|Shangri-La Hotel Singapore at Night - yes, that's the moon shining down on us...|
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Over 40 years ago, in Singapore, the Shangri-La Hotel story first began. The idyllic settlement portrayed in James Hilton’s novel, Lost Horizon, was the inspiration for the name, and since then the brand has attempted to create a paradisiacal haven for all whom enter. Spreading its walls far and wide, the hotel beckons guests from around the world to find serenity and peace by carving their own personal paradise within.
My individual bliss is found in the importance Shangri-La properties place on the environment and gardens. No matter how large or small the area they have acquired, original vegetation is preserved where possible and, expert landscaping forms lush havens of natural wonder and allure.
The sun-drenched and rain bountiful climate of Singapore, means prolific green growth. Harnessed, but not restricted, tropical giants and dense bushes soften the edges of all buildings. Tall palms fence the entrance and verdant shrubs line the pathways. Bougainvillea balconies creep their way to the tops of man-made structures, while rolling lawns and water features spread out underneath.
Fifteen (!) acres of plant life is an incredible sight - especially in the lively city centre of Singapore. On such a tiny and rapidly over-populating island, space is an absolute luxury and the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, gives guests the best of it. With three distinctive wings, serviced apartments and residences in four-story villas, Shangri-La has definitely claimed a stronghold on some of the country’s most prime real estate.
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore offers close to 750 rooms. This is far too large for me. I’m usually overwhelmed by crowds, endless choice and excessive busy-ness. The design however is clever. With three separate wings dividing a large complex into smaller areas, there are plenty of private retreats for those, like me, who are not fond of hustle and bustle.
Our stay is in the Garden Wing. Recently benefiting from a SGD68 million renovation, it is Singapore’s newest urban retreat. 158 guest rooms and suites are inspired by nature and take full advantage of the leafy surrounds.
Rooms are built around a three-story high atrium garden, which supplies hums of running water and cool, clean air. One side of the complex overlooks the treetops and city. If staying in this quarter, the best rooms are the top floors. The other side has views of the pool, and the most desired levels are the lower ones, which profit from the glimmering water views.
|Outdoor Relaxation Areas|
A steaming pot of Chinese tea, box of chocolates and a fruit platter greet us upon arrival. The wonders of modern technology allow an in-room check-in and, bags are delivered within minutes of arrival. Our greeter takes a moment to explain some of the features of the amenities and soon we are left to comfortably settle in.
Lounge chairs and a coffee table furnish the balcony and, from our top floor room, we see a carpet of green. Buildings poke through the virescent blanket, out-running the forest of canopy trees in their race for sunlight.
|Garden Wing Balcony|
Just inside the glass sliding doors is another seating area. Neutral lounges warmed with soft tangerine and bronze cushions accompany a low glass-topped table, and on the other side is a dining table for two. A desk corners the room with all of the stationery, plugs and, Internet hook-ups you could possibly need to stay connected.
Our entire weekend is blessed with morning and evening breezes, pleasantly cooling and dismissing the need for air conditioning. We’re told January and February are often good months to visit Singapore for this exact reason. We’re glad there’s a ceiling fan offering an alternative to air conditioning and, spend some time between the balcony and lounge, loafing in the gentle drafts, watching TV on the large screen and sipping cups of tea made with the in-room facilities.
|Garden Wing Bathroom|
The marble bathroom features his and her basins, rain and hand-held shower fixtures, and Shangri-La toiletries. A magnifying mirror with light means I’ll be doing some eyebrow plucking this weekend and, hubby is already filling the bath for a relaxing soak. There’s a window privatizing or opening the bathroom as desired. The wooden louvers are automated and, open or close at the touch of a button.
|Garden Wing Bedroom|
So too are the day and night curtains controlled by a button bedside. Everything seems to align for a good night’s sleep. The blackout curtains literally make the room pitch black and, there are no annoying streaks of light found anywhere. A nightlight, when engaged, gently illuminates from the floor, allowing an easy route to the bathroom without disturbing your partner. The bedside clock glows upon touch and rooms appear soundproof. A quote from the novel, Lost Horizon, is left on the turned down edges of the bed, implanting thoughts of tranquility in our dreams. Bedding is, in hubby’s word, “Delicious.” He’s right too. The sheets and pillows are so lush it takes a real effort to exit them in the morning.
