CZECH IT OUT: This handcrafted crystal chandelier in the hotel's lobby was specially brought in from the Czech Republic.
THE uniforms donned by the butlers and doormen are the work of renowned Singapore fashion designer Benny Ong, whose clientele included the late Princess Diana.
That is just one indication of how St Regis Singapore, which opens next Saturday in Tanglin Road, is pulling out all the stops to ensure that it will live up to its billing as a six-star hotel.
Owned by Richmond Hotel, a joint venture between City Developments, Hong Leong Holdings and TID, the hotel boasts 299 rooms - all serviced by butlers - and will mark the hotel chain's 13th in the world and third in Asia, after Beijing and Shanghai.
And it looks set to carry on the legacy of luxurious pampering that began in 1904 with the first St Regis in New York.
The Singapore hotel's interior architecture bears the imprint of American firm Wilson and Associates, which also worked on The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Ms Wong Wye Ling, the hotel's director of marketing communications, says it is conceptually different in design from its American counterparts.
"St Regis San Francisco is ultra modern while the one in New York is very classic and uppity - after all, it was built in 1904.
"As for St Regis Singapore, the interior design is classic but with modern touches as well."
For one thing, the floors are covered with custom-made floral-inspired carpets which add an elegant and timeless touch. But the effect is juxtaposed with contemporary pieces such as lamps made of air-blown glass.
Step into the hotel and you might be surprised that you are not swallowed up by a voluminous lobby that you would expect of a six-star establishment.
However, walk further down the corridor and this will open up to reveal the carefully concealed vast lobby, which houses art pieces by notable artists such as Georgette Chen and Chen Wen Hsi.
FOR HIM AND HER: His and hers basins are the norm in the bathroom of the executive deluxe suites, which come with toiletries from Laboratoire Remede. The hotel is the first to bring the American brand to Singapore.
Apparently, this architecture is modelled after the famed gardens of Suzhou, China, where visitors are able to absorb the sights of the landscape bit by bit due to their walled structure.
In all, the hotel will have on display over 40 original paintings and sculptures bought from auction houses. Some of the featured artists are Gu Gan and Fernando Botero, whose signature obese bodies dominate his art.
These artworks can be found all over the hotel, from the pool to the ballroom to the suites.
HIGH-LIGHTS: Not only do the lifts have high ceilings, but they are also adorned with intricately designed lamps.
In essence, opulence is key to the decor and no expense - the hotel owners decline to reveal the amount - has been spared to up the wow factor.
It has, for instance, customised three Bentleys which are painted in the signature St Regis bronze to whisk important folks to and from the airport.
When asked if there are plans to expand the fleet, Ms Wong says: "It depends on the demand but because we've yet to open, there aren't any concrete plans just yet."
Special handcrafted crystal chandeliers that hang from the ceilings in the lobby, in French restaurant Les Saveurs and in the John Jacob Ballroom were also specially bought from the Czech Republic.
The ballroom, named after the founder of St Regis New York, has a floor space of 697sqm and can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.
The highlight, however, is its skylights that allow natural light to stream in which, in turn, can lend a romantic glow to the space.
Which is why Mr Franck Hardy, executive assistant manager of food and beverage and designer of the glass plates used at Les Saveurs, says: "We're modern, timeless, artistic but not in-your-face. So far, the word 'elegance' has come up a lot when people talk about the hotel."
Oh, if you are thinking of staying there, the rates on the hotel's website start from $600 a night for an executive deluxe guest room.
Photos: Alan Lim