While the debate continues over the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, I have discovered Singapore’s very own landscaping wonderland.
Well, it really isn’t a discovery to call my own since this Hanging Gardens has been around since 2013 and I bet countless ‘explorers’ have posted photos of it online.
The Hanging Gardens here refers to Parkroyal on Pickering. You cannot miss this hotel – its unusual exterior of multiple layers built like terraces overflowing with lush shrubs and vines stands out against modern office towers on one side and ancient shophouses on the other.
So what led us to discover it?
Well, the humble need to escape parenting duties and to find a place where Awesome Husband and I could return to being lovebirds and enjoy each other’s company.
Since we couldn’t afford the time to fly out for a relaxing break, the next best option is to hide away in a beautiful hotel in our own backyard and enjoy its facilities.
The choice was easy for us, as we had driven by this property the past few years and would every time remind each other to check it out some day.
I actually had a chance to see it on its opening day four years ago, when the terraces were still bare (plants need time to grow!) but the artist’s impressions were full of promise.
Today, the terraces are lush.
We love how guests not only get to enjoy the green views from the outside, but inside too through the Garden Walk.
The nature-inspired feel carries into the guestrooms, through the use of fair wooden furnishings and massive windows that let in natural light.
We chose to stay in the Executive King Suite on the 14th floor. Taking up one corner of the hotel building, the views we had were spectacular.
Our soft spot was for the wooden benches that line the windows, where one could laze on and watch the world below go by.
It poured that Saturday when we were there so we huddled indoors and sat on those benches chatting and reminiscing our courtship more than a decade ago. From where we sat we could see the Circular Road area where the office of my first job used to be. We traced the paths I used to take to work, and the spot where Awesome Husband used to pick me up in his father’s bumblebee van wherever I had to work late (which was often!).
How far we’ve come in life!
We spent the rest of the day doing nothing more than lazing about, chatting, and wining and dining at the Orchid Club Lounge on the topmost floor.
This space is another wonder. Utterly spacious and bright, and so serene that we felt unknotted just by sitting there and sipping our Diet Cokes.
Come evening, Orchid Club Lounge breaks out the complimentary wines (hurrah!) and a range of tasty snacks that could well be one’s dinner. We were there of course, stuffing our faces, although we had agreed to explore the trendy Amoy and Telok Ayer streets for a restaurant to have our dinner.
We did make it to dinner eventually, at a buzzing Greek restaurant called Alati which serves gorgeous food without breaking the bank.
You know, parenthood changes you in ways you’d never imagine.
Like how you’d get soooo sleepy by 9.30pm even though you’re on a break from baby, and despite your big plans to have a romantic dinner then go bar-hopping till late, all you crave is your bed halfway through dinner. 😂
Awesome Husband was serial-yawning before I was even done eating!
We called it quits as soon as dinner was over and walked back to the hotel hand-in-hand (aww) and fell fast asleep once our heads hit the pillows.
But before that happened, Awesome Husband mumbled that there was no need to set a morning call for us to catch our indulgent champagne breakfast the next day. Our bio clocks would wake us up, he said.
Well. Never underestimate the sleep-deprived bodies of parents to a crazy active toddler.
I snapped awake first at 10.16am. Breakfast service ends at 10.30am. Mad scramble for Mumm ensued. LOL.
But it is always unexpected moments that bring flavour to life and we thoroughly enjoyed our break.