In August 2019, I checked into the COLLECTION Club Junior Suite at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore, situated in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District across from the historic Hong Lim Park (known as the key destination for political rallies and the inaugural Pink Dot event). The 367-room property is next to Chinatown Point, which offers a myriad of retail and dining concepts, and steps away from Clarke Quay Central, which houses the popular Japanese discount store Don Don Donki. The hotel’s location gives you easy access to the adjacent Chinatown ethnic enclave as well as buzzy waterfront Clarke Quay and Boat Quay districts along the Singapore River, and is conveniently located near both Chinatown and Clarke Quay MRT stations. Marina Bay Sands is a five minute drive away, while heading to Changi Airport takes about twenty minutes.
Notable luxury hotels in the neighbourhood include The Westin Singapore, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore and The Fullerton Bay Hotel. The hotel, formerly known as PARKROYAL on Pickering, is the flagship property of the new eco-conscious brand Parkroyal Collection Hotels & Resorts.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Tranquil tropical garden oasis in the heart of the CBD.
The must-dos (if any): Enjoy the calming room experience, take a dip in the infinity pool, have champagne breakfast at the COLLECTION Club Lounge.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION PICKERING, SINGAPORE
Designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA as a “hotel-in-a-garden” concept, the hotel’s distinctive facade commands attention amidst the concrete towers and glass facades in the Central Business District. The hotel’s eye-catching external facade plays like a dramatic sky garden, featuring more than 15,000 square metres of lush vegetation, water features such as ornamental waterfalls and an infinity pool as well as vibrantly-coloured statement private cabanas which resemble bird-cages. Being an eco-conscious hotel, the property’s sky gardens are entirely powered by a gravity-driven irrigation from a rainwater harvesting system as well as solar energy. The combination of greenery and water is integrated into the design of various public spaces within the premises, from the green wall-lined outdoor corridors around the hotel periphery to the reflecting pools of water beyond the glass walls of the hotel lobby. The building’s glass exterior property ensures each guest room is flooded with abundant natural illumination, and I suspect the hotel’s guest rooms may be some of the country’s brightest and most energized.
As you walk through the front doors and past the verdant interiors, the soaring wooden walls with sexy contours and the variety of lush flowers along the ground level on the way to the guest room elevators, the hotel does come across as somewhat of a futuristic garden treehouse.
In terms of wellness, the hotel’s 5th level serves as a dedicated wellness floor comprising the St. Gregory Spa, the fitness centre, an infinity pool with a jacuzzi as well as a 300-metre walking track that goes around the entire hotel.
COLLECTION CLUB JUNIOR SUITE
Occupying the higher levels of the property and offering a unique cityscape view of the historic shophouse district between Hong Lim Park and the Singapore River, the 48sqm COLLECTION Club Junior Suite plays it all high ceilings and wood furnishings in its heavily Japanese-inspired aesthetic. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow glorious streams of natural light into the room, and window-side seating allows guests to sink back and take in the soothing tropical foliage outside. Sliding doors separate the bedroom from the living room area which incorporates sofa seating, a workstation as well as a full pantry with Nespresso coffee and TWG tea-making facilities. Like Pan Pacific Singapore, the fridge from the minibar is one of those annoying antiquated computerised ones which are fully stocked with canned drinks, snacks and bottles of spirits which are not capable of being removed to make space for your own wares lest you wish to have the items charged to your account.
The spacious bathroom is equipped with double vanities and an enclosed bathing area with a rainfall shower as well as a window-side bathtub. However, the enjoyment of an energetically-lit soak is reserved for wanton exhibitionists and Alfred Hitchcock fans given how guests in the rooms right across from you as well as gardeners tending to the external greenery are able to peer right into your bathroom. (Blinds are, of course, available for the prim and chaste.) Bathroom amenities are from skincare brand Elemis.
If I had one gripe, it would be that the soundproofing of the washroom is a lot less than is desirable.
The combination of Japanese woodiness, surrounding foliage and energizing sunshine makes the room an ideal destination for a tranquil restful hideaway.
