The St Regis is one of Singapore’s newer hotels, opened in 2008. It’s a cookie cutter urban monolith up the top end of Orchard Road but reviews suggested it was a haven of luxury inside.

Our visit started well with Jet Quay collection at the airport. As I stepped from the gate carrying a small child and several very heavy bags I longed to be old and infirm so that I could be whisked away by a motorized buggy. And quite unexpectedly, I was. It was a bit embarrassing to be honest as the masses parted for me and the small child waved regally to them. But I wasn’t about to complain, as our Bentley was waiting. Nice ride creating high expectations….

….which were not quite met. First impressions – lobby with enough gleaming expanses of marble to host a curling tournament and more swarovski than an oligarch’s mistress. Rooms were a good size, with lots of venetian blown glass, very shiny walnut credenzas (credenzi?), and those ridiculously automated “scene” controllers which mean you have on, off and seventy different variations of dimness in between. I appreciate that the look is meant to be Upper East Side, but I found it only just the right side of Liberace. In fact, horrified, I caught myself humming some Tom Jones at one stage but it seemed disturbingly fitting.

The service was probably best described as friendly but indifferent.

I was whisked through to my spa appointment in the Remede Spa without any explanation of the facilities, and afterwards found myself in the gorgeous but quite perplexing wet area – there was a single pin-thin stream of water falling from the roof into a spa pool, and I wasn’t sure if this was for decoration or therapy. I’m pretty sure it’s an illegal method of eliciting information by certain government authorities. There was also an “ice fountain” which consisted of a large marble vessel full of crushed ice. This being Singapore, I looked hopefully around for the syrup and nuts but in their absence I assumed again it was some form of therapy.

The treatment itself included three elements which individually would have been quite pleasant, but made for increasing panic when applied in tandem: the trickling water feature in the massage room, the quite sturdy pressure of my masseuse on my bladder, and a paraffin treatment which involved my feet being encased in wax and then wrapped in large plastic bags. Fortunately all that pilates paid off and I managed to complete the treatment without mishap.

Lots of things were average – the inhouse movie selection was pretty drab, the breakfast was uninspiring and cranberry juice was about as sexy as the minibar got. Clientele was mixed – there was a lot of surrounding talk at breakfast about share options, whilst models and tai tais juggling multiple blackberrys (blackberries?) stalked in and out of the lifts.

Having said that, the family suite was practical and spacious, the showers probably the best I have experienced in an urban hotel, and any hotel which uses Ploh linen is probably worth a visit just for that. The location is a little off Orchard Road, ten minutes walk to the buzzing section, and dead quiet at night.

I can see its appeal to a certain demographic. I just don’t happen to be in it. So we tried Capella.