A beach paradise in the middle of the city

SINGAPORE:  Despite failed relationships, fair-weather friends, grumpy waiters and salespeople, there is still a sweet spot for me in the Garden City. I haven’t been back in a couple of years – not to the rooms yet, that is – but I still make it a point to visit its F&B outlets whenever I can like Crossroads Cafe. I’m talking about Singapore Marriott Hotel on Orchard Road. Architecture wise, its unique Chinese pagoda top never fails to call my attention, or anyone for that matter, as you can spot it a mile away.  In terms of people, these wonderful first generation Marriott citizens I met are linked to my good memories of this sanctuary. First is the mild-mannered Nicholas Tse who’s now helming another Marriott hotel in Hong Kong. I remember him as having that pleasant effect of making every person welcomed and important in his hotel and world. It was certainly a sad moment for me when he was relocated in Bangkok then. Another good soul gone from the Garden City, I sighed to myself.

Here's the way to the Pool Terrace Rooms

Then there is the effervescent Lee Sutton, the fantastic Director of Communications who left the business of PR for a while but has since returned to the city with her own agency. Lee was an infectious bundle of positive vibe! Next is Kathrynn Koh, the former Director of Marketing and Communication of the hotel. Immaculately dressed Kathrynn never had a strand of hair out of place and whose smile never left her lips even under mounting pressure. And there’s Elizabeth Wan, or Liz as everyone called her, Kathrynn’s partner in crime. I remember her congenial demeanor and warm smile that travelled all the way to her eyes. Last, but not last, is Chef Irene who is responsible for all the baked goodies for special occasions and regular days. I remember her audacity to combine yoghurt and chocolate. I think she said the former is a healthier substitute for cream thus you can really have your cake and eat it too! Another interesting vignette about Chef Irene is never ever cross her path during Christmas unless you want to feel the wrath of the chocolate-and-pastry goddess. Oh, hands off the ballrooms too where she cools her thousands of Christmas delights.

Enter your sweet haven - Singapore Marriott's Pool Terrace room

Marriott and I go way back – about 22 years back in a little cookie shop called Cookie Habit at the Stanford Mall in Palo Alto, California. Every week I baked about 13 big trays of chocolate chip cookies for Marriot. I’d scoop small balls of cookie batter onto a greased tray – a whole tub of it – on Friday afternoons, and my manager readied the bite-size cookies for delivery after they’ve cooled. She tagged the several trays “Marriott” so Cookie Habit’s delivery man Don would know where to drop them off when he collected them the following morning. I had no idea what Marriott was until after I moved to Singapore and became an editor of a travel magazine. Marriott and I were inseparable, seeing it through innovations (luxurious bedding ranging from duvet, bed linen to pillows) and renovations (Pool Terrace rooms and Pool Grill). I was there when the famed Singaporean Tang quarter performed during the inauguration of the breath-taking Pool Terrace rooms, which is an urban beach paradise accentuated by a pool and soothing waterfall wall at the end of the pool. 

Hello bathtub!

The weary traveler is invited to soak in a giant tub of aromatic Bvlgari upon entering the room. The next choice: catch up on the latest goings-on on the flat screen on the wall; slide in a DVD to unwind; or slip under soft white blankets and drift into a deep, relaxing sleep.  All the rooms open up to the pool where you can catch the morning sun while reading your favorite author and shoot the breeze at night. Its resort-like setting has captured the fancy of travelers that some have booked months ahead and are staying for months on end.

At Singapore Marriott, step into a Pool Terrace room and you’ll be cocooned in a sweet haven amidst the deafening noise of the concrete jungle.

Catch the evening breeze by the pool

Photography by Lyra Garcellano


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Fistri on May 22, 2010 at 2:55 am

    you missed travel writing dont you? btw i ddnt know you bake chocolate cookies??? hey i want tt! so when are you coming back again!!!


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