Wednesday, August 10, 2016
PARKROYAL on Pickering: Stunning Hotel-In-A-Garden Staycation
PARKROYAL on Pickering, a PARKROYAL Collection Hotel, will surprise you with how green it is - both in terms of planted greenery as well as eco-friendly practices.
The 367-room hotel holds 15,000 square meters of four-storey tall sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and cascading vertical greenery. The amount of planted green space is actually twice its land area! Mind-boggling!
The beauty of the greenery is so soothing to both eyes and soul. Everywhere you look is just so lush, you can't help but feel you're in a garden paradise.
Nature-inspired materials and textures such as light and dark wood, pebbles, water, and glass are used throughout the design of the hotel. I like how the design incorporates rounded corners and curves - it all looks so much more organic.
PARKROYAL on Pickering also boasts the state’s first solar-powered sky-gardens. Other energy conservation features include the use of automatic light, rain and motion sensors, rain harvesting and NEWater (recycled water).
Many of its green hospitality efforts have won awards locally and abroad, including "Asia's Leading Green Hotel" at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
The walkways not your usual enclosed passages. They are open-air with vertical greenery and waterfalls on the exterior walls of the rooms (this also helps to keep the building temperature cool).
The hotel location in the heart of the city places you within walking range of many conveniences (including three MRT stations - Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Raffles Place) and waterfront areas like Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. Culturally, this precinct is a historical site with temples, museums and significant buildings.
The hotel overlooks Hong Lim Park and malls like The Central @ Clarke Quay, Chinatown Point and Far East Square. Lots of quirky shophouses, trendy bars and eateries are nearby (Ann Siang and Club Street).
The best thing is, it is just next to the Hong Lim Complex Food Centre, a treasure trove of hawker gems.
Imagine being able to wake up and saunter to Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee for the first plate at 6am. That's when their quality is best, not at lunchtime when the snaking queue is two blocks long. There's also good curry chicken and bak chor mee.
When you return, just cut across the small road and you're back at these majestic columns. See the beautifully shaped monochromatic layers? These are designed to look like rice terrace fields, like those you see in Bali, just upside down. I never knew this until I stayed here; I'd always thought they were mimicking some rock striations (I guess because of the grey).
Anyway the high ceilings continue inside for that spacious effect. Inside the lobby, wooden design elements add more warmth. There are so many seating areas - a large table, hidden nooks, armchairs and so on - for guests and visitors alike.
Some of the prettiest seats are these dramatic rattan chairs overlooking a water feature. It's so calming and therapeutic to sit here.
The path behind these chairs is supposed to feel like a wooden walkway over water.
Back in the room, elements of nature like calm greens and natural woods blend harmoniously with the design. Discreet mirrors cleverly extend the sense of space.
The room is abundantly blessed with natural sunlight, thanks to the tall windows. I love the wooden seating areas along the windows - perfect for that meditative cup of tea as you take in the gorgeous city views and hotel greenery.
Our Junior Suite had a separate living area with its own flatscreen TV and workspace with ergonomic chair. I love the clean lines of the furniture and all that natural light.
Oh, see the bins below the workspace? You have one for recyclables and one for general waste.
The wooden walls don't need any paintings; they call to mind Japanese minimalism and aesthetics.
At night...the whole scene transforms. The bright sunlit room becomes a cosy room with city lights and skyline as your view.
The open windows do mean that everyone can look in. If you need privacy, just lower the (electronically controlled) day and/or night curtains.
The sofa in the living area can be converted into an extra bed.
Besides the usual welcome fruit platter, they also give you "rempenyek" (fried spice batter studded with peanuts and anchovies) which is a nice local touch. Savoury snacks are such a bonus!
The bathroom is also exquisitely sleek and contemporary with a separate stall for rain shower outside a bath. There's even mood lighting in here.
We were simply amazed at the "infinity bath" which allows you to fill up with water right to the top, where excess will just run off the edge into the recesses. Like a Japanese bath, it's short and deep, but it's got an inclined backrest. Throw in some bath salts and enjoy "onsen" time!
Toiletries and bottled water are conveniently between the double sinks. The whole countertop and sinks are made from recycled composite granite, if I remember correctly.
The glass bottled water is particularly useful for reducing plastic bottle waste. PARKROYAL on Pickering uses the Natura system to purify the water, and the bottles are washed and disinfected before being used again.
The fifth floor is dedicated to wellness. On one side, it's a garden terrace and on the other the pool, spa and gym.
It's worth coming down here at night too.
The famous birdcage cabanas are such wonderful places to relax in. The birdcage design is actually a nod to the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, where bird-keeping is a traditional pastime.
The infinity pool overlooks the city. It really is gorgeous, even more so at night with all the lighting.
There's a jacuzzi section on the far left. There's also a birdcage cabana that extends out beyond the pool.
The holographic gun-metal shiny tiles are just the bomb. They make the pool look so sophisticated. Actually, even the water feels very different - it has no offensive chlorine or chemical smell, and has a lovely roundness in feel - so much so that it's like swimming in FIJI Water!
Perhaps that's all my imagination but it is really nice to swim here. The only downside is the pool is not heated, as heating would waste too much energy. Still, it's not too cold on most days.
The fairly well-appointed gym is just across from the pool, which probably makes it great for people-watching. The other benefit is - I could keep an eye on the kids in the pool while working out.
There is a 300m garden walk that's useful for joggers wanting something more scenic than the busy roads downstairs.
My girls were so happy! They loved the hotel, its greenery, our room and the pool. I got awarded the "Best Mom Ever!" title repeatedly, just for bringing them here.
Lime Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Pickering is the hotel's signature open-kitchen-concept restaurant. Their buffets are extremely popular with locals.
Right now, they have a LobsterFest (from S$99) Wednesday and Thursday evenings as well as a decadent Super Lunch (from S$78) on Sundays. Because there are too many photos, I will be posting the Super Lunch experience separately and put the link here.
The nature theme extends to the restaurant in some of the displays.
The spaciousness and natural sunlight again do such wonders for the spirit.
The Western breakfast staples are nicely done here - the scrambled eggs are especially rich and divine.
Live station noodles (dark sauce fried "bee tai mak"), mee goreng and olive fried rice.
Asian breakfast selections include chwee kueh, dumplings, steamed glutinous rice parcels, fried carrot cake (chai tow kueh), vadai, prata and accompanying dips.
The Japanese and congee section has various sides and toppings including natto!
One thing that deserves special mention - the sambal. So piquant and umami with well-balanced spices...it makes everything so "sedap" (delicious).
There are also breakfast pastries along with a small ham and cheese section.
PARKROYAL on Pickering has got many things going for it - that unique green eco-minded experience, the lush greenery, excellent location, great food nearby, a fabulous pool and stunning rooms.
We absolutely enjoyed our stay here and count this as one of our best staycations in Singapore ever. We'll certainly be back.
PARKROYAL ON PICKERING
3 Upper Pickering Street,
Tel: +65 6809-8888
Toll-Free: 1 877 237 7838
This staycation was arranged by Expedia.com.sg. Many thanks to Expedia.com.sg for arranging the staycation and to the hotel for the exemplary hospitality.
For more staycation tips and travel inspiration, visit Expedia’s Singapore Travel Blog.
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