Review: Pan Pacific London
There’s no shortage of tall buildings in London – but it’s always exciting when a new skyscraper joins the scene. Anyone who has caught a train from Liverpool Street over the past few years will have spotted the latest in the making: Heron Plaza on Bishopsgate, a 43-floor, bronze-clad tower which houses brand-new hotel Pan Pacific London. The first European outpost from the Singaporean hotel group, it merges the traditions, flavours and hospitality of the East with traditional British design.
With its City location and smart look, it would be hard for Pan Pacific London not to feel corporate – but a stylish interior gives the hotel a boutique edge. This comes courtesy of design firm Yabu Pushelberg (the name behind projects like the Four Seasons Downtown New York), with neutral tones and a fresh finish. Plants chosen for their health benefits are also dotted throughout, from orchids to terrariums planted with bonsai trees.
The 237 guest bedrooms range from spacious doubles to huge suites, the most impressive being the Pan Pacific Suite on the 19th floor, which offers unparalleled views of London landmarks like The Gherkin. All rooms have a calming feel, with a light colour palette and natural materials balancing out the urban setting. Everything is designed for ultimate comfort, from large beds to super-soft dressing gowns – but if you’re still struggling to nod off, each room has a wellbeing and sleep programme which uses ChiliSleep cool mattress pads and sauna blankets. You even get your own yoga mat, plus access to on-demand exercise sessions. Bathrooms, meanwhile, feature a chic monochrome aesthetic with mosaic-tiled walk-in showers and Diptyque products.
Wellbeing is a central part of the hotel. Alongside the in-room facilities, there’s a whole floor dedicated to it, complete with a gong therapy room and one of the best hotel gyms we’ve ever experienced – home to Europe’s first performance-analysing TecnoBody D-Wall. The pièce de résistance, though, is a beautiful 18.5m infinity pool which feels a world away from the commuters and buses speeding past below. There’s also a sauna, relaxation pods and a mindfulness studio where guests can enjoy yoga, Pilates and barre classes. Spa treatments are available to book too, which infuse Western science with traditional South East Asian techniques.
Worked up an appetite in the gym? Head for dinner at Straits Kitchen, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant designed to showcase the cuisine of multicultural Singapore. The focus here is on Asian ingredients sourced and grown in the UK – specifically at the Nurtured farm in Norfolk. Unique flavour combinations – such as goat’s cheese fritters with shiso watermelon – are paired with more traditional Asian dishes, such as wok-fried chilli crab, lobster laksa and spiced duck breast with crispy noodles. For dessert, tuck into kaffir lime pavlova, mango panna cotta or a Guanacoa chocolate feast with brownie, mousse and hazelnut praline.
If that’s not enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, afternoon tea at The Orchid Lounge should do the trick. Here pastry chef and Bake Off: The Professionals judge Cherish Finden gives the British tea a Singaporean twist with a menu that celebrates bao, dim sum and choux.
The stylish cocktail bar, Ginger Lily, is also well worth a visit. Choose from an extensive menu of Champagnes or explore the cocktail menu, which has a focus on rum and weaves in interesting Singaporean flavours. The Green Mountain, for instance, is a zingy number mixed with Belvedere Vodka, wasabi, ginger and mint, while the Highball is made with green tea, whisky, lemon juice and honey.
THE FINAL WORD
Whether you’re visiting the big smoke for the weekend or a Londoner after a mini-break, Pan Pacific London offers the best of both worlds. Its buzzing Square Mile location means you’re just moments away from the city sights, but after a day of exploring you can unwind in a haven of tranquillity, Eastern-style.
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