Ramada Singapore at Zhongshan Park is a 4 star hotel located in an interesting Balestier area. While not in a walking distance to the main tourist attractions, it’s a good location to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but still being able to easily get everywhere by MRT or taxi.
Hotel, housing 384 guest rooms, is only one year old (opened in May 2013), which means everything is new and clean. It makes quite an impression with its grand foyer and lobby bar.
We were given a top floor room (1792), at the end of corridor, which offered extensive views of the neighbourhood. I quickly became a big fan of the window seat and spent a lot of time there – great spot to relax with a cup of tea and to watch everything from bird’s-eye perspective. Location of the room also made it feel more private and quiet.
Rooms will suit business travellers. They are well appointed, comfortable size for 2 people, offer a small desk area and free unlimited WiFi. Bathroom features a bath tub which doubles also as a shower.
Swimming pool big enough for laps, a gym and business centre. The hotel also adjoins a two-level shopping mall, where you can find restaurants and supermarket.
Hotel restaurant – Flavours at Zhongshan Park – is located at the ground floor. It offers Straits Chinese cuisine, mixed with some Western dishes to cater to all hotel guests (that’s also where buffet breakfast is served in the morning).
We went to check it out during lunch service, which was quite a busy time, being only few days before Chinese New Year. Our meal started with Curry Leaf Mojito (yes, curry leaf!) which was a new flavour experience for us – we really enjoyed it. Then our tastebuds (and sizes of our stomach) were tested while we were treated to the feast team at Ramada put up for us! Our menu included:
Kueh Pie Tee – Braised sweet turnip with pork belly and prawns in traditional pastry crust
Home-made “otak otak” – Nonya fish mousse with spices wrapped in banana leaf
Udang Masak Lemak Nanas – Traditional Malaccan dish of prawns simmered in pineapple and lemongrass gravy
Aayam Buah Keluak – Braised chicken cooked with keluak nuts
Babi Pongteh – Braised pork with salted bean paste, bamboo shoot and black mushrooms
Pandan Tiramisu – Tiramisu with pandan leaf infusion
Kueh Pie Tee was our favourite, I loved the tiny pastry cups.
The hotel also offers a free shuttle bus to and from Novena (shopping centre & MRT station).
The 2 nights stay at Ramada Hotel gave me a chance to have a glimpse into Balestier and its rich heritage. From lovely traditional shophouses, through Buddhist Temple, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (where the entry is free with your hotel card), to Balestier Market, which houses a food court – it’s worth to have a stroll along Balestier Road at least twice, it looks much different during day and night. (read more about Balestier Heritage Trail)
The hotel itself is Singapore’s first hotel-by the-park development, which gives a different, more relaxing feel when you step outside. It’s not only a place for hotel guests but is also enjoyed by locals, who come here to play with children or do yoga.
Ramada Singapore At Zhongshan Park
16 Ah Hood Road
For rates and reservations visit ramadasingapore.com. Our 2 nights stay & lunch courtesy of Ramada Singapore. All opinions and photos are my own.