Mavis is a welcome sight for any traveler keen to escape Singapore’s bustle. Well-known among the city-state’s residents, she greets every guest who ventures into voco Orchard Singapore from the hotel driveway.
Perched front and center in the entrance, Mavis (who, it should be noted, is a statue of a blue bird) occupies something of a special status on social media, tasked as she is with embodying the voco signature ‘come on in’ welcome. Her fans delight in her Insta profile (check out her New Year costume) and note that her spirit is embodied by her human colleagues at this IHG Hotel.
I could not even think of lifting a finger without a hotel staff member getting there first and providing me with an umbrella, a taxi or an extra room pass when mine was mislaid. They are serious mind readers and delightful to boot.
Orchard Road is a 2.5-kilometer stretch of high-end shopping featuring some of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands. Yes, there are plenty of restaurants but Orchard (as those in the know call it) is really the place to come if you want to shop and you want to shop big.
Once the way to plantations and crops of nutmeg and pepper that gave the road its name in the 19th century, now the closest thing you’ll get to flora and fauna is Mavis.
No matter. The hotel is about a 10-minute walk from Orchard MRT station and an even shorter distance to ION, one of the biggest malls in which to give your credit card a workout.
From the MRT, it’s an easy trip to one of the Lion City’s many must-sees. Gardens by the Bay is particularly worthwhile, as are the Botanic Gardens which hold UNESCO status. My pick at Gardens by the Bay is the Flower Dome as the largest glass greenhouse in the world (take water with you because that place gets steamy) and at the Botanic Gardens, it’s the National Orchid Garden.
The proximity to everything that makes the city worth a visit is a huge plus point for voco Orchard Singapore
While I’m no green thumb, the huge variety of orchids is really quite fantastic. But the fascination also lies in the very many famous and infamous global names who have been honored with a species named after them.
Head to the unassuming and therefore easy to miss pavilion, which has photo displays of the likes of everyone from Margaret Thatcher and Nahendra Modi to Elton John and Serena Williams being shown their namesake flower for the first time, and then try to match the orchid with the celebrity in the little garden next door.
Of course, if you’ve got youngsters with you, you can’t go past the night safari at Singapore Zoo (take mosquito repellent and water), the Singapore Flyer for a bird’s eye view of the city or the delights of Sentosa with its cable car and the universally kid-approved Universal Studios.
The proximity to everything that makes the city worth a visit is a huge plus point for voco Orchard Singapore.
voco Orchard Singapore’s enviable address
There’s no denying that a visit to Singapore will be a busy one – it’s the very nature of the place – which is why voco Orchard Singapore is the perfect antidote to a hard day spent enjoying yourself.
The views I had over Singapore were enviable, to say the least
Thanks to its central address and the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in my King Bed Deluxe high-floor room, the views I had over Singapore were enviable, to say the least.
The room’s attention to detail is superb including the full on workstation set up for early morning virtual meetings – and I particularly liked the little touches that indicate this is a hotel which takes sustainability seriously. The super comfy bed mattress is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles, the drinking straws are biodegradable and the large size Apotheke toiletries in the marble bathrooms are the very best when it comes to plant-based organic skincare.
You’ll see there’s a plastic bottle recycling unit in reception for guests to make use of too which fascinated the kids. It’s opposite the D9 Cakery which fascinated me but for entirely different reasons.
Different but good different
One of the highlights of the hotel for me was the discovery of the Club Lounge on level 22. More workstations to work in peace, attentive staff who were so welcoming and helpful when my laptop charger decided to give up the ghost and an array of freshly cooked international dishes and snacks on hand.
The sweet-toothed might take note of the chef’s bread and butter pudding for a mid-afternoon comfort carb fix. I did, which is why I found myself in the roof top pool each evening.
‘A different stay in the heart of Singapore.’ That’s what voco Orchard Singapore proclaims it offers. And they’re right. They do and they are very, very good.