Surprising the marketplace with an opening five days ahead of schedule, Hilton Singapore Orchard marked a strong entry with its accommodation of all players and entourage attending the high profile HSBC Women’s World Championship LPGA Tour.
Speaking to TTG Asia, general manager Cedric Nubul said the hotel has opened on a “very optimistic” footing.
“We are opening at a time when Singapore is expanding her Vaccinated Travel Lane agreement with more countries, when more countries are reopening, and with the March school holidays just round the corner,” said Nubul.
“Opening a hotel with 1,080 rooms now sends a very strong message about the confidence we have in Singapore’s tourism,” he added.
While Nubul has refrained from quantifying occupancy rates and forward bookings, he said the team has been “pleasantly surprised by how well the hotel has been received by different traveller segments”.
Domestic bookings are leading the way, he shared, especially during the March school holidays that run from March 14 to 18, but there are also overseas bookings streaming in, mostly from countries that have Vaccinated Travel Lanes with Singapore.
The team is fielding enquiries for social events, with the hotel set to host weddings “almost every weekend” for the next few weeks.
“Domestic demand, local meetings, weddings and other social events are and will continue to be a key focus for us. A positive output from international source markets will emerge in the months to come,” Nubul said, adding that the hotel’s sheer size and mix of leisure and meeting facilities will set it up as a magnet for international travellers.
“We are working very closely with the Singapore Tourism Board, all local industry associations as well as inbound agents to rebuild inbound travel to Singapore. Hilton’s global reputation in service and hospitality excellence as well as this amazing product that we have here, come together to create a significant demand generator for Singapore,” he stated.
Hilton Singapore Orchard, which occupies what was once Mandarin Orchard Singapore, has undergone a S$150 million (US$110.2 million) comprehensive renovation to give the property a new look and hardware. The hotel’s interior design pays homage to Singapore’s rich colonial history and the area’s agricultural heritage.
The hotel features five culinary concepts, two oversized gyms that are fitted with market-leading equipment, extensive meeting spaces, as well as energy-efficient technology such as in-room motion detectors and light sensors in every room and suite.
Comparing Hilton Singapore Orchard with the former Hilton Singapore, located in another part of the Orchard shopping district, Nubul said the new hotel was “bigger, better and stronger”.
“We are focusing heavily on culinary – seen through the five dining concepts. We want to be a dining destination for both locals and international guests. Our meeting spaces are very diverse and functional, and the design aspect has been pushed to the top-most quality. We want to be a brand-defining Hilton property. We are already known for service excellence, but my team here will push the boundaries of what people come to expect from a Hilton hotel,” he stated.
Hilton Singapore Orchard is the brand’s largest property in Asia-Pacific.
When asked if there were new experiences being trialled at Hilton Singapore Orchard, Nubul pointed to the unique concept offered at Estate, the 360-pax all-day dining restaurant that invokes a grand colonial era and where beautifully-furnished seating sections stretch across a large part of the lobby. Instead of a single kitchen providing food to multiple buffet stations, Estate utilises several open kitchens where guests can watch the culinary teams in action.