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When I was a precocious 20-something with a lust for luxury travel and a dangerously inappropriate credit card limit, I headed for the legendary Langkawi Datai in Malaysia, with a Singapore stopover, natch. 

As much as I loved Langkawi, Singapore stole the show, with its blend of cultures, cuisines, and architecture, pitting old colonial landmarks against sophisticated skyscrapers.   And, as I recall thinking at the time, what better vantage point for taking it all in than a junior suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel.  (My credit card should have been registered as a lethal weapon.)

Fast forward a few decades to last week’s invitation for a pre-opening preview of the newly minted Pan Pacific Hotel in London.  Who am I to say no to a free stay (what, with my credit rating?) so out came the overnight bag, in went a few choice CRUZ&PEPITA pieces and over to The City I went.

Wedged between the behemoths of Bishopsgate, the Pan Pacific London is the brand’s first European property and a worthy ambassador.  It’s not my intention to review it - I’ll leave that to the pros – but I would absolutely recommend it, and not just for its slick Asian feel, wonderfully comfortable beds, wild city views and Singaporean chili crab.

What got me, what literally had me at Hello, was the staff.  As a post-Covid, post-Brexit opening, recruitment was naturally tough, so decisions were made to go beyond the usual hospitality funnels to seek talent from far and wide; think transport and production as examples. 

Hired for qualities that exceed experience, the Pan Pacific London team has genuine character, conveying a warmth and level of care that even some Glion grads could learn from.

Hats off to General Manager, Anne Golden, for bravely opening the doors before the paint was dry to host a preview and give her team an advance chance to shine.  I’ll be back in a few months to see how they’re getting on, credit card locked and loaded this time.


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