The Best Art Hotel in Southeast Asia

St. Regis Singapore Hotel: Bespoke Service Amidst One of the Most Important Private Collections in Southeast Asia

Montserrat Barba

This place holds an impressive art collection.

Art becomes a lifestyle for guests and visitors of the St. Regis Singapore hotel, home to one of the finest art collections in Southeast Asia, on display in the common areas as well as in their 299 richly appointed rooms and suites. Cecilia Kwek, wife of the hotel’s proprietor Kwek Leng Beng, decorated the St. Regis Singapore as if it were her own residence, and in recent years she has devoted much of her time to acquire more art to put on view at the luxury hotel.

St. Regis Singapore Hotel: Bespoke Service Amidst One of the Most Important Private Collections in Southeast Asia
A Gathering of Immortals, Anonymous.

The magnificent collection consists of more than 70 paintings, sculptures and engravings. Some works are only accessible to the hotel´s guests, but many are integrated into The Art of Living, a 30-minute tour led by a specialist from Singapore’s Opera Gallery who will describe the valuable works of art and put the artwork in its historical context.

Curated to complement and enhance the Chinoiserie décor, the artwork at the hotel provide a backdrop of classic sophistication and elegance, crafted for modern connoisseurs, art aficionados and those have an avid appreciation of art. Limited to eight participants, the tour begins in the lobby, in front of a large 15th-century anonymous mural called Gathering of the Immortals. It continues through a showcase of works by international artists such as Marc Chagall, Fernando Botero — with its stunning Dancing Nude CoupleFrank Gehry, and Pablo Picasso’s ten lithographs about bullfighting displayed at the Astor Bar.

St. Regis Singapore Hotel: Bespoke Service Amidst One of the Most Important Private Collections in Southeast Asia
Dancing Nude Couple, Fernando Botero.

But undoubtedly one of the great attractions of the St. Regis Singapore is its collection of Asian art and the unique opportunity to admire the Nanyang style of Chinese artists like Cheong Soo Pieng, Georgette Chen, and Chen Wen Hsi, who migrated to Singapore in the 1950s. This part of the collection focuses on contemporary art with roots in the Eastern tradition. There is also a selection of Buddhas by the Taiwanese artist Li Chen, inspired by Taoist philosophy.

Both in the gardens and the restaurants, as well as in the lobby, you can also discover the work of emerging talents such as Eng Tow — who created his series World of Plants exclusively for the hotel´s collection — and abstract painters like Lim Joo Hong or Chen Ke Zhan, whose large canvases complement the furnishings and luxurious porcelain decorations that can be found throughout the interior environments.

The Art of Living tour starts every day at 6 pm and it is not necessary to book in advance, although you should arrive at least 15 minutes early at the Opera Gallery, located in the lobby of the St. Regis Singapore to secure a place. The tour is definitely an unexpected treat for art lovers.

Situated at the heart of the city’s premier shopping district and just minutes from the city centre, the world-class shopping of Orchard Road and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Singapore Botanic Gardens are at your doorstep, The St. Regis Singapore is the ideal hotel for an artful escape and bespoke services in beautiful and prosperous Singapore.  ■

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