Shangri-La Hotel

Special thanks to Shangri-La Hotel Singapore for extending this hotel review invitation.

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore has the distinction of being the first resort under Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts. As the origin of Shangri-La's long history of Asian hospitality, this five-star hotel holds a special place in my heart.
Shangri-La Hotel is perched on the top of a hill which overlooks Orchard Road, Singapore's premier shopping destination. The hotel consists of three wings: Tower Wing, Garden Wing and Valley Wing. Each wing presents a unique character and offers an entirely different holidaying experience.
The Tower Wing was the original building when Shangri-La Hotel opened in 1971, but is also the wing that was most recently renovated. The remodeled lobby is meticulously crafted with classical elements in perfect harmony. From the ceiling, a "swarm" of enchanting metallic leaves leads the way to the hotel's reception. As Christmas is just around the corner, the lobby is also decorated with festive Christmas trees.
Across the infinity pool is The Lobby Lounge. Flanked by potted trees, the pool features two of the six sculptures of children at play. The lounge's menu specializes in Singaporean heritage fare. There is live music performance at The Lobby Lounge every evening except on Sundays.
Upon arriving at the hotel, we are immediately welcomed by the courteous front office staff, who promptly served us welcome drinks. Much to our surprise, we are also personally escorted to our room.
Our room, the Tower Deluxe, is furnished with a king-size bed with comfortable pillows. A painting hangs above the bed; a unique one in every guestroom. All in all, the charming ambience of the room makes us feel very welcomed indeed.
A semicircular window opens up a captivating view of Singapore's city skyline. Two sets of curtains, one translucent and another opaque, can be extended or retracted with the flip of a switch. A strategically-placed sofa bed allows one to be immersed in the mesmerizing view at night.
The dressing table has a hidden panel which opens up to reveal a mirror. A hair dryer is conveniently kept in one of the table's inner compartments. Behind the dressing table, the glass wardrobe contains an electronic safe. A clothes iron and an ironing board are provided for guests' convenience.
To cater business travelers, the room is furnished with a full-size executive desk stocked with all sorts of stationery. The Wi-Fi connection here is sufficiently fast enough to stream Internet telephony. As for in-room entertainment, the flat screen television has tens of international cable channels with 24-hour programming.
The luxurious ensuite bathroom is fitted with a bathtub and a shower stall. The comfort rendered by pressurized heated water is certainly gratifying. After a nice bath, we are contented to put on some snuggly bathrobes. Bath slippers are also provided.
The wash basin is stocked with toiletries such as dental kit, shampoo and bath gel. The housekeeping crew replenishes these consumables every day. Be sure not to leave the "Do Not Disturb" light on as you step out of the room.
A platter of fresh fruits is one of Shangri-La Hotel's many welcoming gestures. We are also delighted to receive a lovely box of chocolate truffles.
The cabinet drawer under the television is loaded with a plethora of snacks such as cookies and chocolate bars. An electric boiler allows guests to prepare instant coffee or tea. Each guestroom is equipped with a capsule coffee machine.
The minibar is stocked with beverages like juice, soda, beer and wine. Meanwhile, guests who prefer cooked food to be delivered to their rooms can take advantage of the 24-hour room service.
After having settled down, we are given a private tour of other room categories in Shangri-La Hotel. Opened in 1978, the Garden Wing integrates lush tropical vegetation in its design. For example, the balcony of each guestroom features a hanging garden.
An artificial stream flows through the Garden Wing. A short walking trail follows the water as it trickles down slippery rock formations. Towards the end of the path is a majestic waterfall that empties into a pond. The charming pond is home to a school of brocaded carp (錦鯉). In Japan, this auspicious fish is thought to bring good fortune.
The guestrooms in Garden Wing are designed with nature as the overarching theme. The wooden floor presents a homely rustic feel. Attached to each room is a large private balcony where guests can enjoy the cooling evening breeze.
Right across the swimming pool is the Valley Wing. Embodying the pinnacle of luxury, the Valley Wing caters the elites with unsurpassed hospitality. This exclusive wing even has its own lobby and lounge.
Fitted with beautifully-polished marble, the lavish lobby defines the hallmark of opulence. Elaborate chandeliers hang imposingly from its tall ceiling. Near the entrance is a large painting of a hidden mountain paradise. In fact, Shangri-La Hotel takes inspiration from Shangri-La, the fictional utopia as depicted in James Hilton's novel, "Lost Horizon".
The lounge in the Valley Wing welcomes its distinguished guests with a refined appearance. A professional harpist plays classical music in the afternoon, filling the lobby with soothing tranquility. The elevator carpets here are changed every day. This tradition is practiced in two properties only; the other is Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong.
As expected, the standard guestroom in the Valley Wing offers a distinctive level of luxury. Fancy chandeliers fill the room with charming golden light. Meanwhile, plush upholstered chairs present an elegant touch of warmth.
