Tried & Tested

Hotel review: Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore

12 Feb 2019 by Michael Allen

Background

Parkroyal on Pickering opened in 2013 and Business Traveller Asia-Pacific first reviewed the hotel in 2015, calling it an “urban oasis in every sense” and praising its “Martha Stewart-style” club lounge.

Being invited back over Chinese New Year 2019, I decided to put the hotel through its paces again to see if it still offers a top-notch experience.

Where is it?

Opposite Hong Lim Park, whose claim to fame is being the only place in Singapore where you can legally stage a protest…

The nearest MRT stations are Chinatown on the North East Line and Downtown Line (three minutes walk), Clark Quay on the North East Line (four minutes walk), and Telok Ayer on the Downtown Line (six minutes walk).

Major business centre Raffles Place is an eight-minute walk and you can get to Gardens by the Bay in five minutes by taxi. Another major attraction, the National Gallery of Singapore, is a 10-minute walk.

What's it like?

Immediately imposing and impressive. The hotel seriously stands out of its surroundings and looms up over you. It’s the kind of hotel that, if you had not looked up pictures of it ahead of your stay, would elicit a positive “is this where we’re staying?” response upon first encountering it.

As soon as I arrived, a member of the concierge offered to assist with my luggage. There was no queue to check in at the front desk and I was promptly given a welcome drink of refreshing lemonade, as well as a Chinese New Year gift of two satsumas and hong bao (red packets).

The room

I was in an Orchid Club Room, which comes with access to the 16th floor Orchid Club Lounge.

As with the hotel’s exterior, I was immediately impressed with the design of the room. Your anticipation builds as you exit the 15th-floor lift and then enter an open-air corridor with a breathtaking view to your left…

You walk along the corridor…

…until you reach your room, which feels more like entering a chalet than an ordinary hotel room…

From your room, you get another stunning view, this time from the other side of the building…

The room’s design incorporates a lot of wood into the floor and walls, feeling more like a resort than an urban hotel and giving the room a natural feel. This impression is reinforced by features such as glass water bottles that are refilled daily or upon request, in lieu of plastic bottles.

The room still manages to not be too resort-like that the average business traveller would be turned off; it still has all the amenities you need for a business trip and, if anything, it makes a nice change from the relatively gloomy and unimaginative rooms you may ordinarily find yourself staying in for work.

With a free champagne breakfast included each morning, however, it may provide too much unnecessary temptation for the serious business traveller looking to get some work done.

All soft drinks from the mini-bar are free…

There is a Nespresso coffee machine with three types of capsules, including one decaf option…

There are also two types of TWG Tea…

…and a selection of glasses for your cold drinks…

By the writing desk there is an area to charge your devices…

The bathroom, shower and toilet open on to the bedroom, but you can close a sliding door if you need some privacy.

There is a selection of St Gregory toiletries, replenished daily…

The room has two telephones, one by the bed…

…and one on the writing desk…

Inside the wardrobe, there are bathrobes, an iron and ironing board, and a safe…

The hotel’s eco-conscious ethos is espoused in a wooden dice, which features a mixture of information on the hotel’s green initiatives as well as requests for the housekeeping staff, that you’ll find on the writing desk when you arrive. Though one downside of the dice is that I was awoken early one morning by what sounded distinctly like someone rolling their dice repeatedly across the floor in the room above…

Executive lounge

The 15th-floor Orchid Club Lounge is a spacious, high-ceilinged affair furnished with light-toned wood. The lounge is cleverly divided into four sections, giving each area its own sense of privacy – when the lounge is not busy you can find yourself getting an entire section to yourself.

The view, as from the rooms, is stunning and the lounge is filled with natural light all day.

On Tuesday, I went to the lounge for the afternoon tea, which is served between 14:00 to 16:00. I was offered tea or coffee, and chose Sencha green tea. There was a delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones available…

There was also some tasty water infused with apple, lemon and mint…

The Orchid Lounge also offers excellent cocktails. You can choose from a menu of six cocktails…

I sampled a Singapore Sling…

The cocktails are served alongside a buffet…

This blue cheese was particularly exquisite…

There is also a hot station, which serves different dishes depending on the night. This 65 degrees boiled egg was delicious…

The breakfast, which I ate all three mornings of my stay, was equally impressive.

Leisure facilities

The hotel’s stand-out leisure facility is the fifth-floor infinity pool. For better or worse, this pool has become decidedly “Instafamous” (famous on social media platform Instagram), meaning you will probably see a lot more posing for photos than actual swimming…

From the perspective of a business traveller who just wants to get in a quick morning or evening swim, this pool probably isn’t ideal. It’s aimed more at tourists and people looking to spend a lazy afternoon on one of the deckchairs or inside one of the yurt-like structures around the pool area.

Still, the gym, which is just behind the pool, is pretty decent…

And you have a pretty stunning view to look at while working out on the treadmill or exercise bike…

However, I did find that the safety cord on one of the treadmills was broken…

Check out

When I went to check out at around midday on Friday, February 8, I was horrified to find this huge queue of what appeared to be Chinese New Year tourists. I had a meeting to get to at 12:30, so had to ask my partner, with whom I was travelling, to help me check out while I went to the meeting. Had I been alone, I would definitely have been late for my meeting. While this queue was probably due to the Chinese New Year holiday, the hotel ought to have had more staff on duty to check these people out faster.

Verdict

A beautifully-designed, modern hotel that is located within easy reach of both the CBD, major dining areas and tourism hotspots. The Orchard Club Lounge is a very well-catered space with excellent service amid a beautiful setting; I recommend you spend the extra to get a room with access to this lounge, as it really does give you a premium experience that is worth the extra expense. The long check-out queue issue was a minor annoyance, but didn’t spoil my positive view of the rest of the stay.

Fact file

  • Best for… Great views of the city from the room, pool and executive lounge
  • Don’t miss… Evening cocktails in the Orchid Club Lounge
  • Price…S$510.23 (US$377.43) for one person, one night in an Orchid Club Room in mid-March.
  • Contact: +65 6809 8888; enquiry.prsps@parkroyalhotels.com; panpacific.com
Loading comments...
Business Traveller October 2019 edition
Business Traveller October 2019 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls