Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Yotel Orchard.
With its iconic purple colourway and futuristic rooms, Yotel – specifically the Orchard property – has always been on my wishlist. Being one of the more affordable hotels located in the heart of Orchard, I decided to book a stay to check out the brand.
Yotel Orchard – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay, do check out my Youtube review of Yotel Orchard below:
Yotel – the Brand
Yotel is an international chain of hotels that promises “a different experience through awesome people, smart design and the creative use of technology”. Yotel hotels can be found all across the globe, including in cities such as Boston, Amsterdam, London, New York, Miami, San Francisco, and more. In Singapore, Yotel has two properties – one in Jewel Changi, and the other in Orchard. Now, the Mile Lion has already done a review of Yotel Changi previously, and frankly speaking the rooms looked a tad too cramped for my liking.
That leaves Yotel Orchard, where the entry-level Premium Queen room is 14 sqm in size. It’s not spacious by any means, but not claustrophobic either. The 4-star property opened in 2017, and boasts a whopping 610 rooms. Rates at Yotel Orchard fluctuate quite a bit, but rooms generally start from $100-150. Fortunately, I paid far less by making use of an insane Traveloka offer at the end of last year. For less than the price of an average Grab ride, booking a stay at Yotel Orchard was a no-brainer.
Yotel Orchard – Check-in
As its name suggests, Yotel Orchard is situated (you guessed it) in the heart of Orchard. The closest MRT is Orchard MRT, and it can be found right beside Isetan.
The lobby of the hotel is quite spacious, with ample seating area for waiting guests. There are a few automated check-in machines, but they appear to be out of use as everyone I saw – and including myself – checked in at the counter.
The lobby is also where the hotel’s iconic service robots, Yoshi and Yolanda, rest/charge. There’s a smart vending machine too – should you crave a midnight snack – and a bevvy of awards proudly displayed in a glass cabinet.
The lift lobby is washed in the hotel’s trademark purple, and it genuinely looks like something out of a spacecraft. It’s definitely one of the more unique hotel lobby, that’s for sure.
I was assigned a room on the 15th floor, which is actually one of the lower floors of the hotel (rooms start on floor 11 onwards). The corridor feels more generic as compared to the lift lobby, though subtle hints of purple (the lighting, the carpet) can still be seen.
Yotel Orchard – Premium Queen Cabin
The Premium Queen cabin is the most popular category at Yotel Orchard, and I can definitely see why.
Although not the largest at just 14 sqm, the Premium Queen cabin doesn’t feel cramped at all, mostly due to its smart use of space as well as the transparent bathroom walls. In fact, it feels roomier than the Superior Room of Check-Inn Little India despite being 2 sqm smaller on paper. The room felt modern and minimalistic, with wooden flooring and monochrome grey walls.
A key feature of the room is the adjustable Queen-sized Smartbed. Essentially, the latter half of the bed is propped up by default for optimal Netflix watching, and can be reclined to a fully horizontal position for sleep. Four fluffy pillows are provided (generous), and the sheets were clean. However, it’s one of the softest beds I’ve ever slept in – it feels like you’re sleeping on a bean bag. I personally didn’t have any issues falling asleep in it, but if you’re the sort who prefers a more supportive mattress (especially if you have a bad back) then Yotel Orchard may not be the best choice. There’s also a full-length mirror located conveniently beside the bed for in-bed shots.
A kettle, a pair of disposable cups and a tissue box can be found on the bedside table. I like that the TV remote is wrapped in plastic, which is a thoughtful touch in these times. There’s a traditional power port, as well as Yotel’s mediahub outlet that includes an HDMI port (for guests to connect their personal devices to the TV) and a pair of USB ports. There’s also a phone to call reception should anything be needed, while light switches are also conveniently located within arm’s reach.
Dilmah tea and Nescafe coffee sachets are provided, along with disposable stirrers. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to shout about as well.
There’s also a safe, should you feel the need to hide some family jewels away. A foldable stool is tucked next to it – smart space-saving.
Another highlight of the room is the 40-inch smart Samsung TV, which supports screen mirroring. The picture quality was decent, and I had no trouble mirroring Netflix from my laptop to the TV. Due to the integrated Bluetooth media hub, you can also play music from your phone through the TV’s speakers – useful if you’re trying to set the mood for some romantic action at night. There’s also a flip-down table below the TV, along with power and USB ports. It’s clearly not an ideal work setup, but I doubt many would book Yotel Orchard for a workcation anyway.
A pair of complimentary water bottles are provided, and there’s even an integrated bottle opener attached to the wall – the first I’ve ever encountered in a hotel room, and it definitely came in handy.
There are plenty of other nifty features in the room, including integrated hooks where guests can hang their barang barang/Orchard shopping hauls.
