PARKROYAL on Pickering : An Eco-conscious Hotel-in-a-Garden
June 10, 2016
It’s summer and it’s a great time to travel but I decided to just stay on home grounds to catch up with family and friends. However, I also wanted to go on a retreat to relax and unwind myself. And one of the popular ways to unwind in Singapore is to go on a staycation in one of the hotels or resorts here. After all, some our hotels here in Singapore are rather impressive.As an eco-conscious traveller myself, I am rather selective of the hotels and accommodations as it got to complement with my lifestyle. I went ahead to google for ‘eco-friendly’ hotels here in Singapore and PARKROYAL on Pickering hotel pops right up on my search results page. This hotel has gathered so many awards and accolades over the years and has even won the Singapore Green Hotel Award (2016 – 2018) this year.
There aren’t many of such eco-hotels here in Singapore yet but I guess when eco-tourism starts picking up, more of such hotels will start to adopt green practices. It is always meaningful to be supporting a cause that would also benefit the society as a whole.
To be a good hotel is one that stands out from the rest in terms of their service, mission, and values. No matter how magnificent their hotel can look on the outside, poor service can tarnish their reputation almost instantly.
PARKROYAL on Pickering prides itself as a hotel-in-a-garden with their rice terrace-inspired architecture that forms a beautiful green facade on its exterior. The design of the hotel exterior is spectacular and it just fits nicely into our garden city, with Hong Lim Park as the backdrop.
Not to mention that their nature-inspired furnishings are paramount to their guests a homely and warm feeling. This 5-star hotel has cleverly balance the concept of luxurious with eco-friendliness. However, more green initiatives and efforts could be made by PARKROYAL which could take the lead of being Singapore first eco-friendly and sustainable hotel within the Central Business District.
When we reached there in the early afternoon to check in, there isn’t a bell boy there to attend to us at the entrance. Not sure if this is the norm but we went ahead to the front desk to check in. The staff was super polite and I noticed that they were using pens with wooden casings. I am also delighted to see things that were made out of wood. I am just so in love with all things wood.
We checked into our Orchid Club Deluxe room at Level 14 which also gave us access to the club lounge at Level 16. If you plan to stay here, I recommend that you pay a little more to stay in a bigger room with access to the club lounge where you get to enjoy some food and drinks throughout the day.
When we headed up to level 14, I was surprised to see the outdoor corridor which is unusual for most hotels where the entire hotel is usually enclosed. It’s a refreshing idea as it also saves electricity and cut down energy costs. Anyhow, it’s nice to breathe in some fresh air when you step out of the room and to walk along the corridor that is lined with living plants.There also vertical walls filled with green plants and the wooden furnished doors really made me felt as if I was staying in a treetop house.
Benefits of staying on the Orchid Club Floors 1. Access to the Club Lounge and Terrace at Level 16 from 6.30 am to 11.00pm. All-day refreshments are provided and you can enjoy a champagne breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails at specific times of the day. 2. Complimentary late checkout until 2pm, subject to availability We actually did a late check-out as we couldn’t bear to leave the hotel and our comfy beds. 3. Two pieces of laundry per room per day
4. Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages in minibar Only the alcoholic drinks and snacks are chargeable and all items are replenished once daily. There are cans of soft drinks and bottles of sparkling water to choose from.
5. Complimentary Shoe Shine service
My mum decided to get black shoes cleaned and so she sent it for cleaning in the late evening and got her shoes back the next morning.
The room was very spacious and though we didn’t have a good view of the city skyline, we had a row of lush green plants and a couple of frangipani trees growing right outside our window.However, do remember to put down the shades as we noticed that there were some gardeners watering the plants on the outside in the morning and they might be able to look through the windows.
The tall windows also allow natural light to flood in which lit up the room and creates this light and airy ambience.
Thankfully, all rooms are smoke-free so the air smells nice and crisp here.The king-sized beds were ultra soft and comfy. Once you lie on it, you will never be able to get out of Lalaland, at least for the next 2 hours or so.
I really like the eco-friendly features of the hotel rooms such as the recycling bin right below. It encourages guests to practice recycling and sorting out our trash.
Even the bathtub, sinks, and vanity tops are made up of recycled composite granite. Thumbs up for that!