Breakfast is served at Lime, the hotel’s all-day buffet restaurant on the ground level. The buffet spread comprises choices such as cold cuts and cheeses; fresh fruits and juices; Western breakfast sides; a modest selection of breads and pastries; an omelette station with your choice of toppings such as tomato, spring onion, cheese, capsicum, onion, ham, mushroom and cut red chilli; a noodle station; Asian dishes such as Japanese Miso Soup, Indian Dhal Yellow, Roti Prata, Idli, Pork Sausage Fried Rice, Fried Bee Hoon, Wok Fried Carrot Cake, Pork Dumpling, Chicken and Plain Congee with an assortment of toppings and condiments; a Matcha Chocolate Fondue with various jars of sweets and snacks for the ‘ickle ‘uns; as well as pancakes with your choice of Gula Melaka, Espresso, Lemon Lime and Strawberry ice cream. Of the many local hotels which offer self-construct Nasi Lemak during breakfast, this might be one of my favourite send-ups – the pandan-scented rice was suitably fragrant and moist, while the Sambal Chilli Egg Bomb and a particularly sticky and pleasure-giving Fried Anchovies with Peanut make great partners in crime.
Lime is one of the city’s most popular buffet destinations, famed for their outdoor grill which sends wafts of alluring aromas to the surrounding office environments in manner of vicious fattening sirens. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include their Singapore Luxe-sa with Maine Lobster, Char Kway Teow and Lobster Risotto with Blue Swimmer Crab Meat The restaurant also offer an extensive selection of plant-based options such as Beyond Burger, Fishless Fish and Chips, Omnipork Patty with Barbeque Sauce and Coconut Chocolate Mousse Cake with Lemon Lime Sorbet.
Situated within the Lime space, Lime Patisserie serves sliced cakes, tarts, macarons, pralines, pastries and muffins, with their signatures including the refreshing Lime Basil Mousse Cake with Strawberry Jelly as well as the vegan Coconut Chocolate Mousse Cake. The patisserie also offers a tiered afternoon tea experience which can be enjoyed at both Lime or Lime Bar.
Rounding up the F&B concepts is the lobby Lime Bar, which serves a menu of bar bites and cutely-named lime-based tipples such as Punched by Bruce Lee (signature lime infusion, Hendrick’s Gin, passionfruit, grapefruit bitters, water chestnut), Spike Your Limeade (your choice of spirit from vodka, bourbon, tequila, rum or gin with signature lime infusion, kaffir lime gomme, kaffir lime leaves and soda) and Darth Vader in Tight Jeans (signature lime infusion, scotch whisky, Lagavulin, lychee, black gum, honey, lemon, ginger).
COLLECTION CLUB LOUNGE
Located on the 15th level and boasting impressive views of the downtown cityscape, the COLLECTION Club Lounge is one of the most memorable and beautifully designed club lounges in Singapore. Possessing the same light wood inclinations of the guest rooms, the lounge’s soaring ceiling, inviting warmth and distinct lines make a striking first impression as you first emerge from the dramatically dark entrance walkway from the lift lobby into the space. The lounge is divided into four distinct sections, with different seating configurations – from dining and couch seating to outward-facing counter seats – catering to your specific needs.
The COLLECTION Club Lounge serves champagne breakfast, with Piper-Heidsieck being the bubbly of choice to accompany the selection of pastries, Western breakfast sides and Asian dishes on the buffet line. (Other such lounges in Singapore include The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore and the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.) Interestingly, champagne is only available during breakfast, with prosecco taking its place during the evening cocktail presentation. The food presentation in the evening is local in character and fairly extensive, with items ranging from Prawns Wrapped in Beancurd Skin and Spring Rolls to Prawn Soup Noodles.
Aside from being the only luxury hotel of quality in the immediate vicinity, the property offers a very unique restful and tranquil guest room experience unlike any other in Singapore. Definitely one for the bucket list, especially for architecture aficionados, and one of the preferred options for local staycationers with GHA Discovery membership.
PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore
3 Upper Pickering Street