Other useful items – such as an umbrella (which was unfortunately quite dirty), a flashlight, and an ironing board) can be found tucked away in the wall. It’s a great space-saving idea that I might adopt for my own apartment.
Due to the small size of the Premium Queen cabin, there’s no full-sized wardrobe. Instead, a small clothing rack is provided, with just enough hangers for two. There’s a small space for a pair of backpacks/duffels, with in-room slippers and laundry bags also provided.
It unfortunately also features the “sink-in-room” layout that’s common in smaller boutique hotels (Hotel G, M Social, Ji Hotel, Lyf Funan, just to name a few). I’m not a fan as it means I’ll have to touch the bathroom handles with dirty hands, but it’s par for the course for rooms of this size and price range. The position of the sink and mirror strategically blocks the sight of the toilet (the bathroom walls are translucent), allowing for a greater degree of privacy. However, there were no basin towels provided, which was a major annoyance as I had to reach for the bath towels in the bathroom every time I wanted to dry my hands.
That said, the care pack (comprising hand sanitiser and wet wipes) provided was a thoughtful touch. Toothbrushes and toothpaste (Colgate, Yotel didn’t cheap out) can also be found nicely packaged in individual plastic.
An iron and a hairdryer can be found under the sink. I like that the hairdryer is wrapped in a dust bag, making it feel more upscale.
A key attraction of Yotel’s rooms is the floor-to-ceiling windows in the bathroom, which provide a view of Orchard Road. It looked stunning in the hotel photos, and I’m pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint in real life. It’s perhaps the most unique aspect of the room – I can’t think of another hotel where guests can take a dump/shower while overlooking Orchard Road.
For those who are more privacy conscious, don’t fret – there are blinds that you can lower. I’m not quite sure what the point of that is though – you paid for the view, so why not enjoy it?
The toilet is a traditional one (a modern, concealed cistern toilet would perhaps be more in keeping with the hotel’s futuristic vibe), with a bidet provided on the side.
The shower side features a handheld showerhead as well as a rain shower. I like the modern stone walls and floors, which made the bathroom look chic. Bathed in natural lighting due to the floor-to-ceiling windows, Yotel Orchard’s bathroom is easily one of the most picturesque bathrooms I’ve been in. I had a great time standing under the rain shower and admiring the view – it truly is a unique experience. Toiletries were from Urban Skincare Co and pleasant to use, but Yotel has since switched over to Urban Jungle in a global partnership.
Yotel Orchard – Amenities
Being feeling like a boutique hotel, Yotel Orchard has all the facilities of a full-fledged hotel, including a pool and a gym.
Unfortunately, the pool was a tad underwhelming. It’s rather small, with only four lounge chairs available – clearly not enough given its 610 rooms. There’s also not much of a view, so you’re in tough luck if you’re hoping for a swim with a view of Orchard. Privacy can also be an issue as the pool is situated right next to the hotel restaurant, where transparent glass panels mean that you will be in full view of diners. Still, something is better than nothing I suppose.
The same sentiments apply to the gym, which is one of the smaller ones I’ve been in. It’s pretty bare bones – a treadmill, a stationary and cable fly machine, and some free weights (and a bench). Again, it’s clearly insufficient for a hotel that has 610 rooms, though I do like the hip aesthetic of the gym.
Conclusion – so Yotel Orchard “shiok” or not?
I think Yotel Orchard is a unique proposition. For one, it’s one of the cheapest hotels in Orchard – perhaps only Orchard Rendezvous Hotel and Orchard Hotel can be had for under $150. Not only is it located closer to the heart of Orchard than the other two, but it’s also newer and more modern. Yes, the room is smaller (about half the size of the aforementioned Orchard hotels), but it has neat space-saving features that make it seem more spacious than it actually is. However, the piece de resistance is definitely the bathroom, where the floor-to-ceiling windows allow you an unparalleled view of Orchard. There’s something oddly therapeutic about showering with a view of Orchard, bathed in natural light – it’s truly a unique experience that only Yotel Orchard offers. And while the hotel facilities aren’t the best, it does have a good restaurant (Komyuniti) that serves bang-for-buck set lunches every day. There’s certainly room for improvement, but I enjoyed my stay overall and will gladly return.
Those interested in booking a stay can do so on the Traveloka app. Traveloka constantly has some sort of ongoing promotions, with prices so ridiculously low that I’ve personally booked about 90% of my staycations on Traveloka. Just for my readers, you guys can use the promo code “WAHTVLKSRV” (if you’re using SRV) and “WAHTVLK” (non-SRV) for 10% off any hotels bookings (up to $30 off, with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels bookings (with a minimum spending of $50) for existing users. The codes are valid till the end of 2022. Here’s a pro tip: keep a lookout for Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales which occurs every Friday to Sunday for the lowest prices! However, this post is not sponsored – I paid my own dime to book and review my staycations.
Yotel Orchard Location: 366 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238904
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.