The view out of a Ritz-Carlton, Millenia guestroom – particularly if you’ve booked a Premier Suite or some other room looking out at Singapore’s Marina Bay from a high floor – is worth the price of admission.
That’s your guide’s considered opinion, although the folks at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia do their darndest to give you other things to rave about: the impeccable entertainment system in every room, the luxurious baths (which you can have a butler draw on your behalf, should the mood strike you), the Dale Chihuly glassworks in strategic lobby-level locations, the fitness center and the huge pool on the ground level, the comfortable Club Lounge and its silently efficient valets, and the easy access to the rest of Marina Bay, among other things.
- For other activities you can do within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel, read this: Top 10 Things to Do in Marina Bay, Singapore.
Its Marina Bay location places the Ritz-Carlton’s guests within a few minutes’ train ride from some of Singapore’s most iconic sights and sounds (indeed, guests will find a pocket-sized Singapore travel guide in their room’s work desk). Still, for a hotel that’s positioned perfectly for tourists seeking to make the most of a few days in Singapore, the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia’s five-star amenities seem to make a very convincing argument to lose yourself within the hotel’s confines till it’s time to board the hotel limo to Changi.
Getting to the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia
For your guide, the Ritz-Carlton experience started even before setting foot in the lobby. A limousine had been arranged to pick me up at the lobby entrance of the Hotel Fort Canning. Arriving slightly early, the late-model Benz and the liveried driver efficiently picked up my baggage and took me on the road.
I had difficulty deciding where to look as we went on our way – the limo ride came with Internet access via an iPad in the rear passenger compartment. I decided to stow the iPad and watch the scenery roll by instead.
The view may vary depending on where you come from, but a drive from the neighborhood of Dhoby Ghaut to the Ritz-Carlton’s location feels like Singapore’s history flashing before your eyes.
After the National Museum, cars emerge into the open as the view shifts to the massive grass field called the Padang, around which Singapore’s past and present come to terms. On one side of the Padang stand the City Hall building and the old Supreme Court building, both undergoing extensive renovation for their future role as Singapore’s preeminent art gallery. On the other side of the Padang, across a busy thoroughfare, stand the Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer, and the Singapore Formula One pitstop building. Just beyond, you’ll see the Marina Bay Sands’ integrated entertainment complex.
Just before you can get your bearings on your new surroundings, the limo pulls up smoothly to the elevated driveway on the lobby area (which is actually on level 3 of the hotel).
Checking Into the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia
Visitors enter the high-ceilinged lobby level at the entrance in the level’s midpoint. As you enter the central atrium, you’ll see Cornucopia hovering above you, a massive undulating sculpture designed by Frank Stella and constructed by traditional shipwrights in Cannes, France.
From the entrance, a guest relations officer will gently conduct you to the long check-in counter to the right of the central atrium. Here, your reservation details will be gathered and confirmed. The same officer accompanies you to the lift, keycards in hand, as you make the long ascent to the Ritz-Carlton Club.
Guests with access to the Ritz-Carlton Club experience a two-step check-in; the process is completed as you wait in the plush lounge at the Ritz-Carlton’s top floor. You’re briefed on the Club’s amenities and other services.
After completing the Club registration process, the officer takes you to your room. And if you’re lucky, that’s where it kicks in: the incomparable view of Marina Bay greets you as you enter, a breathtaking backdrop in both day and night, visible from huge glass windows in the living room area and from giant picturesque octagonal windows in the bedroom area and in the bathroom.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia’s Premier Suite
Not all rooms have a Marina Bay view, of course. Guests have a choice between that or a view of the city with Kallang Bay. If city views are your thing, great, but there’s so much more to see on the Marina Bay side: Formula One races, fireworks from the Marina Bay Sands, and events on the Floating Stadium, if you time your visit right.
Your guide was checked into a Premier Suite on the 30th floor, just a couple of floors shy of the absolute top. Recent renovations by Burega Farnell have created a warmly expansive interior rich in creams, browns and natural whites. Strategically-placed mirror panels work with the massive windows to open up the 646 sq. ft. space into something that feels far more generous.
Everything in the room feels oriented towards the view, from the teakwood desk facing the expansive living room windows to the bathtub immediately under the octagonal window in the bathroom. The fittings and finishes are pleasantly luxurious, with pliant leather surfaces on the separator panels, teakwood and rosewood surfaces, marble floors and counters in the bathroom, and an absolutely plush king-sized bed.
The Premier Suite is smarter than a Ph.D., with intelligently designed and positioned electronics all throughout the space. Lighting controls are set in fold-out panels hidden in the bedside tables, along with universal power outlets for your charging convenience.
The work desk is also kitted out with universal power outlets (two, in fact), along with an IP phone, an iPod docking station, and a wired HDMI connection that permits you to set up the in-room TV to tap content from your laptop.
My laptop drank from the Ritz-Carlton Millenia’s tolerably fast WiFi (password provided by the front desk) while plugged into the discreet power panel within arms’ reach of the table top. I gauged the speed of the WiFi connection, with the results shown here: SpeedTest result - offsite. Premium coffee provided by the in-room Nespresso machine helped with the writing backlog.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia’s Bed, Bath, and Other Perks of the Suite Life
It’s when you look at the absolute bedrock of the hotel room – the bed and the bath – that you see just how the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia’s outdone the rest of the pack.
Bed: The king-size bed is rigged out in the Ritz-Carlton’s trademark Ultimate Sleep Experience: a feather bed, goose-down duvets, and extra-large pillows, all creating a downy, fluffy cocoon of white high-thread-count fabric and feathers you want to get lost in for days on end.
If you want to take the Ultimate Sleep Experience home, you can buy its components at the lobby-level Gift Shoppe.
Bath: the Ritz-Carlton bathroom has been labeled one of the “sexiest bathrooms” in Singapore, and in all honesty it seemed a shame to have no one to share it with. A large octagonal window sits immediately beside the spacious bathtub, its view immediately overlooking the financial center. The hotel provides a bath menu with a selection of aromatherapy ingredients; make a reservation to have the butler draw your bath beforehand.
Other bathroom features include a walk-in closet on the far end of the room, a pair of terry-cloth microfiber bathrobes, anti-fog mirrors, European toiletries, and separate rain-shower and water closet stalls.
Entertainment in the Premier Suite is provided by two 46-inch wall-mounted LED TVs, one each for the living room and bedroom. Audio is even piped into the bathroom area, courtesy of Bose hi-fidelity audio.
For more on the rest of the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore and its massive art collection (among other details), go to the next page.