Breakfast is included at either The Line or The Waterfall in our room rate, as well as complimentary evening cocktails in the Garden Wing Lounge. The lounge is magnificent with its towering ceilings and dramatic chandeliers. Free flow wine and a few other alcoholic beverages get many guests started into a cheerful evening.
The Waterfall is definitely our choice for breakfast. As you already know, I’m not great with overstimulation, so we steer clear of The Line. It is perfect for some however. My girlfriend from Australia, who also happens to be staying in the Shangri-La apartments, (and who is much better at dealing with multiple barrages of information than I am), delights in the 16 (!) kitchens and apparently endless options for brekkie. The Line is packed for all three sittings of breakfast, lunch and dinner, so clearly she is not alone in her appreciation of choice. I hear the Sunday brunch is a popular event too and one of the more reasonably priced ones in the city.
Back to The Waterfall… my type of restaurant. Modern, yet Colonial in design, it’s surrounded by greenery and water. It’s small enough to be exclusive, but large enough to offer a variety of seating, both al fresco and air-conditioned. International chill music with an upbeat Carribean pulse starts the day with a gentle relaxed energy.
À la carte meals are supported by a light buffet of fruits, dairy, cereals, cold cuts and, some western and local hot dishes such as char kway teow, dim sum, baked beans and bacon. The Poached Eggs with Hollandaise sauce, salmon, Portobello mushroom, spinach and smoked salmon on rye bread are an excellent choice (I order them both days!). Fresh juices, tea and pretty good espresso based coffees serve as liquid refreshment.
We enjoy breakfast here so much so that we decide lunch is to be taken here as well. Food is fresh, Mediterranean in style, with just enough variety to be interesting, but not so much that you wonder how they could possibly do everything well. Don’t miss the Watermelon Salad, Iberico Pork Chops or Pan Seared Salmon. Check out our full review via this link.
|Cod - The Waterfall|
While I gravitate to the minimally processed, fresh and healthy menus, there are a host of other restaurants in the property to please just about any palate. Shang Palace, the Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant serves up Cantonese dishes. Nadaman is the Japanese outlet with over 180 years of history and, the Rose Veranda offers one of the most famous high teas in the city. For sunset cocktails and extraordinary city views, BLU Bar on the 24th floor of the Tower Wing has more than enough temptation to keep us wickedly satisfied.
It’s not just food and beverage outlets that are in grand abundance, bountiful recreational facilities have us burning off those extra calories that we just put in. A well-stocked gymnasium offers cardio and strength machines as well as free weights. After working out, a Jacuzzi, spa, steam room and sauna tempts hubby in the change rooms. We’d love to entrust, CHI, The Spa in taking care of our body aches and pains, but run out of time this stay.
A refreshing dip in the pool, a loll in the heated bubbling Jacuzzi and some child-like play in the fountains are some other amusements we engage in. For those more coordinated souls (like my husband, and so not like me), four floodlit tennis courts, two surfaced with artificial grass and two multi-weather topped courts, await. Racquets, clothing and balls are all available from the Health Club. There’s even a resident coach on hand for those who’d like to sharpen their game.
We enjoy our time immensely in the Garden Wing at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. It’s hard to leave. But when we do, a Mercedes E-Class 350 airport transfer, arranged by the hotel, softens our departure. With Shangri-La, it’s class all the way from start to finish.
Reason to visit: signature Shangri-La service; newly renovated Garden Wing rooms; lush greenery; The
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
22 Orange Grove Road
+65 6737 3644
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