When I booked my first trip to Singapore in July, there were a few different hotels on my radar.

I could stay at the iconic Raffles Singapore, opt for ultra-luxe Regent Singapore or choose something a bit more budget-friendly, such as the Courtyard Singapore Novena or the Four Points by Sheraton Singapore, Riverview. As I started to narrow down my options, however, I ultimately decided on the voco Orchard Singapore.

Not only was it my first opportunity to stay at a voco property, but it was also affordable with points, and its location on bustling Orchard Road made it even more appealing.

Designed with budget-conscious travelers who prefer boutique properties in mind, this voco outpost seemed like a solid alternative to other chains’ cookie-cutter brands with low price points — although some of the hallmarks of its previous life as a Hilton, such as some generic finishes and out-of-date furnishings, still came through. However, its unstuffy, inviting atmosphere — which draws you in from the moment you arrive at the door, where a “come on in” doormat greets you — fit the vibe I was looking for during my stay in Singapore.

So, I decided to take a leap of faith and book a three-night stay at the property. As soon as I arrived, jet-lagged and casually dressed in athletic wear, I was relieved to discover I’d made the right decision.

Here are seven things I learned about voco Orchard Singapore — and why I would choose this property, and brand, again the next time I travel.

The great location

Situated across from the opulent Royal Thai Embassy along the Lion City’s bustling Orchard Road thoroughfare, some aspects of voco Orchard Singapore make it feel luxurious, despite its budget-friendly price point. For example, within a five-minute walk of the property, you’ll stumble across outposts of Four Seasons, Shangri-La, St. Regis and Grand Hyatt, imbuing this less-expensive property with the patina of its higher-end neighbors.

Plus, you’ll find a multistory mall full of upscale boutiques on nearly every corner along the boulevard. In fact, four malls sit within a block of the hotel, though you could easily get your retail therapy fix without stepping foot outside thanks to the two-story Shopping Gallery connected to the hotel.

Should you prefer to spend a little less during your shopping spree, there are more affordable malls within walking distance, too, such as Forum, Far East and Tanglin. At these malls is a selection of less expensive shops, casual restaurants, coffee shops and massage parlors.

Some of Singapore’s most popular attractions are a short drive away, making the property convenient for sightseeing. For example, the eye-catching Gardens by the Bay is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, while the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens is only six minutes away by car. The closest station for Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore’s public transportation system), Orchard, is a mere 10 minutes away on foot as well, so you can easily reach other parts of the city.

Related: A first-timer’s guide to Singapore’s hawker centers

You can get a good deal

As a TPG reporter, I’m always on the hunt for smart ways to use my points and miles when I travel. So, when I saw I could book my three-night October stay with a little more than 100,000 IHG One Rewards points instead of spending a total of $857 for the same deluxe room with a king-size bed, I knew using points was the way to go.


IHG One Rewards points are currently valued at 0.5 cents per point, according to TPG’s latest valuations, so booking with 102,000 points was like paying $510 rather than $857.

Nightly cash rates may be lower than the $286 I would have paid. Depending on when you book, you may see rooms going for as little as $250 per night (including all taxes and fees), which is a much lower price point than other comparable properties along Orchard Road.

It’s a new hotel — mostly

Despite its new name and brand affiliation, voco Orchard Singapore lacked the fully updated look I expected to find.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised to learn two days before I arrived that I was being upgraded to a larger room thanks to my IHG Diamond elite status.


Instead of the standard king bed deluxe room I’d booked, I was assigned a deluxe room on a high floor. These accommodations can be found on floors 14 to 16 and overlook Orchard Road.

When I entered my 344-square-foot room on the 15th floor, I immediately noticed (and appreciated) the spacious floor plan.

Inside the main room, which had a neutral color scheme with pops of yellow in accent pillows and the plaid carpet, was a comfortable king-size bed, a stand for suitcases plus a glass desk with an ergonomic chair that might have been leftovers from the hotel’s Hilton days, if I had to guess.

I appreciated the overall look and functionality of the room. The clean lines of the nightstands and entertainment unit created a modern feel despite their tired, light-wood finishes, and a number of must-have conveniences were available, including a minifridge and a 55-inch smart TV.

As a business traveler, I was thrilled to find everything I needed to comfortably work remotely from the room, such as five USB and charging ports by the desk and a Nespresso machine for staying caffeinated while on the clock. The two layers of shades were an extra touch I was also…

Read More: I stayed at an IHG voco hotel for the 1st time — here are 7 reasons I’d stay again

2022-11-20 13:00:21

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