As a Premium member of Millennium Hotels loyalty program, I am entitled to 2 upgrades to club rooms in a year after I attained that status. However, Millennium hotels in Singapore are not known to have good club lounges: Studio M and M Social Hotels have no club lounges and the other M-hotels are too old. After some research, I decided on Grand Copthorne Waterfront for my club room experience.
Located in the Robertson Quay area along with most of the other Millennium hotels like Copthorne King’s and M Social Hotel, Grand Copthorne Waterfront is considered an old estate. This is evident from the musty smell along the corridors of the hotel. However, with a touch of renovation, the hotel was actually one of the better ones among the old hotels in that area (think Miramar Hotel).
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Bedroom
Entering the room, which was designed in the 80s, a spacious amenity awaits.
Not only was the room big enough for 2 twin beds, it had enough space for many, many suitcases opened up. The beds were firm and the management even provided a menu of specialty pillows for customers who wanted something different from the standard offerings, which consisted of 1 full and firm pillow and 1 flat pillow.
My room looked out to the city; at level 13 however, I could barely see past the tops of the surrounding buildings (like Holiday Inn Atrium across the junction). Luckily, the roads in the area was huge and due to the ongoing MRT construction, the room did not look directly into the windows of another building. Therefore, the room got plenty of sunlight and we got to sit by the window to enjoy our Foodpanda dinner looking out to the city lights.
The bathroom was also spacious (and with nostalgic design too). The bathtub was separate from the shower stall, which in itself had sufficient space for personal toiletries and even a pedestal for one to sit down while showering! I had prepared bath salts after seeing photos of bathtubs in the room, but I stopped short of using it as there were stains in the tub that suggested that it was not washed for a long time. For those who like to shower with hot water, you can be assured that the heated water would meet your demands.
As for toiletries, the room was stocked with the usual shower foam / shampoo / body lotion / dental kits / towels and hair dryer. Therefore, only very personal toiletries like facial cleansers and contact lens solutions have to be packed for staying at the hotel.
Another thing about old hotel bathroom was how they generous they are with space: the vanity counter was spacious, there were enough hooks to hang clothes and towels and enough space for one to dry themselves inside the bathroom. The same philosophy was applied in the space of the wardrobe, the plentiful hangers and drawers and a spacious bar fridge.
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Executive Club Lounge
I came for the Club lounge, and it did not disappoint. The high ceiling lounge looked out to the Central Business District, which was awe-inspiring, day and night, especially with its full-length floor-to-ceiling windows.
One can just go to the lounge to chill over a cup of gourmet coffee, or enjoy one of its Afternoon Tea / Happy Hour / Breakfast offerings.
Afternoon Tea was provided with an assortment of sandwich, mini muffins, cakes and cookies. Nothing fancy, but enough finger food to go with the Cappuccino while you soak in the view right after checking into your room.
Happy Hour starting from 6pm was not meant to be dinners for customers, though there was plenty of hot food and dessert to choose from. The sushi platter was eye catching enough, though those who liked fried food will be satisfied with the calamari rings and croquettes. There were also mini pizzas (only to try if you don’t like the other food) and salad.
The best item for me were the Chicken Balls, which was chock-full of meat, pan-seared and paired with savoury sauce. The next best were the prawns, which were served, like the Chicken Balls, on individual mini-plates. The prawn was huge, fresh and full; even without the condiments that accompanied each serving, the prawns still tasted umami!
Dessert for Happy Hour was limited to an assortment of cakes, though none was repeated from the offerings from Afternoon Tea.
But I guess the highlight of Happy Hour was free-flow alcohols; one could choose from wines, cocktails or just plain juices.
Breakfast at Executive Club Lounge
Breakfast was stocked with local and international offerings. There was Nasi Lemak (complete with green-dyed rice), dim sum (Siew Mai with plenty of meat and mushroom and fragrant Tao Sar Bao (Bun with Bean Paste)), fried fish fillet, mini pratas (complete with vegetarian curry) and hash brown.
People who prefer Western options have bacons, hard boiled eggs, chicken sausage and assorted vegetables to choose from. Or else, there is Danish pastry, croissant or just plain toast bread; for the health conscious, there are muesli, yogurts and fruit compote.
One can also order a la carte items like sunny side up, Eggs Benedict (burger) and French Toast.
I think the main highlight was the omelette making machine, deployed throughout Millennium Hotels in the past few months. There were diners who were sceptical of the taste of omelettes cooked by a robot – I think there’s nothing to compare!
The above photos are for those who don’t have time to watch the video of the robot in action, shown below:
The Club Lounge was so enjoyable that I spent as much time there as I did in my bedroom! The stunning view of the Singapore city skyline and the range of food really did the magic 🙂
So far, my review of Grand Copthorne Waterfront has been positive; this was not the full story.
My bad experience started from check-in.
Negatives at Grand Copthorne Waterfront
Like I mentioned earlier, I had wanted to make use of my upgrade-entitlement. The caveat was that the upgrade was only subject to availability at check-in; I could only indicate at booking that I wanted to utilise my upgrade voucher (issued after I attained my Premium status).
However, the reception only upgraded me one tier up by default; Had I not noticed the room was only Deluxe, I would have been short-changed!
Despite pointing out that my voucher was for club room upgrade, I was only given club lounge access, while staying at a non-club room. The reception told me “Deluxe room is bigger than a club room”, which was a fact, but full of bullshit. A club room would be better maintained compared to a normal tier room; it was like being offered a 5-room HDB flat in place of a 2-bedroom condominium – yes, the flat is bigger, but a public flat is not a private condo!
True enough, the room was not in the best of state – the tile by the bathtub was falling off, the soundproofing of the room was not good, I was only at level 13 in a building of 30 storeys, the wallpapers were peeling off etc.
Worse still, every time I visit the lounge, I was queried by the staff for my room number! For reference, when I used the club lounge as a club user at Oasia Hotel Novena and Oasia Hotel Downtown, I never had to verify my eligibility to use the lounge.
I think my verdict for Grand Copthorne Waterfront would be somewhat similar to that of Copthorne King’s – the place is good for a normal stay, but don’t have too high an expectation as a loyalty member and if you have to encash your entitlement, you would have to be a thick-skinned, difficult customer. Be a little nice, just like me, and you end up being short changed.
However, if I have to choose between the 2, Grand Copthorne Waterfront would be my preferred choice.
On top of my more recent stay at Copthorne King’s, I had also waxed lyrical of M Hotel Singapore – the business hotel really wowed me at their price point and was the reason I got stuck to the Millennium Hotels loyalty program. I have also reviewed other hotels, like Four Points by Sheraton Singapore and also Studio M Hotel.
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Till then, stay wanderlust!