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Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary

As Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary, now is the perfect time to see another side of the small country that leaves a big impression. P1 checks in for #SG50.

For a country that means business, it often comes as quite a shock to discover that the tiny island of Singapore, oft dubbed ‘clinical’ and ‘corporate’, can also be fun and relaxing.

And nowhere is this more apparent than in the island state’s select offering of five-star hotels, which not only deliver the slickest and quickest business facilities and state-of-the-art technology, but offer relaxing surroundings, pampering services and enough action to ensure you are able to play as hard as you work.

We spotlight two of Singapore’s finest five-star hotels – PARKROYAL on Pickering and Pan Pacific Singapore – that have managed to fuse business, pleasure and relaxation.

PARKROYAL on Pickering provides culinary theatre at Lime restaurant
PARKROYAL on Pickering provides culinary theatre at Lime restaurant

IN A NUTSHELL

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING Known as Singapore’s first hotel-in-a-garden, the 16-storey 367-room PARKROYAL is a unique urban resort with business facilities offering a calming oasis in the city. Its iconic structure and design has earned it a clutch of architectural, design and travel awards and its clever fusion of luxury and business secured it Best New Business Hotel (Asia Pacific) by Business Traveller last year.

PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE One of the first 21 Pan Pacific hotels, the award-winning Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Pan Pacific Singapore opened in 1986. It underwent a redesign in 2012, delivering a 790-room contemporary hotel with spectacular views, modern business amenities and award-winning restaurants.

Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel
Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel

LOCATION

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING This five-star property benefits from a prime location, centrally located in downtown Singapore, in the CBD and next to Chinatown.

PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE This is probably the city’s most connected hotel, with link bridges and hidden paths to three shopping malls and Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. It’s also five minutes from the CBD and offers sweeping panoramas of Marina Bay and the city skyline.

PARKROYAL on Pickering cleverly brings the outside indoors
PARKROYAL on Pickering cleverly brings the outside indoors

ON THE BUSINESS FRONT

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING
A ballroom and several meetings rooms are strategically positioned to offer views of the park, for a relaxing and inspiring environment in which to do business. And while all incorporate state-of-the-art technology, the Bali-inspired latticework on ceilings and floors and floor-to-ceiling windows convey a relaxed resort vibe. There are business services, a team of Event Concierges and a Private Dining Room, while the Presidential Suite is perfect for presentations.

PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE It’s not been named Asia’s Leading Business Hotel by the World Travel Awards from 2006 to 2012 for nothing. More recently, it secured World’s Best Business Hotels by Travel & Leisure Magazines Readers (2013) and was this year named as a new Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel. The state-of-the-art Pacific Centre on level 22 comes with a complete suite of business meeting venues (27 meeting rooms) with all the latest tech, and support services (from secretarial to printing to translation). The rooms also provide generous workspaces, ergonomic Herman Miller desk chairs, while the Private Club dining rooms are available for meetings or celebrations.

Hotel Lobby

AND SO TO PLEASURE

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING The Sunday Brunch at all-day dining restaurant Lime delivers a vast international buffet. Dig into pan-seared Foie Gras, US Prime Rib or Suckling Pig, seafood and sashimi and sip free-flow Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, while you sink into the sumptuously soft sofa seating overlooking the beautiful tree-lined walkway. In the adjacent Lime Bar, an eclectic cocktail menu and expert mixologists await visitors, with specially crafted, personalised creations on offer.  The exclusive Orchid Club Lounge on the hotel’s top level delivers a champagne breakfast along with panoramic views. There’s easy access to waterfront entertaining and dining along the Singapore River and vibrant nightlife hotspots at Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.

PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE With six award-winning restaurants and bars under its luxury belt, there’s plenty of diverse culinary choices, from Cantonese (Hai Tien Lo) to traditional Japanese (Keyaki) to Edge (seven open-plan interactive cooking stations). It boasts Asia’s longest bar (Atrium) at 44 metres, with boutique wine, craft beer and Pacific cocktails on offer. The hotel is located within short walking distance to attractions like Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay.

LUXURY MATTERS

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING Many rooms benefit from rainshowers, Nespresso coffee machines, designer ergonomic chairs and high-speed internet access and check-in is super-speedy Singapore style with iPad check-in done en route to the room. Take a dip in the infinity pool and Jacuzzi on the 5th floor, a garden oasis with greenery and amazing views. Here, you can escape into a private birdcage cabana and enjoy views from high above of the Singapore skyline, or book a massage or executive facial in the holistic St Gregory Spa.

PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE Most of the rooms and/or suites deliver luxury marble bathrooms with Hans Grohe fittings, rain shower and integrated speakers; there’s a pillow menu, LCD Internet Protocol TVs, Nespresso coffee machines and floor-to-ceiling windows with dramatic views, either city or harbour. The Presidential Suite features a luxury Pharo whirpool tub and shower steam.

WHAT SETS IT APART

PARKROYAL ON PICKERING The hotel is super green, both visually and environmentally, proving luxury and sustainability can mix. Inspired by its own surroundings (Hong Lim Park opposite and the Singapore River nearby), the structure cleverly brings the outdoors inside with its floor-to-ceiling windows, mirrors, vegetation and running water. It features 15,000sqm of lush sky gardens – large balconies and terraces covered in tropical plants – reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces, and cascading greenery, all of which instill a sense of calm making you feel like you’re in a resort rather than a city hotel.

PARKROYAL is super green, both visually and environmentally, proving luxury and sustainability can mix
PARKROYAL
is super green, both visually and environmentally, proving luxury and sustainability can mix

PAN PACIFIC Its convenience – not just in location, but service, Enjoy a drink in the lobby while staff check you in via Ipad or get in-room check-in. It is so well appointed for everything business and pleasure and the upper floors offer spectacular views over the harbour and South China Sea. In particular, the view from the 38th floor Pacific Club is incredible. Think champagne breakfast or sunset cocktails with 360-degree views (catch the 8pm light show at Marina Bay Sands). You can even stay all night, it’s open 24/7. What’s not to love?