra-luxe Regent Singapore or select one thing a bit extra budget-friendly, such because the Courtyard Singapore Novena or the 4 Factors by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview. As I began to slender down my choices, nonetheless, I in the end selected the voco Orchard Singapore.

Not solely was it my first alternative to remain at a voco property, but it surely was additionally reasonably priced with factors, and its location on bustling Orchard Street made it much more interesting.

Designed with budget-conscious vacationers preferring boutique properties in thoughts, this voco outpost appeared like a strong different to different chains’ cookie-cutter manufacturers with low value factors — though a number of the hallmarks of its earlier life as a Hilton, comparable to some generic finishes and out-of-date furnishings, nonetheless got here by way of. Nevertheless, its unstuffy, inviting ambiance — which attracts you in from the second you arrive on the door, the place a “come on in” doormat greets you — match the vibe I used to be on the lookout for throughout my keep in Singapore.

So, I made a decision to take a leap of religion and guide a three-night keep on the property. As quickly as I arrived, jet-lagged and casually wearing athletic put on, I used to be relieved to find I would made the precise resolution.

Listed below are seven issues I realized about voco Orchard Singapore — and why I’d select this property, and model, once more the following time I journey.

The nice location

Located throughout from the opulent Royal Thai Embassy alongside the Lion Metropolis’s bustling Orchard Street thoroughfare, some points of voco Orchard Singapore make it really feel luxurious, regardless of its budget-friendly value level. For instance, inside a five-minute stroll of the property, you will stumble throughout outposts of 4 Seasons, Shangri-La, St. Regis and Grand Hyatt, imbuing this less-expensive property with the patina of its higher-end neighbors.

Plus, you will discover a multistory mall stuffed with upscale boutiques on almost each nook alongside the boulevard. The truth is, 4 malls sit inside a block of the resort, although you could possibly simply get your retail remedy repair with out stepping foot exterior due to the two-story Buying Gallery linked to the resort.

Must you choose to spend rather less throughout your procuring spree, there are extra reasonably priced malls inside strolling distance, too, comparable to Discussion board, Far East and Tanglin. At these malls is a collection of cheaper outlets, informal eating places, espresso outlets and therapeutic massage parlors.

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A few of Singapore’s hottest points of interest are a brief drive away, making the property handy for sightseeing. For instance, the eye-catching Gardens by the Bay is a 10-minute drive from the resort, whereas the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens is just six minutes away by automobile. The closest station for Mass Speedy Transit (Singapore’s public transportation system), Orchard, is a mere 10 minutes away on foot as nicely, so you possibly can simply attain different elements of town.

Associated: A primary-timer’s information to Singapore’s hawker facilities

You may get deal

As a TPG reporter, I am at all times on the hunt for sensible methods to make use of my factors and miles after I journey. So, after I noticed I may guide my three-night October stick with somewhat greater than 100,000 IHG One Rewards factors as an alternative of spending a complete of $857 for a similar deluxe room with a king-size mattress, I knew utilizing factors was the way in which to go.


IHG One Rewards factors are at the moment valued at 0.5 cents per level, in response to TPG’s newest valuations, so reserving with 102,000 factors was like paying $510 relatively than $857.

Nightly money charges could also be decrease than the $286 I’d have paid. Relying on if you guide, you may even see rooms going for as little as $250 per evening (together with all taxes and charges), which is a a lot lower cost level than different comparable properties alongside Orchard Street.

It is a new resort — largely

Regardless of its new title and model affiliation, voco Orchard Singapore lacked the absolutely up to date look I anticipated to seek out.

Nonetheless, I used to be pleasantly shocked to study two days earlier than I arrived that I used to be being upgraded to a bigger room due to my IHG Diamond elite standing.


As an alternative of the usual king mattress deluxe room I would booked, I used to be assigned a deluxe room on a excessive ground. These lodging will be discovered on flooring 14 to 16 and overlook Orchard Street.

Once I entered my 344-square-foot room on the fifteenth ground, I instantly observed (and appreciated) the spacious ground plan.

Inside the principle room, which had a impartial coloration scheme with pops of yellow in accent pillows and the plaid carpet, was a cushty king-size mattress, a stand for suitcases plus a glass desk with an ergonomic chair which may have been leftovers from the resort’s Hilton days, if I needed to guess.

