We stayed at a nicely located serviced apartment complex. The location is the key value in this accommodation, as it’s located at the Orchard Point shopping center and is in the middle of many shopping malls and restaurants.
If you want to stay there, the first thing you’ll need to do is get there. You will need to tell the taxi driver “Somerset at Orchard Point” or “Koek” (pronounced “coke”). Be sure he doesn’t stop listening as soon as he hears Somerset, or you will most likely end up at another one of the Somerset properties.
Once there, you’ll find a small entrance on the side of the massive shopping mall. The entrance is located on Koek street (even though the address is on Orchard). Upon entering, you will see a very small lobby consisting of a guard station and a couple of chairs. Once you’re cleared with the guards, you proceed to the 6th floor and go to the reception office. The reception office was an interesting experience for us, as a lady, who seemed to be a senior person or manager was attempting to explain something to a young man working there.
He was listening halfheartedly and it seemed to annoy her to the point she had to keep repeating her instructions until he acknowledged her. While waiting, we were invited to relax in the resident lounge (which also serves as the breakfast buffet area), which is pictured on the website. Although it wasn’t particularly unpleasant, it was a bit awkward to watch the back and forth. After we waited for a bit we were checked into our room. (note: they were very polite and friendly to us at all times)
We had reserved a two bedroom apartment, as there were four of us. Note that they have a limited supply of two bedrooms, so reserve early. The room was spacious and the size was true to the pictures, however as many promotional photos go, the photos are “picture perfect” with lighting and color saturation that you may not see when you’re in the actual room. A fairer “rough” view is available in my video tour of the room.
The room was good sized, although a bit run down. The side panel of the tub as ajar, as if it had been fixed but not put back together all the way. The television was an older tube tv but there were plenty of channels. The internet connection was free and connection speed was decent.
Tip: If you try to log on and are confronted with a “pick your billing cycle hours/days/weeks” window, call the front desk. It happened at two hotels this trip and both times we were told to pick any plan, and the charges would be waived. The charges were, as promised, waived.
The location turned out to be great, and the room, although maybe even more worn than some of our homes, was comfortable and served as a great home base. Food is available just steps away in any direction. We tried food at the local style outdoor eatery on the far side of Orchard Plaza (across the street, then through the building), as well as a couple of places in the shopping malls, and in the Cuppage Terrace. I’ll have a review on the food in Singapore elsewhere on the site.
Shopping is great too, and although I didn’t buy one, it turns out that Singapore is a good place to buy high end watches. If you stick to a name shop, the chances of being scammed are very low (they are regulated in Singapore) and you can negotiate a good deal. Keep in mind that you MUST know your prices. This would apply anywhere, but especially with high end watches. Know your brand, model, price, and how much flexibility to expect before going on a watch hunt.
Summary: Somerset Orchard Serviced Residence is a nice place to stay in a great location, however to really shine, they need to iron out whatever is going on with staff and management, as well as begin the process of bringing their units up to date. I would probably stay there again. If it was remodeled I would put it at the top of my list for places to stay on Orchard Road.