PAN Pacific Hotels Group's upcoming hotel in Singapore, Parkroyal on Pickering, is poised to give new meaning to the concept of green hotels when it opens in January next year. Located on Pickering Street opposite Hong Lim Park near Chinatown, the hotel-in-a-garden will incorporate energy-saving features throughout the building. It will also boast Singapore's first zero-energy sky gardens powered by solar energy cells. The 367-room hotel has been conferred the Green Mark Platinum Award by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority — the highest rating for green buildings in Singapore. Green Mark recognises buildings that have adopted sustainable features and practices to promote energy and water efficiency as well as environmental conservation and indoor environmental quality.
General manager David Sullivan says Parkroyal on Pickering is the first in Singapore to adopt the hotel-in-a garden concept, featuring 15,000 sq m of lush gardens, waterfalls and planter walls that constitute more than twice the hotel's total land area. Over 10 species of flora will beautify the hotel's compound.
"The design of the hotel was inspired by its local surroundings. It complements the green spaces around the building and stands in striking contrast to the other buildings in the central business district," Sullivan tells City & Country.
Key green features include a diverse range of flora — from shade trees and tall palm flowering plants to leafy shrubs and overhanging creepers — spread throughout the hotel with some leading to guestrooms and public spaces. About 50% of guestroom corridors are shaded by tropical trees and flanked by water features, which reduce the temperature and hence the use of air-conditioning.
The hotel also uses heat pumps to generate hot water rather than a conventional electrical heating system, resulting in a reduction in energy use of 70%. Its comprehensive energy and water conservation features include light, rain and motion sensors, use of rain harvesting and NEWater (recycled water).
In recognition of the hotel being one of the first in the country's hospitality sector to use a solar energy system, it was awarded the Solar Pioneer Award by the Energy Innovation Programme Office.
Sullivan says the Parkroyal brand has always been about connectivity, offering guests an authentic local experience while being a trusted, knowledgeable and friendly companion to guests.
"We embarked on a comprehensive review of the Parkroyal brand early on and it revealed that guests were inclined towards hotels they could connect with. As the flagship property of the brand, Parkroyal on Pickering will place the highest value on this," says Sullivan.
The hotel's rooms and suites are nature-inspired and there is a dedicated wellness floor set amidst landscaping and waterfalls, which also features a 300m garden walk.
Other facilities include an award-winning St Gregory spa; Lime, a 24-hour contemporary open-kitchen concept restaurant; an exclusive Orchid Club lounge at the hotel's top level that comes with a dedicated club concierge; and ballrooms and meeting spaces.
"We knew we had the unique opportunity to do something different with Parkroyal on Pickering because it was newly built and we wanted it to be a brand-defining property for us. The hotel will set new standards on urban hospitality with its sustainable features and local connectivity. Given how travellers are increasingly concerned about energy efficiency and the environment, we hope to be a compelling option for guests who would like to ensure that their hotel stay does not adversely impact our environment," concludes Sullivan.
Pan Pacific's Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts is a collection of 13 leisure and business hotels and resorts (including those under construction ) located in gateway cities across Australia, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.
This story first appeared in The Edge weekly edition of Dec 10-16, 2012.