Perched atop Downtown Gallery, Oakwood Premier AMTD plays base camp to a myriad of fitness ventures, an accomplished restaurant, an infinity pool, as well as a ton of spacious accommodation options — tailor-made for fatigued guests looking for an oasis in the city.
When we first received the media invite for a night’s stay at Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore, I must admit that I had my doubts. Noise pollution could pose a real threat to any vacation, much less one on Shenton Way — between any potential roadwork or peak-hour traffic, it would be impossible to get a day’s work done or a good nights’ sleep. After all, how relaxed could one get whilst staying in the heart of the city?
Well, as it turned out — very. From start to finish, the apart-hotel charmed us over with their impressive service, thoughtful details and CBD-proofed windows. Once set aside for long-term guests, the serviced apartments were quick to pivot when the pandemic hit back in 2019. Like how they once reinvented themselves from an old DBS building to a glistening vision above Downtown Gallery, Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore switched things up again to cater their living spaces to the fatigued masses desperately in need of shorter getaways. And, with a stunning view of the Singapore Strait on one side and skyscrapers on the other, Oakwood toed the line carefully — becoming the welcomed escape we never knew we needed, from the city, in the city.
Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore Staycation Review:
1. Arrival, Lobby & Check-In Experience
2. 1-Bedroom Deluxe
3. A La Carte Menu by SE7ENTH
4. Activity 1: Boulder Movement @ Downtown Gallery
5. Signature Oakwood Mobile Bar Experience
6. Breakfast at the Pool Deck Terrace
7. Activity 2: TapOut Fitness @ Downtown Gallery
Arrival, Lobby & Check-In Experience @ Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
In essence, Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore was a combination of the comfort and practicality of home, with the refinement, amenities and service of a hotel. This unique blend was tangible, especially in the lobby. The lobby was where we went through all the necessary hellos, vaccination declarations, and TraceTogether check-ins. It was cosy and bright, with carpeted floors, plenty of lounge chairs, high ceilings and chandeliers.
They had swapped out the usual chunky barricades that once separated staff from guests (read: check-in counters) with seated booths at opposing sides of the room. This small but intentional shift made the entire check-in process feel a lot more warm and personable.
Bonus: while we waited, we were ushered to the dining hall on the same level where we were served with welcome drinks of our choosing. But more on the dining hall later, time to check out the rooms.
1-Bedroom Deluxe @ Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
I’m just gonna come out and say it: the rooms were my favourite part of Oakwood. Not because the rest of their facilities aren’t up to par — their rooms are just that nice. Unlike most hotels, where you are almost always intensely aware of the fact that you’re a mere occupant for the night, Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore made us feel like we were, in fact, home. Let me explain.
We were treated to a one-bedroom apartment that featured a fully-equipped kitchen, a washing machine, a bedroom with a study area, as well as a dining-slash-sitting room. While there was no bathtub, in its place stood an extremely satisfactory rain shower.
As you tap your card and enter (for the superstitious, check out our hotel dos and don’ts right here), your eye would naturally be drawn to the light coming in from the other end of the hall. Follow it and you’ll find a spacious bedroom bathed in sunlight. While one wall is lined with built-in closets, the other is panelled by glass — this gave us a delightful birdseye view of the MCE running past the Singapore Strait, plus a foggy impression of the islands on the other side of the water body (we did a little sleuthing and discovered that it was actually Batam).
The one-bedroom apartment was perfect for our mini work retreat. We especially appreciated this little nook that came in handy when we had to take calls — one person could work in the living room whilst the other held zoom meetings in the bedroom, separated by handy sliding doors.
However, most of our oohs-and-ahhs came from the kitchen. There was a stove, an oven, a pressure cooker (this can be found shelved in the living room), plus all the pots and pans and utensils that one might need. We were even told that some guests have used the space to cook up romantic steak dinners for date night!
After you’ve worked up a sweat from all that cooking, toss your dirty laundry into your very own washing machine and call it a night — if you need the clothes to dry a little quicker, Oakwood has its very own do-it-yourself laundrette on the seventh floor (detergent included!).
A La Carte Menu by SE7ENTH @ Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
Helmed by Executive Chef Gary Lim, SE7ENTH is a smart-casual 74-seater restaurant situated on the (you guessed it!) seventh floor of Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore. Offering a span of reinvented dishes from the east and the west, the restaurant pulls from the culinary experience that the engineer-turned-chef has incurred from over a decade in the field.
