One of the latest hotels to lookout for in 2013, the newly-opened PARKROYAL on Pickering is definitely big on first impressions, which we'll get to in just a bit. A brand new hotel (opened just less than a month ago on 16 January 2013) by the Pan Pacific Hotels Group, the 367-room PARKROYAL appeals not only aesthetically with its hotel-in-a-garden concept, but the emphasis on energy-saving features while not omitting the need for simple luxury makes it an ideal stay option, be it for business or leisure.
Room categories include Superior (154 rooms), Deluxe (84 rooms), Premier (21 rooms), Junior Suite (21 rooms), Orchid Club (40 rooms), Club Deluxe (36 rooms), Club Premier (3 rooms), Club Junior Suite (3 rooms), Club Executive (4 rooms) and the Presidential Suite.
All of the 367 guestrooms and suites provide glimpses of the hotel's sky gardens from different angles, with a soothing look and feel to the room, which, we must highlight, gets accentuated by the natural light that comes in thanks to the unblocked views of the city. Fret not if you're worried about the morning sun, for they have automatic day and night blinds for you to adjust to your liking. We personally love the natural light, but do be careful for some rooms face each other, if you know what we mean.
Touch-sensitive control system, complimentary hi-speed Internet, rain showers, specially designed bathtubs that allow for in-tub reading, ergonomic chairs as well as Nespresso coffee machines (depending on room category) are some of the in-room features we can expect, for a space that's both conducive for work and relaxation. Intricate touches such as adjustable side lamps allow you to work while your partner sleeps.
We gave the 24-hour room service a try with a hand-pulled pizza, at 2am no less. Though the wait was longer than we expected (a little more than 35 minutes), let's just say they redeemed themselves with a thin-crusted slice of goodness. Do request for the necessary condiments such as cheese as they might miss that out.
Housed within LIME is a street-level bar, an ideal place to relax and unwind with a variety of classic cocktails, specialty wines and tapas-style snacks.
Dining at Lime
The only restaurant within PARKROYAL, Lime, provides an open-kitchen concept with all-day international dining, to cater to guests throughout the stay. Served buffet-style, we love the substantial variety provided, be it for a dinner or breakfast the morning after. But the Chinese department might seem lacklustre in comparison to the Western delights, in terms of both flavours and visual appeal. We're not really complaining though, considering the options we can get outside of the hotel with Hong Lim Complex and Chinatown Point right next door.
Other amenities and services
Remember how we mentioned earlier that this hotel is big on first impressions? If you happen to drive past PARKROYAL on Pickering or looked over from afar, you'd have noticed the colourful "birdcages" on the fifth floor of the building. These are actually cabanas positioned all around the infinity pool, for guests to chill-out over drinks and just, enjoy. Within the same level, you'd find the fitness centre, garden walk as well as St. Gregory spa (scheduled to be opened in March 2013).
Club room guests will also get exclusive access to the Orchid Club Lounge, located on the top level of the hotel, where you can host business meetings and enjoy breakfast, cocktails and all-day refreshments in privacy.
And yes, the ballroom which we love. The pillar-less William Pickering ballroom provides floor-to-ceiling glass walls, making the room seem bigger than it already is (fits up to 800 guests). The best part? Natural light that fills up the entire room, perfect for weddings and special occasions. Smaller function rooms are also available for conferences and meetings.
Situated at the gateway of the Central Business District, Hong Lim Park and bustling Chinatown, the hotel is close to various modes of public transportation.
PARKROYAL on Pickering's strategic location provides the convenience a guest would need to get access to Singapore's CBD area as well as after-hour drinks with Clarke Quay and Boat Quay within walking distance. But what really appealed to us was the tranquility and comfort we found from within this bustling district of Chinatown. The garden-theme throughout the hotel provides the zen anyone would need after a long day. We're not expecting this hotel to provide turn-down services or ultra-luxe amenities, but the contemporary design and sustainable features definitely kept us interested.
In conjunction with its opening, book from now till 31 March 2013 to enjoy an overnight's stay in the Superior Room at only S$278++, inclusive of complimentary Wi-Fi and daily breakfast for two.
PARKROYAL on Pickering, 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 059289, +65 68098888, www.parkroyalhotels.com/Pickering