A special Lunch correspondent
I hope you’re sitting down when you read this, but I have to confess I have spent a fair bit of time in bars around the traps and over the years.
After an $80 million refurb, the Atrium Bar at Singapore’s Pan Pacific Hotel – with its intimate island booths seemingly floating like lanterns in an opulent lake – is one of the best.
It is also said to have the longest bar in the island nation, (I’m going to say six furlongs, but it could be 22m) – which makes it well worth checking out on those grounds alone.
I’d still be there yet, but the spicy delights of Singapore – not to mention other planes to catch – awaited.
The Pan Pacific is attached to a mega shopping centre and sits aside the MRT (subway), or Murt as I like to call it, so you can get around the entire island without those scandalous five buck cab fares.
I’m in a Harbour studio king room for my two night stay, and it’s pretty awesome.
Aside from the impossibly comfortable bed, seamless IT and wifi that lets you listen to your own music in room – it has its own bar.
It’s something that the best hotels are starting to do more and more nowadays – I first noticed it in the Kerry Hotel in Shanghai a few years back, and, like the disappearance of the transparent, see-through glass bathroom, this is something to be applauded. You don’t want to see your life partner go to the bathroom, but you enjoy drinking with them? Welcome to the Future.
Gone are the days when you had to perch on the bed after a long day in one of the most densely packed conurbations on Earth.
Instead you can unwind with your life partner while looking out over the Bay, with the lights low and chill. Did you know that Marina Bay is fresh and part of the city’s drinking water reserves?
Now that I’ve dealt with the in-room bar and the Atrium Bar, what is left but to talk about the rooftop pool, which also has, not exactly a bar, but a lot of very nice chaps who will ensure you do not get too thirsty, or die of starvation for that matter – club sandwich and an icy cold Tiger, thanks … and could you bring me another tiger and this time try to get a really cold one. Eventually they relent and bring me my own private ice bucket.
My companion opts for the prawn salad and a Singapore Sling.
If there’s one thing I like more than a rooftop bar, it’s ordering poolside food and drinks.
In between dips I watch the outside glass elevators go up and down the building – a scenic ride indeed – and then back to my novel and more Lana Del Rey.
Now – if you look at the photo of the hotel’s exterior you will see it’s wearing a kind of lopsided hat – that used to be the Chinese restaurant and is now the Pacific Club, for executive guests – like me.
Take the scenic glass elevator to the top floor and check in for breakfast and take in one of the city’s most spectacular views.
Or show up at sunset for complimentary cocktails or a glass of red – the cheese board is serious … very serious indeed. They have cheeses that are so strong that within seconds I’m sweating through my belt buckle.
The cocktails are not for the jaundiced either.
I order a martini as dry as the desert sands and chase it up with a Manhattan, with a beer to sit on its chest.
If there’s a better way to spend a sunset in Singapore then call me a taxi.
But back to breakfast – I order a champagne breakfast with a truffled omelette with bacon and this and that on the side and chase it down with more champagne and buttermilk pancakes and fruit compote.
It’s an awesome breakfast and I would have rinsed and repeated the next day, but the Edge restaurant was calling me, which is so totally awesome it has a separate review.
Pan Pacific Singapore
7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore (039595)
Tel (65) 6336 8111
Email: [email protected]