Lunch was from 12 to 2 pm and like clockwork, we watched as the working crowd bustled in at a quarter past 12 — a flurry of houndstooth skirts, trouser suits and shiny loafers. Distracted by our rumbling bellies, we turned our attention to our smiling host and asked for recommendations. She suggested three popular dishes from their 12-page Ala Carte Lunch Menu — a meat dish, a vegan plate and a vegetarian option.
The first was their Mala Xiang Guo (S$28), the chef’s signature dish. We opted for the medium spice level and requested to swap out the seafood for chicken (allergy reasons) — and it was delicious!
At S$28 a plate, it was admittedly a bit steep. Yet, this elevated version made every penny count with chunks of succulent chicken soaking up the sauces and spice, savoury cubes of luncheon meat, quail eggs, sprigs of fresh broccoli, buttery leaves of oyster mushroom, thin slices of lotus root and stir-fried noodles. We recommend taking them up on that complimentary bowl of white rice that paired beautifully with the dish.
It has been said that the secret to making great gnocchi lies in having the right consistency. Well, that and russet potatoes. For most, the goal would be to get these potato dumplings as soft and delicate as humanly possible. And while gnocchi aficionados we are not, we must say that SE7ENTH’s Lemon Spinach Cream Potato Gnocchi with Fresh Basil (S$21) was pretty dang yummy.
The sauce was very rich yet the chef managed to sidestep any potential cloying by balancing it all out with plenty of basil and lemon. We can’t speak for most, but the next time we come back for this hearty dish — we’re definitely sharing!
Vegetarian options are tough to find in local restaurants, much less vegan ones. Thus, we were thrilled to find out that SE7ENTH had a list of both! From entrees to dim sum to mains — the restaurant employs the use of Quorn proteins in their veggie creations.
As recommended, we proceeded to try their Enchil-’nada’s (S$18) that encased marinated Impossible meat in rolls of fresh lettuce and soft tortilla. After covering it in a generous helping of creamy soy bechamel, it is topped with melted vegan cheese.
Of course, no vacation would be complete without a cocktail or two at lunch. So we opted to try two of their signature ones. The Se7enth Wonder (S$17) was a sweet and sour concoction of ginger-infused honey and grapefruit juice, garnished with a ton of lemon, a dehydrated orange and of course a generous dash of Singleton 12.
However, their Singapore Sling (S$22) turned out to be an unexpected favourite. Whiskey Sours or Negronis — Sure. But I’ve never really known of a ‘good’ Singapore Sling, apart from the famed ones made at Raffles Hotel. However, Oakwood managed to put up a convincing contender with this refreshing and well-balanced cocktail.
Boulder Movement @ Downtown Gallery
After freshening up, we headed down for a two-hour boulder session at Boulder Movement. You’ll find this gym in the basement of Downtown Gallery, past the supermarkets and boxing rings. Single-entry climb passes cost S$35 per person and includes complimentary climbing shoes (bring your own chalk and socks!).
Different gyms have different ranking systems. For Boulder Movement, the various routes are marked out by numbers — the lower the number, the lesser the difficulty. High numbers will in turn require more techniques and a greater level of commitment.
We loved their slab section, and their routes were intuitive. They’ve also got toilets, a shower area and a changing room. We would say that this climbing gym is great for after-work climbs with friends — beginners and enthusiasts alike.
Signature Oakwood Mobile Bar Experience @ Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore:
Of course, a stay at Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore wouldn’t be complete without their signature Oakwood Mobile Bar experience. Here’s what you can expect: A bartender will roll up with his or her cart stocked full with goodies at 7 pm on the dot (you can request for a later time if you wish but service ends before 10:30) — just in time for sunset.
You’ll get two rounds of service (an hour apart) — each round comes with two trays of canapés and four drinks of your choice for two pax (from S$55 per person). This way, you get to enjoy the full extent of luxury without having to leave your room.
While the canapés are decided for you beforehand, if you’re vegetarian be sure to let the hotel know before your stay. Drink-wise, the bartender will come with a beverage menu for you to choose from.
On the menu, there are six cocktails, three mixed drink options, red and white wine, plus a beer. Since we’d already tried two of the six cocktails at lunch, we decided to go for the other four.
First up was a Sweet Surrender (S$18) — a sweet and creamy blend of vanilla and caramel, edged out by a shot of Chivas Regal and bitters for extra oomph.
Next, we tried a potent Cosmopolitan (S$15) concoction. The bartender skillfully balanced out the strong flavours of Absolut Blue Vodka and Triple Sec with a healthy amount of sugar, cranberry juice and lime.
Gin fans, go for their Bramble (S$16) which sees Bombay Sapphire Gin shaken up with Triple Sec, cherry brandy and lime juice.
Otherwise, there’s always the Mojito-reminiscent Champion’s Cocktail (S$15) that’s a refreshing combination of vodka, ginger ale, fresh lime and a ton of mint leaves.
Breakfast at the Pool Deck Terrace @ Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore
The next morning, we padded down to SE7ENTH hungry and excited to try their breakfast spread. To our surprise, we were redirected to the Pool Deck Terrace where we were given the option to dine by their infinity pool.
These tables run on a first-come-first-serve basis, so be sure to let the concierge know beforehand if you’d like to dine there the next morning. However, before heading to the pool, you’d have to pop over to the dining hall to place your order.
Likewise, due to the pandemic and safe-distancing measures, to make use of the pool facilities, give reception a call or let the concierge know. You’ll have to book a timeslot because there are restrictions on the number of people that enter the pool at one go.
We opted to try a dish from their Ala Carte Brunch menu as well as order one of their breakfast sets from the Breakfast Menu. While waiting for our mains, we were served with a portion of assorted fruits, a salad bowl and some pastries each. We also got a cup of Long Black (S$5) for starters, and a glass of Pineapple (S$4) and Orange Juice (S$4) to pair with our food.
The first of our mains arrived about ten minutes later. The Toasted Sesame Bagel (S$17) came slathered with butter and topped with sliced avocado, fresh lettuce, tomato and a runny sunny side up.
It was served with gorgeously glazed maple bacon, hash browns and what I presumed to be broccolini.
As their Breakfast Menu highlights various sets on a rotational basis, we got lucky with the American Breakfast Set.
It was a carnivore’s fantasy, with glazed bacon, hash browns, a mini jug of baked beans, grilled tomatoes, pork sausage and buttery scrambled eggs. With all that food in our belly, it was time to schedule a workout at TapOut Fitness.
TapOut Fitness @ Downtown Gallery
Just a short elevator ride down and we were at TapOut Fitness, knees weak and palms sweaty. With John Cena on their website and a tagline like ‘Limits are an Illusion’, and the knowledge that WWE owned part of the franchise, we knew that we were in for a gruelling workout.
Once we were prepped and hyped up by our very enthusiastic coach, it was time to get cracking. We started out with some high knees and squats to get our blood pumping. Yet, as all HIITs go, things got intense pretty quickly. There were bikes, dumbbells and step-ups involved — they even threw in a bonus round of burpees at the end for good measure.
Needless to say, by the end of the workout we were pretty sure that we’d lost about 500 calories and a whole lot of water weight. If not for our coach’s encouragement we might have given up halfway!
If staying fit and active is your thing, you’ll be glad to know that Oakwood has launched an all-new Bike & Chill staycation package from now till 31 December. Whether you’re a biking enthusiast or new to the wheel, their package ensures that you’ll get to take your bike to your staycation. Choose to get a one-way bike transfer, or cycle over and get a S$70 dining credit voucher instead for a post-workout meal at SE7ENTH. Either way, while you rest in their rooms, your bike is guaranteed a parking space at their allocated bicycle shed too.
Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore: Is It Worth A Stay?
The checkout process is smooth and easy, just drop your keycard off at the concierge booths and you’re good to go. All too soon we were driven back to reality, dreaming of our home away from home. If you’re in need of a curated getaway in the city, where they tuck you in with warm milk and truffles, serve you cocktails in the evening and where you can have breakfast by an infinity pool — definitely give Oakwood Premier AMTD Singapore a try.
While this stay was gifted, I’ll definitely be back on my own with my loved ones. Room prices start from S$270/night. However, if you’re looking for other staycation options, why not check out the other hotels that we’ve reviewed?
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