Experience the iconic garden-in-a-hotel

Experience the iconic garden-in-a-hotel

ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore pushes its sustainability approach into every corner

TRAVEL
Experience the iconic garden-in-a-hotel

One is never short of hotels in Singapore and I always like to choose one that is near an MRT and possibly with a view of the city or water. The ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay was a top choice, not merely for its location but also because the hotel isn’t short of restaurants.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay hotel was renovated in  2020. At the level one lobby is the concierge and where the taxi will drop you off. You will notice the 13-metre green wall, inspired by the Chinese painting titled “Mountain Water”. As in the painting, the wall also embodies water and mountain features. The plants are real and the hotel uses a water irrigation system where the roots are slowly watered ensure that the plants are always moist. The hotel has a lot of such elements and each one is worth taking note of. The concierge level is also akin to being at the bottom of a mountain, with the lobby being on the 4th floor. 

ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay is Singapore’s first “garden-in-a-hotel”, with more than 2,400 plants, trees, shrubs and ground-covers from more than 60 varieties of flora spread across an interior space of 1,400m2, making the hotel feel fresh and cool. The plants are also resilient and don’t require much water or sunlight to thrive. The lobby floor is embraced in greenery and in the mornings there are birds in cages (controversial, I know) chirping morning song. Forest vibes first thing in the morning, is never a bad thing!

The hotel has 583-rooms that surround Southeast Asia's largest indoor sky-lit atrium, designed by the late architect John Portman. From the elevators, a skybridge takes you to the check-in desks, so that the experience feels like an immersive treetop walk, complete with green pavilions on either side. Look up and you’ll see a suspended wire sculpture by American sculptor Richard Lippold, named “Orchidea”. Once the sun goes down, the entire atrium comes alive with an enchanting light show that features a dynamic interplay of dancing lights, shadows and upbeat music. The skylight is made using double-glazed glass, which means that everyone and everything within it gets the fabulous light, minus the heat that comes with it. Ingenious! 

STAYING IN

The earth-tone rooms and suites all come with a balcony, and depending on the room type, overlooks either Marina Bay, Padang or city area. Though being Singapore, all the views are spectacular. As with the current trend in most Singapore hotels, each room comes with a drinking water dispenser so carry a potable water bottle as the Lion City is humid and one cannot get dehydrated. There are glass bottles in the room that can be refilled at any time. 

Though this is just one of the many things the hotel does to make a difference. The roof is home to 210 solar panels, which power all the hotel’s 13 passenger lifts and emergency lightings. Motion sensors are installed in all the guestrooms, which enable intelligent temperature control and efficient use of energy.

In case you’re worried about the in-room Nespresso machine not being too environmentally friendly, fear not. The coffee grounds are turned into compost for the urban farm and Nespresso upcycles the aluminium from the capsules into ballpoint pens and bicycles. 

The Collection Club Lounge is next to the outdoor mineral water swimming pool and a terrace, offering expansive views. The lounge serves breakfast and has all-day bites and afternoon tea. In the early evening, the club serves sundowners and canapés. Adjacent to the outdoor pool, Skyline Bar is the resort-style chill and relax rooftop alfresco bar and dining concept with views to match. You are never far from a drink or a bite while at the pool, which adds to the ambience. At dusk, the pool comes alive with 1,380 glowing fibre optic lights. If you’re taking a dip in the pool in the cool evenings, it’s like floating amongst the stars.

Taking the green initiative further, the hotel is also home to an urban rooftop farm, measuring 150m2. The farm, which shares the terrace with the all-day dining restaurant Peppermint, grows more than 60 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers, forming the backbone of the hotel's farm-to-table, farm-to-bar and farm-to-spa concepts, 20% of the hotel’s requirements.

Peppermint is the hotel’s certified Halal restaurant and is the main restaurant for breakfast, of which there are so many choices, it is almost impossible to eat the same thing twice. As hotel breakfast’s go, it is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the Asian offerings. The restaurant also has a buffet in the evenings, with a special station offering regional cuisines, which changes daily. All of Peppermint’s  traditional chafing dishes have being switched to an EcoBurner system.

Peach Blossoms is the hotel’s pride and joy and for good reason. Under the helm of chef Edward Chong, it offers a modern interpretation of Chinese cuisine from around the region. More on Peach Blossoms here bit.ly/3G6C60d.

Offering a selection of more than 90 varieties of whiskies and craft cocktails, at Portman's Bar is nestled in a garden oasis. It offers Instagram-worthy spaces any time of the day or night, a must in today’s world. In the afternoon, Portman’s Bar serves freshly-brewed coffee and a nature-inspired afternoon tea. When the lights go on, it morphs into a whiskey bar but also offers a curated selection of signature cocktails. 

It is near Portman’s Bar that you’ll find a spiral staircase, which leads to the Marina Square Shopping Mall next door. Connivence is at its best here! 

GOING OUT

The hotel is along Raffles Boulevard, a stone’s throw away from Singapore’s landmarks like Suntec, Gardens By The Bay, the Merlion and the Singapore Flyer. You can stroll down to the Merlion Park and Esplanade, and move to the tunes and performances at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. 

History buffs can go on the Civic Arts Trail and discover Singapore’s metropolitan heritage. When night falls, head down to the waterfront and watch it transform into an aqueous canvas for the spectacular Marina Bay light show.

The closest MRT station is Esplanade, though City Hall, Esplanade and Promenade MRT stations are all accessible via the Marina Square Shopping Mall.

If you’re considering a hotel during the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Pix, ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay is trackside. It is also a five-minute drive from Raffles Place and is a mere 20-minutes from Changi Airport.

FINAL VERDICT

ParkRoyal Collection Marina Bay, Singapore focuses on contemporary vibes brought to life through its design, which is closely associated with natural forms of life, iconic architecture, eco-friendliness and lifestyle experiences. The hotel’s green approach despite being in the midst of a concrete jungle makes it a good choice.  

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