A couple of months ago, I spent a long weekend at the PARKROYAL on Pickering in an Orchid Club Deluxe Room and was completely won over by the experience. While I did not particularly like the property when I visited it back in 2013, recent stays here have helped recreate and cement a brand new impression - the rooms and suites are beautiful (as always!), the service (especially the Orchid Club team) has improved dramatically and I really like the food options in the area.
With my DISCOVERY Loyalty Black Status, I managed to score an upgrade into an Orchid Club Junior Suite - the best way to this if you have top-tier status with the loyalty program is to book an Orchid Club room that is two categories below your dream room. In this scenario, you will be looking at an Orchid Club Deluxe Room. As always, upgrades are subjected to availability but I have always found the program to be fairly consistent at handing out these for top-tier members.
The Orchid Club Junior Suites here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering occupy the property's higher levels and they feature what I think is probably the best room category here - there is a beautiful bedroom with plenty of natural light, a separate living room and an expansive bathroom that comes with a bathtub as well as rain-shower area. Estimated at 48sqm in size, the Orchid Club Junior Suite's living room offers plenty of space to hang out even if you have a few good friends over - at least three adults can fit on the sofa (which doubles as a day bed) easily and there is also a separate working desk here if you need to actually get some things done during your stay. Complimentary high-speed internet is provided so you do not have to worry about getting charged for WiFi on-property.
There is a massive 46" LCD television here in the living area which comes with a range of cable and satellite channels. You will also find a fully-stocked minibar here in the living room and a Nespresso machine on top. Complimentary coffee capsules are provided as you would expect and teabags are provided by TWG - these are replenished during evening turndown as well as in the morning when housekeeping comes in to clean your room.
As a highest-tier DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member, I received a plate of fresh fruits and some local snacks as my welcome amenity. A personal note was also included for me and even though it was not handwritten, I did think that it was a nice gesture as well. In any case, here's a fun fact about handwritten notes - most of the time someone in the team gets tasked to write it so even though the General Manager or some Director of Front Office may sign it off, they did not actually write that letter that made you feel so special. In fact, the signature is sometimes forged as well so there you have it!
The bedroom of the Orchid Club Junior Suite connects directly to the living area and it can be separated by a sliding door if required. I kept the sliding door opened throughout my stay but if you have friends over and you do not want them snooping around your bedroom (because that's something people do, no?!), you can actually draw it and they will still be able to access the bathroom (including the shower area if required) from the living area. I really like how thought-out the layout of the suite is but more importantly the abundance of natural light makes it a breath of fresh air in the hotel industry.
My favourite aspect of the Orchid Club Junior Suite is the plenitude of natural light - the bedroom is very open and you can actually enjoy a 270-degree view from your bed. Now you might know this already but if you can look out of a window, there is a good chance that people can look in too. In fact, I think we are all familiar with the possibility that humans are intrinsically voyeuristic so I definitely recommend that you exercise caution with these windows. It may be great to keep them open but do think about your own privacy if you do intend to leave them drawn. All of these blinds (day and night) are automated so you can control them from the bedside control panel - no need to get out of bed to close them!
If you do leave the blinds drawn on the side, you will probably still look out to the city landscape - this is just one of the many perks of staying in a corner room. The weather was really dreadful during my visit and it was mostly raining throughout my stay but that gave me the best excuse to stay in. In any case, why would I book and pay for a room just to stay out - I can stay at home for that!
Despite this being only a Junior Suite (the Executive Suite is a 'real' suite), it is easily one of the most beautiful one (in terms of design and functionality) that I have been to in Singapore. As mentioned earlier, the bedroom opens up to the bathroom and the living room but both of these sliding doors can be closed to partition the relevant areas up if required. There is also ample space in the wardrobe for you to store a week's worth of clothing easily and there is a safe here for valuables. Laundry is provided for a fee here but if you have actually booked an Orchid Club room or suite (without getting upgraded into it), you will enjoy two pieces of laundry per room, per day during your stay (non-accumulative) - this benefit excludes dry cleaning or extra services such as express service and stain removal.
The Junior Suites here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering feature only king-size beds so if you are sharing this room with a stranger, this might be a deal-breaker for you (but the real question is, why are you sharing a room with a stranger?!). You will be able to control most if not all of the lights via the switches by the side of the bed and as I have mentioned earlier, the day as well as night blinds are automated so waking up to natural light is highly possible (and recommended!).
