Folks who’re not up-to-date with current affairs might have thought a Korean superstar had arrived on our shores and is staying at the St. Regis hotel along Tanglin Road.
Well, the Korean ‘celeb’ is North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who landed in Singapore for the first time ever to much fanfare yesterday afternoon for his historic summit meeting with US President Donald Trump tomorrow (12 June).
The Donald is staying at the nearby Shangri-La.
Curious Singaporeans lined up at the sides of the road leading to the hotel hoping for a glimpse of the two Mercedez-Benz limos ferrying the notoriously secretive Kim and his entourage.
According to CNN, the onlookers were out of luck: a tight fortress comprising Kim’s security detail, local police officers and St. Regis staff shielded him from prying eyes when he entered the hotel and made a beeline for the elevators. Guests in the area were also forbidden from holding their phones and bags and were told to remain seated when Kim was striding around.
With this level of security, we imagine it might be easier to get a fist bump from Kpop star G Dragon himself.
But if you really want to try getting a glimpse of Kim in the flesh (he’s rumoured to be staying in the presidential suite, which costs up to an eye-watering $12K a night), the hotel’s PR rep tells us that their (more affordable) F&B outlets remain “fully in operation” today and tomorrow. Their five F&B outlets include contemporary French diner Brasserie Les Saveurs, Chinese restaurant Yan Ting and cocktail lounge Astor Bar. Sushi temple Shinji by Kanesaka also has a branch at the hotel.
Which means you can sip on their signature Chilli Padi Bloody Mary at the Astor Bar and hope Kim Jong Un shows up looking for a nightcap.
No special security clearance is needed; we were told to “just let the security [at St. Regis] know you’re planning to dine there and they will guide you”.
But if you’re driving, you will be required to park at the St. Regis Residences luxury condo’s carpark beside the hotel, presumably because the hotel carpark has been reserved for their VIP guest’s squad of, um, over 100 North Koreans officials and bodyguards.
Kim will meet Trump at 9am on 12 June, Tuesday, at the Capella Singapore in Sentosa for the summit. News website Today reported that he might then take a 2pm flight out of Singapore, but we’ve also heard rumours from other news sources that the summit could be extended till Wednesday.
Though there is a chance you may see Kim exiting the hotel tomorrow morning if you park yourself there early enough, it’s safe to say that it’s highly unlikely you’d catch him tucking into tea and scones at the hotel’s lobby-level coffee house, The Drawing Room.
Because the North Korean leader had flown in a whole plane’s worth of “food items, among other supplies” to Singapore, as reported by the Straits Times. Refrigerated trucks were also said to have transported Kim’s goodies to the St. Regis yesterday.
When we asked the hotel’s PR rep if Kim had installed his personal chef in the St. Regis kitchen to prepare all his meals (ostensibly because the North Korean dictator is afraid of being poisoned), we received this curt reply: “As a matter of privacy, we don’t disclose the names of guests or speak of matters involving individuals who may be guests or visitors at our hotel.”
Kim must be relieved.