For a 45-year old hotel, Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore looks pretty damn good. Of course, we have to give credit to the extensive renovation works that were completed earlier this year that brought pleasing pops of colour and accents of local heritage around the hotel – starting with the grand new lobby, which was inspired by gold and crimson of the Phalaenopsis orchid. Coupled with its prime location near Orchard MRT and within walking distance to all that Orchard Road has to offer, this staycation spot is pretty perfect for a shopping or city break.

Our booking in a Royal Club Premier Room means we could choose to check-in at the Royal Club Lounge on level 15 if we wished. While it doesn’t boast much of a view, there’s a homely, easy-going vibe at the lounge that made it a great place to work (if you really have to) or to meet people – something we chalk up partially to the hospitable and unpretentious staff that man it. Since our check-in time ran into the complimentary evening cocktails (5.30pm to 8pm daily), we stayed to enjoy the small spread that was a multi-cultural smorgasboard. Free-flowing sparkling wine and other boozy beverages accompanied the cold cuts and cheeses, cold cuts and cheeses, kueh pie tee, chicken ngoh hiang (they have halal-certified kitchens), and India vada.

For club guests, the lounge also serves breakfast and afternoon tea from 3pm to 5pm. Just note that if you’re planning to take small people, the lounge is closed to kids under the age of 12 after 5pm everyday.

Ringing in at 32 square metres (344 square feet), there’s plenty of living space to go around in our Club Premier room conveniently located on the same floor as the lounge. The property’s palette of light wood and grey continues here, but with delightful splashes and accents in sunflower yellow (we’re told it’s red in the Deluxe rooms and a vibrant cobalt in the Premier). The layout is pretty standard; the king sized bed with a firm Simmons mattress lies between the bathroom and the dependable work desk, where any data-starved Singaporean will be happy to find a complimentary pocket WIFI device.

Thankfully, the renovations didn’t miss out on the opportunity of installing USB ports for charging near the bedstands – something we’re sure you’ll appreciate as well. For me, the only drawback about the bed was its frame; it stuck out in a way such that I ended up kicking it a couple of times (and it probably won’t happen to you). The mini-bar, loaded with juices and soft drinks, is complimentary, as are the Nespresso capsules accompanying the coffee machine.

The bathroom, with separate deep soaking bathtub and steam rainshower, is easily one of the largest bathrooms we seen on this column this year. We like that the subtle scent of the citrus-themed bath amenities by VitaminSpa that comes in biodegradable and easy-to-squeeze bottles.

For many years, the crowning jewel of Royal Plaza on Scotts was its halal-certified buffet at Carousel Restaurant – indeed, it was packed with Muslim families celebrating birthdays and diverse gatherings of office mates when we visited at dinner time. Even though I don’t enjoy buffets as much as I used to, it’s hard to shrug off Carousel with its 17 culinary stations, from fresh seafood to Japanese-style Teppanyaki and Brazilian churrasco, and their premium selection of ice cream flavours (their local takes on chendol and kaya toast are delicious). And at the very least? They didn’t overcook my pasta.

Royal Plaza on Scotts Singapore is located at 25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220, p. +65 6737 7966.