The first flagship hotel by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts opened in Singapore in 1971. The iconic Shangri-La Singapore, boasting over 15 acres of landscaped gardens is known as the second botanic gardens in Singapore by locals and foreigners alike. The Shangri-La Singapore consists of three major wings:
- Tower Wing - main wing of the Shangri-La Singapore consisting a mix of tower rooms and suites.
- Garden Wing - home to a huge variety of plants, flowers and trees, this is a tropical retreat in the heart of Singapore's famous shopping district.
- Valley Wing - exclusive and luxurious wing of the Shangri-La which caters to the affluent (otherwise known as the 'St Regis of Shangri-La').
I stayed in a Deluxe Pool View Room in the Garden Wing (which obviously overlooks the pool) on a high floor. Offering 50sqm of luxurious space and a private balcony, the room faintly reminds me of a luxurious beach resort. While the air-conditioning in the room was powerful enough to transform summer into winter, I thought that the fan was a nice touch - particularly because we generally like to let the sea breeze in while being in a resort.
The Garden Wing of the Shangri-La Singapore has only quite recently undergone a major refurbishment which completed mid-2012. As such, the rooms in the Garden Wing are tastefully appointed (despite being over 40 years old) with earthly tones - green, brown and orange. Prior to arrival, I was requested to send over my preferences for the room - flower arrangements, pillow and minibar preferences amongst some of the details required. As you can see however, there are no flower arrangements in my room and what I have chosen on that form was definitely not reflected here. That being said, the pillows were right and my rather specific minibar requests were fulfilled.
The room comes with a sleek looking flat screen TV which offers a healthy range of cable and satellite channels. Like most good hotels, the room comes with a large working desk for the workaholics and a small dining area if you decide to indulge in some in-room dining (or bring your own food). I actually had a look at the in-room dining menu and the prices are definitely on the high side. In fact, I was quite surprised that the Black Pepper Beef, Rice and Vegetables was S$55++.
As mentioned previously, the Deluxe Pool View Room I was in comes with a sizeable private balcony. It is worthwhile to note that the balconies are larger for the corner rooms (like the one I was in) so be sure to request for one if you like more balcony space. There's a nice deck chair to lounge about as well as two comfortable seats for you to watch the sun go down in the evening.
I personally prefer the small living area next to the bed in the comfort of my man-made winter to the deck chair outside.
Looking out of the balcony, you will find the famed Shangri-La's outdoor swimming pool with large bougainvillea-laden balconies and nature-inspired furnishings. How's that for a being in a luxurious pseudo-resort? Those of you who have been to The Line for buffet will probably find the pool familiar.
The marble-clad bathroom came with double sinks, a deep soaking bathtub and a separate glass-enclosed shower (with a rain-shower head of course). The wooden blinds are automatic so please do not try to pry them open with your bare hands - this will probably result in broken fingers and a hefty bill (not the best way to start a staycation!). The automatic controls were located next to the left sink in my room.
One thing I probably was not too thrilled about was the in-room amenities. Like Hotel Jen Orchardgateway (which is a new brand of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts), the amenities were provided by an in-house brand. The bottles look rather pretty but that's about it - nothing too exciting here.
Instead of offering an Executive Lounge to guests on the Executive Level in the Garden Wing, the Shangri-La Singapore sweetens the deal by offering complimentary breakfast and evening (alcoholic) drinks at the Garden Wing Lounge (from 5pm to 7pm) until 31 March 2015 if you book any of the following rates directly with Shangri-La Singapore: Best Available Rate, Advance Purchase & Bonus Choice.
There was a small selection of hot and cold food items as well as a handful of dessert options that will make a light dinner if you choose not to venture out of your "resort". Keeping in mind that whilst the Shangri-La Singapore is within walking distance to Orchard Road, it is still a good 10 minutes stroll before arriving at the fringe of Orchard Road.
The staff at the Garden Wing Lounge were attentive, polite and a pleasure to talk to. In fact, I was pretty impressed by the level of wine knowledge that the staff has. Speaking about wines, the Garden Wing Lounge offers amazing wines during 5pm to 7pm so I strongly urge you to book one of the aforementioned rates to enjoy this benefit. You may also be interested to find out more about Golden Circle - Shangri-La's loyalty program which offers great benefits while being relatively attainable.
Overlooking a cascading waterfall, the Garden Wing Lounge is a beautiful place to be in and to spend the evening. While the food was not particularly impressive, the atmosphere was perfect to indulge in light conversations with a friend or a special someone. Well-heeled travellers and couples will definitely enjoy the intimacy of this location as well as the exclusivity of the Garden Wing experience.
I headed back to my room after evening drinks and found out that my Jade amenities were delivered. As a Jade member in Shangri-La's Golden Circle program, I enjoy a choice of 3 welcome amenities, complimentary breakfast and late check-out amongst many other benefits listed HERE. I am always very impressed with a hotel that takes pride in the in-house loyalty program because they see the value in retaining loyal customers.
The bed was made and the in-room amenities were restocked at turndown. Slippers and water were also placed by both sides of the bed to make your life a little better.
I did not actually have my breakfast at The Line the following morning as I was going for the Champagne Brunch at The Waterfall Cafe so I spent the morning swimming instead. I really enjoyed the free-form pool and the lush greenery surrounding it.
Review of the Champagne Brunch at The Waterfall Cafe will come soon on The Shutterwhale!
The Shangri-La Singapore definitely has an edge over other luxury hotels in Singapore. I personally feel that this is a really great property for people who loves to spend a weekend staycation away from home but it is perhaps not the most convenient property for those coming here on business. The lush greenery and expansive space around the property truly positions the Shangri-La Singapore as a hidden oasis in Singapore. Coupled with excellent service and quality food (from the Waterfall Cafe), this property is definitely one of Singapore's most luxurious hotels if you look beyond the price tag. Advance purchase rate for the room type I was in (Deluxe Pool View Room in the Garden Wing) starts from S$421++ (approximately S$496 after taxes). Weekend staycation packages start from S$545++ (approximately S$642 after taxes) for the same room I was in.
Hotel stay has been sponsored by Shangri-La Singapore, though all views expressed are my own.