Why does this hotel look like it’s made of giant Jenga blocks?

While doing a lazy backstroke in the lagoon pool, my eyes gravitate to the constellation of lights reflected in the mirrored ceiling five storeys above.

All that’s on my mind is relaxation and the illuminated eye candy – not thoughts of hallmark sustainability, biophilic design, or carbon sequestering.

 

But, I will eventually wrap my head around all the eco coolness of this design hotel of all design hotels – the Pan Pacific Orchard in Singapore.

To be honest, my wife, Kerry, and I chose to stay at the Pan Pacific Orchard because it’s uniquely beautiful and luxurious, not because it has a bio-digester that transforms food waste into water that can be used for cleaning.

After all, the 23-storey, 347-room hotel, which opened in June 2023, is an architectural wonder resembling a tower constructed of giant Jenga blocks. Its most marvelous features are four, 22-metre-tall terraces scooped out of its vertical facade.

The second-floor Forest Terrace is for the open-air lobby and bar; the fifth-floor Beach Terrace for the lagoon pool; the 11th-floor Garden Terrace for the cabana lawn and patios of the Pacific Club Lounge and Florette Champagne & Oyster Bar; and the 18th-floor Cloud Terrace for the outdoor convention space.

Each guest room overlooks one of the terraces and the balcony of each room juts into the terrace’s air space.

“It creates four vertical, curated, themed and symmetrical ecosystems,” said Pan Pacific Orchard director of communications Teresa Koh as she showed my wife and I around.

“We’re very proud to be a luxury hotel that at its core is all about responsible sustainability.”

It doesn’t hurt that all this environmental consciousness is uber-chic and eye-catching.

The two exposed support columns either side of the hotel are covered in vines that are now creeping across the building and dripping from the terraces.

More than 100 other species of plants, shrubs and trees, including all those palms on the pool terrace, end up covering 300% of the hotel’s base land area in lush foliage. The greenery and the terrace’s designs result in self-shading, that aforementioned natural cross ventilation, carbon sequestering and air purification. Singapore-based WOHA Architects, a biophilic specialist, designed the hotel to be an iconic slice of nature in an otherwise largely concrete-and-glass megatropolis.

The Green Mark Platinum Certification was awarded for solar panels on the roof that power all common areas, collected rainwater keeping the terrace ecosystems lush, the previously mentioned bio digester and Swisspro water filtration systems in every room eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles.

All in all, it makes Pan Pacific Orchard the new prototype for high rise tropical hospitality.

Guest rooms are compact and well-designed with comfy beds and high-end linens and that balcony that juts out into the terrace air space. We lounge at the lagoon pool; sip signature cocktails called Cloud and Forest (in a nod to the terrace themes) at Florette; eat crispy pork at Mosella restaurant; and take breakfast, afternoon tea and happy hour in Pacific Club Lounge on the garden terrace.

Pan Pacific has 50 hotels and resorts in 30 cities in Asia, Europe and North America under the Pan Pacific, Parkroyal and Parkroyal Collection banners, including Pan Pacifics in Vancouver, Whistler and Toronto

In April, Air Canada started flying four times a week between Vancouver and Singapore, the only non-stops connecting Canada with the multicultural, Asian city state of six million people. In fact, it’s the longest flight Air Canada operates at 16 hours and 10 minutes Vancouver-Singapore. One-way fares on the quick, quiet and comfortable Boeing Dreamliner 787 start at $734.

Hotel rates for Pan Orchard start at around SG$440.

For more information, visit www.aircanada.com and www.panpacific.com.

—STORY BY: STEVE MACNAULL

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