Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Pan Pacific Singapore was closed for a year to undergo a full renovation, and reopened in 2012.
WHERE IS IT?
In the busy Marina Square retail and hotel district between the city and Marina Bay. The hotel is linked by covered sky bridges to three shopping malls, is five minutes’ walk from the Promenade and Esplanade MRT stations, and a 20-minute drive from the airport. There are plenty of attractions within walking distance, such as Gardens by the Bay and Theatres by the Bay.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
With 790 guestrooms this is one of Singapore’s largest hotels, but it does well to hide its numbers and feel homely. A triangular design gives all rooms great views, the huge lobby atrium is open to the 35th top floor and has seating area “pods” that look like conical traditional fishing baskets. The effect is distinctive, an attractive blend of modernity and traditional themes. Interior lifts access floors 1–22, while exterior lifts serve floors 22–38.
There are 11 room types from deluxe through to a presidential suite. I was in a Harbour Studio room (one of 90) on the 32nd floor, with a fantastic view over Marina Bay. The larger than average (46 sqm) room follows a standard design layout; it’s decorated in warm shades of brown with full carpeting, the bed is excellent, the internet protocol TV (articulated) offers a huge range of channels, while the oval work desk has easily accessible sockets and ports, plus a very comfortable ergonomic chair. A nice additional feature is a breakfast bar with two stools, a glass rack, the minibar fridge and Nespresso machine.
The bathroom has a large window (with controllable partition screen) opening onto the bedroom area; beside this is a stand-alone bath, so you can relax in the tub and watch TV through the glass as the audio is piped into the bathroom. There’s also a walk-in rainforest shower, and Em-brace bathroom products featuring healthy plant extracts.
Recessed lighting around the walls just below the ceiling, as well as “warm” lamps, give the room a pleasant ambience – although refurbishment was four years ago, this still feels like a new, modern product.
There are 24 meeting rooms of varying size (catering to 10-50 people) and two pillarless ballrooms – the Pacific Ballroom on Level 1 can fit 800 people theatre style, and has its own dedicated street entrance, while the Ocean Ballroom on Level 2 fits 450. The meeting rooms are located either on level 2 or on the 22nd floor, where “sky” walkways across the atrium link them together (some feature great city views).
Floors 33 to 35 contain Pacific Club rooms – their occupants (and anyone else who opts for the extra club benefits) have access to the Pacific Club lounge in the hotel’s rooftop section. This circular lounge is a peaceful place for breakfast, afternoon tea or evening cocktails – simply walk round and choose your panoramic view of choice. Staff are attentive and efficient, and the Pacific Club privileges include a full complement of benefits.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
There are six F&B outlets: on the ground floor is the Atrium bar and Pacific Marketplace (location of a gourmet grocer and butcher). On the third floor are three restaurants: Rang Mahal offers north Indian dishes, the renowned Hai Tien Lo specialises in Cantonese cuisine, while the all-day buffet eatery Edge tags itself as a “food theatre” due to the wide range of its offerings – it is famous for its four-hour Sunday champagne brunches. The fourth floor boasts Keyaki, a very popular Japanese restaurant with its own Japanese garden and carp pond. There’s a teppanyaki section for up to 18 people, a sushi bar and two private rooms, one Western style and the other using traditional tatami mats.
These are all located on the fourth floor: the fairly compact but well-appointed 24-hour gym was busy on the three occasions I visited, while the outdoor circular pool is popular with families and has resort-style loungers and a poolside café – doing exercise laps is not really an option. St Gregory Spa offers a range of traditional Chinese treatments, and there are also tennis courts available until 10pm.
In an area of Singapore filled with marquee luxury hotels Pan Pacific easily holds its own, offering well-appointed, stylish rooms and excellent dining options. The Pacific Club package also represents great value. An excellent hotel in what is a highly competitive sector.
Internet rates for a midweek stay in a Pacific Harbour Studio room in mid-December start from S$659 (US$474) including taxes and surcharges.
7 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039595; tel +65 6336 8111; panpacific.com