It’s Valentine’s day weekend! What better way to celebrate it than a romantic staycation and a nice candlelit dinner under the stars.
That’s exactly what M and I did a couple of weeks back.
I actually made this reservation way back in September when no one else in their right minds would be thinking about Valentine’s day. I guess it’s always better to be prepared than to panic at the last minute!
It’s also no coincidence that I chose Hilton Singapore for the staycation as it houses not just 1, but 2 award-winning restaurants. For our stay, we had the Il-Cielo’s Valentine’s day dinner special menu. We’ll definitely be back to try the famous Iggy’s restaurant.
Also, Hilton Singapore has been one of the first hotels to open up for staycations when phase 2 started. Since then, I’ve seen many reviews posted online of people’s experiences here and it’s since been on my to-visit list.
3 days before our check-in date, we received an email asking us about our estimated time of arrival. We were also asked to prebook access to facilities such as the swimming pool and fitness centre.
Many hotels are doing the same thing now to better manage the crowd.
There was a priority line for diamond members only. When we arrived at the hotel, our entire check-in process only took about 5 minutes even though we were not diamond members.
King Deluxe Plus Room
Prior to arrival, I was informed that we were pre-upgraded to the King Hilton Premium Room.
All of the rooms (other than suites) are very similar at Hilton Singapore. The main difference between King Premium and King Deluxe Plus being a bathtub and a rain shower.
The King Premium, being a step up from Deluxe Plus does not come with a bathtub. They have instead been renovated recently to include a rain shower.
We decided to forego the Premium Room to instead go with the Deluxe Plus room as we’d prefer a bathtub over a rainshower.
The room looks and feels like any other typical hotel rooms. With 32 sq m of space, it definitely feels spacious and clean in the room.
Our room faces the Orchard main road and Thai embassy.
If you’re looking for Nespresso machines, be sure to get yourself booked into at least the Deluxe Plus rooms. The Hilton Deluxe rooms are the only rooms in the hotel without the Nespresso machines. Though I’m not sure if you’ll really miss much of that as they only offered 3 capsules for our stay.
As compared to Conrad Singapore, the Hilton provided the more recognisable TWG brand tea bags.
The bedside nightstand. There were ample plugs located all around the room so you’ll not run out of places to charge your devices. However, if you’re looking to charge your phones, remember to bring your own charging adapter.
I did not spot any USB ports available for charging other than the ones behind the TV. In a modern time like this, I view USB ports to be of a higher priority than basic 3 pin plugs.
There were ample amount of water provided for our stay. I’m not really sure why they were placed beside the bed though(?).
A stark contrast between modern and old placed side by side. At check-in, we were recommended to use the QR code for any room requests.
The QR code directs us to a badly designed and optimised web application that contains a “live chat” feature. When I tried to chat with their service support for a shower gel request, I did not receive a reply even up to this day.
Using the telephone yielded a much better response as the phone was picked up almost immediately by the front counter.
The Hilton mobile app, on the other hand, provided a much better experience. On the 2nd day, I used the app to request a late check-out which was almost instantly granted so kudos to that!
The bathroom looks like it’s stuck in the 90s era. The brown marble tiles and gold/silver plates screams old-fashioned.
It’s definitely clean and comfortable for a hotel standard, but just not one where I’ll spend a large portion of my staycation time in.
The bathtub is surprisingly low and shallow. I ended up not using it despite switching a room just for it.
Toiletries are from Crabtree & Evelyn. They have a really pleasant smell and are light on the skin.
During our stay, a service staff came into our room without any notice to pass us some welcome chocolates.
Although it was partly our fault for not closing the lock bolt and it was a nice gesture on their part, we felt that the staff should not enter a guest’s room after check-in.
Alternatively, the front desk could have given us a call to inform us in advance to prevent any unnecessary misunderstandings.
Valentine’s Day Dinner at Il-Cielo
The highlight of our stay was the Valentine’s Day dinner at Il-Cielo.
Il-Cielo is an Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant located on the 24th story of the hotel, just beside the swimming pool. Opened by Chef Yohhei Sasaki, it was awarded the Michelin-Plate award in 2019.
For our visit, we specifically chose the 5-course experience, topped with a glass of Prosecco.
We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
The whole experience was amazing with really great service by their staff. I really enjoyed the food and am even salivating while writing this blog post.
Breakfast is served at Opus Bar & Grill, just beside the main lobby.
During this covid period, guests have to make reservations for 1-hour dining slots. The ala-carte buffet has also been switched to menu servings.
Breakfast timings are from 7am to 1030am.
Be sure to book your slot as early as possible as slots run out very quickly.
We were only allowed to order 1 mains per person with unlimited fruits, yoghurts and bread.
The food was sufficient and typical. It was pretty decent, but nothing to really write home about.
Hilton Singapore, as compared to Conrad Centennial Singapore is definitely a step down. Even though they are both rated as 5 star hotels, the quality of service and amenities of Hilton can’t be compared to the Conrad.
The dated room of the Hilton is due for an upgrade and we would not hesitate to visit again should there be a hotel-wide refurbish. Hilton Orchard is also slated to be open in the next couple of years, so the fate of this hotel seems bleak.
As we continue to be grounded in Singapore, staycations appear to be one of the only ways we can simulate a travel experience.
Prior to Covid, M and I have never really stayed in hotels in Singapore as there wasn’t simply a need to. If we wanted an escape from the hustle and bustle, we could easily book a cheap air ticket to a nearby country.
This situation given us a chance to experience something we otherwise wouldn’t have done. Staycations can actually be quite enjoyable as well.
At this point, we have also resigned to the fact that we are simply too lazy to visit the fitness centre or the swimming pool during our staycations. Why exercise when we can binge watch all the movies/TV series available on Netflix!
Looking for more staycation ideas? Check out our review of Conrad Centennial Singapore here. We had an incredible staycation there and would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat!