Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Parkroyal Collection Pickering.
Although I have a penchant for affordable, “hidden gem” hotels, I do like to splurge now and again, just to see if it’s worth it to pay the extra premium for a full-fledged 5-star establishment. One of the hotels that I’ve always wanted to try is Parkroyal Collection Pickering, with its unique “Garden in the city” concept earning it multiple accolades over the years. As such, I decided to book a stay to see if it’s worth the hype.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Video Review
For those interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the hotel, do check out my Youtube review of Parkroyal Collection Pickering below:
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – the Brand
First opened in 2013, Parkroyal Collection Pickering is under the Pan Pacific umbrella of properties and uses the GHA (Global Hotel Alliance) Discovery loyalty system. For those wondering, the “Collection” in its name denotes it as a premium property, thus differentiating it from the cheaper, 4-star Parkroyal Kitchener and Parkroyal Beach Road hotels. The other “Collection” property in Singapore is Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay – a popular choice for those that wish to catch the National Day Parade fireworks.
The hotel features a total of 367 rooms, making it quite a big establishment. Located right opposite Hong Lim Park, the hotel is easily accessible via either Chinatown or Clarke Quay MRT. Curiously, it also shares the same building with the Attorney General Chambers.
Described as a hotel in a garden, the facade of Parkroyal Collection Pickering is distinctive due to the abundance of lush greenery – it’s probably one of the most beautiful hotels in Singapore. If you’re a fan of architecture, this should be a major plus point to consider.
The in-house restaurant is Lime, which is known for offering one of the best buffets in town without breaking the bank. Here’s a tip: you can snag it for 50% off on Eatigo on weekdays, making it just $29++ for a lunch buffet (albeit with a shorter, ~90 minutes dining period). Alternatively, GHA discovery members (basic membership is free) can also enjoy 1-for-1 Weekday Lunch and 50% savings on the second a la carte main course excluding steak.
Rooms at Parkroyal Pickering generally go for $200+, with the Lifestyle room (a tier above the lead-in Urban room) commanding the north end of that. As such, when I saw the Lifestyle room being offered on Traveloka for less than $200, I immediately jumped at the deal.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Check-in
Despite arriving on a Friday, I didn’t have to wait long, and was assigned a room within minutes.
The lobby features conspicuous wooden accents that tie in nicely with the hotel’s botanic theme. It’s also fairly spacious, with plenty of resting/working areas for guests to take advantage of. Like Ramada, there was also a bar area in the lobby should you be in desperate need of a stiff drink.
The corridor continues the wooden theme of the lobby, with plenty of flora also present.
I was assigned room 1228. The camouflaged door is an interesting aesthetic choice – it made me feel as though I was opening a hidden cabin door. Perhaps Narnia is on the other side…
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Lifestyle Room
I didn’t find Narnia – instead, I discovered one of the most stunning hotel rooms that I’ve seen to date.
Bathed in wooden tones, the Lifestyle Room is eminently welcoming from the moment one steps foot in the room. Although not the biggest at 28 sqm (for comparison, both Orchard Hotel and One Farrer Hotel are larger), it doesn’t feel small by any means, with enough space to fit both a couch and a work desk. I also liked how the bed side of the room is carpeted, while the work side of the room features wooden flooring for a different feel. It’s a subtle detail, but one that I really appreciated.
On the right is a wooden closet, where one can find multiple wooden hangers, a safe, a pair of laundry and shoe bags, a pair of room slippers and bathrobes, an iron and ironing board, and even an umbrella! It’s certainly much better stocked than the closet of York Hotel.
In the adjacent cupboard, one can find a mini chiller. It’s a tad too small for my preference, but I made do.
Beneath the chiller is a JVD kettle – no complaints here.
Being a 5-star hotel, I had high expectations for Parkroyal Pickering’s refreshments, and those provided certainly didn’t disappoint. TWG Tea is probably still my favourite brand of tea (in hotel rooms at least), while the Bacha coffee sachets were simply phenomenal, and a clear step above Nescafe Gold. It uses a filter bag with hooks that clasp around the cup, and doesn’t taste instant in the least. In fact, I might actually prefer it to coffee from a Nespresso machine – the flavours were certainly more interesting.
If you prefer the heavier stuff, fret not – a pair of wine and spirits glasses can also be found in the room.
The room comes with a 40-inch Smart Samsung TV, which provided crisp picture quality. It’s also one of the rare “smart” TVs where I had no issues connecting my personal devices. I would say it’s one of the better TVs that I’ve encountered in a hotel room, though still a step below five/6 Hotel Splendour.
The King-size bed was immensely comfortable, the kind that one simply doesn’t want to get up from. Being a five-pearl hotel, there’s even a pillow menu, where a variety of pillow options are available (firm, memory, buckwheat, etc). I ended up sleeping on the regular memory pillows, but requested a firm one to hug as a bolster.
There are bedside light controls and a singular power port where you can charge your phone. There’s also an analog phone should you need to contact the staff, as well as pen and paper.
Complimentary water is provided, but it’s not the usual generic bottled water. Instead, the water is distilled in the hotel itself, and comes in glass bottles that can be recycled. Each bottle is also stamped with the date of packaging so that guests would know the water is freshly prepared. Honestly, the water tasted great, clean and refreshing. I don’t usually talk about the water provided in my hotel reviews, but felt this was noteworthy enough to specifically highlight.
There’s also a couch in the room, which was situated right opposite the work desk. I like the juxtaposition – I suppose one can lie down on the couch for a breather after a marathon work night. In addition, the trash bin of the room is divided into general waste and recyclables – another small detail that’s in keeping with the sustainable theme of the hotel.
The chair is a Herman Miller Sayl, which retails for about $800 locally. It’s immensely comfortable to sit in, and I actually found myself sitting in it for hours on end without any back pain whatsoever. In addition, the work desk features a glass top, which adds an element of sophistication. There’s also a desk lamp, and another analog phone.
Plenty of ports can be found beside the desk – more than enough for your connectivity needs.
There’s also an information folder on the desk, where one can find a list of all available television channels, general information of the hotel and its facilities, the in-room dining menu, and even paper and envelopes should guests need to send a letter.
However, my favourite part of the room has to be the bathroom, which can be accessed through a large wooden sliding door.
On paper, the bathroom isn’t the most spacious (in terms of sqm), but once again due to the ingenious use of space, it doesn’t feel cramped by any means. Decked out in wooden furnishing, the bathroom has a minimalist, Muji-esque aesthetic that I really liked. The highlight of the room is the pastel-coloured Infinity bathtub, which features a sloped end that allows guests to actually soak in the bathtub with some semblance of back support. It filled up pretty quickly too, due to the Grohe taps present. It’s honestly one of my favourite bathtubs I’ve soaked in a hotel.
Positioned next to the window, one can have a soak with a view of Hong Lim Park.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering doesn’t skimp on its toiletries, with a variety of toiletries provided, including a white and black toothbrush (I never discovered the difference), Colgate toothpaste (none of that AM.E nonsense found in Goodwood Park), a vanity kit, shower cap, and a shaving kit. Body cream, cleanser, shampoo and conditioner are provided as well, courtesy of Australian luxury brand METIS. They were pretty nice to use (especially the body cream).
A hairdryer can be found in the drawer below, and it’s no shoddy stuff – it’s from Tefal, and capable of both hot and cold air. Definitely the best hairdryer that I’ve used in a hotel.
The toilet and shower area is decked out on tiles of various shades of green, with glass panelling adding a contemporary look that I really like. The toilet sports a concealed cistern design with two flushing options, but disappointingly doesn’t feature a bidet – a miss in my books, given the sustainable nature of the hotel. However, I did enjoy the Grohe rain shower, while the handheld showerhead had good water pressure as well. I should point out that due to the transparent design, privacy can be an issue if you need to use the toilet while the other guest is showering. In other words, if you’re not comfortable with seeing whoever you’re staying with naked, the open concept bathroom might not be the most ideal setup. However, if you’re a couple doing a romantic retreat, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Cleanliness Issues
Unfortunately, there were several cleanliness lapses in the room. While they weren’t egregious enough in my opinion to warrant a change of rooms, such oversights were still a disappointment given the pedigree of Parkroyal Collection Pickering.
Firstly, the cups in the room were stained – they definitely weren’t washed thoroughly.
Secondly, I also found multiple strands of long hair on the couch, which clearly couldn’t have belonged to me. I can close an eye if it were just a strand or two, but given the copious amount present, I’m baffled as to how housekeeping missed this.
Lastly, I encountered a spider scuttling on the bathroom sliding door, as well as a fly resting in the bathtub. I understand that Parkroyal Collection Pickering is meant to emulate a garden, but having pests in the room is a no-go in my books.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Amenities
Being a full-fledged five-star establishment, Parkroyal Collection Pickering has plenty of amenities for guests to enjoy.
Given its garden inspiration, it seems only fitting that the hotel has an actual herb garden on its premises. I’m not sure if Lime restaurant uses these herbs in their dishes, but it would be a cool ode to sustainability if they do.
Furthermore, there’s quite a sizeable and well-equipped gym, with various equipment such as treadmills, stationary bicycles and multiple machines (that I don’t know the uses for) available. The treadmills are modern too, the kind where you can connect your phone and watch videos/play music of your choice. It also has a wide selection of free weights and is definitely one of the most impressive hotel gyms I’ve visited thus far. Lastly, it overlooks the swimming pool so one gets a nice view while working out.
Speaking about the pool, it’s easily one of the most scenic hotel pools that I’ve been to. While perhaps not as iconic as the MBS’ Infinity Pool, the pool of Parkroyal Pickering is undoubtedly one of its highlights. The architecture is stunning, the huts are striking, and the lush greenery that flanks the pool makes you feel like you’re in a river safari of some sort. Needless to say, this is also a very picturesque backdrop for your Instagram shots.
There’s also a separate jacuzzi, a feature that was missing in the previous five-star hotels I’ve visited (specifically One Farrer Hotel and Goodwood Park Hotel). Once again the view is magnificent, and I had a great time soaking in the jacuzzi and admiring the sights.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering – Service
The service at Parkroyal Collection Pickering was top-notch. Whilst checking in, I was told all the Lifestyle Rooms that had a bathtub were occupied. Nevertheless, the staff on hand informed me that a room may be available later in the evening, and assisted me in moving my belongings to said room when it became available. While I was walking out of the hotel after checking out the next day, the same staff (who was stationed at the entrance to greet guests this time, instead of the check-in desk) recognized me and pre-emptively walked up to me to ask if I had a good soak in the bathtub. I was in a different set of clothing, wearing a mask, listening to music on my earphones, and yet he still took the initiative to approach me and ask about my stay. The added level of hospitality was impressive.
Other small details include the Pan Pacific Cares package, which essentially is a pouch that includes a mask, alcohol wipes, hand sanitiser and the such – the stuff you need during these pandemic times. And when I called the front desk to request more water, coffee and tea sachets, and firm pillows at 4am (I’m a night owl), the staff remembered correctly remembered my list of items and delivered it to my door in a hotel-branded tote bag. Overall, the service was attentive and responsive, and I would say that the service of Parkroyal Collection Pickering is one of the best I’ve encountered thus far, though still not at the level of One Farrer Hotel. A small room of improvement would be that the staff can be a tad more personable by introducing themselves by name for example, or providing a name card. If that was the case, I would most probably have remembered the name of the aforementioned male staff that went out of his way to accommodate my preferences. Instead, all I recall was that he wore a Garmin smartwatch.
Conclusion – so Parkroyal Collection Pickering “shiok” or not?
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay at Parkroyal Collection Pickering. The wooden, Japanese-inspired Lifestyle Room is beautiful, thoughtfully designed, and actually had a calming effect on me – I felt serene simply staying there. I had a blast soaking in the bathtub too, while looking at people milling about Hong Lim Park. The amenities were top-notch as well, with the pool alone worth the price of entry. Last but not least, the service was meticulous, with most of my requests promptly fulfilled. There were a few cleanliness hiccups, but they didn’t detract significantly from the overall experience. At under $200, I would say that Parkroyal Collection Pickering is a solid value proposition. I definitely think it’s better than Goodwood Park Hotel, and would pick its Lifestyle Room over the Mint Den of One Farrer Hotel. I’ll return for sure – perhaps I’ll try the Signature Room that the Milelion reviewed.
Those interested in booking a stay can do so on the Traveloka app. Traveloka constantly has some sort of ongoing promotions, with prices so ridiculously low that I’ve personally booked about 90% of my staycations on Traveloka. Just for my readers, you guys can use the promo code “WAHTVLKSRV” (if you’re using SRV) and “WAHTVLK” (non-SRV) for 10% off any hotels bookings (up to $30 off, with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels bookings (with a minimum spending of $50) for existing users. The codes are valid till the end of 2022. Here’s a pro tip: keep a lookout for Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales which occurs every Friday to Sunday for the lowest prices! However, this post is not sponsored – I paid my own dime to book and review my staycations.
Parkroyal Collection Pickering Location:
3 Upper Pickering St, Singapore 058289
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P.S.S.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.