My last stay in the St Regis Singapore made it one of my favourite hotels not just in Singapore but possibly in the world. I like the simplicity of the hotel, in that it isn’t too large nor too small, and the seclusion of the location yet still accessible to Orchard Road was just perfect. Add to that the butler service who makes excellent coffee beverages and the hotel is perfect for an extended stay in the city. And that was the reason I chose to stay at this property once again when I visited the city alone over the National Day holidays. Check-in was a bit of a wait due to only 3 check-in desks, and the staff in the main lobby from the concierge to the receptionist were very stiff, though the doormen and the check-in agent were excellent. Just the same as what I remembered a year ago when I last visited. I was provided a non-smoking King room as indicated on my reservations and with breakfast included. There was no mention by the check-in agent on where it is to be served, but having been here before, I knew. I also requested for in-room breakfast on the day I check-out since I would leave the hotel too early for the restaurant to be open for me. The receptionist was able to oblige to my request since the restaurant only starts breakfast at 6:30am in the morning.
The room was excellent as usual, and would have considered as a suite in many lesser properties. Guests are greeted by a nice entrance foyer with a bar table and the fridge located along the entryway. The preferred rooms in the St Regis would be one facing the swimming pool and the surrounding residential blocks which are quieter, since the one facing the main street has little of a view anyway. An elegant workspace graces the right side of the wall upon entry with a large Sharp LCD TV mounted on the wall. The room is equipped with a Bose surround sound and a DVD player which offers probably the best sound system of any hotel room I’ve been to. White washed wood panels enhance the elegant feel of the property, and the double sliding doors leading into the bathroom shows the expanse of this room. Like the Lady Astor Room I was assigned last time, the bathroom has a bathtub (though this time situated in the centre) with 2 standalone washbasins. There was also a separate shower cubicle and toilet and an LCD TV facing the bathtub. The only thing lacking was a sit-down dressing table but it gains a walk-in closet that is connected to the bathroom. So overall, I actually prefer the layout of the King Room compared to that of the Lady Astor Room. There was also a 2-seater sofa and a coffee table in front of the bed and another daybed by the window ledge to take in the wide views offered from the 2 bay windows.
Features in the room are all electronically operated including both the night and day curtains. And in tropical Singapore, the sunny weather can make the room quite hot if you leave the day curtain open. Overall the room in the St Regis is perhaps the most impeccably furnished amongst all the hotels in town. Amenities in the room includes a bath amenities by Laboratoire Remede which has a strong minty scent, and not my favourite scent, but their bath gels are really good having come with beads that acts as body scrubs. Other amenities like the toothbrush, cotton buds are placed in really nice plastic with the St Regis logo sticker which gave it a nice luxurious feel. One issue I had with the room was the bathtub which already has shown wear and tear in the shower heads. This meant every time I fill the bathtub, water from the faucet will also leak out, making the surrounding area wet.
Facilities in the hotel includes a Chinese restaurant called Yan Ting, which offers decent Cantonese cuisine, and offers a wonderful champagne Dim Sum brunch on the weekends. There is also an Italian poolside restaurant and the International cuisine restaurant on the ground floor serving as a breakfast area. There is a wonderful breakfast atmosphere in the lobby restaurant which offers a widespread variety of food including Asian delicacies like dumplings, pork buns, roti prata and curries. Breakfast was great but not the best I have had, though the ambience would mean it is one of the nicest places to have breakfast in a hotel. The hotel also a swimming pool with nice sun loungers as well as a well-equipped fitness centre and a spa operated by Laboratoire Remede. One other thing I like about the hotel was how it is filled with some of the most exquisite chandeliers and some distinctive artworks by local artists. During the stay, there was a candy sculpture with the Singapore flag to commemorate the national day holiday.
While the hotel is equipped with wifi, there was no complimentary internet during my stay, though I was able to use the iMacs and Windows PC in the Business Centre to access the internet. They were, however able to remember my preference of both the local Straits Times and the International Herald Tribune for my newspaper deliveries in the morning.
I was provided with a bowl filled with fruits as an SPG member similar to my previous stay, and on the small coffee table are also several magazines catered to luxury lifestyles and business, so it was a nice touch. The hotel’s location also makes it great for a morning jog especially with the Botanic Gardens in the city located nearby and I think the hotel should really provide something like a jogging route for the area. This was provided during my stay at the Sofitel in Melbourne and Shangri-la in Sydney and both had wonderful jogging routes. I had a morning jog in the Botanic Gardens and it was as pleasant an experience!
Like my previous stay, I decided to indulge in a cup of hot chocolate on the first night of my stay, and this was brought over to my room graciously. However on the second morning, when I requested for a cup of Mocha, the butler bringing in the coffee mentioned to me to check if the service is available first before ordering as they no longer offer delivery of coffee. He added that for this stay they would provide this service but no longer in the future. This was a sign of cost cutting, the way I see it, and the hotel also no longer offers the bar of excellent chocolates on turndown, substituting it instead with some horrible pralines. Mineral water in the room are now generic bottled waters instead of San Benedetto as was provided on my last stay. I am not a snob with mineral water as I think they essentially quench thirst, but it is a benefit that the hotel have reduced to guests, so I do consider that a negative in the hotel stay. After all, for a hotel of this calibre, I do think mineral water are necessary. I don’t see generic distilled water served on business class in airlines right?
On the day of my departure, I was only limited to the continental breakfast for the in-room dining and was able to request for a 5:30 am delivery of the breakfast which consisted of croissant, raisin bread and danish pastries served with one juice and a jug of hot coffee. This was adequate, since I would still be able to get some more food from the Silverkris Lounge later on if I needed more nourishment. After packing and checking out, I discovered I was charged for breakfast in the room, and I needed to mention the issue to the agent who was able to waive off the charges for me. I still don’t enjoy being charged for something when I was promised it to be waived and this counts as a waste of time and a failure in the staff management which to me mars the overall experience a bit. While the hotel is still wonderful, the cost cutting might be detrimental to the property in the long run. Especially in Singapore where there are competition, the St Regis should reconsider its level of amenities and service.