Instead of providing guests with mineral water stored in plastic bottles, they filled up recycled glass bottles with still water.
The bath amenities are by Elemis, a luxury British skincare and spa brand. Though I thought it would have been more appropriate if they use natural organic brands of bath products.I guess they could also do away with the packaging of other bath accessories to reduce wastage too.
It’s lovely that they provided some bath salts stored in a glass container, besides the bath tub.
Check out the minibar and the Nespresso coffee making machine right below.
There’s also a safe box, ironing board with the electric iron, bathrobes and bedroom slippers all provided.
All controls are found on this touch-sensitive control panel where you can adjust the temperature and lightings from the bed. They also use energy efficient lamps like LED and T5 type of fluorescent lamps and water efficient fittings to save energy and water.
Orchid Club Lounge
They served afternoon tea from 2pm to 4pm and I was impressed with their selection of finger food like sandwiches, buns, and cakes.
The lounge has many comfortable seating areas too where you can have a view of Clarke Quay.
The marble-top tables looked luxurious but some stubborn food stains are left imprinted on the tables. I guess it is really difficult to remove stains from a marble table top.
The selection of food is quite good for an afternoon tea and they do serve beverages like tea, coffee, and juices.
The hotel houses a lot of spaces for relaxation where you can laze comfortably on the couch and soak in some sunshine.
The wellness facilities were located on Level 5 where you can find the infinity pool, spa, and gym there.
The vast greenery helps to absorb the light and it make so much cooler to deck out in the pool even as the sun is beating down strongly.
Do you know that there are 50 different varieties of plants that have been used to create the 15,000 metre-square tropical high-rise urban garden?
Such recycling bins should be found in all hotels in Singapore too! Imagine what it would be like if everyone start sorting their waste for the benefit of saving our planet.
The gym is equipped with all the machines you can find in typical hotel gyms. There’s also a free weight area for the guys to flex their muscles.
There’s also a bowl of green apples where you can grab and take a bite if you are feeling hungry while exercising.If you would like to do some mat work, there are a few mats placed on the shelves for you to use.
This award-winning green hotel lives up to its claim with the unique design of colourful cabanas nestled in huge songbird cages in addition to its lush greenery that cascaded over the exterior of the building.
The Spa Centre
The toilets right behind the spa have got a steam room where any hotel guests can use them too.
There is really a lot of spaces to the room around and it would be nice to use these spaces for outdoor events or weddings.
The herb garden is one interesting find we spotted at level 5. They grew mint, turmeric, and basil leaves. It would be nice if they held cooking classes there where we can use these herbs for cooking.
After we explored all the hotel facilities, we headed back to our room where we found a plate of fresh fruits, a box of crackers and a welcome card on the study table.
All these added a personal touch to the way they serve their guests and we felt truly welcomed.
Cocktail evenings at the Club lounge was exciting where they serve salads and more finger food which were delicious. I was so full that I didn’t have an appetite for dinner.I enjoyed some mocktails while doing some work on my laptop too.
When the sky turns dark, I went to the pool area to do some writing. Check out the fairy lights in the ‘birdcages’!
We had breakfast at the club lounge and we also requested if we could check out the breakfast buffet at Lime Restaurant too. The spread is quite similar but the buffet spread at Lime is bigger.I don’t think anyone else drank champagne for breakfast though so I had no idea where this idea came from.
How about Garden Breakfast? A variety of juices, smoothies, and breakfast bowls served with fruits, seeds, oats, cereals and nuts.
I just had a little oatmeal with some fruits and a croissant before I headed down to the Lime Restaurant to check out the buffet spread.
It’s interesting that they offer special local breakfast items like Nasi lemak, pratas, and noodle soup but they didn’t taste as flavourful as the ones we had at our local food centres.
There’s also a table featuring all the Japanese breakfast items too.
Overall, the food choice is good but the standard is quite average as I find that some of the food were cold when they left it in the open for some time.
Staycation here was fabulous with the kind of services they offer. Most of the hotel guests were business people so a lot of the services are catered to businessmen and women working in the corporate environment.But I guess that there are still many other innovative ways which the hotel could employ in order to bring up green standards of the hotel up a notch.
Eco-friendly tissues and toilet paper maybe?
I would love to explore other green hotels in Asia.
Do leave a comment below if you have any suggestions!