Hotel of the Future: PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore

The 367-room PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore opened last year just outside the Central Business District. While most of the large hotels in Singapore are located around the Suntec International Convention Centre 10 minutes away, the Pickering Street location answers a much needed demand for meetings in the urban core. It’s also one of Asia’s greenest hotels, both in terms of its sustainability initiatives and the 165,000 sf of zero-energy “sky gardens” rimming the hotel on multiple floors.

The architecture is stunning with an inverted, rice paddy-inspired ceilings wrapping around the porte cochere and many interior spaces. You know you’re in for something special the moment you pull up.

The long rectangular ground floor with double-high ceilings is completely enclosed with floor-to-ceiling windows and greenery running from the lobby straight through to LIME restaurant. The airy, bright space and sleek design set the tone right away. I exhaled the moment I entered because of the great Chi, or flow of energy, which is taken seriously in these parts.

LIME is a design masterpiece with a fresh market vibe serving both local and international dishes prepared in open kitchens spanning the entire space between the two bars, each with social dining areas. You can order everything from John Dory fish n’ chips to a croque monsieur to the signature Nasi Goreng chicken satay with acar and fried egg. I loved LIME so much I came back on my own during the final day of the fam trip to decompress a little in this incredibly dense metropolis.

“We’re really keeping up with the times for business people who might not always be in a suit and tie,” says Lee Kin Seng, director of marketing. “This doesn’t feel like a business hotel. It’s very residential so people can be casual. There’s a life balance here that we all need to cultivate.”

The bulk of meeting space is located on the second floor, which is also two stories high with floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the beautiful prefunction space. That provides amazing views of the city and carries on the hotel’s Zen-like peacefulness. The interior design includes charcoal/slate ceilings mixed with wood walls, green carpets and marble/wood floors. There are six meeting rooms including two ballrooms, the largest hosting 600 pax. The second floor is so pretty it’s become one of the most popular hotel settings for weddings in Singapore.

“Again, it’s less formal, less business-y, with as much natural light as possible,” comments Seng. “It’s almost like doing business in a resort setting.”

The 5th floor is a “dedicated wellness floor,” adds Seng. The outdoor infinity pool is the architectural wow factor at PARKROYAL on Pickering. Everyone loves the “birdcage” cabanas around the pool, especially the one hanging over the edge with great views of Hong Lim Park across the street. From here, there’s also a 1,000-foot walking path around the building to clear your head pre/post meetings. There are also four treatment rooms and fitness facilities at the airy St. Gregory spa adjacent to the pool.

I love the rooms. The walls are natural wood complemented with wood desks and extra large windows. Some of the rooms come with open bathrooms and square granite tubs with angled slabs for your back. It’s again very Zen and minimalist with an emphasis on calming neutral tones, a simple layout and a strong connection to the outdoors.

Lastly, the Orchid Club on the top floors is the executive-level lounge with a Martha Stewart-style demonstration kitchen and bar, towering ceilings, small meeting spaces and, like everywhere else in the hotel, free WiFi.

“We really are an exciting option for meeting planners,” sums up Seng. “We have all of this culture and heritage nearby in Chinatown and the CBD is only a couple blocks away. Most of all, it’s just very peaceful here. A lot of business travelers want that these days.”