Traveltalk’s JENNY EVANS revisits an old favourite and is impressed all over again.
I FIRST visited the Shangri-La in Singapore in the late 1990’s and I am happy to say that the hotel remains as welcoming and luxurious as it was 25 years ago. From the moment you arrive you are greeted with a warm and inviting atmosphere, coupled with stunning interiors and exceptional service.
The hotel is situated in a prime location in the heart of Orchard Road, the premier shopping district in Singapore. The central location allows for easy access to many attractions, such as the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Marina Bay Sands and Sentosa Island. There are also many restaurants and bars in the surrounding area, making it an ideal location for those who want to explore Singapore’s vibrant food scene.
The hotel is made up of three wings and has a total of 792 rooms and suites, each of which is tastefully decorated in a contemporary style with luxurious furnishings.
The rooms are spacious and offer a full range of amenities. Our room on the 17th floor featured a live orchid and fresh bowl of fruit on the desk next to floor to ceiling windows with views of the city as well as a silk purse containing L’Occitane hand lotion, lip balm and an eye mask. On Easter Sunday a chocolate egg was delivered to the room.
The hotel is undoubtedly very popular and was busy over the Easter weekend; however, there were enough highly trained staff on duty and their efficiency ensured that any waits were kept to a minimum. We breakfasted at the Line restaurant which offered an international buffet with an array of dishes from around the world. The food was very high quality with a huge range of options for all palates.
Our Horizon Club Deluxe Room had access to the Horizon Club Lounge. Situated on the 24th floor of the Tower Wing, the lounge features buffet breakfast, evening cocktails and canapes from 5pm to 7pm and light refreshments throughout the day. The attentive lounge staff and exclusive atmosphere made us feel sufficiently pampered and special!
On the subject of pampering, the hotel offers a stunning wood-decked spa providing a range of luxurious treatments. Here you’ll also find a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi pool. These facilities can be used by hotel guests without spa appointments. My daughter and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon hydrating our bodies! The gym (open 24 hours) is accessed via the changing rooms and is large with facilities equivalent to a professional gym.
There are four floodlit tennis courts and a large pool. Poolside seating is plentiful with sunshade umbrellas and a poolside bar.
The hotel has four restaurants; The Line, international buffet; Origin Grill, a modern steakhouse; Waterfall Ristorante Italiano and Shang Palace, Cantonese cuisine.
We were lucky enough to dine at Shang Palace. The restaurant is one star Michelin-rated and has five set menus with beautiful names (think “Snow Floating on Green Lake”) as well as a huge a la carte menu featuring many Cantonese classics. Having eaten at a local food court earlier in the day, we weren’t hungry enough for the set meal but thoroughly enjoyed the Peking duck among other dishes. I expect we were not sufficiently adventurous; however, the chef still willingly gave me the recipe to one of his classics: Fried Rice with Wagyu beef served in whole tomato. Tune into our July issue for the method.
I have visited many hotels since I first stayed at the Shangri-La and there are of course many luxury hotels in Singapore to choose from, but the Shangri-La remains one of my favourites. The combination of impeccable service, unbeatable facilities and comfort make it as special today as it was 25 years ago.