Having been at the SkyPark atop Marina Bay Sands here in Singapore, and looking down at the Singapore Flyer Ferris wheel, here it is again (and also, to the right, are the two conservatories of the stunning new Gardens By The Bay, of which more anon). Now I am at one of the city-state’s most-loved luxury hotels, Ritz-Carlton Millenia. This place is forever young, and will never go into heritage status.
This is Prada rather than bustles and crinolines … the bedrooms, for instance, have walls that seem to be coated in honey-coloured leather or wood, sleek and elegant, and ageless. The gal feels like that, too. Mind you, arriving at two – in the morning – is not exactly fun, but this had to be the best such experience ever. One hour precisely from getting off the plane, I was, via immigration and meet-and-greet and hotel arrival and snack, in bed and ready to sleep. Dickson Tan in room service had put out a Summer Solstice cocktail (shown). This was Remy Martin, Monin cucumber syrup, Chardonnay, apple juice, lemon juice, honey and ginger purée, decorated with chamomile flowers and star anise and stirred with lemongrass.
A card welcomed me, and for a good night’s sleep it said I needed cherries (a natural source of melatonin, helps to sleep more easily and quickly), and linseed-studded flatbread (to regulate the sleep, thanks to magnesium and fatty acid Omega-3, which helps to reduce the accumulated amount of stress).
There was a burning-oil apparatus, with oil, and a soothing stick, from Le Chateau du Bois. Something, whatever it was, did the trick as I slept instantly, and like a log, and in the morning I relished, as always, the lovely pool here. The sensible, of course, arrive by daylight, being driven to the upper floor entrance. To one side are two lifesize leaning-guy statues, Xi’an sculptures in Mao dress, by Zhu Wei. Soaring above is the entrance canopy, near transparent – is it really mother-of-pearl? How very forward-thinking they were when they, notably US architect Kevin Roche, designed this way back in 1996. But, as I have said, this place is eternally young. Obviously the art helps.
The main lobby is dominated by Frank Stella mobiles, and there are two more Stellas, wall-hung, two floors below at ground level – they are all made of painted fibre-glass. Interestingly the old blue and white paper cups, for coffees-to-go, are now multicoloured, with scenes from the Stellas. Clever idea. But the art here is sensational – there are about 4,200 pieces in all. I have written before, and will write again, I love the two Dale Chihuly sun-burst glass pieces on the end walls of the main lobby floor, one yellow Sunrise in the lobby lounge, one green Sunset in Greenhouse, the all-day restaurant.
I had lunch there with Peter Mainguy, the desert-biking Canadian who runs this luxury hotel. He is always doing something to spruce up what is already a highly chic hotel. Right now he is redoing the 32nd floor club lounge. Come August 1st, 2013, we will find, up there, one of the most future-thinking club lounges in the business, with fashion shows, and caricaturists, and food and wine and, of course, what is now that iconic Singapore view, of Marina Bay Sands.