The ensuite bathroom spares no expenses in pampering Valley Wing guests with top-tier luxury.
The Valley Wing also has several suites in which the living room and bedroom are segregated. Each partition has its own entrance, but both share a common door before reaching the corridor.
Occupying one of the highest floors of the Tower Wing is the Grand Suite, the largest guestroom that the hotel has to offer. The suite is so spacious that it includes its own private office, workout area and massage table. The balcony along its perimeter is sufficiently wide for having private parties.
In the bedroom, a king-size bed basks under the alluring charm of golden ceiling above. Similarly, the ensuite bathroom is furnished with luxury of unparalleled grandeur.
The Horizon Club Lounge on Level 24 is exclusively for Horizon Club guests only. With glass windows on both sides, the Horizon Club Lounge affords panoramic views of Singapore's metropolitan skyline.
Heading down to the Ground Floor, Shangri-La Hotel's outdoor swimming pool is large by Singaporean standards. In effort to appeal to families with children, the hotel has several smaller wading pools. The pool area is open from 6:00am to 8:00pm. There is a lifeguard on duty during these hours.
Along the perimeter of the swimming pool are sunloungers where guests can relax under the partial shade of palm trees. Given the resort's expansive lawns dotted with lush greenery, it is not surprising that Shangri-La Hotel is colloquially known as Singapore's second Botanical Gardens.
The centerpiece of the hotel's beautifully landscaped grounds is The Orchid. This graceful structure was erected last year in celebration of the hotel's 45th anniversary. When viewed from above, The Orchid is reminiscent of a flower with petals, while the walking path that leads to The Orchid resembles its stalk.
As Singapore's national flower, the Singapore orchid plays a distinguished role in The Orchid. The wooden structure boasts an estimated 600 flowers at any given time. Different orchid cultivars are featured with each passing season. The Orchid also makes an ideal setting for romantic dinners in the evening. Weather permitting, of course.
The poolside Health Club has over a hundred pieces of top-of-the-line exercise equipment, making it one of best equipped gyms that I have encountered so far. Friendly personal trainers are on hand to help guests with the gym's equipment. The Health Club is open around the clock.
After an exhausting workout section, why not wind down to a pampering session of sauna, steambath or Jacuzzi? There are separate sections for male and female guests. These facilities are open from 6:00am to 8:00pm.
There is no shortage of dining options in Shangri-La Hotel. The Line is the hotel's flagship restaurant, primarily serving international cuisine in buffet settings.
The Line presents a relaxing atmosphere for casual family dining. A substantial section of the dining area is illuminated by natural sunlight from the glass ceiling above.
Al fresco dining is also possible here. The outdoor section also serves as a temporary arts & crafts workshop for children. According to the hotel staff, an interactive play space for children, Buds by Shangri-La, will be opening in the Garden Wing next month.
The Line is also where breakfast is served every morning. The buffet menu spread across 16 stations, offering a diverse variety of cuisines that few restaurants can emulate. Breakfast is served from 6:00am to 10:30am on weekdays, and from 6:00am to 11:00am on weekends and public holidays.
At the bread section, baguettes and bread rolls are accompanied by exquisite cheeses such as Camembert, Gouda, Brie, Boursin, Chèvre and Blue Stilton. Cold cuts include mortadella, pastrami, smoked duck, paprika chicken ham, pepper tuna and salmon roulade just to name a few.
The Gammon Bone-In Ham is probably the most captivating delicacy in the breakfast menu. Cured using salt, gammon is essentially the hind leg of the swine. Flanking the gammon are Spiral Pork Sausage and Vegetable Quiche, both of which strike a chord with my palate.
Made from cured pork, the two types of streaky bacon appeal to my palate. In addition, the buffet counter also presents chicken sausages and turkey ham.
Warm pancakes and waffles are also prepared. The latter is available in plain and red velvet flavors. Honey, strawberry jam and orange marmalade are provided.
Other popular Western breakfast foods are hash browns, roasted potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, creamy corn and baked beans.
The egg station prepares à la minute egg dishes including omelette. Omelette usually contains onions and ham, so please inform the staff if you have any dietary restrictions.
Hard-boiled quail eggs are prepared in addition to chicken eggs. I am particularly fond of quail eggs.
At the noodle station, guests can order local delicacies such as Singapore Laksa, Prawn Mee Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup. Noodle choices are lye water noodle (碱面), koay teow (粿条), rice vermicelli (米粉), egg noodle (全蛋面) and spinach noodle (菠菜面). There are also optional ingredients such as shrimps, fish balls, pork meatballs, fish cake and bean sprouts.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Singapore Laksa is therefore my obvious choice. Prepared from spicy broth and coconut milk, this noodle dish carries sweet-savory flavors with a creamy consistency. Chopped laksa leaves (daun kesum) serve as garnish.