I appreciated the general look and performance of the room. The clear strains of the nightstands and leisure unit created a contemporary really feel regardless of their drained, light-wood finishes, and a lot of must-have conveniences have been obtainable, together with a minifridge and a 55-inch sensible TV.

As a enterprise traveler, I used to be thrilled to seek out all the things I wanted to comfortably work remotely from the room, comparable to 5 USB and charging ports by the desk and a Nespresso machine for staying caffeinated whereas on the clock. The 2 layers of shades have been an additional contact I used to be additionally grateful to have, as they made it simpler to go to mattress early and nap as wanted whereas adjusting to a brand new time zone. The complimentary bottled water, which might be tossed within the foyer’s recycling heart after use, and a supplied kettle for making scorching tea have been each a lot appreciated as nicely.

Like the remainder of the room, the lavatory was greater than enough, providing all of the facilities you’d look forward to finding at a luxurious resort. A skinny bathrobe apart, the facilities like dental and shaving kits together with plant-based toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, physique lotion and physique wash) from Brooklyn-based Apotheke have been good touches.

The spectacular breakfast buffet

My expertise with resort breakfast buffets has been lackluster at finest over time, particularly as a traveler with dietary restrictions, so I made a decision to guide the most affordable IHG One Rewards member charge as an alternative of paying 44 Singapore {dollars} (about $32) extra for a similar room plus day by day breakfast at Opus Bar & Grill. It did not take lengthy for me to remorse that call.

Since I used to be curious to see how the buffet could be, I made a decision so as to add one breakfast for 30 Singapore {dollars} ($21) when checking in. A lot to my shock, the expansive unfold, which is accessible each day between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m., was the most effective buffet I’ve ever skilled so far. It was so unexpectedly tasty that I went again to the entrance desk to pay for it for the rest of my keep, costing me a complete of SG$90 ($65) for the three days.

Overlook your watery eggs and day-old bagels. The breakfast buffet at voco Orchard Singapore showcases regional cuisines from Singapore, India, the U.S. and extra, so you will have a wide range of dishes to select from. Throughout my go to, there was a made-to-order omelet bar, recent cheeses, a number of sorts of fruit and juice (assume: dragonfruit, carrot-orange juice and watermelon juice), lunch meats, a collection of cereal and native delicacies, together with dough fritters, Nasi Kerabu and conventional Singapore noodles. Moreover, premade lattes and iced espresso have been obtainable, or you could possibly make your personal caffeinated beverage of selection (or order one from the waitstaff).

Whereas the whole buffet was spectacular, the spotlight for me was the part with gluten- and dairy-free gadgets. Choices on this part ranged from full-size white bread or sliced basic nation bread to miniature banana nut and chocolate muffins.

The buffet might differ barely from day after day relying on if you go to, although. For instance, as a result of I used to be jet-lagged, I ate shortly after the restaurant opened on my first day. Throughout that go to, there have been loads of gluten- and dairy-free gadgets to attempt. Nevertheless, after I returned at 8 a.m. on my second day, the gluten-free white bread and oat milk have been out of inventory, so I poured myself a bowl of cornflakes with soy milk as an alternative.

Aside from this slight disadvantage, the buffet was distinctive. With so many dishes obtainable, it was straightforward to replenish for a full time out and about in Singapore.

Associated: grasp the proper resort breakfast technique

Different (fancy) eating venues

Along with its breakfast buffet, Opus serves lunch on choose days and dinner each night. The afternoon and night menus function sustainable steakhouse fare, comparable to appetizers like oysters and crabcakes for round SG$28 ($20) every, and mains like sous vide spice lamb loin and an Not possible pork burger topped with kimchi for between SG$28 ($20) and SG$44 ($32). Seafood and meat entrees have been much more costly, costing as a lot as SG$182 ($130) for meats like a 2 to 2.4-pound Sanchoku Tomahawk steak.

Past Opus, there are two different sit-down eating institutions obtainable contained in the resort, together with Italian-focused il Cielo.

A rooftop restaurant with views of the pool and surrounding metropolis, il Cielo is a well-liked informal (however dear) venue open Tuesday by way of Saturday for lunch and dinner. As a result of I couldn’t get a reservation for any evening of my keep — look into advance reservations in case you’re eager on eating on the eatery — I made a decision to seize takeout on my second evening. The summer season peach salad and gluten-and dairy-free variations of the arrabbiata pasta — which price SG$26 ($18) and SG$32 ($23) respectively — have been good however not extraordinary, and given what a foodie paradise Singapore is, you are higher off spending your cash elsewhere.

