The multi award winning Regent Singapore is located on Cuscaden Road – central to the business district, the tranquil Botanical Gardens and a minutes’ walk away from Orchard Road, the city’s most exclusive shopping and entertainment hub. After a comprehensive facelift, Regent Singapore is unveiling its 440 newly refurbished guestrooms. Here is an account of my reminiscences of my stay there.
As I walked into my suite after a tiring cross country bus journey into Singapore, the first thing that struck me was the dark brown half-moon table at the entry. It reminded me of my parents’ home. My mother has a very beautiful Chinese half-moon table or “yueyazhuo” as it was called during the Ming dynasty placed in a very prominent spot. It is usually the first thing you see as you enter our home and so this half-moon table in the entryway of the Four Seasons Executive Suite immediately calmed my tired nerves and I felt extremely welcome and at home.
The 88sqm suite recently refurbished was going to be my home away from home for three nights. The separate living room and bedroom, each with their own walkout balconies were bright and revitalizing in its autumn colours. The splashes of gold and orange against the neutral tones of the walls made the room cheerful. I have a fondness for autumn and my suite felt just like my favourite season.
Earlier on I had noticed the oriental elegance of the hotel when I arrived. The large lobby doors had golden lion heads and the lobby had elegant long Chinese tables with cloud spandrels. The elevators had an eastern oriental look. All these served as a preview to the subtle Asian touches found in my suite. The low coffee table with its exquisitely curved legs in the living room and the antique lacquered drawers in the bedroom in the suite is a tribute to Southeast Asia’s rich heritage.
A cosy rust coloured sofa in the middle of the room beckoned me to sink into it which I promptly did and drank in the beauty of my gorgeous surroundings. The suite was filled with large lamps, one was a beautiful vintage turquoise and gold porcelain lamp; the sheer curtains had golden lines running from each end, the woven cane at the bottom of the nightstands was a lovely touch and the tropical Nyatoh hard wood bed was large and very inviting! Right in front of me was a welcoming treat, a three-tier stand filled with desserts from macarons to chocolate mousse. I spent an hour just lazily lying around indulging in decadence before exploring my large abode again.
Contemporary and classic are words that spring to the mind. Classy it certainly was but its trendy feel suited modern tastes and sensibilities. The Four Seasons Executive Suite is well equipped with multiple universal power points at the study and nightstands along with cordless digital phones and an audio connector for iPods and MP3 players. These days we all travel with multiple devices and charging these will be a breeze here. Added to all this was a complimentary free Wi-Fi for 2 devices and voila life seems easy. Comfort and convenience leads to harmony.
My three most favourite features about my suite was the separate bench area to place suitcases on, a walk-in closet and a dressing table. It was clear that when Regent Singapore designed their suite, they had everything a traveller loves and needs in mind. The fact that there was so much space and separate areas for living, coffee making, work, dressing, clothes, suitcases, a separate powder room and a large bathroom made it feel more like a very luxurious one bedroom apartment instead of a hotel suite.
I heard a knock on the door. It was house-keeping for turn down service to replenish the lovely L’Occitane bath amenities and for a change of fresh towels. That’s definitely a nice touch. Not having to use damp towels when I return to the room at night is always fantastic. It is the little things like these that matter.
An Italian Culinary Experience
It was soon time for dinner at Basilico, an authentic Italian cuisine restaurant headed by Executive Sous Chef Angelo Ciccone. “Savour the Seasons” was the current theme of the restaurant featuring the bounty of each produce through a seasonally driven menu. Since it was July and the start of summer in Italy the food reflected the mood.
The daily dinner menu (comprising two buffets and choice of a main course) brings together thoughtfully procured produce from across Italy. Everything was Italian, from the cheeses to cured meats, from the olives to cherry tomatoes! The buffet spread is divided into three sections. There is a circular area in the middle of the restaurant which features the Antipasto Kitchen of Italian appetisers such as prosciutto, cold cuts, salads, cheeses and seafood.
On the left is the Hot Kitchen, where pizza and cook-to-order dishes are freshly made (I had the grilled wagyu sirloin). The right side of the restaurant is the Pasticceria Kitchen or otherwise known as Dessert – my favourite! The desserts are too beautiful to eat. But that did not stop me from greedily tucking into them. The must try desserts are the Fig Tart, Piedmont Hazelnut Praline and Cassis Mousse Cake, Crème Brulee and in-house made Gelato!
In my opinion, there are two ways to savour a dinner buffet at Basilico. Either you can try a piece of everything in the buffet and have enough space for your made-to-order dish or alternatively to forget the made-to-order dish and just spend time slowly savouring every single item on the buffet line. In this way you also get to indulge more intricately into the flavours of the freshly made breads like Squid Ink Bread, Black Olive Ciabatta and Onions and Capers Focaccia.
The unique part about dining in Basilico is that, if you liked any of the desserts or breads but just couldn’t have the space to indulge in them all, you could purchase them at Dolcetto on the ground floor of the hotel. You can even get breads, Bomboloni’s (Italian doughnuts), Venetian Macarons, artisanal chocolates and Italian-imported confectionary there.
Old New York Revisited
I walked past Manhattan, a grand hotel bar inspired by the 19th century’s Golden Age of cocktails and fine drinking on my way to my suite. I was curious and had a peek inside. The interior was stunning, reminiscent of old New York. It even has its own in-house rickhouse featuring 100 American oak barrels used to finish whiskies and age bitters and single-cask cocktails.
The 25 seasonally rotating cocktails on the menu are accompanied by gourmet bar bites too. I did not have the time or the space in my stomach to savour any of them. Here are some photos to give you a glimpse of what’s on offer.
The Main Stem
The Big Apple Cheesecake
Box Office Smash
Turning In for the Night
Back in my room, after a long shower, I literally climbed into my bed. The king-size bedstead was high and the mattress thick just like how the ancient Egyptian pharaohs liked it. I couldn’t just sit on it. I had to climb a little to get on it which made it feel very special, like I was getting onto a special place.
The mattress was just perfect to rest my back after a tired day of shopping and the down pillows cupped my head ever so cosily. After a few brief thoughts about dinner and new friends I met that day, I drifted into deep slumber gleefully knowing that I was going to relive everything over again for the next two nights.
A New Day
The sun was shining brightly and it’s easy to be up early in Singapore with the myriad of things to do there. It is never a dull moment and the best way to start a day is with a hearty breakfast. Down to Basilico I went.
I made a bee line to the baked bacon that was resting on a wooden platter. It looked moist and mouth watering. I took a few slices and paired it with sautéed mushrooms. But if bacon isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry they have many options to choose from – eggs cooked to order, noodle station, dim sum, a small Japanese and Indian selection of dishes, fruits and cheese, smoked salmon, tuna and pita, a large spread of freshly baked breads and pastries, salads, yoghurt and muesli.
There are some amazing hotels everywhere and each has its own speciality. The Regent Singapore is amazing because it blends oriental elegance to contemporary tastes. As I mentioned before, it appears that they made a checklist of everything a visitor needs and ticked everything on that list. Should you plan to visit it as a guest, a diner or lounge in the grand bar trying out forgotten cocktails of the past, I bet you won’t be disappointed. As for me, it was hard to leave. It is easy to confuse a well equipped hotel suite for a mini apartment I could call home forever…
Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel is located at 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715. For details on rooms, suites and rates visit their official website.
We thank Regent Singapore for inviting Travel and Beyond to an exclusive hosted stay. All opinions are our own.