December 11, 2015
Looking for a place for a Singapore staycay (stay-cation) to snuggle up with your loved ones or to rest your tired bones? Or simply need a uncongested hideaway to recharge after a tiresome day out exploring every nook and cranny of Singapore?
Then Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy is the place for you.
Located in the heart of historical Katong that is rich in Peranakan culture, Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy is a 4 star hotel that is an ideal place for both tourists and locals.
What is Peranakan you may ask. This lineage consists of the descendants of Chinese immigrants who journeyed down to the Malay archipelago and British Malaya, now known as the Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, back in the 15th and 17th centuries. Over the years and centuries, they have developed a unique culture that encompasses Singapore’s Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian cultures.
Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy is in close proximity to various locations that are ideal for tourists, families, couples and just about anyone really.
In the Katong vicinity, there is the famed Katong Laksa, stretches of pubs and quaint little cafes, and of course the rich Peranakan culture. Situated near the Katong Laksa is the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, a stunning indian temple filled with murals.
You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out since there is Rabbit Carrot Gun, Sinpopo, Thai Mookata, traditional Thunder Tea Rice etc. There’s also Nine Thirty, a bistro by the team at Awfully Chocolate. Being a total Gemini, this is literally the best and worst thing ever for me, because variety and because indecisive.
Right opposite Nine Thirty is Katong 112, where you can get your movie fix and cute little stores like Naiise where they feature local designers and such. There’s also a hot yoga studio if you fancy, but ladies only.
Over at the other side of the hotel is Parkway Parade Shopping Centre where you can get all your international big brands with over 250 specialty shops and departmental stores. Think Marks and Spencer, Crabtree and Evelyn, Etude House etc. Oh yeah, shopping.
It is a short walk to East Coast Park, where there are loads of recreational activities to be done, such as having an outdoor barbeque session, relaxing by the beach or rollerskating and more. The East Coast Park Food Centre is also located there, where there is a wide selection of delicious local fare to choose from.
If you’re a tourist and worried about the hotel’s location and travelling issues, fret not. Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy is very accessible to and fro Changi Airport as there is a complimentary airport shuttle that runs at a half an hour interval from 7am to 2am daily, ensuring that you reach the airport in 15 minutes. It is also 10 to 20 minutes away from most attractions like Gardens By The Bay, Orchard Road, National Museum and the Flyer.
Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy boasts of 576 guestrooms and suites, starting at $322++ for a 32 metre square superior room to $502++ for a studio suite, depending on the periods enquired.
Guests staying at the executive rooms and suites will get to enjoy exclusive services at the Executive Lounge, which I will get to later, for now, let’s focus on checking in. Guests are also entitled to personalised service and private check-in, making the entire process much faster.
There’s a Wave Cafe at the lobby area, where you can have a cuppa joe while waiting for your check in, or enjoy a nice slice of cake that is baked in-house by their own patisserie.
Oh yes to the room. As I am staying in the Studio Suite, I am naturally entitled access to the executive lounge, which no, I’m still not explaining yet because I’m very focused on letting you know how spacious and comfortable this room is.
Definitely more than enough for a couple, this is a dream room for two to snuggle up under the soft duvet while watching television or whispering sweet nothings to each other. Alternatively if you’re with a friend and the latter is not a choice, you could also play board games on the bed, it’s still very comfortable.
There is also a lounging area for when you do not feel like lying on a bed.
The bathroom is very spacious, complete with two sinks, a bath tub and a separate shower and toilet. You can choose to save time and take a bath simultaneously while another takes a shower, or even better, save water and take a bath together. I mean only if it’s totally not too weird to do so.
Do remember to bring candles and rose petals for a romantic atmosphere. Go crazy, go wild.
The hotel does provide the much needed soap, dental kit, towels and shower caps, which you might think is pretty basic, but you’ll be surprised at just how many hotels are lacking in dental kits.
Trust me, I was just panicking right before reaching the hotel because I’ve forgotten my toothbrush and I’ve had far too many times a situation where I had to go out and hunt for my own toothbrush from a convenience store. Well, all my worries were put to rest, very pleased with this indeed.
