The Pan Pacific Orchard was one of the very first hotels that I stayed in after returning from my half-decade stint in Australia. It was also one of the first few hotels that I stayed in, fell in love with and consequently became a loyal member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) program. I stayed at this charming property at the start of 2014 as a Platinum member and I have quite recently returned once again as a Black member - and it pays to be a top-tier guest here!
The Pan Pacific Orchard is the Pan Pacific Singapore's less famous sibling and it is tucked away quietly in Orchard while still being minutes away from one of the world's most famous shopping strip. The hotel can be quite easily accessed if you are coming by MRT - hop off at Orchard Station, take the underpass, exit at Shaw House (Lido), make your way down to Palais Renaissance and you will soon find yourself at this private little hotel.
I managed to snag up a really good weekend rate at the Pan Pacific Orchard and remember only direct bookings count towards eligible nights for the qualification of status in the GHA program. As a GHA Black member, I was offered a double upgrade into the beautifully appointed Pacific Club Studio with a late check-out at 6pm. In fact, as a GHA Black member, you have the privilege to check-in as early as 9am, so long the room is ready and available.
The Pacific Club Studio at the Pan Pacific Orchard is approximately 53 sqm in size and it features a separate living area, bedroom (albeit a studio-concept as you will see later) and luxurious bathroom. There is also a decently-sized work desk for you to get work done. There is also a Nespresso coffee machine and the room is well-stock with delicious Gryphon Tea which is slowly becoming a staple across all luxury hotel brands. The fridge is also fully-stock with a range of beverages and you will find a bunch of liquor miniatures in one of the drawers - do note the prices on these babies though. The Pan Pacific Orchard (like the Pan Pacific Singapore) is also great at ensuring that the relevant GHA benefits like the welcome fruit platter are implemented.
One of the features I really appreciate in the Pacific Club Studio is the rotatable flat-screen TV. While I do acknowledge the importance of having a TV in the living and bedroom, it can sometimes be a little too careless as most of us (especially when you're on a staycation) spend most of the time in the bedroom.
I also found this little Pan Pacific Orchard Bear on my bed when I got into the room. I am not sure if this is a local amenity that is extended only to GHA Black members or was I just lucky because I have stayed at this property multiple times as a loyal GHA member so YMMV. There is a pillow menu by the side of the bed so in the event that the pillows on your bed are not in line with your personal preference, there are some others to choose from - the Pan Pacific Orchard really wants you to get a good night's rest! Despite having two panels of windows, the curtains in the Pacific Club Studio really block out most of the light.
The bathroom found in my Pacific Club Studio was beautifully appointed with contemporary designs. The deep, sunken and separate bathtub is definitely one of the biggest and best in the Orchard Road area. If you spend the entire day out of your room shopping, trust me, this bathtub is going to matter. Some bath salts are also provided by the side and they will be replenished at turndown and during the morning. You will also find double sinks in the bathroom of the Pacific Club Studio so all kinds of hygiene procedures can be carried out simultaneously.
Similar to the other Pan Pacific hotels and serviced suites that I have been to in Singapore, bathroom amenities are provided by the in-house em-brace brand. While I generally do not like in-house brands, I think em-brace by the Vanity Group offers a rather superior product. The scent is not overly artificial, the conditioner feeds my hair and the body wash is quite refreshing despite having a rather earthly scent.
Since I stayed in a Pacific Club Studio, I had the opportunity to utilise the following Pacific Club privileges:
- Personalised butler service
- Exclusive access to the Pacific Club Lounge for complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening cocktails
- Complimentary use of Pacific Club Boardroom for an hour
- Laundry service for up to two garments daily and shoe polishing
- Limousine airport transfers at special rates
- Welcome amenities and fruit platter
- Complimentary local telephone calls
- LCD television with local and cable channels and laptop connectivity
- Embrace bathroom amenities
- Pillow menu with a choice of organic buckhead hull, contour, coil polyester or foam pillows
- Complimentary wired and wireless high-speed Internet access
- Morning wake-up service with your choice of hot beverage
- Save 20% at hotel’s restaurants and bars
- Save 10% at our award-winning spa, St. Gregory
While the Pacific Club privileges are similar to what you would generally find in Executive or Club Rooms at five-star luxury hotels in Asia-Pacific, there are a couple that are pretty interesting. For the special airport limousine transfer is something that I highly value when I am travelling outside of Singapore. I generally dislike taxis (especially in Bali or Kuala Lumpur) and I actually do prefer to pay a premium by getting the hotel to arrange a limo for me. While taxis are generally fuss-free in Singapore, I thought that the special rate may appeal to some travellers. Also, the morning wake-up service with a choice of hot beverage is a nice touch as well. Personally though, I wouldn't want anyone to see me in my out-of-bed-look. Besides, there is a Nespresso machine in the room and that does it for me. It may be useful if you enjoy waking up to the smell of coffee or if you have trouble waking up yourself (because you can't trust that snooze button).
One of the things I love the most (and one of the reasons I stay loyal to international hotel chains) is evening cocktails that come with all executive or club rooms. Free-flow beers, wines and liquor for two hours (6-8pm) over delicious canapés? Yes please! The Pacific Club served up some decent liquor that is expected of a luxury hotel. Of course, you may also order from a list of complimentary cocktails if the regular liquors don't fancy you as much. Just to wash my palate in between drinks, I ordered a Singapore Sling which the club butler took a lot of pride in making - definitely one of the more delicious ones around!
There was a healthy selection of hot and cold food in the Pacific Club during evening cocktails and there is definitely enough to make for a light dinner.
If you are still feeling peckish, remember that you can easily stroll down to Orchard Towers for some delicious Thai food (just know where exactly to go because you don't want to make a wrong turn) or head across the road to McDonald's (24-hours!) at Forum Shopping Center for that delicious double McSpicy.
As a Pacific Club guest, you will have the option of having a full buffet breakfast at 10 at Claymore or the exclusive Pacific Club. As a general rule of thumb, I always pick the former option as I value food variety over exclusivity. Since I have been to 10 at Claymore a couple of times, I wanted to check out the breakfast in the Pacific Club and boy was I impressed!
Unlike most hotels, the Pacific Club at the Pan Pacific Orchard is located on the same level as the lobby so you won't be getting much of a view down here. What you will look out to instead is lush greenery and a glimpse of the notorious Orchard Towers nearby. The Pacific Club was relatively empty and quiet when I got in so it was definitely a nice way to spend the morning - away from the hungry breakfast crowd.
Apart from the usual suspects at breakfast - cold cuts, breakfast cereals, pastries and juices, the Pacific Club offers a rather extensive made-to-order breakfast with amazing standards. The last place (which I know of) that offered such an extensive menu in the lounge is at the Conrad Bali Suites.
Not only were the breakfast items done properly, they are also plated beautifully! I really like how the pancakes are presented - I wish I had more stomach space to try everything on the menu.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Pan Pacific Orchard. While it wasn't as luxurious as the Pan Pacific Singapore, the property feels a lot more intimate and cozy. I also liked that there is a private entrance on the lower ground level so you do not actually have to walk past the check-in desk each time you enter the hotel. The Pan Pacific Orchard has amazing weekend rates (that sometimes do not flow through to the relevant OTAs) so be sure to check the official website for rates - it is the only way you can earn eligible nights in the GHA program too.