Luxury Hotels

Lo Hei, as a Singapore luxury hotel marks the end of Chinese New Year

An edible rooster arrives, to be covered in lucky additives

Another, and final, experience in Singapore on this visit was Lo Hei, the tradition of blessing during the 15-day ritual of Chinese New Year. 2017 is the year of the rooster, so this is what happened at the special Lo Hei ceremony laid on in honour of the gal at Basilico restaurant in the Four Seasons-managed luxury Regent Singapore hotel. First, grated and shredded vegetables arranged on a plate in the shape of a rooster were brought to table, then various additives, as indicated in the video below, were put in. Next, traditionally, chopsticks were used to shower some of the resulting mass over on to the floor, with some of the remainder eaten. Fortunately we had a lovely lady to explain, in English, the symbolism of each oil and spice added to the mix and what everything would do to us in terms of long life and happiness – see the video below.

Masses of heirloom tomatoes

Everything was designed for good luck and prosperity but fortunately I think I had that without eating the poor ceremonial rooster. I just love this hotel’s circular buffet, designed by SPIN. At lunch it is all buffet, at dinner it is part buffet, start with help-yourself antipasti – see above – and then choose a main course to be cooked specially, on the grill. Everyone working here seemed to be Italian, and one such chef, in his sing-song we-love-it Puglia accent, was raving about today’s mozzarella and smoked burrata selection, and the tomatoes, and the various oils. They do amazing buffets here, by the way, and I am longing to return for the Sunday brunch in the nearby Manhattan Bar, which is adult-only, 21 or more, years of course, and includes scallops and Bloody Marys.

Oils from all over

This is a long-established hotel that knows the importance of fun. This week, its Valentine’s specials included a Garden of Love chocolate dessert as well as a semi-white (whatever that is) Dolcetta cake. This Sunday, February 19th, 2017, there is on offer another kind of fun, taking part in Run For Hope to benefit Singapore’s National Cancer Centre – the hotel’s own management team will be led by its Danish GM, Peter Draminsky, who also personally leads, every Tuesday, early morning runs for hotel guests. One thing I forgot to ask him is whether dogs are allowed, on a lead I guess here in Singapore.

Room service breakfast, 4.45 a.m.

The Regent Singapore is a definitely dog-friendly hotel. Pooches are not allowed in restaurants, which means an extra take-up of room service, but in bedrooms they are cossetted and offered grooming (a special door knob sign alerts hotel employees that there are animals inside this particular room). Even though I did not have a dog I thought I should try room service before leaving this friendly luxury hotel. My breakfast, as shown, arrived promptly at 4.45 a.m, brought by a smiling female server, and I loved the way the outstanding yoghurt had a mint sprig in it. It is little things that add up to luxury, overall.