I wasn’t kidding when I said it was spacious at 52 sqm. In addition, the room is complete with coffee and tea making facilities, in-room mini bar, cable TV, sprinkler and smoke detector, hair dryer, iron and board, electric power sockets and supply, in-room safe and international direct dial telephone. Well that was a mouthful but I just wanted you to know that.
On the 4th floor is the outdoor swimming pool deck, launderette, 24 hour fitness centre aka gym for all you beefy gym rats, and Breez Bistro. Here at the pool you can coat yourself in glistening tanning lotion and bake to your heart’s content or take a dip and sip on a pina colada, because you’re fancy like that.
Breez Bistro offers beers, wine and spirits for a great accompaniment during a relaxation time. They also offer a selection of food choices for when you’re too hungry from all that swimming or anything really.
The bistro is now running a 4 course set lunch menu at $32++ and 4 course set dinner at $42++, where both set meals include a soup, appetiser, main and a dessert.
The set lunch and dinner is just about right for a meal which does not require you to leave the hotel premises. That’s definitely coming from the very lazy side of me.
The staff at Breez Bistro were very polite and service was on-point. They made sure I got the drink I wanted and kept checking to see if there was anything else they could help me with. With a service like that, I felt like a princess for a bit.
On the 3rd floor is Feast @ East Buffet Restaurant, where you get to stuff your faces with dishes from various cuisines such as Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and of course, Peranakan.
Oh, the long awaited Executive Lounge. Located on the 17th floor of the hotel. Here, you can have your complimentary breakfast from 7am to 10am and evening drinks with hors d’oeuvres from 6pm to 8pm daily.
Coffee, tea and juice facilities are available throughout with a complimentary two hour use of the Executive Lounge Boardroom. It is also equipped with iMac and printing facilities for when you desperately need to print out a ticket to enter whichever wonderland you’re heading to.
You can also check out from the lounge from 7am to 11pm at your convenience and…. request for a late check out up till 4pm. Sleep in, yes. Though it is of course subjected to hotel availability.
On the 2nd floor of the Grand Mercure hotel is Jia Wei, a intricately decorated Cantonese restaurant that serves traditional dim sum and other oriental dishes that emanates a home-cooked feeling, hence the restaurant name.
They have recently revamped their menu with the welcoming of their new head chef, Victor.
The new menu promises more oriental dishes that will evoke a sense of homeliness. Other dishes include traditional oriental favourites like the Chef’s Superior Fish Maw and Seafood Soup, Fresh Prawns served with 2 signature sauces, Fried Eggplant topped with Pork Floss, slow cooked Pork Belly with Yam in Claypot and of course, the fresh Garoupa fish prepared according to your preferences.
Executive Set Lunch A ($38.80 per person, min 2 person). There is a selection of Dim Sum and served here are the usual suspects: Har Gow, Siew Mai, Fried Prawn Dumpling and Fried Beancurd Rolls with Prawns. The dim sum is delicious and goes well with the chilli.
Pan Fried King Prawn with Sze Chuan Sauce. The prawns are juicy and the sauce is rich in flavour.
Braised Ee-Fu Noodle with Mushrooms. This makes for a satisfying dish and this set ends with a dessert of the day. I got the mango pomelo sago, which is a cult classic with cantonese cuisine.
You can choose to end your meal with an addition of their signature Deep-fried Cempedak ice cream, which isn’t in the executive menu but will be an interesting dish to order.
So, would I recommend Grand Mercure Roxy? Oh yes.
Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy would give you the opportunity to experience Singapore very differently. I would say it gives you a sense of homeliness, a taster of a more authentic Singapore experience as opposed to living in the city area. Of course central Singapore has its own charm and it is extremely convenient to manoeuvre around shopping wise, it can get too constricted and overly crowded.
Over here, you get to experience the neighbourhood tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, yet also be conveniently connected to the central area or most tourist attractions. Not to say even better for a staycation because the idea of it all is to take some time out from reality and enjoy the tranquility.
With in-house baby sitting services and foreign currency exchange services as well, Hotel Grand Mercure Roxy is a hotel that will satisfy all your needs and more be it tourist or not.
Expected Damage: From $160 per night for superior room