Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore Review
Overview & Pricing
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore is located on the north end of Marina Bay, just across the street from The Float @ Marina Bay events venue and The Helix. The latter is beautiful pedestrian bridge that crosses the Singapore River and provides quick access to the upscale and bustling Marina Bay Sands shopping and hotel complex.
Suffice to say this stay was the hotel deal of a lifetime. We caught wind of a great rate via Flyer Talk and were able to book four nights in a standard room for just over 1500 Citi ThankYou points, including the use of the Citi Prestige 4th night free feature. Using an assumed value of 1.5 cents for a ThankYou point, that’s $22.50 total (no taxes or fees) for four nights! This compares to what appears to be a typical $550 (or higher) Singapore dollar (roughly $400 USD) rate for standard view rooms.
While there are a few fun areas to potentially stay while visiting Singapore, it’s tough to imagine a better location for being centrally-located, and having walking access to the Marina Bay area. It is no more than a 10-15 minute walk to attractions such as Merlion Park, the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel (previously the largest in the world, second only to the High Roller in Las Vegas), The Gardens by the Bay, and the previously mentioned Marina Bay Sands complex, including the ArtScience Museum and the nighttime Spectra Light and Water Show.
By taxi, the Ritz-Carlton is a 20-minute trip from the airport for around $15 USD. We found taxis to be plentiful (from hotels or other tourist destination taxi stands) and cheap in Singapore, and they all took credit card as payment with a small surcharge. We took quick 5-10 minute taxi rides to destinations that were a bit more than a walk in the heat, such as Chinatown, Orchard Road, and Joo Chiat.
Lobby & Check-in
The lobby, check-in, and concierge desk common areas of the hotel are nothing terribly grand. Of course, it is clean, nice and luxurious, as one would expect from this brand. The Chihuly Lounge bar area (with some nice Chihuly glass!) near check-in appeared nice and seemed lively at most hours without being overcrowded. Employees were all very friendly, greeting guests and opening doors from taxi drop-off to check-in.
No mention was made at check-in of our great rate, although perhaps it just coded as prepaid. We had traded emails with the hotel before our arrival to let them know we would be celebrating a special milestone with them. That was pleasantly acknowledged at check-in and we were very happy to find that we had been upgraded to a room with a Marina Bay view.
It is worth mentioning that this Ritz-Carlton location does not participate at all in the Marriott or Ritz rewards programs, as disclosed on their website. It was even mentioned at check-in when I whipped out my handy-dandy (and soon to be discontinued) Chase Ritz Visa. So this was seemingly not the reason for our upgrade, nor was an upgrade to a lounge-access room an option (and, thus, we didn’t have access to the lounge to include in this review). The lack of rewards program participation is definitely disappointing, as it means the only type of a reward stay would be via a flexible currency booking – such as using Citi ThankYou points.
As mentioned, we were upgraded to a Deluxe Marina Bay room, which is simply their standard room, but with an AMAZING view. And by standard room, I mean NICE! (In addition to the photos in the gallery, below, you can also take a quick video tour.) The hotel has a long rectangular shape running east/west on the north side of the Marina Bay. Thus, you have a 50/50 chance of being on the side of the building with sweeping views of the bay and impressive city skyline, or else have no bay view at all (referred to as a Kallang neighborhood view on the hotel’s website).
As shown in the photos, the standard room layout is very spacious, with a small walk-in closet and a nice couch and desk setup for enjoying the view. The bathroom is also very spacious, with a bathtub view that must be right up there with the best in the world. Again, as one would expect from this brand, amenities such a toiletries, towels, robes, and bedding did not disappoint.
Facilities & Food
The pool area is in a tree-lined grove, just outside the front of the hotel, but down a level from the lobby. Per the view from our room, it seemed to get fairly steady use, but always seemed to have at least a few lounge chairs available. On our one quick trip to the pool, we found friendly service, comfy lounge chairs (and a few complimentary day beds), and families having fun without being loud. The pool itself is nothing extraordinary, but was a nice place to cool off, without being too cold.
The spa and workout areas are on the same level as the pool. Both seemed very nice, although we didn’t use the spa services on our visit. The workout room had what one would expect, in terms of modern and clean equipment, and standard amenities.
Given that eating all around Singapore was a big draw for us, we did not dine at the hotel (outside of the very nice welcome gifts in our room for our special occasion!), so do not have any specific reviews of the dining options. That said, and as previously noted, the Chihuly Lounge bar area looked very nice and welcoming. The Colony restaurant (and bakery) just off the main lobby was nearly always packed full of seemingly happy guests (and the food looked great from what we saw!). And the hotel also features a One Michelin star-rated Cantonese restaurant called the Summer Pavilion.
Marina Bay Area
Besides the amazing view, paired with the quality and service of this brand that didn’t disappoint, the proximity to the Marina Bay area is clearly a big draw for the hotel. Walking down to and then crossing Raffles Avenue in front of the hotel is a bit pedestrian unfriendly, but not too bad. Despite surprisingly observing jay-walkers, we went a minute out of our way to use the nearest crosswalk. From right in front of the hotel, you can head right (west) toward Merlion Park, including the downtown and Chinatown areas. Or if you go left (east), it’s a short walk across the scenic Helix bridge to the Marina Bay Sands shopping and hotel, as well as The Gardens by the Bay.
The Marina Bay Sands area features a huge class-A shopping mall, numerous casual and fine-dining options, the ArtScience Museum, the (at least) twice-nightly Spectra Light and Water show, a casino, and the feature that literally (okay, not really) hovers above the impressive Singapore skyline … the “spaceship” platform on top of the hotel. While very touristy (fortunately we were tourists), going to the spaceship platform is seemingly a must. We just barely missed sunset, but the nighttime 360-degree views were amazing, including looking down on the light/water show and the “Supertree” grove. (Note that you must be a hotel Sands hotel guest to use the amazing infinity pool on the spaceship.)
The Gardens by the Bay and its Supertrees are also a very fun and unique spot to visit, although we didn’t make it into the very highly-regarded huge conservatory domes in the Gardens area. The Supertree grove also has a twice-nightly light and music show.
Singapore is a modern, clean, and safe city, known for its mixture of cultures and their impact on its reputation as a food-lovers haven. That cuisine can be enjoyed either in the cheap-eats of many hawker centers (think bustling multi-ethnic food court full of locals) all around town, or in plentiful fine-dining establishments. We particularly enjoyed doing two walking tours of neighborhoods focused on local cuisine, while learning about the city as we ate.
While our stay at the hotel was obviously an amazing value, we would definitely be excited to go back someday. Certainly our stay underscores how a view of the Marina Bay and the beautiful Singapore skyline from a hotel room is an experience worth having.