3 Upper Pickering St, Singapore
Occupying basically an entire city block in Singapore’s Central Business District, Park Royal on Pickering is very much a homegrown Singapore brand—and a successful one at that. Owned by the same parent company that includes respected global brand Pan Pacific, Park Royal broke out of its shell with the opening of this property in 2013.
The 367-room hotel continues to win awards, mostly for its progressive design (from local Singapore firm WOHA), and numerous eco practices and features, such as rain harvesting, a 300m solar powered sky garden and enough greenery (over 15,00sqm of gardens, planted trees, waterfalls and reflecting pools) to have a decent city park. WOHA’s vision is layered concrete terraces, glass boxes (which house the rooms) and lots of open space.
The hotel’s cavernous lobby—which includes Park Royal’s all-day open kitchen restaurant, Lime—resembles a European train depot (it's that large!), albeit with considerably more natural light. This sense of space and light is what you’ll find in the rooms here, which start at 28sqm and offer a sort of futuristic contemporary vision with natural wood palettes, simple modern furniture and soaring windows. And while the rooms are almost a little bland (the hotel would say “calming”), the basic features and amenities are excellent (though we would call this a 4.5 star hotel rather than a 5-star, as it claims).
Most of the guest facilities are located on the 5F, which offers open air views of the Singapore skyline. And while there is a lovely-to-look-at infinity pool, it’s rather too small to be of much use, and the funky birdcage cabanas dotting the wooden pool area deck fill up fast and get a bit scruffy by the end of the day. Up here you’ll also find the St Gregory Spa, fitness center and access to the 300m garden walk.
Park Royal on Pickering made it on The List mainly because of its perfect location—walking distance to Clarke Quay, Chinatown and CBD—and its excellent relative value. Hotel prices in Singapore have been on a crazy upward trajectory for several years now, but Park Royal on Pickering continues to offer affordable rates for a very nice room product.
The hotel offers a club or executive program (called the Orchard Lounge), with larger rooms on higher floors and access to the excellent lounge, which features 360 degree views of the city and nice complimentary services, such as evening champagne and canapés. We typically don’t find the club level upgrade worthwhile in most hotels, but here it’s a smart option.
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