Mandarin Oriental Singapore

Aphotic decor

It's easy to think of the Mandarin Oriental as just another business hotel in a city of financial movers and shakers. Fortunately, just beyond the surface lies a kind of elegance and personality that make this place a worthy choice among Singapore's established luxury hotels.

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Structure-wise, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore sports a rather nondescript concrete
façade and houses the iconic inner atrium-style layout common to hotels that mushroomed here during the 1980s to match the island-state’s first economic growth spurt. Its prime location at the Marina Bay and just across from the Central Banking District means this is a good base for business travellers as well as holidaymakers looking to make the most of the island’s shopping, nightlife, and attractions. At first glance, then, the hotel is able to offer all you would reasonably expect: class, convenience, as well as the renowned M.O. stamp of approval.

Stopping here, however, would mean neglecting to explore what makes this property stand out from the rest because it certainly isn’t merely about functionality but also about style. In fact, its interior tells a very different story.

What is striking is the hotel’s almost aphotic decor: ambient lighting, dark wood
paneling, dark flooring. A smattering of beautiful and strategically placed regional art pieces and antiques remind you which part of the world you’re in – well within the Mandarin Oriental group’s ideology of marrying Eastern and Western traditions. All these combine to suggest a low-key performance where it does not need to try hard to convey a natural sense of high-class comfort. Oh and that generic structure? It was designed to resemble the Mandarin Oriental logo’s widely recognised fan, making it one of the group’s landmark properties.

The rooms follow this decidedly contemporary feel with original touches. The beds are truly comfortable and for a proper view, choose one that looks out across the bay. Overall, the hotel’s atmosphere is sophisticated and peaceful, its tranquility quite striking from the moment you hand over your luggage and walk into the main lobby. Something must also be said about the pool, which is, to put it simply, lush. You can retreat into the privacy of one of the curtained and cushioned cabanas or just enjoy the panoramic view over the bay area. This really makes for a great place to unwind after a hectic day of meetings or backbreaking mall-to-mall shopping.

While Singapore’s food culture is virtually unsurpassed and anyone would recommend venturing out to sample the local fare, afternoon tea here at the Axis Lounge is a laid-back and sumptuous affair well beyond a mere scone and pot of tea. The nicely crafted pastries and desserts certainly merit a try.

Rounded off by on-hand and friendly service, this is a well-managed property providing all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel of this class, and that crucial bit more. An oasis of calm in this bustling city-state as well as a valued veteran of Singapore’s hotel scene, the Mandarin Oriental is rightly set to continue drawing international recognition for exactly this reason.

Mandarin Oriental Singapore

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