Home to one of the finest private art collections in Asia, the St. Regis Singapore is not just another grand Singaporean hotel. Here’s why.
By Laurence Civil
As the car pulls to a stop there, is a barely audible click as the passenger’s door is opened, and the guest is graciously welcomed to the St. Regis Singapore (29 Tanglin Road, Singapore, +65 6506 6818, www.stregis.com/Singapore) before being escorted directly to their room to complete a minimal check-in.
It’s at this point that the guest is introduced to their personal butler, who is ever present when needed, and who becomes invisible when appropriate. It’s this bespoke service—unique in Singapore to the St. Regis—which makes the stay very special. No matter which of the 299 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites a guest may have chosen, they are guaranteed a flawless stay experience. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects WATG, and with interiors by Wilson Associates, the interior is sublime. Their bathrooms are very special: decorated in French marble, and what makes the difference are the majestic free-standing bathtub and separate jet massage shower, and the TV installed as part of the mirror and generous double basin.
The original bloody mary was created in the legendary King Cole Bar of the St. Regis New York, and with time the cocktail has become embedded in the St. Regis’ DNA, with each hotel worldwide creating its signature version based on local flavors. Here, it’s the chili padi mary, inspired by the myriad of influences found in Singaporean culture, at the crossroads of Asia. A combination of lemongrass, chili padi, and ginger give this cocktail a distinctive spiciness that reflects Singapore’s eclectic cuisine. It’s served in the Astor Bar—named after the St. Regis’ founder, John Jacob Astor IV—and it exudes the sophistication and elegance that makes this the choice venue of the influential and well heeled.
This is not just another grand Singaporean hotel: it remains faithful to the founders’ vision that the stay has to be special. It should be a place where gentlemen—and to be politically correct today, where ladies too—and their families could feel as comfortable as they would as guests in a private home.
Taking its cue from New York, the St. Regis Singapore houses one of the finest private art collections in Asia. More than a hundred original paintings and sculptures from famous artists such as Colombian artist Fernando Botero, French painter Marc Chagall, American architect Frank Gehry, Chinese modern painter Gu Gan, as well as pioneering Singaporean artists Chen Wen Hsi and Georgette Chan, all carefully selected to enhance the graceful elegance of the hotel’s interior.
The culinary portfolio is in the same style. The divinely elegant Brasseries Les Saveurs, the hotel’s signature restaurant, with the perfect view looking out through the floor-to-ceiling windows onto the lush tropical garden and sparkling fountains. The wealth of natural daylight changes the mood due the time of the sun. Decorated with hand-cut crystal chandeliers and stunningly beautiful floral decorations, the dining room epitomizes European elegance. The fare is a modern interpretation of classic French cuisine.
For hors d’oevres, try foie gras poêle, pan-seared duck foie gras with the traditional green apple and rhubarb compote; Sauternes reduction with brioche toast; or perhaps bouillabaisse façcon les saveurs, fisherman’s seafood stew slowly simmered with fennel and saffron.
Or for a special epicurean moment, indulge your taste buds with homard thermidor, Boston lobster flamed with cognac, mushroom béchamel with gratinée gruyère; alternatively, there is filet mignon sauce au poivre, grilled beef tenderloin served with truffled mashed potatoes, tiny green beans, and peppercorn sauce. And don’t forget the Australian prime rib carved tableside from the trolley. The restaurant also has a cellar of the finest wines to match the fare.
The afternoon tea was inspired by Caroline Astor, wife of the founder of St. Regis, and is now an important ritual at the St. Regis DNA. Afternoon tea is an English three-course meal starting with finger sandwiches, then scones with clotted cream and homemade jam, finishing with cake and pastries. The sandwich course of The Grand Astor Afternoon is presented on a three-tier silver stand. The precisely cut sandwiches are filled with sliced tomato and cucumber, smoked salmon with dill cream, oven-roasted chicken with chicken, and creamy egg with chives. From the scones bar, guests can select from pesto and Parmesan, blackcurrant and lemon pistachio, and cranberry and Perigord black summer truffles complemented by such delights as rhubarb and vanilla, passion fruit and mango, and apricot and thyme seasonal homemade jams, and of course the obligatory clotted cream.
The St. Regis Singapore has a uniquely palatial residential yet comfortable ambience where the guest feels at home.