Since my very first stay at a Shangri-La Hotel I’ve known that they are different to other hotel chains, they’re better! I now refer to it as the ‘Shangri-La Way’. You know you are going to have a great experience because they always go that little bit further to make you feel welcome and most importantly to make you feel special. I always feel special when I arrive and this stay at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore was no different. Let me set the scene for you!
We arrived at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore after 8 days in India. We returned to Singapore on a red-eye flight from Jaipur and the kids were very tired after the heat and all the fun we had. We staggered up to reception at 9.30 am and I was well aware that it would be likely that our rooms would not be ready until 2 pm. I was fine with that and was hoping to check our bags in and go exploring Singapore until our room was ready later in the day.
Keira hadn’t sleep well on the flight and was a little grumpy, we all know how that can happen when we travel with kids! She had a mini meltdown at reception and Craig was dealing with it while I checked in. The lovely lady at the check in counter asked if she was ok and I said that she was just a little tired but she would be fine. With that she replied “We would like to offer you check in now as your daughter is upset and needs to rest”. “We are happy to make your room available now so that you can all rest after your overnight flight”. I was very humbled by this as I was by no means expecting to check in so early. Like I say though, its the ‘Shangri-La Way’, it’s makes them stand out from the rest and its why I always go back to them.
The Shangri-La Singapore is the flag ship hotel of the Shangri-La Group and has been at this location for 46 years! Even though it was the first, you wouldn’t know it by looking at it. It’s fresh and modern and it’s undergone various renovations which constantly evolve it to the high standards that we know and love from the Shangri-La brand. The hotel is set on 15 acres of landscaped gardens, including the Tower Wing built in 1971, the Garden Wing built in 1978 and the Valley Wing built in 1985. For a grand total of 747 rooms across all three wings.
To celebrate their 45th birthday, the Shangri-La launched the Orchid, a 7 metre tall greenhouse housing various orchids (Singapore’s national flower) and if your lucky you might see the Shangri-La orchid, produced specifically for the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. The Orchid compliments the 30 min Orchid walk around the beautiful gardens which is available for all guests to explore. You can also book out the Orchid for a private dinner for up to four people.
The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is located just beyond the west end of Orchard Rd. It is a little distance from the MRT and you will require a taxi, the Shangri-La Singapore provides a complimentary shuttle bus to Orchard Rd each morning which is available for guests to utilise.
We were escorted to our room by one of the check in staff. We stayed on the 7th floor and had adjoining rooms. I’ve stayed in some nice hotels in my time but when I walked into this suite I was blown away. It was one of those moments when you pinch yourself and think, is this really my life. The kids were so excited and running between rooms opening every cupboard and drawer, while I’m trying to take photos of the pre-lived in look! The kids were most excited about actually having their own bed!
After taking all my photo’s I flopped down on the bed as I had been having trouble with fluid around my ankles and needed to put them up. I sat on the bed and it was like flopping into a big white cloud, covered in plush pillows and firm but very comfortable mattress! I knew I was going to sleep well those couple of nights and I did! Slept like a baby! I grabbed my phone out to text mum and let her know we had a arrived in Singapore safely, I said to Craig, I didn’t get the wifi log on, then realised that my phone was already connected the the Shangri-La wifi. Now that’s service.
The kids had a twin single room, and the day couch pulled out to another bed, the kids of course thought that was fabulous and instantly decided they would take it in turns to sleep in the couch bed! These beds were just as comfortable as my king bed as I had to wake my usually early risers each and every morning! I wanted to bring those beds home with me!
The kids were so busy checking out every nook and cranny of the room that they somehow missed the welcome gift! There is nothing better than arriving to a bowl of fruit or a small box of chocolates and on this occasion we had both and a lovely welcome letter from the General Manager. While they jumped at the fresh fruit, I was straight into the amazing chocolates! I did save them one each though…..!
There’s another thing I really love about Shangri-La Hotels, the toiletries and I have to admit that I’m one of those people that takes the left over ones home, especially the hair ties, they’re the bomb! The bath gel is fantastic in our spa at home and makes me feel like I’m at the Shangri-La all year round! All the toiletries are of top quality and great for travelling, just the right size for my travel bag so even when I’m not staying at the Shangri-La I feel like I am!
The finishing on the furnishings is what makes this room stand out from the rest. From the rustic timber bench tops in the rooms, to the marble bathrooms with deep baths. The glass door wardrobe with plush white robes and slippers, Shangri-La really know how to make you feel like your staying in a palace! If you didn’t already think that, you would after you opened the mini-bar drawer! Contained in the mini-bar drawer is everything you could possibly want or need and we all know it’s not about what we need!
The kids rate every hotel we stay at by the size of the pool! The Shangri-La Hotel Singapore did not disappoint. Even though my kids are are very confident in the water, they still like to have a play in the little kids section and this pool had fountains at the shallow end of the pool for the little ones to play. I was very impressed with the life guard, she was up and about and had her eye on everyone in the pool which is really reassuring. So much so that I ordered myself a mojito from the pool bar and settled in to watch the kids have a play.
Each morning we had breakfast at The Line Restaurant, this is a buffet breakfast with every conceivable breakfast option you could imagine! You could stay there for a week and still not try everything. The kids were running in every direction and come back with their plates full and piled up. Keira always went straight to the fruit and Caelan to the pastries followed by bacon and eggs. I tried to get him to eat the eggs and bacon first by he eventually got it all down and I was happy to see him eating, then after all that he would hit the pancake stand for pancakes with maple syrup! Alannah on the other hand, would try a few different things, always finishing with fruit and pastries. The Line also had a daily buffet lunch and dinner. I’ll let you have a look for yourselves!
