Grand Park Orchard can be considered quite a new addition to the chain of hotels along the busy shopping street of Orchard road in Singapore.
Opened only 3.5 years ago, the hotel is housed in Knightsbridge mall (formerly known as Crown Prince Shopping Centre), a rather Â low and inconspicuous building. The unique and exquisite exterior of the building gives strong hints of elegance in the hotel and raises expectations. Grand Park Orchard is an award winning hotel, which has won umpteen awards and accolades from reputable websites such as tripadvisor, agoda.com and booking.com. Naturally, I had high expectations and I must say I was not let down at all.
Date of stay: March 2014
270 Orchard Rd
Just like many other hotels along Orchard road, the location of Grand Park Orchard is very suitable for regular tourists, especially those who love shopping. The hotel is located at the heart of the shopping district, and guests can have easy access to the plethora of malls from Orchard all the way to Dhoby Gaut. With such an extensive selection of malls, there is definitely something for everyone. For instance, guests who wish to splurge on luxurious and branded goods can head across the hotel to Paragon Shopping Centre, Singapore’s most reputable luxury mall or ION Orchard, which is a stone’s throw away, which is one of the newest additions to the street.
Both these malls are home to renowned international brands, such as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Boucheron, etc. and it would take lots of time for me to name them all. For those who are on a smaller budget or seek something more local, head on to malls like Lucky Plaza where you can get good bargains for a plethora of different goods ranging from tech-goods to souvenirs to clothing. Otherwise, 313@Somerset would be a good choice to shop for high street fashion products and other popular fashion brands like Forever 21 and Levi’s.
Orchard road also opens doors to dining, and food would definitely be the least of your worries. Almost every cuisine can be found along the bustling street, and guests will have a multitude of dining options, from budget food courts at places like Lucky Plaza, or high-end dining at restaurants such as Lawry’s The Prime Rib and Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant.
The location of the hotel is not only convenient for tourists, but also for some businessmen as well. This is because Orchard road is also home to numerous corporate offices. High rise office towers are abundant, and are found above shopping malls such as Paragon, Ngee Ann City, Wisma Atria and many more. These buildings are home to plenty of companies, such as Qatar Airways and Wynn International. However, the CBD area still seems to be the most popular place where international businessmen have appointments at. Furthermore, the CBD area is only accessible via train and it would be a major hassle should guests attempt to walk there. Thus, many businessmen will still prefer to (and should) lodge in the CBD area.
Not only is the location convenient for tourists and businessmen, it is also a wonderful place for medical tourists to rest and lodge at. This is because Grand Park Orchard is located right across the street from Paragon Medical Centre, which houses many of the nation’s top and most popular doctors and specialist. Mount Elizabeth hospital is also just around the corner, making Grand Park Orchard one of, if not the best choice of residence for those with medical appointments.
However, nothing is perfect and the same applies for the location of the hotel. There is a price to pay for being so conveniently located, as the hotel is now right in the middle of two Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, namely Orchard station and Somerset station, both of which are a good 5 minutes walk away. Although this may seem to be just a short walk, there are many other hotels along Orchard road that are much more accessible from the MRT stations. For instance, Marriott hotel is linked to the train station via underpass and Pan Pacific serviced apartments sits right above somerset stations. Thus, guests residing at Grand Park Orchard will have to bear with slightly more walking. That being said, the location of the hotel, couple with the well-connected train system can easily transport guests to many other popular attractions such as Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Little India. Furthermore, the friendly and helpful concierge staff will be glad to assist guests in arranging for transportation, be it giving directions to the train stations and bus stops, booking a taxi, or arranging for an exclusive limousine ride.
Checking into the hotel can be a little confusing for those staying for the first time. It is actually understandable as the hotel’s main lobby is actually on the 4th floor, and there is also a small “lobby” or waiting area on the first floor. However, hotel staff are quick to greet and direct guests to the main lobby area.
The main lobby was exquisitely designed, with an abundance of comfortable sofas and beautiful chandeliers. All these set up a gorgeous scene at night and is very welcoming.
The soft setting of the lobby area create a nice and peaceful ambience, and guests will find themselves carrying out conversations at ease.
The lobby is also home to a trophy display area, where Grand Park Orchard displays it’s numerous trophies and accolades. This definitely does increase guest expectations and also sets the bar high for the hotel itself.
Checking in was pretty much hassle-free, although it wasn’t exactly fast. However, the service standards were great and the frontline staff were friendly and helpful, making the procedure an enjoyable one. The staff were also pleased to assist me when I requested for a late check-out.
Besides all these, you will notice that the lobby area is tastefully decorated with potted plants and other decor, giving it a luxurious and refreshing ambience that I really liked.
However, there was a small issue that I found slightly inconvenient. In order to get to the room from the main entrance of the hotel after a long day of shopping and walking, guests would have to take a lift to the 4th floor where the main lobby is, and then transfer to another set of lifts across the hall in order to return to the room. I’m sure that exhausted guests would probably find this is nuisance. On the bright side, I feel that such a system does guarantee a higher level of safety and security, as all guests and visitors would have to pass through the reception area, and uninvited guests can be identified and stopped easily.