Tried & Tested

Hotel Check: Pan Pacific Singapore

27 Feb 2013 by Tom Otley

Background The Pan Pacific is one of the most established five-star hotels in Singapore, and has been a feature of the skyline for some 25 years. Last year it completed a £41 million renovation, closing for nearly five months in the process.

What’s it like? The money spent has completely transformed not only the public spaces but every room in the hotel. The lobby is very distinctive, featuring handmade “pods” dotted around the large atrium with booth seating in each, and a long bar down one side. Check-in takes place either at one of the desks or sitting down in one of the lobby chairs with the receptionist using an iPad, though I found it impossible to sign my name using the provided “magic” pen so requested a paper copy of the bill.

Where is it? About a 20-minute drive from Changi airport, traffic permitting, and five minutes by taxi from the CBD in Marina Bay. The hotel is close to Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre – which reopens in May – and has a walkway through to the Marine Shopping Mall.

Room facilities All of the 790 rooms have been refurbished with thick carpets, marble bathrooms with premium Hans Grohe fittings (including showers with both power and rain showerheads), and workdesks with ergonomic Herman Miller desk chairs. The 441 entry-level Deluxe rooms are 38 sqm and, as you’d expect, there’s plenty of new technology, including free wifi, Internet Protocol (IP) telephony and television, and sockets for linking mobile devices to the TV.

A “smart energy management” system helps to conserve power by allowing guests to customise their room temperature settings, and by automatically returning the lights and air conditioning to an energy-saving standby mode when the room is vacant. There are 201 rooms with balconies, and these are the only ones for smokers. Views are of Marina Bay or the cityscape behind.

Part of the renovation is the 38th-floor Pacific Club (for Pacific Club room guests and categories above), which has 360-degree views of the Marina Bay district and the South China Sea. It is open 24 hours and offers a buffet breakfast, soft drinks and snacks throughout the day, and alcoholic drinks in the evening. Club guests also benefit from a daily laundry service, though I gave up trying to notify housekeeping about this using the phone system (no answer) and emailed the hotel from my room via its website.

Restaurants and bars All of these have been refreshed – or completely reimagined in the case of the hotel’s well-known Hai Tien Lo Cantonese restaurant, which has moved from the 38th floor to the third floor. Also on level three is Edge, an all-day buffet restaurant serving varied cuisine including Western, Japanese, Malay, Singaporean and Chinese, and where at lunchtime it is easy to eat far too much, with even the chocolates, pastries and ice cream included in the set buffet price of S$48(£25). On the lobby level, a 22-metre long bar is the centrepiece of the Atrium, where a wide selection of craft beers is offered. Towards the back of the lobby, the Pacific Marketplace serves sandwiches, pastries and gourmet coffee.

Business and meeting facilities The hotel has extensive function space on the first and second floors, with a total of 27 meeting rooms, including two ballrooms – the Pacific and the Ocean, the largest of which (the Pacific) is capable of seating 650 people for a banquet.

Leisure facilities On the fourth floor there is a gym and an outdoor pool. St Gregory spa is accessed from the pool area and has seven treatment rooms.

Verdict This is a demonstration of how to get a renovation right – adding everything that guests want, but not messing with what made the hotel a favourite.

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 790 – 441 Deluxe, 162 Panoramic, 90 Harbour studios, 39 Pacific Club, 14 Pacific Harbour, 16 City suites, ten Skyline suites, nine Pacific Harbour studios, five Pacific Skyline suites, three Harbour suites and one Presidential.
  • HIGHLIGHTS Free wifi, fresh design and the smart energy conservation system. 
  • PRICE Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in April started from S$370 (£190) for a Deluxe King room.
  • CONTACT 7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square; tel +65 6336 8111; panpacific.com

Tom Otley

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