Park Regis Singapore
8th Floor "Merchant Room"
- modern room with massive TV
- upmarket cosmetics
- new staff who don't seem to have the hang of it yet
- below-par Internet
- central location
- comfy window seat
Singapore's new Park Regis hotel -- part of the Australian StayWell group that also includes the Leisure Inn -- is a contemporary hotel that's centrally located in the Riverfront district, very close to the Clarke Quay entertainment district.
It's only been open a few months, so it was ripe for an Australian Business Traveller review. I stayed there recently for a couple of nights on an extended connection through Singapore.
Location & Impressions
Being a relatively new hotel, my taxi driver didn't know where the Park Regis was. Its address on Merchant Road doesn't really help figure out which side of this wide major artery to drive up and down looking for it. And don't confuse it with the St Regis either.
Top tip from Singapore taxi driver Mr Lee: say it's right opposite the Swissotel on Merchant Road.
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (North-East line), station NE5, entrance about 50m from the hotel on the corner of Eu Tong Sen Street and Merchant Road. (Ignore the Google Map, it's even closer.)
First impressions from the outside were fantastic: an inviting, double-height lobby with modern and interesting design features.
On the inside, however, a rowdy group of children were making the lobby a noisy place to check in, especially given that it was after 11pm. The check-in staff seemed very new at their jobs and a little unfamiliar with the systems -- and should really have moved the kids on from the area around the check-in desks.
The rooms at the Park Regis are compact but cleverly designed, with just the right mix of vibrant colours and warm style.
Lots of mirrors, a window seat sofa and soft furnishings -- not to mention a massive flatscreen TV made my room a comfortable place to spend some time, even when Singapore was ridiculously rainy.
The bathroom area blends neatly into the bed and sitting area, and I particularly appreciated my favourite White Company toiletries.
Closet space was the oddest thing about the room layout -- it's half in the bathroom and half in the living room. I ended up keeping my suitcase on the luggage rack by the sofa/window seat.
The bathroom was small but well-designed, with an excellent shower (handheld shower wand and rain head).
The desk area was quite shallow, and I wasn't a huge fan of the chair for an extended work period.
Which led to a greater problem with the room: the wired Internet access, which is provided through a cable that only stretches 2m from the wall.
While the hotel was able to provide me with a longer cable the following morning, it did mean that I couldn't lounge on the window seat, catch up with the news and check my email the night I arrived. It may not sound like much, but the last thing I wanted to do after a nine-hour flight was sit on a none-too-comfortable chair.
The check-in staff swore that the hotel's wi-fi wouldn't reach upstairs, but I found that there was good coverage. It's expensive, though, at SG$30 (around A$23) for a day.
I had a late supper room service, which was pretty generic and not especially tasty. The spring rolls were a bit overdone, and the fries with my burger limp -- but the burger itself was very good.
Breakfast was fine, with a typically Singaporean mix of western, Chinese, Indian and Malay food in buffet format. There's an egg chef who whips up a mean omelette, and the daily noodle option was always delicious.
I also ate in the hotel restaurant one evening, where I had a fairly average quesadilla and some absolutely outstanding bak kut teh (which is a Chinese pork stew, and a Singapore signature dish).
Next time I'd definitely play to the hotel's local strengths and stick with its extensive Singaporean set of options.
My favourite spot in the hotel was the window seat overlooking green and leafy Merchant Road. With the many cushions from the room positioned just so, it was a lovely spot to chill out and watch the lights of town.
The pool downstairs -- which is actually immediately on top of the lobby -- is perfect for a dip, with seats around and a bar within easy reach for something cold and wet.
The irritatingly-capitalised SiLuEt bar, a level above the pool, is also a good option for an informal drink if you can't be bothered to leave the hotel.
But you should muster up the energy -- the hotel is right across the street from buzzing, vibrant Clarke Quay and just along from Boat Quay, with innumerable bars and restaurants where you can chill out or nosh up. And it's not that far from Chinatown's myriad offerings either.