Upon arrival at the St Regis Singapore, most guests will be impressed by the ostentatious interior decoration – the huge chandelier, lush throw pillows on the couches, and abundance of art pieces by world-renowned artists. There’s no doubt that St Regis Singapore tries very hard to position itself as a luxury hotel just like its distant sister in New York.
I’ve stayed at this St Regis on many occasions. I was impressed at first, but less so during subsequent stays. And during my most recent stay, the experience was decent but not memorable. In fact, I have written damning reviews on this property. While it might have hit the right notes with all the glitzy finishings, I feel that it has somehow missed the mark of being a true luxury hotel. When it comes to luxury hotels, it’s all about the details.
The Penthouse Room at St Regis Singapore
I was very impressed with the check-in. Simon, the front desk staff, remembered me from my last trip and was quick to facilitate a smooth check-in. I believed he remembered that my previous check-in was less than satisfactory because I had to wait for more than 4 hours to check-in (7pm in the evening) because the guest had not left the room! Fortunately for me, it didn’t happen this time. My friend and I were initially booked in the Lady Astor room (without breakfast). Simon asked if I was keen to move to the Penthouse Room for SG$40 more. The Penthouse Room is much smaller than the Lady Astor room but the new rate includes complimentary cocktails during happy hours at the Astor Bar, and breakfast for the following morning. We took up the offer without much hesitation.
The ostentatious bathroom
Super Love the Remede Spa
Remede Spa is one of the best spas on the main island (excluding Sentosa). The therapists are excellent and their treatments are first class. Despite the hefty price tag, the mani- and pedicure treatments by the famous Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez are to die for. You will not regret it and your nails will thank you for the lavish treatment. If that’s not enough for you, try the Warm Jade Stone massage! It’s good for any Emperor or Empress. The Chinese believes jade has healing properties; I was hoping to absorb all the good energy from the huge jade stones! Hahaha.
Gym and Swimming Pool
The gym is decently sized, and is equipped with the basic exercise equipments; do not expect a comprehensive gym. It is on level 2 and oversees the pool. If you are there on a weekend, be prepared to have the pool flooded with children. It can be rather annoying if you want some quiet time to laze by the pool. My advice is to avoid early afternoon. Try to go either early in the morning or early evening.
The Astor Bar
The bar has an old-time charm, and is decorated in deep dark wood panels and leather. But frankly, there’s nothing impressive about it. We had our fill with the complimentary cocktail privilege that was included with the room. Those who can drink a lot will find this privilege irresistible. The drinks were good, but we were disappointed with the canapés – they were mediocre.
Restaurants – Hit and misses
Out of the three restaurants in St Regis, my favourite is Yan Ting, the Chinese Restaurant. Even though the dim sum may not be as good Cassia’s at Capella Singapore, it is still of good quality, and the service standard is up to expectations. For those with a huge appetite, the weekend brunch buffet is worth a visit. You start off with half a lobster (you can decide how it’s done) and a bowl of fish maw soup. The soup used to be shark’s fin but the chef has changed it. The only disappointment is that the selection of dim sum for the buffet has been reduced. They used to have a wider selection and the price has increased as well.
However, my visits to Les Saveurs (French) and La Brezza (Italian) were less than impressive. Breakfast is served at Les Saveurs. My advice is to go down early if you know that the hotel is near full occupancy. This is because on Sunday, they stop serving breakfast at about 10am to prepare for the weekend brunch. If you come down late, you will probably have to wait or go to La Brezza on level 2. And dining at the small La Brezza is not a pleasant experience at all. I’ve tried both lunch and dinner menus at La Brezza and Les Saveurs and I feel that the quality of the food at both restaurants fail to live up to expectations. You can get better Italian food at Regent Hotel which is just next to St Regis.
The hotel used to have San Benedetto, an Italian-brand of mineral water, in all the rooms. Sometime in 2011, they replaced it with St Regis-labelled drinking water. You might ask what’s the fuss over drinking water – isn’t it just water? But it’s St Regis! You do not expect run-of-the-mill offerings at a luxurious property. You want the best at St Regis!
More discerning guests will notice the minor details missing from St Regis; details which make a good luxury hotel luxury.
So St Regis Singapore can seduce me with all its over-the-top appearance, but I’m looking for more. The hotel needs to pay more attention to details. Without which, it’s just a showy facade.
The St. Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911