Kicking The National Habit (Grand National)

The nation’s 43rd birthday and we witnessed its celebration as close as we could from the comforts of our hotel rooms at Marina Mandarin last Saturday, while watching thousands of citizens decked in red and white braving the rain down below. I originally wanted to book Ritz Carlton since its rack rate wasn’t that far off from Marina Mandarin’s but it turned out that all the rooms facing the marina were booked solid. It was quite a spectacle as we went to and fro the rooms and balconies trying to watch the ground and aerial displays on television and up in the sky respectively. The highlight of course was the fireworks; though it was spoiled somewhat by the lingering smoke after every burst, due to the windless surrounding.

Let’s face it, the whole National Day spectacle is one major propaganda drumming up racial harmony and equality, that’s hardly believable in reality. But rather than hear citizens’ tax money go up in smoke through bad overseas investments, I’d rather watch it burnt literally in full splendour through fireworks.

The next day, we checked out of Marina Mandarin and headed across the road to the Conrad Centennial Singapore where I had booked business floor rooms for the night, due to the attractive package they were offering for the National Day long weekend. Surprisingly, for the lesser rack rate charged, loads of privileges and gifts were presented upon our arrival and the hotel staff’s service was impeccable. So much better than the earlier hotel.

For instance, I forgot to book a cot for Ooyah and requested for one upon checking in. The female staff at the reception checked and informed me that all the cots have been fully booked, but will try and get one for me as soon as they can. An elevator ride later, the phone rang the moment I entered the room. The same staff was on the other line informing me she managed to secure one from a guest who was leaving and will deliver it to our room within the next hour. It did arrived as promised and with even a package of Pigeon’s baby bath set. Whereas for the room, its interior was immaculate with a 46″ LCD television equipped with home theatre system and a DVD library at our disposal. Little surprises like a tray of fruits, a box of chocolates and teddy bears and a rubber duckie for Ooyah added to the worthwhile stay. Too bad there wasn’t much variety catered for Muslims during buffet breakfast at Oscar’s. Then again, most Singapore hotels don’t except for a selected few.

Nonetheless, this particular hotel has pull out all the stops to ensure their guests comfort that it has become my favourite hotel in Singapore and where I will definitely return to in the near future; laying to rest my belief that no Singapore hotels are worth staying at due to the exorbitant rack rates compared to neighbouring countries. And did I mention that most of the staff are Malays? Finally, class acts coming from my own race. Something that Caucasian woman Marina Mandarin placed in front of the reception area failed to deliver with her half-hearted excuse of a smile.

So that about sums up our first local holiday till someone gets back her passport.

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~ by blackcadillac73 on August 12, 2008.

2 Responses to “Kicking The National Habit (Grand National)”

  1. You Chin-Chia-Poreans Ah! Aiyah! So PatLiotic!

  2. Me not patliotic lah. Me just want to see fireworks. You can ask your friend there who’s holding the tiny Chin-Chia-Porean flag how patliotic she is.

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