WHAT’S IT LIKE? The St Regis is decorated in a classic style and graced with over 40 original works of art, including paintings and sculptures by Fernando Botero, Frank Gehry and Picasso. I visited during the “soft opening” at the end of last year, so not all of the facilities were open, but everything is now up and running, including the Remède Spa, which was launched at the start of February. A few days before my stay I received an email confirming my reservation, with a weather forecast for the week ahead and links to various sections of the hotel website. I had arranged a hotel pickup for US$189. This included collection from the airbridge of the plane, a buggy to the CIP (Commercially Important Person) terminal and a transfer to the hotel in a customised bronze Bentley Continental Flying Spur for US$191. It’s a great way to arrive in Singapore – if you are not in a rush, you can enjoy all the CIP facilities at the terminal or just get in the Bentley with a cold towel and a bottle of water for the 30-minute journey to the hotel. (If you want to use the CIP terminal, visit changiairport.com.)
WHERE IS IT? Near the top of Orchard Road – good for shopping and very close to the embassy district and Botanical Gardens.
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 299 rooms and suites, all with butlers – part of the St Regis hallmark bespoke service. Guest rooms are large, the smallest being 50sqm.
ROOM FACILITIES: I was staying in a large Executive Deluxe Suite (pictured), traditionally furnished and with several chandeliers. It had an entrance area, a large bedroom, a sitting room with work area, and a walk-in wardrobe, which led to the bathroom. There was a well-stocked minibar and the sitting room had a flat-screen TV along with Bose surround-sound speakers and DVD/CD player (discs can be borrowed). There was a large dark-wood and brown-leather desk, multi-region power plugs, and video and audio inputs to connect to the TV and sound system. Lighting and curtains are controlled by a simple remote control, although the Nortel IP telephone confused me, so I asked the operator for my wake-up call. (This had the added benefit of being offered a hot drink when I woke up.) The bed was comfortable, with cotton beddings, and there were switches for the lights and curtains, and a privacy and a butler-call button on a panel each side of the bed with a useful master switch. In my drowsy waking moments, I called the butler by mistake and he was at my door in minutes. The marble bathroom was a good size. The bath has a TV and there were two sinks and a large shower with overhead and horizontal jets. Toiletries are from the hotel’s spa brand Remède.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Les Saveurs, located on the lobby level, is open for all meals and serves a combination of French and Western cuisine. If you are waiting for a guest to arrive (or have a particularly boring dinner date), make sure you face the windows to enjoy the fountain outside. Yan Ting is a traditional Cantonese restaurant open for lunch and dinner, and on Sundays for dim sum brunch. It is a small restaurant and the tables are quite close together, but it does offer three private dining rooms and two semi-private dining areas, as well as a number of “booths” separated by curtains.
La Brezza, an open-kitchen Mediterranean restaurant overlooking the pool, serves specialities from Spain, France, Italy and North Africa. On the lobby level is the Astor Bar, which has a wide selection of cocktails and the house speciality, “the Suzette” – a sweet mix of orange peel with Grand Marnier and citrus vodka served warm with mini crêpes – it packs a punch but is delicious. Decanter is a walk-in wine bar/cellar with over 1,500 wines and the option of 16 fine wines by the glass each month. The selection is staggering, as are some of the prices. The Drawing Room is a good place for snacks and afternoon tea.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel at US$22 per day. There is a business centre behind the reception desk, which is open 24 hours, and has both PCs and a Mac, and a small meeting room. On the lobby level, there are six meeting rooms. On Upper Level One is the stunning John Jacob Ballroom, which can accommodate over 1,000 people for a conference or reception, or 650 for a banquet. With high ceilings, skylights and crystal chandeliers, it is a superb space.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The gym on the second floor is open 24 hours a day and has Technogym equipment complete with iPod docking and headphones. The outdoor pool with terrace and spa bath is open from 1830 to 2230, and for tennis enthusiasts, there’s an indoor court on the ground floor. The Remède Spa is the first of its kind in Asia and pampers guests with champagne and chocolates.
PRICE: Stay three consecutive nights and get the fourth free. From US$613 and includes breakfast. Until December 31.
VERDICT: A conveniently located hotel with superb modern facilities and first-class service despite having been open less than three weeks when I visited.
Contact: 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911, tel 65 6506 6888, www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis