Trump-Kim summit: Spotlight on 3 hotels where all the action will likely take place

(From left) The Shangri-La Hotel, the Capella Singapore and The St Regis, hotels that will be under the spotlight during the Singapore Summit on June 12.
(From left) The Shangri-La Hotel, the Capella Singapore and The St Regis, hotels that will be under the spotlight during the Singapore Summit on June 12.PHOTOS: REUTERS, ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN, ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

SINGAPORE - Three hotels will be in the spotlight when US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrive in Singapore for the historic summit.

On Tuesday (June 5), the White House announced that the summit will be held at Capella Singapore hotel on Sentosa. The resort island was recently gazetted as a "special event area" by the Government.

 

Meanwhile, it is believed that Mr Trump will stay at the Shangri-La Hotel off Orchard Road. Mr Kim is likely to reside at the St Regis Singapore.

As June 12 draws near, here's a look at the trio of venues where summit activity is likely to be the busiest.

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL

The luxury hotel is set in a tranquil 15-acre site off Orchard Road, and has 747 hotel rooms spread over three wings, including 26 suites for heads of states and distinguished guests.

The area surrounding the hotel had been declared a "special event area" for the period June 10 to 14.


The facade of the Shangri-La Hotel in a photo taken on June 3, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

This means that security restrictions will be imposed in the area, and people and vehicles who enter the demarcated area will see stricter security measures and may be subjected to spot checks.

 
 

Earlier, some observers had said that the gazetting of the area around Shangri-La Hotel raised the likelihood of the hotel being the venue of the summit.

 

But with Capella Hotel being announced as the official summit venue by the White House, it is now likely instead that one of the two leaders will be staying at Shangri-La Hotel.

 

The hotel's presidential suite, called the Valley Wing Shangri-La Suite, is where some experts think Mr Trump might stay during his visit. It has a private entrance and lift.

It has also hosted former US presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush.

The hotel, which is located away from Singapore's main shopping belt and within a residential area, guarantees privacy for its guests.

Crucially, it has solid experience in hosting high-security events, such as the landmark meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and then Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in 2015, and the Shangri-La Dialogue which attracts dozens of defence ministers each year.

THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE


The exterior of The St Regis Singapore located at 29 Tanglin Road. ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

The gazetted area around Shangri-La Hotel includes other high-end hotels, including The St Regis Singapore.

 
 
 
 

While previous reports had suggested that Mr Kim's preferred choice of lodging was the Fullerton, the hotel is not within any special zones gazetted by the Government for the summit.

This increases the likelihood that Mr Kim will be staying at The St Regis instead, which is a nine-minute walk away from Shangri-La Hotel.

The St Regis was the choice hotel for the Chinese delegation in 2015, when Singapore hosted a historic meeting between Mr Xi and Mr Ma.

Located in Tanglin Road, a block away from the bustling Orchard Road belt, the hotel may not be able to provide the same sense of privacy that Shangri-La boasts.

The hotel features 299 rooms and suites, including the lavish presidential suite on the hotel's highest floor on the 20th storey.

The suite includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, office and terrace, and features a private balcony, jacuzzi, a gym and a butler service.


The bedroom in The St Regis Singapore's presidential suite. PHOTO: THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE WEBSITE


The dining room in The St Regis Singapore's presidential suite. PHOTO: THE ST REGIS SINGAPORE WEBSITE

Each room in the suite is lined with gold, and accented with brass, onyx and silver metals. The walls are adorned with hand-painted silk panels, with custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

CAPELLA SINGAPORE


An aerial shot of Capella hotel on Sentosa island, where the Trump-Kim summit will take place on June 12, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

This luxurious hotel on the resort island of Sentosa was confirmed to be the venue for the summit by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday (Wednesday morning, Singapore time).

 

The announcement came after the Singapore Government issued a public order gazetting the entire island as well as waters off its south-west beaches as a "special event area" from June 10 to 14.

Earlier, it was reported that some US officials have been staying at the hotel, led by White House deputy chief of staff for operations Joe Hagin.

The American delegation has been staying at the hotel to plan for the summit, according to previous reports.

Before the summit was confirmed to be back on by President Trump, Mr Kim's de facto chief of staff Kim Chang Son was spotted spending a few hours at the Capella Singapore on May 31.

Mr Kim Chang Son is believed to have been involved in high-level meetings with the American delegation, ahead of the summit.