The PARKROYAL on Pickering is one of the first few hotels in Singapore to truly make a commitment towards being sustainable and eco-friendly. While a number of properties have now caught up with green living, there are only a handful of hotels in Singapore that have been awarded with the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award. The PARKROYAL on Pickering officially opened back in 2013 and I stayed there that very same year when I was toying with the idea of frequent staycations. While I was only a DISCOVERY Loyalty Platinum member then, I was fairly unimpressed with the property until my most recent stay over a long weekend here.
As I have previously mentioned, the DISCOVERY Loyalty program is one of the best hotel loyalty programs around if you are after staycations - if the rooms are available, top-tier guests are allowed to check-in and check-out at 9:00AM and 6:00PM respectively. Since I am a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member, I was given a double upgrade into an Orchid Club Deluxe Room with access to the Orchid Club. Something to take note is this - if you are upgraded into an Orchid Club room or suite, you will get to enjoy all the benefits in the club lounge but any additional benefits that revenue-paying Orchid Club guests enjoy may not be extended to you (e.g. laundry benefits).
I got to the property approximately an hour prior to the official check-in time and even though the room was not yet available (since it was fully occupied the day before), I was escorted to the Orchid Club where I enjoyed a proper cup of espresso while waiting for my room to be ready. I eventually decided to get lunch nearby and come back later for the room but being ushered to somewhere more private to wait is definitely a plus in my book. I got the room immediately after I got back to the hotel and I love how the keycards were already prepared before my arrival - they were handed to me at the Orchid Club and off I went to my room.
I stayed in an Orchid Club Deluxe Room over the long weekend and it comes with 32sqm of beautifully-appointed living space. The Orchid Club rooms are typically located on the upper levels of the hotel but here is something you should take note of - not all Orchid Club Deluxe Rooms have a bathtub so if you are actually looking for one, make sure you make your request known as soon as you can. Fortunately for me, I was assigned with a room that came with a tub since I was really craving for a warm soak after spending a hectic week in Charleston for the Singapore Airlines 787-10 Delivery Flight.
While the Deluxe Rooms here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering may not be as big as the Premier Rooms (which comes with 37sqm of space), the existence of a bathtub was important to me for this stay. I have also stayed in the Premier Rooms here (even though I have not reviewed them) and I really do like the abundance of natural light in both the bedroom as well as the bathroom. The bedroom of the Orchid Club Deluxe Room is beautiful and being on a high floor gives you a bird's eye view of Chinatown and Hong Lim Park from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
As far as I know, all of the Orchid Club Deluxe Rooms here come with a king-size bed configuration - if you are after twin beds then you may have to opt for a lower-category Superior Room instead. WiFi is complimentary here in the hotel for all staying guests and there is a beautiful work desk located right next to the window where you can really focus on getting things done. If you prefer, there is also a dedicated Business Centre located on level two of the hotel and it even provides administrative services like photocopying and printing (which I am not sure if they are chargeable).
Bath amenities here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering are provided by St. Gregory Spa (similar to the PARKROYAL on Beach Road) and this is the same regardless of whether you are in a lead-in room category or an Orchid Club Room - I am not sure if the suites use the same amenities since I have not stayed in any one of them but I would personally think so. Some of you may already know this but St. Gregory was established in Singapore in 1997 and it is one of the lifestyle brands that fall under the Pan Pacific Hotels Group umbrella.
Water pressure in the bathroom is actually very good and the bathtub (even though it was quite small) filled up rather quickly. One of the things that I have previously encountered with more eco-friendly properties is the weaker water pressure but that did not seem to be the case here in PARKROYAL on Pickering
As part of being a more sustainable and eco-friendly hotel, the PARKROYAL on Pickering does not provide disposable plastic water bottles here in the guest rooms and suites. What they do provide however is a reusable glass bottle (that you cannot take home in case that is what you were thinking of) that is replenished on a daily basis.
You will find a 40-inch television here in the bedroom and it comes with a healthy selection of cable channels. Coffee lovers will be able to enjoy a decent cup of espresso by making use of the in-room Nespresso coffee machine. With that being said, I really think that the Orchid Club here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering is one of the most beautiful club lounges in Singapore due to the amazingly high ceiling so having a cup of coffee in the Orchid Club is not that bad an idea after all. If coffee is not your cup of tea (pun intended), premium teabags are also provided in the room so you can snuggle up to a cup of hot tea in bed while looking out to all the greenery.
