So many staycays, so little time. What makes this hotel special?
The Goodwood Park Hotel is a name synonymous with old-world class. Built in 1900 as the Teutonia Club for the expatriate German community here, it marked its 120th birthday this year.
Nestled amid bustling Orchard Road, the hotel compound spans 6ha.
In its storied history, it has hosted legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova and was the first hotel in Singapore to have a swimming pool.
Formerly owned by the Jewish Manasseh brothers, it was bought in 1968 by late banker and hotelier Khoo Teck Puat, whose statue stands in the lobby.
In 1989, its tower was gazetted a national monument.
Given how it started life, Goodwood Park retains the genteel air of a country club. The rooms are lushly appointed in cream and gold; the staircase balustrades are sweeping; and pots of white orchids adorn tables before ornate mirrors.
I am given a one-bedroom suite in the Mayfair wing, overlooking one of the swimming pools. The 90 sq m suite strikes me as enormous - there is a sitting room and a separate dining area.
I am not sure what to do with all this space, so I wind up working from a different part of the suite every hour - just for variety.
Although the hotel is near busy Orchard Road, my room is surprisingly quiet. At one point, a child starts screaming in the room next door. I move to the other end of my domain. Problem solved.
On a tour through the hotel, I get a peek into some of the other rooms - from the charming Heritage Rooms, with their red cabinets and vintage headboards, to the Rose Marie Suite, which is bigger than most Housing Board flats.
It boasts chandeliers, a sauna, a walk-in wardrobe, a banquet table that can sit 10 (not that you should be having 10 people over during a pandemic) and a balcony on which you can pose above the Goodwood Park Hotel sign and regard the glittering swathe of Orchard.
Did they deck the halls?
I have a whole Christmas tree in my room. Given that Christmas trees are in short supply this year, I consider this no small feat.
Goodwood's holiday decorations are elegantly understated for the most part. After all, if you want glitz, there is all of Orchard Road to stroll down.
We sample the festive menu at in-house restaurant Gordon Grill ($130 a person for a five-course dinner). It does not exactly scream "Fa la la la la", but it is pleasant, hearty cooking - duck leg confit, scallops in lemon butter, a trio of soups in little cups and so on.
Nearby, a waiter carves up a small mountain of meats - ham, salami, pastrami and more - on request.
Later, he returns with the dessert trolley and obligingly makes us an off-menu crepe suzette, setting the pan aflame with a flourish. The scent of burning Grand Marnier wafts through the air.
What else is there to do?
Goodwood has two swimming pools. The Balinese-style Mayfair pool, surrounded by vine-strewn gazebos, is the prettier one.
As with most hotels these days, pool spaces are limited and advance booking is required.
There are pockets of heritage to be found around the hotel - whether it is an exhibition of ninth-century artefacts from the Tang Shipwreck uncovered in 1998, or the gleaming 1906 Fiat Brevetti parked in the driveway for vintage car fans to admire.
Verdict: Bliss or miss?
I get the feeling that one does not go to Goodwood Park to be dazzled by novelty, but rather for the reliable delivery of classics.
If you like your staycays steeped in history, or just fancy a quiet Christmas curled up in a cream-and-gold armchair next to your very own tree, this is the one for you.
Hot tip: Ask for the crepe suzette after dinner at Gordon Grill. It is tasty and high on entertainment value.
GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL
WHERE 22 Scotts Road
ROOMS 233, ranging from the Deluxe Mayfair Room to the Rose Marie Suite, as well as the split-level apartment-style Parklane Suites for longer stays
RATES Goodwood Family Staycation package: from $288++ a night for a Deluxe Mayfair Room; Restless In Singapore package: from $498++ for two nights for a Deluxe Mayfair Room for two people, available only from Mondays to Thursdays. Both packages are valid until June 30; not applicable for use with SingapoRediscovers Vouchers. The best available rate for the one-bedroom suite starts at $590++ a night.
• This staycation was hosted by the hotel and is part of a weekly series. For more staycation reviews, go to str.sg/SuiteLife.