There are double sinks here in the Orchid Club Junior Suite's bathroom and each of them comes with its own massive mirror. I really like how symmetrical the design is but more importantly, how roomy the bathroom feels when you keep the sliding doors open - mirrors really help to give the perception of more space when you use them appropriately.
As mentioned in my previous review of the PARKROYAL on Pickering, the hotel has been awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award and therefore, embracing sustainability is one of the core pillars of this property. You will not find disposable plastic water bottles here in the guest room and suites - you will find two reusable glass bottles (which you can purchase if you really like them) that are replenished on a regular basis. If you do run out of water, the water from the tap in Singapore is potable and you can always request for more water to be sent up if required.
Unlike some of the room types here in the PARKROYAL on Pickering, the Orchid Club Junior Suite's bathroom comes with a deep-soaking bathtub. There is also a separate shower area that is adjacent to the tub so you do not have to worry about splashing around. Honestly, I have only first noticed this when I visited W Taipei last year but perhaps a lot of other hotels have already implemented thoughtful layouts like these.
While it is great to enjoy the beautiful building exterior from the comfort of your own bathtub, do be mindful of potential privacy issues that may arise. It is always a good idea to leave the day blind down if you are planning on taking a shower.
In my previous review of the Orchid Club Deluxe Room, I mentioned that the bath amenities are provided by St. Gregory Spa and that is provided across all basic rooms and Orchid Club rooms. If you are staying in a suite however, bath amenities are provided by luxury skincare brand, ELEMIS from the UK. I remember these from the Pan Pacific Singapore (this was the brand of choice a number of years back before they switched over to the in-house 'em-brace' brand) and they smell lovely.
I have already covered the Orchid Club Lounge rather extensively on my last visit so I am not going to go into it again but if you wish to find out more (or see more photos of the interiors), feel free to reference my previous review. I dropped by the lounge to check out the Afternoon Tea spread since I did not do that on my last visit (and I actually stayed two nights then!) - there is a decent selection of hot items as well as sandwiches and light bites. I am personally not a big fan of afternoon tea (since I do not consider it an actual meal period) but I always appreciate an afternoon coffee.
I will not typically miss the evening cocktail hours when I do a staycation in Singapore since this is one of the main reasons why I am willing to spend money on a hotel stay. If you drink enough like I do, booking a room with proper club lounge access can actually help you save money - that's what I tell myself anyway. While Champagne is not served here during the evening, you do have a nice selection of canapes here that can make for a light dinner. In fact, there is a hot food station situated on the island in the pantry and guess what? It was laksa night while I was there! Lime at the PARKROYAL on Pickering is fairly well-known for her laksa so I was rather excited to see it in the Orchid Club Lounge since they will probably use the same laksa soup at least - delicious!
If you are still feeling peckish after spending the evening in the Orchid Club Lounge, there are plenty of food options in the area and even more if you are willing to travel a bit further. Immediately at the doorstep of the PARKROYAL on Pickering is Chinatown Point where you will find proper restaurants as well as a few fast food options. There are also plenty of food gems in Hong Lim Food Centre and if you are afraid of the crowd or heat, you can always bring the food back to your hotel - my preferred way of eating hawker food - especially when you have such a nice suite or room waiting for you.
I got up the next morning feeling refreshed and decided not to break that state of calm by picking the Orchid Club Lounge over Lime for breakfast. All rooms with access to the Orchid Club Lounge also have the option of having a full buffet breakfast experience down at Lime. Since I got up rather late that morning and was only ready at 9:00AM, I decided not to brave the crowd down at the buffet restaurant but to enjoy a smaller selection and free-flowing Champagne in the lounge instead. As a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member, I was only given a late check-out time of 2:00PM initially (the program states 6:00PM if available) but I managed to get them to extend it for another hour up until 3:00PM. The problem with non-guaranteed benefits is that you actually do have to make an effort and ask (read: beg) for them despite hitting top-tier status. This is exactly how I feel about the Hilton Honors program which is why I decided to forgo chasing Diamond (I am happy with Gold) and go for the Marriott Rewards program instead. In any case, I really enjoyed my stay here at the PARKROYAL on Pickering and the Orchid Club Junior Suite is now my go-to room type if I stay here - nothing else compares.