So, having endured the flight from hell ( Paris-Singapore- Air France 12 hrs) - hell here meaning 6'4" jammed into a middle seat in economy and surrounded by French passengers armed with only the barest notion of economy class etiquette, the Park Hotel was looking very, very good. The only postive really was that we weren't taken out by a Buk missile.
Air France had the very good sense to change its flight path to avoid the Ukraine.
The French wrote the book on fast train behaviour. Impeccable on the TGVs in France. But something goes awry when they get on a plane. I intend to write a short manual on economy class etiquette and, since their faces are burned into my memory, I will find them wherever they are in the world and present each with a copy.
How you end up in the middle seat in economy after expressly reserving a different, better one is to try to explain Air France's reservation system. It is like qantum mechanics. If you think you understand it, then you really don't.
I had reserved a quiet room at this hotel. Far from the elevator, far from families with youngsters, far from Chinese group tours, far from the blinged up Russians.
Yes, the hotel did have the room I wanted. It was right next to the hotel pool and bar area. We had a short discussion about a common definition of "quiet".
We took it because of assurances and the thick windows. After the music started up and some confusion at the front desk, we were offered a deluxe room at no extra cost higher up, away from the bar area. The only discernible difference between the deluxe and lower grade room was the presence of an ironing board built for children to practice their ironings -if that is what kids do these days. A lot of hotels don't ever bother with a bar fridge so an ironing board made for dwarves was a distinct plus.
The room was comfortable, the fittings and furnishings were very good and above all, it was quiet with a so-so view of the Cold Storage Building.
We stayed two nights and both nights, we ate in the hotel restaurant. The food was excellent.
The service standard high. Although we didn't take up the evening buffet option, it looked like a very good deal for 42 SGD. You just have to get used to Singaporeans saying " 42 dollars plus tax". Everything is quoted as X dollars plus tax. So, when you are quoted 25 SGD plus tax with a 20% discount for breakfast, you still end up paying 25 SGD. Go figure.
The redeeming feature of the hotel is its location. RIght next to the Quay area which teems with restaurants - mostly Japanese, mostly expensive.
Across the road is a nice bar that looked like a hang out for ex-pats and next to that is a small shopping mall which has a great Cold Storage supermarket and a Japanese restaurant that will do you a Waygu beef extravaganza for a mere 245 SGD, plus tax, of course.
The front lobby staff, the concierge and all the staffers who are there just to assist - the service was very good - helpful, considerate. Thank you. First class.
At the end of our stay which included a late check-out at 6 p.m and with the memory of Air France almost obliterated, we came away with a lesson learned about the Park Hotel: never accept the first offer made. Walk away, then come back later and readdress the issue and you may find that circumstances have changed, usually for the better. That's because they actually want to make your experience there a pleasant one. A refreshing attitude.
Would we stay there again? Maybe.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With classic architecture inspired by Singapore’s colonial past, Park Hotel Clarke Quay is a tropical retreat in the heart of the city, conveniently located next to the entertainment and dining hub of Clarke Quay and the iconic Singapore River. Enjoy sweeping views of the city skyline and the river from the hotel’s 336 rooms and suites. Pampering facilities including a 25m outdoor pool and adjoining Jacuzzi, a spectacular deck and bar and cabana style spa pavilions – perfect additions to an ideal getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hotel Singapore
- Park Hotel Clarke Quay Singapore