Shangri-La. Just the name itself exudes grandeur and opulence.
As one of the most luxurious and internationally acclaimed 5-star hotel in the world, the chain of Shangri-La Hotels can be found across Asia, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and Europe. A fact not know by many is that Shangri-La Hotel Singapore was actually the first to be opened by Shangri-La Hotel and Resorts back in 1971.
Have you ever wondered how this posh-sounding name came about? I did.
"Shangri-La is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise, and particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia – a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world."
Well, a permanently happy land sounds like a place that I would want to be with my kids. The thing is, I've always associated Shangri-La as a luxury hotel for the business travellers, the affluent or the upper class. It would definitely not be on the top of my list if I had to pick a family-friendly lodging for a staycation. So, it naturally thrilled me when I heard that Shangri-La Hotel Singapore recently launched a Family Stays for Free promotional package and best of all, we were invited to review it. Here's sharing our experience and just so you know, I'm giving away one package to a lucky reader so do read on till the end.
Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is located along Orange Grove Road and while the nearest MRT station is Orchard, it can take you a good 15-20 minutes to walk over, especially if you have kids. Nonetheless, I like the fact that it is nestled in the heart of the city yet in an oasis tucked away from the hustle and bustle.
Upon stepping into the lobby, you will be greeted by majestic crystal chandeliers hanging from the high ceiling, a grand sweeping staircase and extravagant marble glistening at your feet. If you wish to feel like a king or queen for a day, this might just be the place.
The hotel consists of 747 elegant guestrooms and suites with three distinctive wings: the urban resort Garden Wing set amongst lush tropical foliage, the contemporary Tower Wing which houses the executive Horizon Club rooms, and the exclusive Valley Wing for the discerning traveller. For guests who wish to stay for an extended period of time, 127 serviced apartments and 55 luxurious condominium units are also available.
Under the Family Stays for Free package, guests will stay in the Horizon Club Grand Premier Room located on levels 17 to 22 of the Tower Wing. With an area of 72sqm, this room is as big as a three-room HDB flat and is definitely the largest hotel room we've stayed in so far. How huge is it? I'll take you on a tour!
One of the largest executive level guest rooms available in Singapore, the Horizon Club Grand Premier Room comprises five distinct areas - lounge, breakfast area, a writing desk, sleeping quarters and a private dressing area that connects to a luxurious marbled bathroom. We were pleasantly surprised not just by the sheer size, but also the warm ambience and cosy feel of the room.
An unique feature will be the two windowed alcoves which provide views of the surrounding skyline and ensure that ample natural light comes into the room. The L-shaped executive desk is perfect if you have some work to finish although my belief is that you should make use of a family staycation to relax and bond with your loved ones. Complimentary Wi-Fi and broadband access are provided. If you have a moment to spare, you can also make use of the comfortable armchair to read a magazine or novel. For me, I think it was a perfect spot to nurse my baby.
There is also a seating area with sofa setting and coffee table that is ideal for breakfast, or supper if your kids sleep late like mine. Upon our arrival, we also received a plate of fresh fruits and a personalised welcome card. If you need a quick bite or are thirsty for a drink, the fully equipped minibar offers a range of beverages, chocolates and tidbits at a surcharge, except for the oxygenated water which is complimentary.
If you like walk-in wardrobes, then you will be glad to know that the wardrobe has two big doors that open up to an abundance of space. What's more, there are even seats right outside so you can have your own private dressing area. How thoughtful!
We were trying to look for the aircon control when we realised that it was included in the master control placed right beside the bed. It is an all-in-one control where you can set the alarm clock, adjust the aircon temperature, turn on/off the lights and open/close the curtains whenever you like. How convenient! One thing about the curtains is that they are double-layered so you can just close the sheer layer in the day to let daylight through and close the thick layer at night for total blockage of light. It worked so well for us that we slept till 9am the next day without realising that the sun was already up!
One of my favourite parts of the room has to be the marble-clad bathroom! It's easily the size of an average hotel room and features a bathtub and separate, glass-enclosed shower. This means that I can take a shower in the comfort of my own space while keeping an eye on the kids playing in the tub. There is also a basket to put in your laundry, a weighing scale and even a bidet that is separate from the toilet bowl.
For the toiletries, besides a range of L'Occitane shampoo, lotion and shower gel provided, you also find the usuals like soap, comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, cotton pads, emery board and some special ones like a black hair tie, razor cream and even a loofah to scrub your body.
If you are bringing kids, you can also request for a rollaway bed or baby cot. We asked for both of these to be set up and yes, the room is still very spacious after that! One thing that could have been improved on in our case was that the beds were set up only after we had checked in, not prior. Also, we had to request for the kids' amenities which included bathrobes and slippers and these took quite a while to arrive at our door.
After the kids were more or less settled down (I simply love this onesie on Asher which was a gift from a friend), it was time to explore more of the hotel!
I like that the elevators were very prompt and efficient, plus the fitted carpet even tells you the day of the week, which kind of reminds us of our cruise on board Royal Caribbean.
One of the best things about the Family Stays for Free package is that it includes Horizon Club privileges, with access to the exclusive Horizon Club Lounge on level 24.
HORIZON CLUB LOUNGE
The Horizon Club is created exclusively for today's discerning business travellers and those who enjoy a higher standard of accommodation, personalized recognition, a host of special privileges and amenities. Club members get to enjoy beverages and food in the cosy comfort of the Horizon Club Lounge, complimentary broadband and wireless access, use of business centre facilities, meeting rooms and private workstations with Internet access, complimentary suit pressing service and daily international newspapers.
The lounge is a perfect place to rest and relax, which might be something literally impossible when you have young kids with you. On our first day, I was there with the three kids and I swear all eyes were on us and we couldn't spot any other kid around. In any case, do make sure that the kids do not run around for safety reasons or create too much disturbance to other guests. For us, as crazy as it might be to be in a lounge with three lively kids, it was actually the first time we were having high tea together and I kind of enjoyed that feeling.
At the The Horizon Club Lounge, as part of the Family Stays for Free package, you will be entitled to:
- Afternoon Tea served from 2:00pm to 4:30pm
- Cocktails and canapés served every evening from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
- Coffee, tea and soft drinks served from 6:00am to 11:00pm
Nonetheless, we absolutely enjoyed our time at the lounge for both the afternoon tea and cocktail sessions. Oh, talking about that, you get to enjoy a free flow of alcoholic drinks from 5pm to 8pm too! In fact, you can even help yourself to the wine bottles and glasses which are displayed on the serving table. Wouldn't it be nice to chill out with your loved one in the comfort of the lounge over a bottle of Pinot Noir *reminisces the good old times*? If you are not an alcoholic lover, coffee, tea, canned drinks and juices are also available.
One thing to note is that children below the age of 12 are allowed to enjoy the Horizon Club Lounge until 6:00pm only, which was the reason why my romantic date didn't happen as the hubby arrived after 6pm and I had to usher to kids out of the lounge already. In addition, smart attire is required when visiting the lounge and apparel such as sports attire, swimwear, bathrobes, slippers and flip flops are strictly not permitted.
Moving on, we took a walk around the hotel to check out the rest of the facilities. Yes, we like to be on the go and are always keen to explore new places and discover new sights.
-> Landscaped gardens
Set amidst 15 acres of luxuriant greenery, the Garden Wing offers you tropical greenery and lush natural surroundings. On the morning of our second day of stay, we took a stroll in the landscaped gardens and the kids were delighted to come up close with flora and fauna, in particular they loved spotting the squirrels which did not seemed to be too afraid of us and stayed in close proximity for quite some time.
-> Waterfall and Koi pond
At the Garden Wing, there is also a small cascading waterfall and a koi pond which adds tranquility. In the evenings, the resident koi master conducts a koi feeding ceremony at the waterfall at 5:45p.m.
-> Tennis courts
For the tennis lovers, the hotel offers four flood-lit tennis courts, two with artificial grass and two with multi-weather surfacing. Tennis equipment can be obtained from the Fitness Centre.
-> Health Club
The Health Club offers a wide range of fully equipped fitness facilities and a 24-hour gymnasium. The male and female changing rooms each offer a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and relaxation areas for all guests and members. The Health Club is accessible to members and hotel guests who are aged 18 and above only, if you might have to take turns with your spouse while the other looks after the kids.
-> Business Centre
The business centre, which is located in Horizon Club Lounge, offers a range of facilities and secretarial support, including copying, fax and courier services, video conferencing, translation and interpretation services. Meeting rooms and workstations are also available.
-> Shopping arcade
If you are feeling bored, and rich, then you can take a walk in the shopping arcade and go for a haircut, get your nails done, grab a souvenir or get a cake that comes with a personalised message.
-> Lobby court
Lobby Court serves light snacks and a range of wines, liqueurs, cocktails and other beverages. You can enjoy a Shangri-La Sling, Shangri-La's refreshing award-winning cocktail. Live musical entertainment is also available from 7.30pm daily, except on Sundays. We returned to the hotel late on Friday night and the kids were so happy to hear the live music. Yes, you probably know how much they love dancing by now. So, we spent a good one hour that night just listening to the music, watching the kids dance, munching on tidbits while the hubby enjoyed his glass of Erdinger.
