Hotel Staycation Review: Tatler Checks Into… St. Regis Singapore
Raise your hand if you’ve done a staycation in the last six months… extra points if you’ve been on a workcation or daycation as well. With leisure travel bubbles slow to form—so far there’s only one between Hong Kong and Singapore starting on November 22nd—many of us have resorted to exploring every nook and cranny of our cities, and that includes checking into the little red dot's long list of hotels.
Home to the glamorous Astor Bar (temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions) and the stunning events space Caroline’s Mansion, St. Regis Singapore has always been a favoured location for stylish social gatherings. With social distancing protocols currently in place, the hotel appears quieter than usual but that's a good thing—local residents like myself can soak in the grandeur of this luxury hotel.
One of the main draws of the hotel is its central location, being steps away from the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens as well as at the quiet end of Orchard Road. While many hotels in Singapore proffer a modern tropical look or colonial-style interiors, St. Regis is unapologetically classic—adhering to the ethos of founder John Jacob Astor IV when he established the first St. Regis in New York over a century ago.
Thee doormen of the St. Regis Singapore welcomed me like a longtime guest ushering me past the gleaming glass vestibule and into the soaring lobby. The hotel is a beacon of traditional opulence and even if I personally prefer modern minimalist interiors, you can't help but be swept away by the splendour of the design (not to mention the art, but more on that later).
(Related: Home Tour: A House With Art Deco Details Designed To Embody Its Family History)
The check-in process was swift as expected, with the gregarious general manager Radu Cernia on hand to greet guests. Even with the staff all wearing masks and other conspicuous gestures to ensure guest safety, the hotel succeeds in maintaining a luxurious experience. Case in point: pre-pandemic, the spacious lift had a chair (for guests to sit or rest their shopping bags) which has been replaced by a slim silver automatic hand sanitizer station. These thoughtful touches are much-needed and appreciated but they're delivered in a warm and not clinical manner.
Do Not Disturb
The hotel has 229 rooms including several signature suites. We stayed at the Caroline Astor Suite (Room 1801), which occupies the corner spaces of the hotel. Clocking in a total of 90sqm, the suite looks even bigger thanks to the living room's full-length windows, which bring in plenty of natural light and offer an amazing view of the Singapore skyline. The panorama is best enjoyed at sunset, ideally with a sundowner at hand (which your dedicated butler can easily arrange for you).
The interiors are glamorous much like the society maven the room is named after, with gold accents, rich fabrics, plush furniture, tufted details and a Chinoiserie-inspired accent wall in the bedroom.
The quality of the bathroom is a common measure to assess whether a hotel is worth returning to and St. Regis definitely delivers. The suite's bathroom is approximately the size of the bedroom itself and is decorated with French Brenche de Benou marble vanity tops with double basins. It had everything I needed for the perfect night in: a freestanding bathtub for a proper soak, a fluffy bathrobe to lounge in, a great room service menu (and a standalone in-room bar), and a heavenly bed from which to watch classic films. Don't forget to ask your butler to bring the hotel's signature hot chocolate before you go to bed!
The hotel has a decent-sized pool, a well-equipped gym and a full-service spa—all of which are fully operational but booking is highly recommended. The Remède Spa is an intimate retreat with facilities such as a Cedarwood Finnish sauna, eucalyptus-scented steam chambers and unique treatments such as the award-winning Warm Vichy Shower Massage and the 90-minute Black Soap and Rassoul Hammam Ritual (the latter a rarity in Singapore). These water-based treatments are held in a dedicated room within the facilities, so you can jump from the Jacuzzi straight into the treatment.
Pampering at the spa aside, one of the reasons why staying here is one of the most indulgent experiences in Singapore is that the St. Regis provides 24-hour butler service for all guests. After a day or two of impeccable service, you'd definitley wish you had your own butler at home.
Food & Drink
Breakfast is served in Brasserie Les Saveurs, which is well-loved among society doyennes, especially for its Afternoon Tea. Try to request the alcove seating—there are only two—which offers ultimate privacy and a great vantage point from which to take in the flurry of activity in the dining room.
The breakfast offerings feature comfort food favourites (including local dishes like Nasi Lemak) and some familiar dishes with a twist. I loved the Epicurean Omelette, which has Tiger prawns, lobster bisque emulsion, and topped with Avruga caviar... breakfast of champions!
St. Regis also houses other bars and restaurants with signature dining experiences like the weekend dim sum brunch at Yan Ting and omakase meals at Shinji by Kanesaka (both notoriously booked weeks in advance). It’s best to maximise your stay here to experience what the hotel has to offer; the concierge will help you secure tables, too. If you’re worried that you’ve eaten too much, the good news is you can always walk it off around Orchard Road, which is now decorated with Christmas lights.
(Related: 5 Best Restaurants in Singapore that Combine Delicious Food and Classy Ambience)
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of St. Regis Singapore is its stunning art collection. The Boteros you spot at the common areas and the artworks by renowned Singaporean painter Georgette Chen by the lobby are just the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, I chanced upon two Joan Miro pieces inconspicuously adorning a sitting nook in the mezzanine. It's worth spending an hour or two going around the hotel to appreciate how well they've integrated these artworks into the elegant interiors.
More staycation reviews: Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel | Shangri-La Singapore Themed Family Suites | The Barracks Hotel Sentosa | Andaz Singapore | The Best 15 Hotels To Check In For a Staycation