A luxurious stay at the glamorous Shangri-La was a highlight for my children and me while visiting Singapore recently. This was among the most refined, exquisite hotels I’ve encountered while travelling abroad.
Opened in 1971, it was the original Shangri-La. There are now more than 90 deluxe Shangri-La hotels and resorts worldwide.
The hotel is set in the heart of the city next to the popular dining and shopping hub, Orchard Road. Yet, its 15 acres in lush gardens make it feel like a resort, removed from the hustle and bustle.
What made this establishment particularly charming was the classic colonial décor – high ceilings, chandeliers, olde world furniture and luxurious ambience. Decadence and Class with impeccable service.
We were fortunate to stay in the Valley Wing, which offered a sanctuary of elegance and opulence. It is an exclusive part of the original hotel, and preferred accommodation for many international heads of state, executive leaders and discerning luxury travelers.
The Wing features 26 suites which offer a personalised butler service and are accessible by a private entrance and elevator, as well as other special benefits including access to the Business Lounge and private dining spaces.
I was able to check in privately, in the comfort of our 47sqm Valley Wing Deluxe Room. A personalised bottle of red wine, fruits, handmade chocolates and other delicacies awaited our arrival.
Our room was spacious, featuring elegant décor and furniture, lavish linen, a Wedgewood dinner set, a coffee machine, a selection of fine teas and coffee and a large LCD TV with satellite channels.
We enjoyed extensive views of the lush grounds and huge, sparkling swimming pool.
The marble-clad bathroom was exquisite – very spacious, with a bathtub, separate shower, double sinks, ambient lighting and quality L’occitane toiletries. My daughter took a couple of moisturisers and shampoo as a souvenir!
The bathrobes were thick and fluffy, as were the towels, which were plentiful. Not a bare thread in sight. There was also a complimentary ironing service.
The West Valley Wing included many special benefits including access to the exclusive lounge, where smart casual dress was required – pyjamas, bathrobes, swimwear, open-toe footwear, room slippers and sleeveless shirts (for Gentlemen) are not permitted at the Summit Room and the Champagne Bar.
A particular treat was the free-flowing Veuve and cocktails paired with delectable canapes offered at the evening cocktail sessions held at the Champagne Bar and lounge.
The lounge offered complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, tea and coffee from noon until 10.30pm. High tea was also included daily.
We were treated to a picnic in the tropical landscaped grounds, which included a generous assortment of delicious crab sandwiches, pastries, fresh and dried fruits, cheeses, cured meats, salads, calamari rings and more.
Buffet dinner at The Line was extensive, offering a smorgasbord of international cuisine ranging from Indian to Middle Eastern, Japanese, Chinese and Western.
The West Valley Wing offered a la carte breakfast at the exclusive The Summit or buffet breakfast at The Line, with fresh ingredients and a wide selection multiple fruits, juices, pastries, traditional western hot breakfast and exotic Asian hot dishes.
The hotel had two swimming pools including a children’s water playground, Splash, which encompasses 1,300 square metres with six unique water play areas. The main pool was huge, clean and a comfortable temperature – not too cold! There was also a large jacuzzi.
The hotel caters very well to families, offering themed family suites and deluxe family rooms, as well as a dedicated family concierge. There is also a Family Pantry that provides childcare amenities, furniture such as high chairs, strollers, and equipment for changing, bathing and feeding.
Aside from the luxury and timeless charm of the Shangri-La, a standout was the exceptional service offered by the staff. They were extremely accommodating, helpful, warm and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble.