Wedding Planning: Picking A Hotel Ballroom

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

After setting a budget & figuring out what we wanted ( Read: Wedding Planning - Choosing A Venue ), we checked the availability of the various hotels that we had shortlisted and fixed a date to view the ballrooms in person! For us, we weren't looking at top-notch, 5-star hotels cause they were way out of our budget so if you're looking at reviews for the ballrooms of 5-star hotels, then I'm sorry but this post is going to disappoint.

Moving on, we had actually viewed a few hotels before Megan decided to surprise us but I don't have pictures of those hotels so I'm just gonna make a brief summary here before I talk more about the hotels which we viewed late last this year.

Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

392 Havelock Rd, 169663


I remember the moment we stepped into the hotel, we were greeted with such grandeur that it took our breaths away. The lobby was exquisite and is as it's name says, very very grand looking. We were really keen on this hotel but unfortunately, because of the size of our guestlist, we weren't able to meet the minimum requirement for their largest ballroom and their smaller ballrooms were just not as appealing (there were pillars which would be a hindrance to the view of our guests and the ballroom was very narrow. Not to mention, our march-in would also be extremely short and there wasn't enough space to accomodate a live band) so we had to (painfully) forgo this hotel simply because of our party size. 
Note: You can actually just top up to the minimum spending (e.g. If you only have 20 tables, and the min. requirement is 25 tables, you can upgrade your menu or add a dessert table etc. to meet the required spending amount and get the ballroom) but for us, we thought that having to spend an extra 5 table cost was not feasible so we did away with it entirely.



Fairmont Singapore (Swissotel The Stamford) Hotel

80 Bras Basah Rd, 189560


For our case, our party size was a bit tricky because even though we've a guest list of 20 tables, we needed a ballroom that could accommodate more than that so we could include a big stage and a dance floor. Fairmont Singapore was able to cater to our needs with regards to that but we didn't like the feel of it. Firstly, it sits atop Raffles City Shopping Centre and the space consists of more than one ballroom which means that at any point of time, there can be multiple weddings held at once and that didn't feel very personal to us. It can also be quite messy & confusing for the guests too. Another thing we both felt was that it looked more like a convention hall than a ballroom. Very corporate looking - like the kind you use for D&D but not quite for a wedding. So without a second thought, we struck this one off our list.


Rendezvous Hotel

9 Bras Basah Road Singapore 189559


Frankly speaking, I was only drawn because I liked the white, "english" architecture of the hotel's facade & since we were going to view hotels around the vicinity, we decided to pop by this one to see if it would unknowingly surprise us but nope. The ballroom for this one was small and rather old fashioned looking. We were looking for a ballroom that's free of pillars but this one disappointed us. For some reason, it also had a rather musky feel (maybe cause it's a bit old). So yeah, needless to say, this was off our list too.


Carlton Hotel

76 Bras Basah Road Singapore 189558


We viewed Carlton Hotel twice - once before Megan was born and the second time during last year end. This was initially our hotel of choice after the first round of viewing but we weren't totally sold so we decided to go have a second look before making our decision. The thing I really liked about Carlton is that the banquet food will be prepared by their famed Wah Lok cantonese restaurant so I can be more or less assured that the food will be good.

The hotel lobby's not exactly very grand looking. In fact, it's actually quite small but it has a very modern edge to it with it's glass interiors.

The ballroom that was recommended to us was the Empress ballroom 1-3 but as you can see in the pictures below, the pillars in the ballroom were quite an eyesore.
Not to mention, the lack of chandeliers also meant that it brings the level of grandeur down a notch.

This is the walkway towards the reception area. It's a shared space between Empress Ballroom 1-3 & Empress Ballroom 4 & 5. Which means your guests will have to squeeze past other guests should there be another wedding held Empress Ballroom 4 & 5.
This is the reception area for Empress Ballroom 1-3 which is really spacious but like I said, you might have to share it with guests from a wedding next door.

I must add though, Empress Ballroom 4 & 5 (shown above) is really beautiful when set up with the decor and stuff. It's completely devoid of pillars and very spacious but unfortunately for us, we again, couldn't meet the minimum number of tables. 

What ultimately put us off about Carlton Hotel wasn't the appearance of the hotel or whatsoever though. It was the sales person during our second visit that sealed our decision to forgo Carlton hotel. First of all, he was extremely cold and unfriendly. He made no rooms for negotiation. He didn't even break a smile the whole time and he just went on reading off the brochure about the package details a very monotonous, uninterested tone. So without a second thought, we shook hands and never looked back. His service attitude was a deal breaker.


Regent Hotel

1 Cuscaden Rd, 249715


We squeezed 4 hotel visits, back to back, in one day and Regent Hotel was our first stop!
When we first got there, we were really impressed with the hotel's lobby. Though it didn't look as grand as Grand Copthorne's it was still pretty atas looking.
Chandeliers! The power of chandeliers. It really enhances the entire look of the place!


& glass elevators! I don't know, but there's just something really alluring about glass elevators.

Regent Hotel has two ballrooms but the one we were considering was their larger ballroom, the Royal Pavilion, located on the first level. 

Maybe it's because this was the first hotel we popped by but for some reason Shane and I both really loved it at first sight & even though we couldn't hit their minimum number of tables, we were very keen on considering making the minimum spend just so we could get the venue. The downside of this place though, is the reception area (which funnily, I have no pictures of). It's right smack at the hotel lobby, in front of the entrance which makes it really weird cause there's no barricade whatsoever to make it known that this area is for your wedding guests. It really lacked that private, intimate wedding touch on that part. But apart from that, we were so close to choosing to hold our wedding at Regent Hotel!

One of the reasons that also won our hearts, albeit not a major factor, was their bridal suite!
We didn't view Carlton's bridal suite cause we felt hugely disappointed with the service but in comparison to the rest of the hotels that we viewed that day, Regent had the largest suite! 


They even have a partition to separate the bed from the living area so your bridal party can crash the room for a couple of hours after the wedding to celebrate!


Orchard Hotel

442 Orchard Rd, 238879


Like Fairmont Swissotel, Orchard Hotel is located above a shopping mall as well so if your guests aren't driving, to get there, your guests have to walk through the shopping mall & Shane and I both agreed that we didn't quite fancy the idea of that. Nonetheless, we went ahead to see what they had to offer us!
Okay, before I elaborate more on their ballroom, I need to say this, their service is IMPECCABLE. We (stupidly) scheduled our visits back to back such that we totally forgot to include time for lunch but the ladies at Orchard Hotel were so incredible, they actually got sandwiches for us to fill our tummies after knowing that! You may say "aiya, they're trying to sell to you mah" but the thing is, they didn't have to and out of so many hotels that we went to view, Orchard hotel's service REALLY STOOD OUT! It's been half a year but I still clearly remember how warm and hospitable they were! I can honestly tell you that if not for the ballroom which we found to be quite crammed, we would definitely have signed the deal to have our banquet held there because their service had our hearts. It's a shame I can't remember the two ladies' names but there was a mentor and a trainee sales rep who served us. Two thumbs up to them!

So back to the ballroom...
Their ballroom can be expanded or partitioned but for the number of guests we had, we could only take up a third of the ballroom which we found to be too narrow and way too crammed.
Also, I really hated the polka dotted carpet. 

Their cocktail reception area was very spacious and we could use the entire area for our guests but it looked rather dated in my opinion.

We proceeded to view the bridal suite after and were led to a very oriental looking lift lobby. Apparently, every level is themed differently!
Interesting...but it kind of gave me the spooks.

The suite's pretty small in comparison to the rest of the hotels but I really loved the adjoining bathroom that linked the bedroom to the living area! Ultimately, we were disappointed with the look and feel of the ballroom. Felt that it was quite tacky & old looking so to our dismay, we decided to forgo Orchard Hotel even though their service really wowed us. It was such a pity really.


Concorde Hotel

100 Orchard Rd, 238840


Prior to viewing Concorde, I had read reviews saying that the hotel's facade looked rather shabby but decided to go view it anyway because a relative of Shane's previously had their wedding anniversary held there and we knew that this place could certainly accommodate a big stage for the full 4-piece band that we're intending to have.

True enough, when we reached Concorde Hotel, Shane took one look at the exterior and said "eh babe, let's not waste time luh. I think we just go with Regent hotel lah. Don't bother viewing this hotel already." Yes, it looked THAT bad. But since we were already there, I persuaded him not to cancel the appointment and just go ahead, maybe it'll surprise us, who knows?

BEST DECISION EVER.
The hotel lobby's very modern looking & although it's not a very tall building, it's a very loooonnnggg hotel - as in, it stretches horizontally instead of vertically! I also realised that Concorde hotel has been awarded for excellent service for several years running as well!

One thing about Concorde Hotel is that they also sit atop a shopping centre. Specifically, a very old, dodgy looking shopping centre. But guests don't have to pass through the mall because there's an escalator that leads right up to the hotel from the outside.

They've to walk through the corridor (shown on the bottom left of this picture) that doesn't look very appealing either though.

BUT when they do...
They're greeted with a very contemporary cocktail reception area!

Best part? Concorde only has ONE ballroom so the entire private reception area was entirely for us to use!!! & it's pretty darn spacious! I fell completely in love with the cocktail area at first sight but what I wasn't prepared for was when the sales representative opened the doors to the ballroom!

Even though we had been here before, we literally went WOWWWWWW and our eyes popped the moment she swung the doors open! We were greeted with a HUGE ballroom COMPLETELY FILLED with chandeliers as if to say (you want chandeliers? HAVE IT ALL!) 

& to our delight, there were zero pillars in the ballroom as well!!!
We made another visit to Concorde hotel to sign the contract after and they even changed the wallpapers to gold instead of grey so it makes it look even more elegant!

As for the bridal suite, we were really pleased with it too!



After a very hard time debating on whether to choose Regent or Concorde, we eventually settled for Concorde Hotel because apart from the hotel's exterior, everything else was perfect! Zaiton (the sales rep) even threw in an extra barrel of beer AND an extra night's stay in the bridal suite for us as well! We really liked her service too but unfortunately, after signing the contract, we were informed that she was resigning and someone else will be taking over her place. Bummers. We're just hoping that this new staff will be just as warm and helpful!


& that's how our hotel viewing went! I'm really excited for our big day and as our wedding planning progress, I'll be sure to update this blog as well! We recently went for our pre-wedding photoshoot so I'll probably be sharing just a few sneak peeks here!
Until then, stay tuned!


1 comment:

  1. Hello~ I was wondering how was the food and service provided by concorde? I'm shortlisting it as 1 of my banquet venue~ May I know who was your wedding coordinator in charge too? Thank you! :)

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