We had dinner at the Shang Palace on the first night. It had come highly recommended by a friend as the best place to have dumplings in Singapore and dumplings are the kids favourite. We were initially disappointed to find that dim sum was only served at lunch but fortunately our waitress asked the chef if there were any dumplings left from lunch and there were! We ordered a few other dishes off the menu and I have to admit its the best Chinese dinner I’ve had for as long as I can remember. The kids polished off their dumplings and most of the other food, Shang Palace was a winner!
The Lobby Lounge is on the ground lobby floor, right next to check in, it has a fabulous vertical garden behind the bar and I’m told it was created by an Australian! We’re a clever bunch! The Lobby Lounge is a great open, relaxing space, the bar was located in the centre of the room with comfortable couches around, it really feel like your home lounge room. The evenings provided live music and a piano was casually played in the corner. You are able to order local hawker style Singaporean meals while enjoying the indoor/outdoor bar theme.
The NAMI Japanese Restaurant & Bar was located on the 24th floor serving the finest Japanese food and would have had an amazing view over Singapore. The Waterfall Ristorante Italiano is currently under renovation and I’m sure will be amazing when finished. All these restaurants have received various awards in there own rights, including Conde Nast Traveller, TIME Magazine Readers Choice Awards, Travel & Leisure and Trip Advisor among many others.
CHI Spa and Fitness Centre
Shangri-La’s world acclaimed CHI Spa will have you relaxed and carefree, offering services including relaxation massages, hot stone massages, deep tissue relaxation massage or foot massages for those that have been hitting the pavement and shopping like crazy along Orchard Road. The CHI Spa (click for CHI Spa menu and prices) also offers body treatments and facials and provides a tranquil environment with skilled therapists that will have you feeling a million dollars using time honoured methods shared by many Asian cultures. CHI Spa uses top quality products by Biologique Recherche, created by a French biochemist and suitable for all skin types.
The Shangri-La also has a full sized gym that operates 24 hours a day at the Health Club which is located on the lobby floor and overlooks the swimming pool and waterfall cascade. There are currently four tennis courts available for use by guests but one is currently being renovated for something very special coming soon…. shhh…..! I can’t tell you more yet!
Now I mentioned above about the Orchid introduced to celebrate Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s 45th birthday, the rest of the hotel also needs a mention! I love how the Shangri-La manages to make this hotel feel more like a resort than an inner city hotel. They do this through well placed gardens and open spaces. From the vertical garden behind the Lobby Lounge Bar to the Garden Atrium, home to the cascading waterfall with the pond below filled with koi fish, it really is a delight to walk around and explore. There is reported to 133,000 different types of trees, shrubs, ferns and orchids all well maintained by a team of landscape gardens.
For me though, it’s call about the orchids, take a wander behind the swimming pool across to the Orchid full of local orchid plants that are changed regularly then follow the path round to the tennis courts and the Dutch Pavilion. The Dutch Pavilion, originally a Dutch school between 1928 to 1982 was purchased by the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore in 1982 and fully renovated and is now used as a function room, it would be an amazing wedding venue if I might say so myself!
There are so many meeting rooms at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore and rooms that would suit any function. Some are very formal ballrooms and some that incorporate the indoor, outdoor theme and are spread across the three wings of the hotel. If you are looking to hold a function at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore please get in touch with the hotel directly.
Something very special is coming very soon to the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore and its going to be exciting. We all know that the Shangri-La chain caters very well to the business and leisure travellers and now they are making those travelling with children a focus in some upcoming changes.
Now I can’t tell you exactly what’s happening but it does include a children’s dedicated floor and some extra special attractions outside to keep our kids entertained and happy. I can tell you, its original and it’s going to be lots of fun!
The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is not a budget option but like all hotels they have high and low seasons so if you time your trip you might just pick up a bargain. I generally check rates directly on the Shangri-La website and then with a third party provider, my go-to for Asia hotel bookings is Agoda.
For other reviews on the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore you can read what other people have written on Trip Advisor.
How can you not love the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, there’s nothing not to love. They’re a world class hotel chain and my favourite by far. It was nice to have the opportunity to stay where it all started and to see that they are dedicated to upholding their high standards at every property regardless of its age. We have been lucky enough to experience the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort located on Sentosa Island, were spent our final day in Singapore enjoying all this hotel has to offer.
I love all the small luxury touches from the bed turn down service in the evening, to the electric curtains which you can open from your bed to let the beautiful sun shine in of a morning, the welcome gift of fresh fruit and Shangri-La chocolates and hot cup of tea that arrives 10 minutes after you settle in your room. All these small things add up to make the Shangri-La the amazing experience that it is and I will never stop getting exciting about my next stay at a Shangri-La Hotel.
If you have never had the opportunity to stay at a Shangri-La Hotel, you could spoil yourself and experience the ‘Shangri-La Way’ for yourself, trust me, nothing else will compare. We have stayed at the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu and the Shangri-La Kowloon and I have become accustomed to their exemplary attention to detail and high attention to customer service.
Have you stayed at a Shangri-La Hotel? If so tell me about it below in the comments.
Sal & Co
Disclaimer: We had a mutually beneficial arrangement with the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, as always our opinion is our own.