Curiously sufficient, the resort can also be residence to a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant: Iggy’s. The primary Singaporean restaurant to seem on The World’s 50 Greatest Eating places checklist, Iggy’s serves “fashionable European dishes with an Asian twist,” in response to the restaurant’s web site. Lunch tastings vary between SG$150 ($107) and SG$235 ($168). In the meantime, dinner begins at SG$295 ($211), with an extra SG$180 ($128) cost for paired wine. Menu highlights embody Maine lobster, chutoro (tuna) and bamboo shoots with caviar.

As you may count on, reservations are required since area is restricted and the bookings are likely to replenish quick, so I used to be not in a position to dine there. If you want to, although, plan on requesting a desk as far prematurely as potential.


Must you crave a fast chunk to eat, you possibly can seize a pastry, a caffeinated beverage and extra from the small bakery off the foyer. I did not indulge my candy tooth right here throughout my keep, however all the things I noticed at D9 Cakery regarded scrumptious.


For many who choose to dine within the consolation of their room, there’s additionally room service from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. I attempted it on my first day since I did not arrive on the resort till 7:30 p.m.

As a result of there are few issues extra comforting than a room service burger, I ordered one with a fried egg, tomato and lettuce, together with fries, ginger ale and a facet of recent fruit for good measure. Since I used to be recovering from my 35-hour flight to get to Singapore, I additionally ordered a cup of chamomile tea. The whole got here to SG$78 ($56).

Regardless of receiving a pop-up message quoting a 30-minute wait time for my order, it arrived inside 10 minutes.

General, the meal was overpriced for what I obtained. The burger and fruit lacked taste, although the fries have been scrumptious. Given Singapore’s abundance of phenomenal eating choices, this meal fell flat. Nonetheless, it served its function of serving to me refuel on brief discover.

Its full-service resort facilities

Because it’s scorching year-round in Singapore, odds are you will wish to take a dip in voco Orchard Singapore’s rooftop pool, which is open each day between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Positioned on degree 24 subsequent to il Cielo, the 40-foot pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and options panoramic metropolis views. I extremely advocate checking it out, even in case you do not use the pool (as was the case for me after I visited).

Moreover, there is a 24-hour health heart on the twenty third ground. In addition to providing treadmills, rowing machines, spin bikes and ellipticals, the gymnasium has a free weights and stack weights part, in addition to an open space for mat work. I discovered the power to be spacious, with ample room for a number of individuals to train whereas visiting to stroll on a treadmill and work out within the open space.

A spa with numerous remedies (massages, physique scrubs, facials and extra) can also be positioned on the premises. Plus, visitors can borrow loaner bikes from the entrance desk on a first-come, first-served foundation to discover town.


The workers is environment friendly and well mannered

As an entire, my interactions with the resort workers have been extremely environment friendly. Everybody from the hostess at Opus to the housekeepers was extraordinarily well mannered and accommodating.

For instance, the entrance desk at all times assisted me with a smile, whether or not they have been checking me in — throughout which they supplied a late checkout of two p.m., unprompted, due to my Diamond Elite standing — or retrieving a meals supply order I would made. Likewise, the concierge was fast to supply to hold my bag each after I arrived and after trying out.

Certainly one of my favourite particulars from my keep was my expertise with housekeeping. Once I returned to my room after it was cleaned on the second day, I discovered a pleasing shock inside. Sitting atop my pillow was somewhat rubber owl to make use of within the bathtub, a nod to the property’s mascot and an emblem of tranquility and serenity, in response to the accompanying be aware. It was such a small element, but it was the primary time I would ever obtained a shower toy and be aware throughout a resort keep, so I will not quickly neglect that.


Backside line

Whether or not you are a classy shopper, touring for work or on the town for an epic solo trip, odds are you will take pleasure in staying at voco Orchard Singapore. Whereas it lacks family-friendly facilities like a children membership and a waterslide on the pool, it has simply sufficient leisure facilities to maintain relaxation-seeking visitors content material after a time out in town or working remotely.


Once I take into consideration my keep at voco Orchard Singapore, the excellent breakfast buffet and pleasant workers are clear highlights. Each time mates, household and colleagues ask me about my journey, the resort is likely one of the first issues I point out thanks to those surprising particulars I loved throughout my keep. I can not wait to remain right here once more the following time I discover myself in Singapore — and to check out one other voco property sooner or later.

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