SingaROAR: butler service and marble bathrooms
SingaBORE: a surprisingly small pool
Hit it: great for a romantic getaway (spa and tranquility)
Skip it: not suitable for holidays on a budget (what budget?)
St Regis’ location is ideal for shopping aficionados: its address near the city’s main shopping artery, Orchard Road, offers a wonderful opportunity to explore Singapore’s famous shopping quarter. The surrounding area is simply known as Orchard and the Orchard road MRT, Botanical Gardens, boutiques and malls are just a short stroll away. Once the preserve of the wealthy expat families, in 2007 this part of the famous Orchard road started attracting globe trotters arriving to the hotel in chauffer driven Bentleys – a nice option the hotel offers to its patrons.
From the outside St Regis Singapore can be mistaken for a high-end office building, an all metal and glass high-rise. The mentioned Bentleys and uniformed bellmen are the only hints to the building’s true function. There is a gregarious lady lying face down right at the hotel’s entrance– feel free to take a picture: this statue by a Columbian artist Fernando Botero is only the first out of many museum quality pieces, acquired by the hotel owner’s wife. She spent over six years, amassing an outstanding collection valuated at nearly $10 million. There are works by Picasso, Chen Ke Zhan dotted around the building and your butler can give you a tour.
The cutting edge minimalism is over, as soon as you step inside a classically elegant lobby: opulence is a weapon used by the hotel’s decorators to impress guests right upon arrival. The welcome service was impeccable: check-in that allows you to sit down and relax after a journey, while the formalities are being sorted, always gets my vote.
My room had a foyer and a small table with an assortment of teas and coffees: the butler (they are assigned to all rooms and suites) informed me, that he was on call all day around to make hot beverages, if I wished so. The Art-Deco style room was opulent yet chic – one of those rooms where you feel comfortable rather than oppressed by its grandeur. The hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper provided a luxurious backdrop to the king-size bed with St Regis signature linens and Jim Thompson silks. The sitting area had a sofa and a little table, with welcome fruits and wine from the manager. The room also featured a desk and a wall mounted flat-screen TV, mood lighting and sound control panel.
The view from the hotel lacked the most memorable Singapore landmarks: Marina Bay Sands and Singapore’s famous skyline. Since I saw those before, the sight of lush greenery of the Singapore Botanical gardens was a welcomed change to concrete and glass.
French-style marble bathroom and vanity amenities really speak of a five-star hotel quality: I am talking about double sinks, separate vanity table and stool, soaking tub, signature Remede toiletries, a standing shower with a rain shower and three jets shooting, and last but not least – an anti-mist TV screen to watch your favourite TV shows and movies while relaxing in a bath.
Turndown service came with a small tiffany green box of Laurent Bernard chocolates – sweet, indeed! Astor bar is a great place for a pre-dinner unwind – if Singapore Slings seem too banal, try tongue-twistingly hot Chilli Padi Mary.
Food choices are represented by Italian La Brezza, Cantonese Yang Tin and French Brasserie Les Saveurs. Don’t miss a truly epicurean Sunday champagne brunch at Les Saveurs (at S$195 per person), that comes with a mixture of charcuteries, cheeses, hors d’oeuvres, deserts, wines, beers and, of course, champagne.
The first time, the reason to choose St Regis was work: the hotel kindly hosted guests of Singapore Fashion week and organized a private dinner for one of the worlds’ most forward thinking designers – Hussein Chalayan. The hotel’s service was impeccable but I kept wondering: am I being given a special treatment? During that first year in SE Asia, I returned to the hotel twice and got treated with the same attention and welcome. The place is wonderful for those, who appreciate its quiet location, incredible food and wonderful pool area that make it a perfect place for a romantic getaway or stacation.