With a one foot in western culture and the other in the east, Singapore is an sophisticated and modern city -- and no hotel embodies this diversity more than the St. Regis
Singapore is a city-state with a foot in two different worlds. It sits at the bottom of the Malaysian peninsula and is full of South East Asian influences, but it also has a strong British legacy thanks to its time as part of their empire. This gives it a modern, almost Western feeling, and means that it is one corner of the region where you don’t have to worry about roughing it.
It is also one of the world’s business hubs, and all this makes it an attractive place for international luxury hotel brands to set up shop. The St. Regis Singapore is one of the cities newest hotels, but the chain has a strong pedigree stemming from it origins on New York’s 55th Street. This fact is made apparent at the first possible moment when you are picked up at the airport by one of their Bentley Flying Spurs. What a way to arrive! We were whisked away from the terminal and through Singapore’s futuristic center.
Those who visit Singapore for work might choose to base themselves in the central business district, and this is also were many of the city’s attractions can be found. Expats and those visiting for pleasure however, often head just outside the center to the neighborhood around Orchard Road. This wide boulevard has developed into Singapore’s shopping district with the air-conditioned malls lining both sides of the road housing the world’s premier brands. Here you will find everything from Louis Vuitton and Prada to H&M. At one end, the road takes you directly into the city center and at the other it cuts into the upmarket district of Tanglin, home to many embassies. This was where our hotel could be found, and the sophisticated character made us feel right at home.
Fitting neatly into this aesthetic was our hotel which, despite its relative youth, had an air of established elegance. It was all polished stone, crystal chandeliers, and red carpets. Laid over all of this was the art. The hotel has somehow managed to procure a private collection which includes works by Picasso, Miro, and Botero among others. There are paintings, sculptures and tapestries – both historic and modern – tastefully scattered throughout. You are made aware of it instantly thanks to the Botero statue in the entrance way, and the huge antique Chinese paining behind the reception desk.
We were staying in one of the Executive Deluxe rooms which, at fifty square meters, was incredibly spacious. The design matched the refined ambiance of the rest of the hotel, and this was really emphasized by the full marble bathroom. The star of the show however, was the view which jumped out at us the minute we walked through the door. The windows were huge, and as we were quite high up, they gave us a panorama of the surrounding skyscrapers and the nearby gardens.
You won’t find yourself stuck for a good meal at St Regis. There are a myriad of options and we did not have time to try them all out. We gave it a good shot however, and were rewarded with great food at each of the three restaurants we visited. Brasserie Les Saveurs is the hotel’s French restaurant, and also where breakfast is served for guests. When in restaurant mode, they offer well made French classics as well as a degustation menu, for those who want to try a wide range of the chef’s creations. At breakfast they put on a beautiful buffet with plenty of options. You can go for the classic eggs, toast, and pastries, or you can find out what the Singaporeans eat in the morning.
La Brezza is the Italian trattoria and it can be found down by the pool. La Brezza means ‘the breeze’ and the name is appropriate due to the outdoor seating. It has a nice al-fresco atmosphere, and the breeze is a welcome relief from the humidity of Singapore. If however, the wind is too much (or it fails to make an appearance), there is plenty of space inside where you can enjoy your meal in air-conditioned comfort. They offer a range of Italian classics made with a modern twist, as well as the degustation menu.
The most interesting option was Yan Ting, which draws inspiration from the culinary golden age which was the Chinese Ming dynasty. This is not Chinese food like you know from your local take-away shop, but instead offers an updated version of the fine-dining that was done by Imperial China. We went for lunch and tried one of the set menus. I loved the Kurobuta pork which came with black pepper sauce, and this was my favorite serving of the meal. One of the most memorable dishes was braised superior birds nest which came bathed in a pumpkin and black truffle sauce. This was something neither of us had experienced before, and it was great to try something new. That said, authentic Chinese food can be strange to Western pallets, and the texture was a little too slimy for me. This is not a judgment on the quality of the food, just the difference in cultural tastes.
Another dining option for those after a lighter meal is the hotel’s Astor Bar. We did not sample the food, but enjoyed spending time there in the evening enjoying their excellent cocktail. It can get pretty busy, as it is popular with guests and locals alike. They have a large selection to choose from including wines, cocktails, and over 200 whiskies. The highlight has to be their Bloody Mary menu… apparently the Bloody Mary was actually invented at the original St Regis in New York. Alongside the original Bloody Mary, the St. Regis creates a new variation every month so it is worth having a look at what their latest version contains. My favorite however, is the Chili Padi Mary which adds a spicy local twist to the classic.
As you would expect from a hotel of this level, there are a number of amenities to keep you occupied. For me, nothing could beat the glamour of being picked up in a Bentley, but the butler service and pool were both nice features. The pool is the perfect way to cool off during the hot afternoons, and the shade from surrounding buildings make it a great place to enjoy a cocktail as you dry off.
The extensive fitness center and spa is also a welcome addition, and it is the first Remede Spa outside the US. Inside it is beautiful, and it specializes in customized experiences inspired by water and the finest ancient rituals of the bathing arts. I had a “Perfect Synergy” treatment which is a 75 minute treatment and combines a Bastien Gonzalez pedicure and customized facial both done at the same time by two spa therapists. The pedicure was completely different than what I had expected. It’s a holistic approach, meaning they gently buff and file the nails giving it a natural shine without polish. I have to admit, I might have painted my toes a few hours later. My facial however, was incredible. They buffed my face getting rid of my dryness and a few skin irregularities. This is a perfect treatment if you want to have that “glow” for a special event.
The service and facilities are so good that you might not want to leave, but there are plenty of things to see nearby so you really should! The shops of Orchard Road are the obvious destination and you could easily spend days (and more money that you intended) in its many malls. Another popular attraction – and UNESCO World Heritage Site – is the Botanical Garden. It offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city and TripAdvisor ranks it as the top park attraction in Asia.
You can’t really go wrong with a brand as trusted as St Regis, and their Singapore branch does not disappoint. The location is perfect for shoppers, and art aficionados will love having the chance to see authentic works by some of the world’s most prestigious artists. The elegant decoration lends it a sophisticated feel, but it does so without losing any of the comfort you would expect from a luxury hotel.
For more information about this hotel please follow the link below