-> Swimming pool
The swimming pool consists of an outdoor swimming pool, children’s play pool, warm jacuzzi and fountains. While it is not as kid-friendly or as inviting as the one in Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa, the kids still loved it and we made our way here not once but twice during our stay.
We love the kids bathrobes and they come in pretty handy, plus Ariel love the slippers too, so do make sure these welcome amenities are in your room, otherwise you can request for them. I was glad that we brought along the water toys because the girls had a blast having pretend play in the fountain and entertained themselves by picking up fallen leaves and flowers around the garden for a good amount of time.
As for me, I took the chance to rest and relax on the sun lounger with my little one while admiring the view and appreciating the simplicity of life.
And you know what was the best part? It was when my big girl walked up to me with a flower in her hand saying "I am going to name this flower Mummy because it is especially for you, Mummy." Awww, the sweet joy of motherhood.
BREAKFAST AT THE LINE
Featuring a wide variety of international cuisine at 16 live theatre kitchens, The Line at Shangri-La Hotel is one of Singapore's favourite destinations for buffet meals. Breakfast buffet is served from 6:00am to 10:30am from Monday to Friday and 6:00am to 11:00am on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays. Since we were there on Saturday, it meant that we could all sleep in a little later and still get to enjoy the breakfast, which was something we appreciated.
I have to say that we were quite impressed by the variety and quality of food there. Western, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Indian - you can get to choose from various types of delectable cuisine that you would like for a wholesome breakfast.
In addition to the usual pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausages, cereal, fruits, yoghurt, ham, cheese and omelettes, the kids and I were elated to lay our hands on fishball and prawn noodle soup and we were also blown away by the many types of donuts available. In addition, there were also many types of pastries, dim sum and even local styled kaya and peanut butter toast too.
For those with young kids, you can also find congee here for the little ones with assorted condiments for your choice. There is even fish congee too! The hubby who likes oriental food was also happy to find fried bee hoon and some Chinese dishes like tofu and stir-fried vegetables (I can never eat these in the early morning). I was contented with just the buns though!
We might not be food connoisseurs but we found the food to be yummy and I believe it won't disappoint you too. It was definitely a breakfast that we all enjoyed and we were thankful for a great start to our day.
A WALK DOWN ORCHARD ROAD
Located in the heart of the city, Shangri-La Hotel is just a short walk to Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping, entertainment and dining district. I can't remember when was the last time we came here as a family since it gets really crowded during the weekends. Anyway, we were glad to take a walk down Orchard Road during our staycation and it was the baby's first visit there.
From the hotel, you can easily walk or drive down along Orchard Road. There is also a complimentary hourly loop shuttle service that you can take in the day up till approximately 8:00pm. If you are a night owl, then you can also take a stroll at night to enjoy the night scenery, have supper or catch a late night movie too!
Family Stays for Free Promotional Package
Make time for your family by having a getaway in one of the Tower Wing's Horizon Grand Premier Rooms. At 72 square metres, these rooms are some of the largest club level rooms in the city. Guests staying in these rooms will enjoy access to the exclusive Horizon Club Lounge. Get up to SGD150 in complimentary add-ons, including a roll-away bed and breakfast for everyone. From SGD505 per night, this offer is available from 28 Jan 2016 through 29 May 2016.
- Complimentary breakfast for the family (includes 2A2C, children must be under the age of 12) at The Line, which offers extensive choices from 16 live theatre kitchens
- Complimentary extra bed upon request
- Complimentary late check-out at 6pm
- Welcome amenities for children below the age of 12
- Complimentary access to the exclusive Horizon Club Lounge on level 24
- Access to the expansive outdoor swimming pool and round-the-clock Health Club facilities
- Complimentary Wi-Fi and broadband Internet access
- Complimentary hourly guest shuttle bus to Orchard Road precinct
- Complimentary parking
Terms and Conditions
- This offer is available for bookings made before 31 March 2016 for stays on Fridays and Saturdays before 29 May 2016 (excluding 16 to 18 February 2016).
- Prior reservation is required and subject to availability.
- Not valid in conjunction with other offers or promotions.
- Price is subject to 10% service charge and government taxes, including GST.
- Bookings can be made online here.
Shangri-La Hotel, Singsapore
22 Orange Grove Road,
T:(65) 6737 3644
F:(65) 6737 3257
For more information, visit www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/
Good things must share if you can! That is what I honestly believe in. So here's a giveaway for those of you who are keen to win a staycation at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel with your family too!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: We received a media invite by Shangri-La Hotel to review the Family Stays for Free package and enjoyed a complimentary 2D1N stay. All pictures and opinions are ours.