It used to be the case that serviced apartments catered to only three types of people – those on long business trips, those relocating to a new country for the first month or two and finally, business people on generous expat packages who could afford paying almost hotel prices month after month for an apartment that is cleaned every other day.
In recent years however, the rise of more discerning travelers looking for extra space in their Singapore accommodations for day-to-day activities as well as local staycation-ers have meant that the value proposition of serviced apartments has intersected with hotels. Such is the case with Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road, one of the newest service apartments to come up in Singapore. Conveniently located just next to the tourist attractions of Arab Street and the indie shopping haven that is Haji Lane, it is one of the few serviced apartments in the country that actually has a hotel license.
Entering the property for the first time and seeing the sleek and modern furnishings of the lobby, I would be fooled to think that the Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road is actually a hotel. It’s no wonder that the property has won a couple of awards in the two years since it opened, including citations for its architecture and design at the Asia-Pacific International Property Awards and being named Luxury Apartment of the Year by Luxury Travel Guide. What added to the perception of being in a luxury hotel was the staff member manning the check-in counters dressed in a uniform not too dissimilar from what I remember from my unbelievable staycation at Pan Pacific Singapore Hotel. As with my experience with that property, I was greeted warmly and in no time, my key cards were handed to me using the same golden key card holder that I remember from that memorable stay.
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One Bedroom Premium Suite
The property has one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites distributed across four categories. One-Bedroom suites come in Deluxe, Executive and Premium categories with the difference only with the layout as well as the view. On the other hand, the area at 45 square meters is uniform across all one-bedroom categories. During my stay, I was given a room in the Premium category which had sweeping floor-to-ceiling views of the sea as well as the Singapore Flyer and the high rises at the Suntec City area against a verdant backdrop.
This was not my first time staying at a serviced apartment. I did so for a month some years back and while that did look like an apartment, the plushness of my suite at this property was akin to a hotel room. Or a luxury condo unit. It also helped that housekeeping at this property is done on a daily basis (except Sundays) rather than every other day.
In absolute terms, 45 square meters is just a little bit bigger than a hotel room in a 4-star hotel and is even a wee bit smaller than hotel rooms in some luxury properties. However, my one-bedroom suite certainly felt much bigger than that. At no time did it give off that cramped feeling – something I could probably only attribute to the sleek and contemporary furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows but that still doesn’t explain why the unit felt so spacious. Mind you, they did not even use the old “mirror trick” to make the area look much bigger.
The entire unit was decked in warm wooden hues, a look which is able to stand the test of time. One thing I’m quite particular about when staying in a hotel room is the amount of lighting available. To be honest, I am not a fan of the dim lighting that is propagated by many upmarket properties so it was certainly refreshing to see sufficient lighting fixtures throughout the unit to “brighten” up my stay.
My unit came with a living, dining and kitchen area on one side and a bedroom (with king bed or twin configuration) with bathroom on the other. The layout is pretty straightforward and seemed to jump straight out of a condo’s architectural plans.
Pan Pacific is one thoughtful company to actually stock the living area with books and magazines, which I found in copious amounts during my stay. While a short-stayer like me probably wouldn’t have time to read a 500-page novel, I did appreciate the selection of magazines such as Time and Forbes as well as the local newspaper. The flat screen TV here was connected to a Blu-ray DVD player, which I’m sure movie buffs would love.
The kitchen here was another highlight for all its inclusions. After finding a rice cooker,toaster and an oven, there’s almost no excuse not to cook in the unit. One can even host an intimate party here with the number of plates, bowls and cutlery found inside the kitchen drawers. There was also a Nespresso machine for coffee lovers.
I’m not sure why but I was probably still imagining my days living in a serviced apartment when I asked the receptionist to show me where the washing machine and ironing board were and whether they provided laundry detergent. I later discovered that the ironing board was kept in the cabinet in the bedroom and yes, they do provide laundry detergent.
Moving on to the bedroom – it was again another luxurious affair as my gaze turned to the box of Molton Brown amenities on the bed. I opened the box to find large 100ml sized bottles which are more than enough to pamper long-stayers for a while. Beyond this, the property also provides toiletries from its in-house “Em-brace” brand which are replenished whenever they run out.
The bedroom has a TV of its own which is perfect for those wishing to watch their favorite programmes at the comfort of their bed. Like I said previously, the ironing board is placed inside the cabinet in the bedroom. The cabinet here was slightly different from hotel cabinets in the sense that it’s designed with long-staying guests in mind. For one, there were a lot more hangers – I counted about 20 pcs – as well as several compartments to store one’s clothes and other treasures.
The bathroom exhibited a minimalist style in keeping with the rest of the apartment. While there was no bathtub, the bathroom was decently size with a shower area that came with a rainshower. I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of towels in various sizes in the bathroom as this was a feature that I did not expect to find in a serviced apartment.
A notable inclusion to stays at Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road is the breakfast buffet which is available from Mondays to Saturdays. Having stayed in a serviced apartment where only continental (i.e. pastries) breakfast is served, it was most certainly a welcome relief to find a nice buffet spread in the morning.
Morning meals are served in the dining hall right by the lobby which happens to be called Pacific Lounge. While it would be unfair to compare the breakfast here to that in a hotel, I did find the food selection here to be of good variety. The essential breakfast suspects are there – porridge, cereal, dimsum, scrambled eggs, salad, pastries and fruits – but the highlight is perhaps the made-to-order selection which varies from day-to-day. Despite not having an in-house restaurant concept, the property has a full-time F&B crew preparing the breakfast. This stands in contrast to the external catering usually employed by serviced apartments elsewhere.
2020 Update: Do note that as of now, the property has discontinued its breakfast service owing to the current situation.
I had a go at two made-to-order items for breakfast. The first was the Eggs Benedict which was just marvelous due to the mouthwatering hollandaise sauce that really woke me up that morning. I also had a go at the French Toast which came generously topped with cranberries.
Right above the Pacific Club is what the property has named as the Living Room. It’s a “living room” in every sense of the word as it made for a great place to chill and hang out with friends. I spotted quite a number of guests doing just about that when I visited the premises. It has a pool table, more books (this property really loves books!) and laptops for guest use. I also chanced upon a coffee machine there as well as a humble snack jar.
One of the things that must be highlighted about Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road is its astounding rooftop pool. As of now, I don’t see this appearing in any top rooftop pools list which is well and good as I was able to have this relatively unknown pool all to myself for an evening swim.
Located at the 21st floor, the swimming pool has a similar view as my unit, that of the Singapore Flyer as well as the skyline of Suntec City. I went up especially for blue hour as I suspected the scene would make for wonderful photos and I didn’t leave disappointed!
The fitness center is also located at the same floor right next to the pool. When I checked, it had ample machines and weights suited to long (or short) staying guests looking for a complete workout.
After staying at Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road, I genuinely wonder how the long-stayers here are able to get back to the reality of living in normal flats and apartments after staying here for a couple of months or even years? Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at this property. The well-appointed and fully-equipped apartments certainly made for an enjoyable and highly livable stay and so did the hotel-like amenities.
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Beach Road
7500B Beach Road
Tel: +65 6678 8888