Research prompts hotel to do major overhaulBy Marlet D. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The regional headquarters of many multinational companies are located in Singapore. Thus, there is a significant demand for accommodations among expatriates. This is just one of the reasons Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore closed its doors for clients for three months to undergo an $80-million face-lift.
The posh hotel opened just in time for Singapore’s flagship travel and tourism event in October called Travel Rave. It hosted delegates and journalists from different countries and threw a party for its guests.
Scott Swank, Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore’s general manager, says the changes are more than just nip and tuck but not really a major overhaul.
“In essence, it’s a new hotel because we changed many things and relocated some facilities to different floors,” Swank says during a hosted luncheon at The Edge, a multicultural restaurant located at the third level of the hotel.
The hotel is very much inspired by its Asian setting. The lobby at the ground floor has water elements with reflecting pool and ponds. Instead of lounge chairs, the hotel installed cottage-style seats with fishnets to give a roof effect. Atrium, claimed to be the longest bar in the world, spans 22 meters offers 600 boutique wines and is also found at the lobby.
Most of Pan Pacific Singapore’s clients are business executives than professionals, and families.
“The transformation of Pan Pacific Singapore comes on the back of comprehensive research on the changing needs of our guests and associates,” Swank says.
Pan Pacific Singapore is located at the heart of the city’s business and commercial district and is just minutes away from convention centers and other tourist destinations. Adjacent to the hotel is a mall that is home to high-end as well as mass market brands. The food court is a mecca of dishes from different countries.
And then there are the rooms. The 790 rooms are redesigned with the working professional in mind. The generous space given for a workstation is evident with a bar/dining area near the huge glass windows. The Wi-Fi is free to all guests and is available in all floors.
Rooms from the 22nd to 37th floors offer the best amenities the hotel could offer: A perfect view of Marina Bay Sands, the Fullerton Hotel, and Singapore’s skyline at night. Swank fittingly calls them “panoramic rooms.”
Each room is fitted with guest-centric and functional enhancements and an indulging huge see-through bathrooms where one can watch the news from the bathtub on a flat screen IPTV (Internet Protocol TV). Guests can also check their accounts and billings through this high-tech TV, which can be adjusted in different angles. Some rooms have enhanced entertainment system which enables guests to plug and play their mobile devices on the TV.
Swank and the hotel management team had to make a huge decision of relocating the famous Ha Tien Lo from the 38th floor to the third level where they settled all the dining scene to make way for Pacific Club.
Swank says that they conducted an informal survey among Ha Tien Lo’s patrons as to why they kept coming back and a significant number of respondents answered “because of the view.” This was followed by “because of the food.”
Very late dinner is not a problem with The Pacific Club because it is open 24 hours. It is the perfect chill-out place at night for guests who work late. The 38th floor offers a view of the South China Sea and the harbor.
Ha Tien Lo is perfect on the third floor alongside The Edge which offers American, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Singaporean, and Thai food. The choices are endless and a week won’t be enough to try every dish in the house. Ha Tien Lo didn’t lose the menu it is famous for. The rooms are luxurious and spacious which are perfect for family gatherings or company meetings. The interiors are traditional Chinese and gives that familiarity and ambiance experienced in a Chinese home.
But the one to check out is the Japanese restaurant Keyaki which mimics the traditional Japanese home and is located at the fourth level and “outside” of the hotel. The feeling is like being transported to Japan just for one meal.
The renovation is a timely move for the 25-year-old Pan Pacific Singapore,according to Swank “We need to revitalize the hotel because of the changing and discriminating tastes of our guests,” he says.
Pan Pacific Singapore has been named Asia’s Leading Business Hotel from 2006 to 2011 and World’s Leading Hotel from 2007 to 2010 by World Travel Awards. In 2011, it was named as World’s Leading City Hotel also by the World Travel Awards.
Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts comprises 19 premium hotels, resorts and serviced suites in 12 countries across Asia, North America, and Oceania.