Wednesday, April 17, 2013
PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road: Stunning Service! Plus Dinner at Si Chuan Dou Hua
Oh we had such a lovely stay at the PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road.
This was formerly the New Park Hotel. It's been reborn as a four-star establishment and is easily the most comfortable hotel in the area. The location, as I found, is marvellous for anyone who wants to explore Little India and Jalan Besar (eateries galore!). Kitchener Road itself has a few interesting restaurants. Check out my list of 10 eateries around the area.
We took one final staycation there before the school holidays ended, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I discovered. (Psst, you can win a free stay in a special contest below - details at end of post)
This is not just a good base for exploring food in the vicinity. If you love shopping, you can have it all. There's City Square Mall in front with all your modern chain brands, and the massive Mustafa Centre at the back (24 hour bargain goods!). Plus all the exotic ethnic shops in Little India.
The Farrer Park MRT is just below City Square Mall, and is two stops away from Dhoby Ghaut. So it's really easy to hit the Orchard Road belt too. I managed to zip out and collect some books from Plaza Singapura that I'd ordered from OpenTrolley. Perfect timing for staycation reading!
The hotel itself has a simple, understated, contemporary vibe. The rooms were refurbished just a year or two ago, so most of it looks pretty new. Sorry for messy sheets - obviously the kids were faster than my camera.
The girls absolutely love holidays. I haven't been able to bring them overseas much, so staycations are the next best thing.
We had a really nice welcome treat. A bottle of red, assorted macarons, candied cones, fruit basket, and a whole jar of M&Ms!
The Family Room that we got is really spacious - it has a King-size bed and a single bed. They added another rollaway bed for my helper.
There's a small living area and a work desk. The bathroom's just round the corner where there is a fairly large wardrobe as well.
Ah so new and so clean! The bathroom is soothingly beautiful with stone tiles that mimic the look of wood. There's a deep bathtub on the other side.
The kids got a soft toy each too! One grey rhino and a light green hippo. It was love at first hug.
We also had access to the Orchid Club at Level 19. You can choose to have breakfast up here, where it's much quieter. In the evenings, they serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks along with hor d'oeuvres.
For all day dining, there's Spice Brasserie which also serves buffets.
There's a decent spread for breakfast. Ham, bacon, sausages, eggs, hash brown or other fritters, Chinese porridge and snacks, Japanese miso soup, Western salads and yoghurt, nasi lemak with toppings, breads, fruit, and live stations for roti prata and eggs.
Given that the hotel has many guests from India, they do pay attention to their spread of Indian vegetarian items. Don't miss the idli (in the bamboo steamer) and the lentil curry. I had always thought idli was boring, until I tried this one.
I took the kids to explore the surroundings, and some parts of Little India really feels like a diferent country. Ah, but they couldn't wait to get back to the hotel, and more specifically, the hotel pool. There's also a 24-hour gym facing the pool.
If you're feeling too lazy to go out, check out the room service menu. I was surprised to find very affordable prices. Penang char kway teow is not an exhorbitant S$20-odd like in most other hotels, but only about S$10-12 here. I was surprised the wok hei survived the trip up to the room. Tastewise, it's pretty decent and not overly oily (OK, some would say that's not authentic Penang CKT then, but your body will thank you for it).
The kids' burger is only S$10! The patty is given a well-done treatment for children's sake, and the chips are good!
After so much food, we went out for a walk and the girls discovered this nameless shop full of SHOES! Crocs are at half the normal prices (not sure if original) but too bad, we're weaning them off those clogs, so no Dora/Toy Story Crocs. But I let them indulge in a pair of girly, flowery, bling-bling shoes. As we made payment, we realised the shop also belongs to the Mustafa empire. They must practically sell everything!
Of course we had to have one dinner at Si Chuan Dou Hua, which usually never disappoints. This is the Tian Fu Tea Room just outside the restaurant.
The Si Chuan Dou Hua here is very elegant. I've been to the other outlets (see dim sum post here from the UOB Plaza branch) but it's my first time at Kitchener.
The Black Fungus with Chili Padi chilled appetiser comes in a pretty big portion (about S$8). It's tart and spicy - the perfect way to wake the palate up. Sorry, I lost the receipt so I can't recall the exact prices.
Beef and tripe in spicy Sichuan sauce (about S$10). I just had to have this. Tender beef slices with chewy and crunchy tripe doused in a sauce that makes you burn and yet reach out for more of it.
I so wanted to have the Chong Qing diced chicken with dried chili as well, but it was already one spicy dish too many (the kids can't take this level of heat...yet). Must find makankaki and go back again.
On the non-spicy side, the Eight Treasure Soup with Seafood is a veritable gem! There's some good stock in here along with morsels of crab, shrimp and scallop. Don't be spooked by the green - it is all natural from spinach puree.
Wasabi cream prawns, nicely done with lots of fruit for natural sweetness. This is not on the menu but you can request for it.
And to round things off, we had fried rice with crabmeat. Flavours are subtle, so you can use this as a base to complement most other dishes.
Totally random, but I love this vase.
OK, let me show you the other rooms.
This is the Superior Room. Don't you just want to dive onto that satiny bed already?
As you can see, it gets lots of natural light from the large windows.
The Deluxe Rooms are on the higher floors. The furnishings here makes it look more cosy and like home.
You also get an ergonomic work desk with the Deluxe Rooms.
The Executive King Suite comes, as expected, with separate living and resting quarters.
You can choose either twin or King-size beds.
The Suite bathroom has a few additional amenities too.
We stayed two nights but the time just flew by.
What really struck me about my experience here is how friendly the staff are. The service is amazing. They do take the extra step to make you feel welcome and comfortable, but they're not intrusive or in your face all the time. Everyone - from the bellhop to the Managing Director - remembered our names (even the kids' names)!
We left with good memories, and a newfound appreciation for PARKROYAL hotels.
If you'd like to win a stay at a PARKROYAL hotel, check out the Facebook contest "Trade for a Trip"
Contest duration - 17 April 2013, 00:01 to 17 May 2013, 23:59
All you have to do is:
• Share 3 picks on things to do in one of these cities: Singapore / Kuala Lumpur / Penang / Saigon / Sydney / Parramatta / Melbourne
• Pick a PARKROYAL hotel to win a two night stay in.
Nine winners will be selected at the end of the contest. Good luck!
PARKROYAL ON KITCHENER (look up the hotel's website for rates and promos!)
181 Kitchener Road
Singapore Singapore 208533
Toll-Free Reservation Within Singapore: 1800 2557 795
Tel: +65 6428 3000
Many thanks to GoodStuph for the invitation, and to everyone at the PARKROYAL for the lovely staycation experience.
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