Opened in February 2022, the new Hilton Singapore Orchard charms with elegant interiors, excellent dining destinations, and impeccable, sincere service
Hilton’s new hotel in Singapore earned many news headlines in the lead up to and during its opening – it is the company’s largest hotel in Asia-Pacific and it opened with brisk business, accommodating all players and entourage of the high-profile HSBC Women’s World Championship LPGA Tour.
I was among those who ran said headlines in March, and I finally got a taste of the Hilton hospitality and unique guest experiences that general manager Cedric Nubul waxed very proudly during our earlier interviews.
The new Hilton Singapore Orchard is hard to miss – towering high in a prime section of the buzzing Orchard Road shopping belt. It sits within walking distance of a convenient rapid train line that takes passengers to the City Hall and Raffles Place business districts in around 10 minutes.
Inside, the hotel is also proving to be a formidable competitor on the accommodation, dining and events front, satisfying both leisure and business travellers.
Hilton Singapore Orchard takes in a whopping 1,080 rooms – all are energy-efficient, thanks to in-room motion, air-conditioning and light sensor technology. Instead of plastic key cards, the hotel uses wooden ones, with a digital key via the guest’s own smartphone as an even more environmentally-conscious alternative.
The hotel also relies on a custom-built filtration plant that purifies water and ‘bottle’ them into handy paper cartons on site, enabling the elimination of single-use plastic water bottles and carbon footprint.
Room interiors are ageless and modern, with the use of classic tones and textures such as black, white and grey with wood grains and matte-finished metals. Splashes of mauve bring a desirable softness to the décor.
The family suite, where I was accommodated with my husband and seven-year-old firstborn, is spacious and bright, and comes with a generous-sized bathroom where there are both a deep soaking bath and a rain shower. My boy was given a welcome amenity pack, comprising fluffy bedroom slippers for tiny feet and a kiddy dental hygiene set.
It is the perfect size for travelling families, as it can sleep two adults and two little ones, with plenty of space for playful tumbles.
For larger families, the hotel offers the convenience of 294 connecting rooms that can be instantly confirmed at the time of reservation.
The dining scene is an exciting one at the hotel. There are five dining destinations – Chatterbox and two-Michelin-starred Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro are renowned, while three others are new.
Osteria Mozza by celebrated chef Nancy Silverton has made the hotel home, but it was still putting on final touches during my stay. It was previously located at Marina Bay Sands, sited across the Sands Theatre. Now in the heart of Orchard Road, fans of Osteria Mozza can easily access their favourite Italian comfort fare.
Estate all-day dining restaurant on the lobby level is new and visually stunning. Sporting a luxurious colonial estate vibe, the massive venue comes with numerous botanical-inspired artworks, gold accents and clever use of mirrors to project a cavernous depth. Beautifully-furnished seating sections stretch across a large part of the lobby, granting capacity for 360 diners at once. While the décor feeds Instagram-hungry guests, multiple buffet stations serving up international dishes placate empty bellies.
We were spoiled for choice at dinner, but were particularly smitten with the nicely-charred and juicy wagyu koftas as well as quality selection of desserts that include bite-sized Hilton cheesecakes.
The third new dining concept is Ginger.Lily, an elegant space to see and be seen. Located on the lobby level, Ginger.Lily is a tea lounge in the day and cocktail enclave at night. The hotel’s botanical-inspired interiors carry through here, with the menu offering up botanical-infused teas and craft cocktails inspired by native herbs, flowers, and spices.
At Ginger.Lily, we enjoyed a lazy Orchard Trail Afternoon Tea, which comes with a set of delicate sweets and hot, savoury bites, presented in a pretty pink tiered box. Guests can also pick from 10 premium tea varieties, specially curated for Ginger.Lily. Halia & Poached Pear was invigorating, while the Sang Nila’s Lion C-Tea was fragrant and soothing.
There are gyms in the hotel, one in the Mandarin Wing and another in the Orchard Wing. The latter has yet to open, as refurbishment work is still being carried out in the Orchard Wing.
The Mandarin Wing gym is large and well equipped with various machines, a good match for the hotel’s large room inventory.
In comparison, the pool is small for a hotel of more than 1,000 rooms. Interestingly, it was never too crowded during our stay across Friday and Saturday. We even had the entire pool to ourselves on Saturday morning.
For business and social events, the hotel packs in more than 2,400m2 of function space, including a Grand Ballroom that has capacity for 900 guests.
This is my favourite part during my short stay at the hotel. Although we were made to wait 2.5 hours for our room due to housekeeping backlog, the staff packed us off to the Executive Lounge where we could wait in comfort while snacking on fruits, sandwiches and scones. We were also offered the option of taking a dip in the pool while waiting for our room to be prepared.
Throughout our stay, we chatted with the staff, who were just excited to be welcoming guests. We spoke about the busy dinner crowd, the long-awaited return of tourism, and their recommended favourites on the buffet line or menu.
Hotel manager Bobby Shankar was a frequent fixture in the lobby, and he struck up conversations with my shy firstborn. They first met at check-in on Friday and chatted about Minecraft. Bobby recommended that my boy try French toasts and hot chocolate for breakfast at Estate the next day. On Saturday morning, he bumped into us at Estate and circled back minutes later with two piping hot slices of French toasts just for my boy. They encountered each other several times throughout our stay, and Bobby always stopped for a short chat.
I appreciated how he – and so many others on the service line – made my boy feel like a valued guest, and not just an accompanying little one.
Number of rooms: 1,080
Tel: +65 6737 4411