Review: St. Regis Singapore

Introduction
Emirates First Class A380 Los Angeles To Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Afternoon Tea At Skyview Bar Burj Al Arab
Lunch At At.mosphere Burj Khalifa Dubai
Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai DXB
Emirates First Class A380 Dubai To Singapore
St. Regis Singapore
Westin Singapore
Singapore Airlines Private Room Singapore SIN
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Singapore To Melbourne
Park Hyatt Melbourne
Qantas Club Melbourne MEL
Qantas Business Class 737 Melbourne To Sydney
Park Hyatt Sydney
Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney SYD
Qantas First Class A380 Sydney To Los Angeles
SLS Hotel Beverly Hills
Oneworld Business Class Lounge Los Angeles LAX
Qantas Business Class 747 Los Angeles To New York
Park Hyatt New York
Dad’s Thoughts


As I’ve written about in the past, I find Singapore to be one of the most frustrating hotel markets for the points obsessed. Why? Because not only is Singapore overrun by truly mediocre hotels, but they’re outrageously priced, both in terms of revenue and award rates.

When I first booked this trip the plan was to just spend one night in Singapore. However, due to a change in schedule, we ended up staying in Singapore for two nights. I made the change last minute, and go figure at that point the St. Regis was booked out for the second night, so I booked the new Westin for that night.

I booked a paid rate at the St. Regis for our one night stay, which cost about $400. I booked through a Virtuoso agent, so received the following additional perks:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests
  • $100 USD Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay
    • (excludes Sunday at St. Regis, Sunday Brunch at Brasserie Les Saveurs, Dim Sum Brunch or Sunday Brunch at Yan Ting)
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability

This is a Category 6 SPG property, meaning a free night redemption would have cost me 20,000 Starpoints. While I don’t like spending $400 out of pocket for a hotel room, I considered that a better value than redeeming points (I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each), and I did want this stay to be special for my dad. The Virtuoso benefits further helped me mentally justify that decision.

Furthermore, I applied a Platinum Suite Night Award to the reservation, and was able to confirm a suite upgrade five days before arrival.

Starwood-Suite-Upgrade

For what it’s worth, I actually stayed at the St. Regis Singapore for one night just under two years ago, and wrote a pretty extensive review back then. Since this stay was fairly similar, I’ll keep this review kind of brief.

We made it to the St. Regis at around 4PM. The hotel is about a 20-30 minute drive from Changi Airport, as it’s located on Orchard Road. Orchard Road is sort of Singapore’s equivalent of 5th Avenue, which I realize is desirable to most. To me, there are other places in Singapore I’d rather stay.

As we pulled up to the hotel, a bellman immediately offered to help us with our bags, and directed us towards check-in.

The entrance to the hotel is circular with high ceilings and plenty of natural light, and leads into the more traditional lobby.

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St. Regis Singapore entrance

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St. Regis Singapore entrance

Once in the lobby, the hotel’s reception is located to the left. As is the case at many St. Regis properties, you can sit down while your check-in is being processed, as each associate has their own desk.

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St. Regis Singapore reception

We had an extremely friendly associate at check-in, who confirmed all of our Platinum and Virtuoso benefits.

I explained we would need a rollaway bed. The Suite Night Award confirmed us into a St. Regis Suite, though the associate explained that the living room in it was quite small, so since we needed a rollaway he upgraded us further to a Caroline Astor Suite. That was a nice touch, though we were charged 100SGD for the rollaway.

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St. Regis Singapore lobby

The associate walked us to the elevator, which we took up to the 15th floor, where our suite was located.

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St. Regis Singapore hallway

We were assigned room 1501, which was located at the very end of the hallway. There was another room behind the first big door, presumably so that it could be turned into a two bedroom suite if needed.

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St. Regis Singapore room entrance

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St. Regis Singapore floorplan

The Caroline Astor Suite really feels very St. Regis. The hotel is quite new, though still has more traditional furnishings. My personal preference is for more contemporary furnishings, though in fairness this room still felt “fresh.”

To the right of the entrance was the living room, which was quite large. It featured a couch, two chairs, and then a desk with a flat screen TV on the opposite end of the room.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite living room

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite living room

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite living room

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite living room

Then near the entrance was the tea and coffee setup. That being said, one of the perks of staying in a suite at a St. Regis are 24/7 complimentary tea and coffee, so it’s one of the few hotel chains where I don’t brew my own coffee, caffeine addicted as I may be.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite coffee/TV

Given our travel day, I immediately ordered a pot of coffee so we could hit the ground running and go sightseeing.

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St. Regis Singapore complimentary coffee

Singapore doesn’t exactly have the most vibrant skyline, though the view from the living room was quite nice.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite view

The bedroom was separated from the living room by a door, and featured a plush king size bed.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite bedroom

On the other side of the room was a vanity mirror.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite bedroom

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite bedroom

The views from the bedroom were similar to the views from the living room.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite view

The bathroom featured two distinct rooms. Closer to the entrance/living room was the toilet and sink.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite bathroom

Then in the main bathroom area were double sinks, a walk-in shower, and a soaking tub.

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite bathroom

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St. Regis Singapore Caroline Astor Suite tub

Overall it was a gorgeous room, and I was appreciative of the further upgrade.

Elite recognition at this hotel is quite good, given that they offer a daily Platinum happy hour. Every night from 5PM until 7PM, Platinum members can receive complimentary cocktails and snacks at LaBrezza, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, which is located next to the pool.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza Restaurant

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza Restaurant

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St. Regis Singapore pool

There’s a special drink menu and buffet set up for Platinum members.

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St. Regis Singapore Platinum happy hour

At check-in the associate informed me that they had upgraded the buffet since the last time I visited, though I found the opposite to to be the case. To me it sure looked like they downgraded it. Still, it’s a nice gesture on the part of the hotel since they’re in no way obligated to do it, so I really do appreciate it.

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St. Regis Singapore Platinum happy hour

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St. Regis Singapore Platinum happy hour

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St. Regis Singapore Platinum happy hour

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St. Regis Singapore Platinum happy hour

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel’s main restaurant, located just off the lobby.

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St. Regis Singapore Brasserie Les Saveurs

The breakfast spread at the restaurant is great. It’s not as extensive as you’ll get at many places in the Middle East or Southeast Asia, but the quality of everything was top notch.

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

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St. Regis Singapore breakfast buffet

My one complaint was the lack of coffee refills. I basically had to beg to get a second cup of coffee.

We spent most of the first evening and second day touring Singapore, as it was my dad’s first time. The next day before checking out we had lunch at LaBrezza, the same restaurant where the Platinum happy hour is. That’s because we had a 100USD food & beverage credit to spend, and they have a “business set lunch menu,” which is quite a good value.

The menu read as follows:

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We were offered bread to start.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza bread

For the starter I had a lovely mozzarella salad.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza mozzarella cheese salad

My dad had the minestrone soup.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza vegetable minestrone

Then for the main course I had the salmon.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza grilled king salmon

While my dad had the linguine with clams.

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St. Regis Singapore LaBrezza linguine with clams

It was a great meal, and our $100 credit more than covered the cost of it.

We checked out at 4PM and headed over to the Westin Singapore, which I was keen to visit.

St. Regis Singapore bottom line

As I said at the beginning of the post, I struggle with Singapore as a hotel market. There aren’t really many great options, and they’re all rather expensive. Furthermore, they’re not quite expensive enough for it to make sense to redeem points. So it’s one of the few markets where I end up spending a ton of cash on hotels, unfortunately.

Anyway, the St. Regis Singapore is probably my favorite option in the city. The hotel isn’t totally my preferred style, but there’s no denying that it’s beautiful, fresh, and that elite recognition is great.

I’d rather be over near Clarke Quay than off Orchard Road, though I realize I’m probably in the minority in feeling that way.

What’s your preferred hotel in Singapore?

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Comments

  1. I stayed for three nights last May. I also stayed at the Westin for two nights that trip.

    Agree that physically the St. Regis rooms are super nice and comfortable, the pool was nice, and the restaurants and bar were high quality.

    But I had comically bad service during the entire stay.

    Check-in was very slow – they were training someone new on the process, so every step was done twice. Wasn’t really what I was in the mood for after 20 hours to get there. I wasn’t upgraded – I know it’s not guaranteed.

