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‘My Favourite Hotel’ review – PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore

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Today, our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ review is from Singapore, where we are at one of the lesser known upmarket hotels.

We are currently running this reader-written feature to provide some positivity and inspiration to Head for Points.  We hope to run one review per day for the next few weeks.  There will be a deliberate mix of European and worldwide properties, super luxury and mid market, branded and independent.  You can find all of the ‘My Favourite Hotel’ reviews so far by clicking here.

Today’s hotel is the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore. It is reader Richard’s favourite hotel and here is his review:

Overview

Singapore never ranked high on my dream destinations list.  Tempted by a BA Holidays bargain last year, however, I booked a holiday there for September.  As luck would have it, within days of booking I was told by work I would be visiting our offices in Singapore not once but twice before my holiday, and a third trip after my holiday in October!

With the prospect of spending a month in Singapore over a 6-month period, I found myself wondering if I would like it enough to enjoy four trips there (including one out of my own pocket)?

I chose to stay in several hotels in different parts of the city over my four trips, including the Hyatt Andaz, PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering and the Shangri-La Valley Wing (for my holiday). When it came time to choose a hotel for my final visit in October, it was the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering which impressed me enough to win a return stay due to its amazing design, great location, and delicious breakfast.

Where is PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering?

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering is located just outside the Central Business District and was a short 15-minute Grab ride from Changi Airport. Although not in a hotspot like the Marina Bay or Orchard Road, the hotel is easily within walking distance of the marina, Chinatown and the restaurant hubs on the river including Clarke and Boat Quays.

If you need to go further afield the Chinatown MRT is right outside in Hong Lim Park, and it was always a short wait for a taxi.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Sustainability

Singapore took the idea of an ‘urban jungle’ and ran with it, creating a beautiful mixture of modern architecture, colonial buildings and plants. Lots of plants. The Parkroyal Collection Pickering embodies this to a tee. Stylized as a “hotel-in-a-garden”, it blends 15,000 m2 of gardens, waterfalls, glass and wood to create a modern, sustainable eco-hotel right in the middle of the city.

It’s no surprise that HBO’s futuristic Westworld filmed scenes here!  For those concerned about the environmental impact of their travel, the sky gardens are designed to be self-sustaining through the use of harvested rainwater reclaimed water, and energy usage is covered by solar cells and motion sensors.

While not advertised as an adults only hotel, it definitely does give off that vibe and there were very few families or young kids staying while I was there. When travelling for work, this was not a bad thing.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Arrival

Pulling up outside the hotel I was blown away with how modern and impressive the forecourt and lobby were and was quickly welcomed with a drink, and checked in. For my first visit I was in their starting ‘Superior’ category room. Second time around, I upgraded to a ‘Deluxe’ room.

As can be seen in the top photo, the hotel is built from three, joined-together towers. Guest rooms start from the 6th floor above the large cut-out for the Wellness Floor. My first room was in the eastern tower (far left in the photo) and came with a view of Chinatown and the CBD, while the Deluxe room was in one of the joining sections overlooking the park and northern Singapore through one of the Sky Gardens.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Accessing the rooms via an open-air walkway, my first impression was light and airy. Each room came with huge windows, large amounts of natural light, and was finished with a light-coloured wood that made the rooms feel much larger.

As someone who likes to sleep in the pitch dark, I was relieved to see there were also thick blinds that blocked out the city lights. I really liked the half-open plan layout, with the shower, sink and vanity area in a section that could be opened, or closed off, by using sliding doors, and a separate toilet.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Facilities at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering

The hotel’s star attraction (and where you would have found me for most of my time in the hotel) was the Level 5 Wellness Floor decked out with the infinity pool, jacuzzi, sun loungers and bird-cage cabanas, gym, spa and 300m walking track.

The infinity pool was long enough to swim a few laps in the morning and was also perfect to relax in and enjoy the evening view out over Singapore – and although unheated it was refreshing in the Singaporean heat. The pool never seemed busy, and there were always free sun loungers and towels – a stark contrast to the chaos I saw at the famous Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool when I walked past on my way to lunch one day.

After an overnight flight and arriving at the hotel at 7AM, it was nice to relax here (and take a nap) whilst they prepared a room for me. The fitness centre, although small, was well stocked and well-appointed bathrooms and changing rooms were nearby. Unfortunately I did not find the time to try out the spa.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Breakfast

My hotel rate included breakfast at the Lime restaurant on the ground floor and was a close contender to the pool for the most memorable part. I’m typically picky when it comes to hotel buffets, but I found myself lost in browsing the array of western and Asian choices, a large bakery selection and a wide range of fresh fruit and juices.

This is the first hotel where I’ve seen a Matcha Chocolate Fountain on offer! All in all, the breakfast was definitely worth setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier to give me more time for a second (or third) helping.

Lime was also open for lunch and dinner.  I ended up eating outside of the hotel for all but one in-room order – a beef burger which turned up promptly, hot, and was exactly what I needed after a late night out at some of Asia’s best bars.

PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering, Singapore hotel review

Conclusion

Did I like Singapore enough to enjoy four nearly back-to-back trips there? I loved it. Singapore has the right combination of gardens, museums and bars, wrapped up with an incredible ease of getting around, to make me book a stopover there for later this year (COVID-19 willing) – and the PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering will be a great base to (re-) explore this city again.

If you want to find out more, the hotel’s website is here.

Comments (13)

  • Sam G says:

    Great review! I’ve never been to the hotel, seems like it lacks a decent bar worthy of outside visits, which is missing a trick considering it’s location and setting. One other non-chain hotel in CBD I have visited and was pleasantly surprised with is the Oasia Downtown – especially the club level with a very decent happy hour and canape spread.

    I live in Singapore and whenever I bump into Brits (usually sweaty and lost haha) they are almost unanimous in their surprise at what a great time they are having in Singapore – most people are stopping over on their way to Aus or elsewhere in Asia so it wasn’t the “main event” so to speak and they were just seeing it as somewhere on the way. So I’d encourage a visit (once the border restrictions lift of course) – everything you’ve heard about it being boring or expensive just isn’t true (unless you spend all your time eating in Marina Bay Sands mall….). Singapore Airlines often have sub-500 quid fares to Thailand or Bali which allow a stopover which can make for a great two centre holiday.

    • Matt says:

      Agreed, I visited late last year and loved it. Clean, well organised, lots to see and do including some excellent free parks for the kids, great street food, the excellent light show at night by Marina Bay Sands, wonderful place. Looking forward to going back once this is all over.

    • Michael C says:

      I was one those sweaty people a couple of decades ago, Sam! Lived in Singapore, and am still in touch almost daily with my gang from back then. Try to go back each year – as you say, doing a combo trip: was meant to be flying out this Fri, sniff sniff!

      Almost every family member who ever visited said they never expected anything special from the place, and fell in love with it.

      Fave new(ish) addition is the ArtScience museum, spectacular!

      Grr..now I fancy a roti prata for b/fast!

      • Sam G says:

        To be clear – I am still a sweaty Brit :-), just (slightly) less lost these days…

        Will be moving back to the UK later this year (planned to stay for 2 years, been here 5) and am going to miss the place dreadfully. Will definitely be back in this part of the world every year

    • Bagoly says:

      Yes, this was one of the first hotels I came across which seems to have decided to make their shared areas more exclusive by not allowing non-residents access to anything except the ground floor.
      It’s an interesting strategy – one sees all that greenery from the outside, but one cannot experience it by staying – one has to book a room.
      The ground floor does include an excellent patisserie.

  • Chuck says:

    Thanks for sharing, always good to have another option in Singapore. I usually add a couple of days either end of a Thailand trip to avoid BA’s 747 service to BKK.

  • Michael C says:

    Thanks for the great review – I’ve looked at this hotel LOADS of times, and agree that the “not-so-family-oriented” vibe was what made me not choose it in our particular case, but would totally consider it on a solo trip as it looks fabulous. Love the location.

    I have noticed, however, that when it first opened, the price looked like “great for what it is”, but they seem to have crept up towards other top-end properties.

  • PaulC says:

    Great Review. We have flights from Dubai to Singapore the first week in October. (Used 2-4-1 Companion ticket to Dubai with BA, would be our first time in 1st Class too) Our first time to Singapore but not holding my breath we will still be able to travel by then. We haven’t any hotels booked yet for either Dubai or Singapore.

    • Sam G says:

      Sadly I think you are right – Singapore locally in the media etc has taken a very dim view of the initial UK thoughts on herd immunity and then European/US levels of infection in general. Not helped by the large amount of infected students that returned in March/April from the UK & US that were put into 14 day quarantines in hotels at the governments expense. So they’re seemingly subscribing more to the Aus/NZ/HK model of eradication and then control, which is really going to limit the prospects of those outside this corridor visiting for a long time I fear. Currently at the moment even those with work resident permits are stuck outside and not being permitted to enter even if they were willing to quarantine.

      We just need to hope that infection levels are controlled enough by later this year that with pre departure and arrival testing countries could be trusting enough to let us in. But currently even countries this way that are testing on arrival (e.g. HK for residents) still quarantine in case you were not yet infectious or caught it on the flight etc. But Singapore is far less reliant on European tourists than other countries in this region, so won’t be high on their list of priorities I fear.

  • Chris Mccracken says:

    This is a fantastic Hotel, and spot on review. We were lucky enough to have a room which accessed the club lounge on 16th floor, and seemed to almost offer all day grazing – An good breakfast, an excellent afternoon tea and cocktails.
    Very handy to take advantage of the complimentary 24 hour dry cleaning service too as we were mid-way through an Asia trip.

    We also stayed at the Marina Bay for two nights but thought that (roof top pool aside), the ParkRoyal was a much better hotel.

  • PAL says:

    Nice review, if you chose this over Shangri La Valley Wing then will have to try it.

  • Gail says:

    Can anyone advise if there are ways of using VA Flying Club miles to pay for this hotel?