Next to the bed is where you will find all the controls that you require - this is where you will be able to change the temperature of the room, turn off the lights as well as to toggle between 'work' and 'relax' modes. On my previous stay at this property back in 2013, I remember that the lowest temperature that I could set the air-conditioning to was 21 degree Celsius but they seem to have removed this limitation (great news since I am actually terrified of the heat).
As part of my welcome amenity for being a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member, I received a platter of fresh fruits as well as some local snacks. One of the benefits of being a top-tier member with the DISCOVERY Loyalty program is a choice of local amenity but honestly, I do not remember the last time I was actually offered a choice.
Since I was staying in an Orchid Club Deluxe Room, I had access to the exclusive and infinitely-beautiful Orchid Club Lounge which is actually open from 6:30AM to 11:00PM everyday. Apart from all-day refreshments served here in the lounge, you will also get to enjoy the following benefits:
- Champagne Breakfast - 6:30AM to 10:30AM
- Afternoon Tea - 2:00PM to 4:00PM
- Evening Cocktails and Canapes - 6:00PM to 8:00PM
There is a good selection of food here at the Orchid Club Lounge in the evening so if you are fairly unmotivated to leave the property, you will be able to enjoy a light dinner here. If you prefer something lighter or healthier, you will find it here in the evenings as well since wellness is one of the core pillars of this property and it resonates down to the food it serves.
The evening cocktail experience at the Orchid Club Lounge is fairly different since Champagne is not served in the evening (but in the morning). With that being said, there is a rather decent selection of wines and cocktails that guests can order. If you do not know where to start, there is a list of classic cocktails where you can order things like a Singapore Sling, Mojito, Margarita or Lychee Martini. I have actually tried all four and can confirm that they do indeed taste very good (with a solid amount of alcohol in them too).
Since I was staying in an Orchid Club Deluxe Room, I had the option of having either a Champagne Breakfast in the exclusive Orchid Club Lounge or a full buffet breakfast experience (sans Champagne) at Lime - I opted for the former option since I did not wish to brave the crowd and obviously Champagne has an impact on my decision as well. Even though the food selection is definitely not as extensive as what they have downstairs, it is sufficient and there is even a 'live' egg station in the lounge where you will be able to enjoy eggs done to the way you like. More importantly, since there were less diners in the club lounge, you will probably not have to wait too long for your orders. If you are interested to know the label of the Champagne that is served here during breakfast, it is G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut
No stay at the PARKROYAL on Pickering is complete with a dip in the iconic swimming pool on the Wellness Floor (this is also where the gym is and there is even a 300m walking/running route for hotel guests if you do not wish to leave the property). Since the swimming pool was extremely crowded when I visited (it was a long weekend after all), I did not manage to take too many photos as I typically try to avoid taking photos of guests and strangers for privacy reasons.
Apart from the usual pool chairs and tanning chairs that you would expect to find, guests staying at the PARKROYAL on Pickering can also enjoy the semi-private pods that sits above the water. These seating pods resemble bird cages that are set amidst lush greenery and they look beautiful from the inside as well as outside. Most importantly, they are perfect spots to simply lay back with a book in hand and probably a drink in another. One of the things that I think would truly add value to this stay is the inclusion of complimentary beverages by the poolside for club and suite guests. This is something that I remember having from my stay at the peaceful Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang and it was such a great benefit. There is a poolside menu here that offers a selection of beverages as well as food options that range from a light bite to a full-size meal.
Sharing the fifth floor with the outdoor infinity pool is a wellness space that incorporates a jacuzzi as well as a decently-sized gym where you will be able to utilise some top of the line fitness equipments. The St. Gregory Spa can also be found here if you are looking for a relaxing afternoon in the hotel - I highly recommend the Tui Na Massage if you are in dire need of a back and shoulder massage.
While my first stay at the PARKROYAL on Pickering has been largely unimpressive, I dare say that the property has gotten so much better with age. Recognition of DISCOVERY Loyalty status as well as according benefits have improved tremendously and I really do have to point out what an amazing job the Guest Service Manager, Ken Ng, here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering has done. I have always been in love with the rooms but now with the amazing experience that I have gotten here in this property, I am much more inclined to stay here again. Now that the Pan Pacific Orchard (which was my personal favourite hotel for staycations) is closed, this property might just be my next favourite one.