PARKROYAL on Pickering in Singapore is a green design hotel unlike any other of the many unique sustainability-focused city hotels reviewed so far. And, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to not just raise our interest in sustainability but thoroughly impress us by its execution, this is exactly what happened when we arrived at five-star hotel PARKROYAL on Pickering one hot and humid Sunday morning.
It is the last of a dozen of hotel visits on our inaugural journey for GreenCityTrips.com, and we couldn’t have chosen a better place for this last night before heading back to New Zealand. Located right next to bustling Chinatown and the CBD, the 367-room PARKROYAL on Pickering is a green oasis in downtown Singapore, an architectonic masterpiece with a distinctively intimate, cool and eco-friendly ambiance.
A night at PARKROYAL on Pickering
With the hotel booked out well in advance, it is thanks to our partner Green Pearls and the hotel’s commitment to the green cause that we get the chance to call one of their deluxe king bed rooms our home for a night. Having read some comments on TripAdvisor about unfriendly staff and long check in waiting times, we are happy to be greeted by a friendly and professional receptionist, who finds us a room all set up and ready, despite early arrival.
A moment later – our bags being carried to our room – we find ourselves with a welcome cocktail in front of us, marveling at the wood-paneled reception, the spacious lobby, the designer chairs – just as you’d expect from a five-star hotel. This one though comes across as far less pretentious than usual.
The Orchid Club lounge on 16th floor – two levels above our room – is where we have afternoon tea, followed by evening cocktails (Singapore Sling, naturally), and our ‘champagne breakfast’ the next morning. With only a few other guests around (the lounge is restricted to club members), we get the full attention of Jobelyn, a young, cheerful Filipina, who doesn’t mind servicing us tucked away in the comfy couches on PARKROYAL’s large rooftop terrace. Just like her colleagues, she remembers our names when we return for breakfast, which is always impressive.
Equally impressive is the view of Singapore from up there, or the “garden walk” on fifth floor which leads all around the building. Even a vegetable garden – one of the more recent projects – now supplies the hotel cuisine with some fresh herbs and produce. Then, or course, there are the iconic vertical gardens and garden terraces spread all over PARKROYAL on Pickering’s facade. But hold on, it gets even greener inside!
Sustainability at PARKROYAL on Pickering Hotel
Even prior to the hotel’s opening in January 2013, PARKROYAL on Pickering was already awarded the BCA (Building and Construction Authority) Green Mark Platinum, Singapore’s highest rating for green buildings, and the Solar Pioneer Award for being among the first hotels in Singapore to use a solar energy system.
With 15,000 square meters of lofty four-story tall sky-gardens, reflecting pools, waterfalls, planter terraces and cascading vertical greenery, PARKROYAL on Pickering’s lush foliage constitutes more than 200% of the total land area, a scale unprecedented in a built-up city center.
On top of that:
- The building’s open-sided concept is configured to create maximum perimeter for natural light and views.
- The vast greenery absorbs heat, shades hard surfaces and evaporative transpiration resulting in improved air quality.
- Ferns, Mondo grass (Ophiopogon), Alocasia and Euterpe Palms were chosen to minimize the potential pest attacks and lower the maintenance efforts.
- Spaces, such as external hotel corridors, are designed to be naturally ventilated to reduce the cooling requirements of the building.
- The building is designed to maximize harvesting of natural light for areas such as the hotel corridors and lobbies.
- Energy efficient lamps (LED and T5 type fluorescent lamps) and water efficient fittings are used throughout the building.
- High performance glass cuts out solar heat and provides an abundance of natural daylight. Green and blue glass is used throughout the property to improve solar performance.
- Cascading greenery keeps the west-facing walls cool and reduces energy consumption for cooling guest rooms. Fifty different varieties of plants have been used to create a 15,000m2 lush tropical urban high-rise garden.
- The extensive landscape areas are designed to be self-sustaining and rely minimally on precious resources – water usage minimized by rain harvesting.
- Separate recycling bins for plastic, glass, paper in all guest rooms, as well as throughout the hotel.
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