So many staycays, so little time. What makes this hotel special?
Location, location, location. The well-appointed address, in Tanglin Road, places it within a 10-minute stroll to the heart of Orchard Road or Singapore Botanic Gardens in either direction.
It is also an opportune spot for explorations of nearby Nassim Road to launch your own Crazy Rich Asians' tour of majestic mansions.
Family-focused malls around the corner, like Forum The Shopping Mall and Tanglin Mall, are useful to nip out for books, games, supplies and snacks.
Claim to fame?
The presidential suite boasts a blindingly gold entrance, a baby grand piano, original works by Marc Chagall and a private gym. Kim Jong Un bedded down here for the Trump-Kim Summit in 2018.
Not sure if he used the gym. But if it is good enough for North Korea's supreme leader, you can rest assured there is no slumming it out here.
All rooms come with a butler. He, unfortunately, cannot help you mind the kids. But he can unpack your luggage, run baths, shine shoes and brew hot chocolate.
A fleet of Bentley Flying Spurs are parked outside. Inside the steel-and-glass office tower exterior, the aesthetic turns old-world palatial vibes.
The Art Deco rooms have hand-painted birds and flowers on silkscreen walls and heaps of Jim Thompson throw pillows. Chandeliers hang overhead.
THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE
WHERE: 29 Tanglin Road
RATES: Rooms start at $440.00++. A Family Getaway package for two adults and two children (below 12 years of age), which includes breakfast at Brasserie Les Saveurs, starts at $520.00++.
Look down - even the bedazzled vanity table legs are clad in gilt and marble.
The lobby walls are adorned with paintings hand-picked by Mrs Cecilia Kwek, wife of owner Kwek Leng Beng.
Singapore pioneer art masters like Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng jostle for space with a formidably large 15th-century mural, Gathering Of The Immortals, along with the odd Fernando Botero sculpture.
The pieces have such eye-watering valuations that during pre-coronavirus times, there was an in-house art tour conducted daily just for guests.
Sounds intimidating. Just how kid-friendly is it?
At first glance, the stately St Regis is not a natural choice for families. But it consistently rates 4.5 on TripAdvisor, especially for its attention to detail.
Enter the room and a teepee, padded with down quilts, is - ever discreetly - set up in a corner. The children disappear into it with their devices and never emerge. Age-relevant amenity kits are provided for young guests.
Junior bathrobes and slippers, bottle sterilisers and strollers are available on request.
A plethora of family dining options are nearby - Puglia Alfresco Pizza Bar at Nassim Hill, Sushiro conveyor-belt sushi at Shaw Centre or Shake Shack at Liat Towers.
Or head downstairs to Yan Ting for its ever-popular dim sum buffet brunch on weekends.
Please tell us there is a spa.
A good place to hide from your kids is the Remede Spa. The Warm Jade Stone massage, a deep tissue rub with heated and cooled jade stones, is fabled to forestall mum meltdowns. The price of getting stoned? $310.
Next to the spa is a snug pool, overlooked by nearby residential towers. It currently has a 15-people capacity, so expect to wait your turn on busy weekends. But the gym, which looks out at the pool, is handy if your family splits up to get laps done.
It has a five-people-only rule, but sleeping in appears to be the order of staycays, so you almost always have it to yourself.
What else is there to do?
Make a trek to the Botanic Gardens on balmy evenings. If it is a special occasion, arrive in style in one of the hotel's million-dollar Bentleys.
The hotel offers a bespoke picnic experience for families, which includes round-trip transportation with a chatty driver, a two-hour personal tour of the Unesco World Heritage park and a picnic basket ($350 for two adults and two kids).
Lounging on linen at the Symphony Lake, nibbling on scones with clotted cream served on tiered trays with silverware - not disposables - is grand.
The hotel also offers junior baking classes ($98 a child). We had executive chef Thibault Chiumenti, who has his own YouTube videos on cooking with tots, guide a Madeleine-making session. He made the kids whisk and fold as he held forth on how to zest lemons and the importance of cleaning up in the kitchen.
The last point alone is good reason to sign up.
Verdict: Bliss or miss?
The St Regis, built in 2008 and never remodelled, is showing its age a little.
Its Art Deco style of grandiose pampering, heavy drapery and soap-operatic crimson couches and carpets, seem a tad outmoded.
But everything remains impeccably maintained. Its most basic rooms start at a spacious 534 sq ft. It remains the crown jewel of the Marriott Group of hotels.
When all this is over, it will no doubt go on to host many more gilded foreign dignitaries. It was built to impress. If you are staging a proposal or milestone celebration, it will do the job.
Bang-for-buck eaters will relish the hotel's new Sunday brunch, a formidable feast of Alaskan king crab, French oysters, grilled Boston Lobster, seared beef tenderloin and Crepes Suzette. All the usual champagne brunch suspects are amply represented and served to your table in unrelenting procession.
The damage? $138 a person without alcohol and from $198 upwards with free flow of champagne.
- This staycation was hosted by the hotel and is part of a weekly series.