Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Parkroyal on Pickering

30 Apr 2015 by Clement Huang

BACKGROUND

This hotel is housed in an award-winning building that boasts a range of environmentally-friendly features. Among the accolades it has earned are the BCA Green Mark Platinum certificate, Singapore’s most prestigious green benchmarking scheme, the Solar Pioneer Award for its solar energy system, and Hotel of the Year (2013) by World Architecture News. 

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

From the outside, it looks like there is greenery sprouting out of the building, and some of the floors resemble terraced paddy fields. 

Once you step inside, there is an immediate sense of calm, partly created by the high ceilings, large windows, furniture and fixtures – birdcages, cabanas, open-air corridors and vertical gardens – that call to mind a tropical resort. There are so many plants that a full-time horticulturist was hired to tend them. All the windows look onto foliage. Swimming in the outdoor infinity pool on the fifth floor feels like a stay at a retreat floating above Singapore’s city sprawl.

WHERE IS IT?

Parkroyal on Pickering is walking distance from famous areas such as Clarke Quay, Raffles Place and Chinatown. The Chinatown MRT Station is about one block away, making this hotel one of the most conveniently located in town. 

ROOM FACILITIES

My Orchid Club Deluxe Room, at 32sqm, felt very spacious, thanks to the open-plan design and light colour palette. As you enter the room, the pantry is on one side and the closet on the other. 

One business travel-friendly feature is the safe, which is equipped with a power outlet, enabling you to charge your gadget while it’s locked up. On the other hand, there is very little room for clothes. 

Further in, there is a king-size bed set against one wall, and a flat-screen TV mounted opposite. By the window, there is a desk placed by a sofa in the corner. There is an ergonomic chair, which can be placed on the other side of the desk to set up a meeting space. The large window lets in ample natural light. 

The bathroom area, which can be partitioned off with a sliding door, has a moderately sized bathtub positioned by the window, with a glass-encased shower compartment and toilet stall on the other side. Surprisingly for a property aspiring to create a resort feel, there is no rain shower, a feature that has become commonplace these days in upscale hotels. 

Otherwise, the in-room features are well thought out. There are touch-control panels on both sides of the bed: one sports only a master switch and sleep mode button; the other controls the temperature and a do-not-disturb light. There are universal sockets above both nightstands, and alongside the connectivity panel by the desk. The pantry has a well-stocked minibar and a Krups coffee machine comes with capsules. 

RESTAURANTS AND BARS

There is only one dining outlet, Lime, which is located on the ground floor and offers all-day dining and a small bar counter. This makes sense as the hotel is located close to many restaurants and bars. 

If you are on the club floor, the Orchid Club Lounge on the top floor offers all-day refreshments (non-alcoholic), a Champagne breakfast from 6:30am to 10:30am, afternoon tea from 2pm to 4pm, and evening cocktails from 6pm to 8pm. 

This facility is very different from other club lounges I have visited, it is designed like a Martha Stewart-style home kitchen, and coming here feels like visiting a friend's house. There is also an outdoor terrace. Other club privileges include priority check-in and check-out, two suit pieces pressed on the day of arrival, a shoe shine service on request, a complimentary non-alcoholic minibar, as well as a 20 per cent discount on all Business Centre services and a-la-carte items at Lime.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES

There are six meeting rooms for groups ranging from 12 to 500 guests. There is also a Poolside Terrace, which could easily host a cocktail function for 100 guests. 

LEISURE FACILITIES

Other than the infinity pool, the fifth floor is home to a reasonably well-equipped glass-encased gym, and a St Gregory Spa – a brand by the Pan Pacific hospitality group, which manages the hotel. The floor is edged by a small path called the "garden walk".  

VERDICT

Although this hotel is located in the middle of Singapore's urban area, it has the feel of a resort. It is an urban oasis in every sense. The staff is helpful and friendly without being overbearing, and the Martha Stewart-style club lounge is a real triumph. A class of its own. 

 

FACT FILE

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 367 hotel suites and rooms ranging from Superior King/Twin Rooms to Executive Suite Twin and the 166sqm one-bedroom Presidential Suite. 
  • HIGHLIGHTS The many vertical gardens, the friendly service and the homely club lounge. 
  • PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in June start at S$360 (US$268).
  • CONTACT 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore, +65 6809 8888; parkroyalhotels.com 
Reggie Ho
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