    The butler was virtually non-existent. Took a lot of calls to get through, and the coffee wasn’t quick.

    Room service was especially bad – they forgot the coffee both mornings I ordered, and by the time the coffee got there, the food was cold. Now, they sure seemed annoyed that I wanted hot eggs and hot coffee at the same time, but when the price of the breakfast is about 50 USD, it doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

    They also couldn’t check me out. They were running some report on the system, and said they didn’t realize I’d be leaving so early in the morning – even though they booked the hotel car for me to get back to Changi. Of course then they emailed the bill there were two mistakes, which took a lot of emails to get solved.

    I dunno – the hard product was excellent, but as you paid, so did i – 400 USD/night for service comparable to a Sheraton wasn’t acceptable.

    Especially as a Platinum – and especially given how much the St. Regis talks up the service and the butlers.

  2. Have you stayed at the Marina Bay Sands (is that even possible on points)? I seem to remember an old post where you visited it but wasn’t sure if you stayed there or would consider it.

  3. I stayed at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel on my last trip to Singapore. I thought it was really nice despite it being quite pricey (although I did stay on New Years Eve)

  4. Ben, next time try to make the trip over to Sentosa. We spent a fair bit of time at Capella last summer. I doubt you can beat the experience Capella serves up in Singapore.

  5. @ Dr. Jumbski — I quite like Sentosa as well, but for sightseeing I don’t find it all that practical.

  6. Hotel seems really nice and well, high-end.
    If I may ask, why did you need a rollaway bed?

  7. Great review lucky. Really looking forward to your review of the Westin. Like you, I much prefer contemporary hotel rooms. We chose the Westin for our 3 night stay this past August and while the location isn’t perfect, we found it to be pretty easy to get to/from.

  8. I’ve stayed at the Conrad several times. I like the location much better. The room, service, and the exec. lounge were good. The exec. lounge can get crowded at times, though. As a gold or diamond you can have breakfast at the lounge, the main dining room, or a separate dining room they had set up on the pool level just for diamonds and golds or those with lounge access. The main dining room had the best spread by far.

    The Fullerton also is a good hotel in a good location. It is near the Singapore River on Boat Quay and not far from Clark Quay. The location is excellent near lots of dining and entertainment.

  9. For a Singapore hotel room that’s looks enormous.

    What’s the retail on it?

    +1 to Clarke quay but there’s no good hotels down there. Location down by MO, Marina mandarin, Conrad etc isn’t bad also.

  10. Although I’m an SPG loyalist, I always stay at the grand hyatt in Singspore, they always give me a suite as a Platinum. I thought you would have stayed there perhaps.

  11. Is there no such thing as a 2-bedded suite? Seems odd that this is an on-going reported issue (in other blogs as well) … You’d think they’d at least do the European “hybrid” style, which can be configured either way (1 or 2 beds).

  12. I stayed there 1 night a year ago, had great butler service who helped with beverage service and laundry. Got lucky and was upgraded to a Caroline Astor Suite on a AmexFHR basic room rate, was SPG Gold back then. Your post/photos brings back fond memories!!

    Maybe give Ritz Carlton Millenia a try next time around? Especially the Club rooms!! … Better location, service and the lounge was just perfect! – a beautiful view of the flyer and phenomenal food offerings!

  13. Have you ever tried the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore–we booked in Feb they had a deal pay 2 nights 3rd night is free.

    We are then going to the St. Regis in Bali

  14. It looks like you can see into the bathroom from the bedroom. Am I right? Those are windows on either side of the mirror at the dressing table? So tacky! I would expect it from a “trendy” fashion victim hotel, not a St Regis. Otherwise looks pretty nice.

  15. Have you stayed at the Sofitel The Stamford. I have been very frustrated with the hotels in Singapore as well and have found The Stamford in terms of location and price to be excellent.

  16. I personally find Singapore to be quite difficult to find affordable hotels in as well, thouh IHG has a big footprint there and that’s my chain of choice, though Starwood isnt far behind.

  17. Just stayed there on the 6th for one night. Hotel room was extremely nice. Full buffet breakfast for plats. The “happy hour” drinks were quite silly: Belvedere vodka was included but not gin , whiskey , etc.
    Once again, the same BS on suites not being available even though they were selling them online . Claimed they were not cleaned. I told them to clean one and never heard back.
    I am really tired of Starwood properties not upgrading platinum members to available suites. The Westin Philly was so absurd as to tell me they had as many as 80 platinum members per night in a 208 room hotel.
    I’m no longer status chasing any hotel group. I’m sick of having to beg for benefits

  18. @ Ada — I love the Fullerton Bay, but for those of us with more “traditional” points currencies, it’s not really readily available.

  19. @ Vito — I haven’t, though have heard fairly good things about it. I suspect you’ll have a nice stay. 🙂

  20. It’s worth staying at Raffles at least once, it’s such an iconic old world hotel, the Taj Mahal Palace hotel of Singapore. But yiu should really try the Ritz on the marina with a bay view room, perfect location and the best views in the city because you’re looking at the Marina Bay Sands and downtown reminding you when you wake up that you’re in Singapore, it’s like having a view of the opera house in Sydney (admittedly not quite as cool, but still, this is Singapore).

  21. @Bill,
    While service might be a bit better at the Four Seasons, the rooms are tired and the pool is depressing. I’m not too much of a fan of the location, either. Overall, the St Regis is a better property.

    @Ladytravelbug,
    I think you mean Swissôtel The Stamford, no?

    I found the harbour view suite I stayed in at the Westin of excellent layout, and I did enjoy the view. The club lounge and the pool were nice too. My main gripe is with the location – it’s not far from e.g. Clarke Quay, but you’ll need a taxi.

  22. Inaccurate information. St. Regis, while close to Orchard Road is not on Orchard. Take this from someone that lives in Singapore.

    And why in the world would someone want to be near Clarke Quay? Singapore is quite small and accessible that you can stay anywhere and get anywhere in very little time. Anyway, the Novotel there is a not so great option.

  23. If you look beyond the major chains & “points/awards” hotels, you’ll find a lot of good quality boutique hotels, offering an intimate experience at reasonable price points: The Scarlet, Klapsons, Naumi, Oasia, Wangz, etc.

    In particular, Scarlet, Klapsons and the mid-sized Carlton City (opened just last year), are located in the Tanjong Pagar district. They are all within walking distance to the gay bars 🙂

    On the bay, Pan Pacific and Mandarin Oriental* are great choices too.

    *Happy hours at Mortons in MO are weekdays Mon-Fridays, 5-7pm. Half-price martinis and free servings of mini steak sandwiches.

  24. I have reservations for both St.Regis & Four Seasons Singapore in March, so perfect timing to read your review 🙂

    For St.Regis, I have similar package as yours and I am curious how stingy St.Regis are in terms of upgrade when booked with SPG Preferred Partner/Virtuoso rate? As for Four Seasons, I found them quite generous when booked with FSPP rate, not just one level upgrade.

  25. @ Francisca — In general I would expect a one or two category upgrade. I wouldn’t expect a suite if you don’t Starwood status.

  26. Singapore has some of the world’s worst so-called 5-star hotels, and I agree with those who think they are also a terrible value. The problem has to do with the service, which is not about attending to customers particular needs, but delivering everything in a wrote way pursuant to a checklist and memorized procedures. (In fact, one of the favorite expat topics of conversation in Singapore is “Why is service so bad here?”) Any particular request is likely to be met with the response, “But sir, we do XYZ.” If you persist with “But I would like it this way,” the response is always “but we do it that way.” They’ve been trained to perform in a particular way and are terrorized by management to perform exactly as instructed, rather than as requested by the customer. Staff are not empowered to accommodate guests and their whims and particular needs. I’ve seen the same thing on Singapore Airlines (particularly intra-Asia flights), often with male pursers terrorizing female flight attendants to do things in a particular way. I have had less-than-stellar service at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Marina Bay Sands (horrendous all-around, and run by that crook Sheldon Adelson), the Mandarin Oriental, the Grand Hyatt, Raffles, Fairmont, Marina Mandarin, and the Fullerton. The Four Seasons Singapore probably does the best job of combating typical Singapore-style service, although the hotel is relatively old and in a very inconvenient location. It always depresses me when I have to stay in Singapore and makes me long for Tokyo or Bangkok.

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