Yes, The Darling is part of The Star casino complex, but it exists within its own glamorous galaxy. Guests are nevertheless treated like high-rollers – attentive porters usher them through the vast lobby with its monumental black marble pillars and vivid red accents, and check-in comes with a warm welcome and a smooth rundown of what's on the cards. Entry-level guestrooms are well appointed, with marble bathrooms and rain showers, while a step up to a Jewel Suite, with city or harbour views, doubles the size and adds a bath and extra luxe. Easy access to good restaurants, just beyond the lobby, is part of the deal, most notably Barbadian-flavoured Momofuku Seiobo.
A caviar facial at The Darling Spa might be the ultimate in face bling, while the signature Moroccan Hammam Ritual promises a rosewater-scented escape.
Joggers are offered complimentary water and running maps in the lobby. The 25-metre outdoor pool is a good place to cool down after the morning's exertion.
Breakfast at Sokyo, the Japanese restaurant off the lobby, is a highlight. The Continental buffet ($28) includes Asian accents such as soba noodles with condiments, while the à la carte ($38, including the buffet) features the sumo breakfast – full English with a Japanese twist – and choushoku, with fish of the day, miso soup, onsen tamago egg, edamame, rice and Japanese pickles.
Sokyo has a full house of sake, Japanese-leaning cocktails, an impressive wine list with plenty by the glass, and Champagnes that stretch to the high stakes.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.