In college, I pursued a fellowship and wrote a thesis on aquaculture and biophilic architecture. It was a passion project that led me to study all over the world. I wrote about designs both rural and urban, and even built my own aquaponics system in my home. Sustainable architecture and energy saving design is not simple. Biophilic design requires creative teamwork, futuristic thought, and a great amount of upfront capital, making Singapore the perfect location for a hotel-in-a-garden concept.
Although only open since January 2013, the 367-room hotel already managed to win several regional awards for its sustainable project design and green efforts, including the BCA Green Mark Platinum, Singapore’s highest green rating, as well as the Solar Pioneer Award for its innovative solar energy system.SUSTAINABILITY Leaders Project
Beyond my nerdy desire to study the hotel, take water samples, and quiz every hotel attendant, I was blown away by the beauty of Parkroyal’s design. Pulling up in a Grab, Singapore’s version of Uber, one is immediately enveloped by an awning whose structure mimics natural landscapes and mountain rock formations as well as that of the contoured padi fields of Asia.
At peak times, check-in may have a short waiting period, but concierge is happy to store your bags while you enjoy seating in the lobby or at the bar with a Singapore Sling. Once granted access to your room, you’ll navigate the labyrinth-like corridors and hallways adorned with live flora and water features. Though most rooms open directly to the outdoor hallways, flowing water and draping plants encourage cooler temperatures and shade, protecting guests from Singapore’s heat and humidity.
There are several room styles, and though I certainly didn’t need the nearly 75 sq meter executive suite, I indulged and recommend anyone able to do the same. With floor to ceiling windows, an open living space, office space, bedroom, double bathroom, and ample storage, I luxuriated for days with Singapore’s skyline as my backdrop.
Another perk to indulging in an upper tier room is access to the hotel’s Orchid Club Lounge. In the mornings, I catch up on back issues of The Rake while sipping cappuccino and watching the city come alive. In the evenings, I visit the lounge again for a pre-dinner cocktail or glass of champagne.
Though the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands is often considered one of the best in the world, Parkroyal on Pickering’s pool-in-a-garden offers smaller crowds, private seating in bird cage cabanas, and plenty of shade from the midday sun.