The next station features several types of Chinese congee. The menu varies on a daily basis. Examples of side dishes that go well with rice porridge are century eggs (皮蛋), meat floss (肉松), pickled mustard (榨菜), red fermented bean curd (红腐乳) and youtiao (油条).
Dim sum (点心) is cooked and kept warm in bamboo steamer baskets. There are several varieties such as shaomai (烧卖), har gow (虾饺) and char siu bao (叉烧包). Most of these delicacies are filled with minced pork.
Next to the dim sum steamer are several types of Chinese hot dishes. Today's choices include Roast Pork Belly, Wok-Fried Vegetables and Chinese Pancake.
Indian cuisine is renowned for its liberal use of spices. Flavorful stews from the subcontinent include Sambar, Aloo Matter and Vegetable Curry. The curries go well with rice dishes like Poha, Pongal and Khichdi. Popular Indian condiments include Mango Chutney and Raita.
Roti Prata is synonymous to Roti Canai in Malaysia. The pan-fried flatbread is available in plain and egg versions. Meanwhile, Vada (lentil doughnuts) and Onion Pakoda (onion fritters) are deep-fried foods.
The Japanese station features exquisite dishes such as soba noodle (盛り蕎麦), onsen tamago (温泉卵), natto (納豆), kimchi (キムチ) and edamame (枝豆).
Several types of breakfast cereals are available. Fresh milk, chocolate milk and soy milk are provided. In addition, the buffet prepares several types of muesli (banana, apple, mango and soy milk) and yogurt (apricot, blueberry, aloe vera and more).
As part of the hotel's effort to encourage healthy eating, the Wellness Corner's menu is crafted in collaboration with nutritionists. The "superfoods" presented here are almonds, walnuts, apricots, raisins, wolfberries, pumpkin seeds, steel-cut oats and more.
Health-conscious guests can opt for lactose-free milk, or non-dairy ones like almond milk or oat milk. There are also wholesome versions of muesli, muffins, parfait, pudding and salads that integrate superfoods into their recipes.
As an omelette, the vegetable frittata is rich in protein. I also love the delectable taste of roasted vegetable & hummus sandwich. These snacks support the fact that healthy foods can be delicious too!
To accommodate guests who suffer from wheat allergy, The Line dedicates a station for gluten-free meals. Included here are gluten-free versions of brioches, madeleines, muffins and sliced bread.
There are also several types of gluten-free breakfast cereals, namely Honey'd Corn Flakes, Whole O's, Gorilla Munch and Koala Crisp. Produced by Nature's Path, these breakfast cereals are also vegetarian-friendly and organic in nature.
We are also awed by The Line's pastry station. Neatly arranged on the shelves are baskets of croissants of various flavors to satisfy our sweet tooth. The variety of doughnuts, buns, brioches, puffs and cakes is also impressive.
Muffins are available in blueberry, chocolate and cranberry flavors. Meanwhile, Danish pastries are prepared with many toppings like apricots, raisins, chocolate and lychee.
In my opinion, the most amazing Danish is the one that is made from five types of berries, namely strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry and cranberry.
For something unconventional, try the oven-baked pizza with blueberry toppings. Of course, the classic Cheese Pizza is also prepared.
The Line presents whole and cut fruits such as apples, honeydew, rockmelons (cantaloupes), pitaya (dragon fruit) and rose apples.
At the drinks counter, the barista prepares espresso-based coffee drinks. Tea blends like Earl Grey are provided in tea bags. For something more local, request for a frothy glass of teh tarik (pulled tea).
We conclude our meal with chilled fruit juices. Some of these juices are cold-pressed to retain the fruits' wholesome goodness.
Having wine for breakfast is something new to me. Served chilled, Ruggeri Argeo Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy. This non-vintage label carries flowery aroma with fruity notes.
As for other restaurants, Shangri-La Hotel is also home to Shang Place (香宫), a Chinese restaurant which specializes in Cantonese cuisine.
The top floor of the Tower Wing is occupied by NAMI Restaurant & Bar (波心). This Japanese fine dining restaurant serves fresh seafood in omakase (おまかせ) style.
Meanwhile at the Garden Wing, The Waterfall offers Mediterranean fare with special emphasis on southern Italian cuisine.
The Rose Veranda serves European afternoon tea, while the upcoming Origin Grill & Bar specializes in seafood and meats. For guests who seek quick bites, The Shophouse (铺22) sells fresh breads, artisanal pastries, designer cakes, chocolate truffles, light snacks and coffee.
For its size, Shangri-La Hotel has a surprisingly large number of conference facilities. Riding on Singapore's status as an international city, Shangri-La Hotel is the venue of high profile events like the annual Shangri-La Dialogue and the Ma-Xi meeting in 2015.
The largest ballroom here is the Island Ballroom. This pillarless hall can accommodate 1,000 people in a banquet setting. For smaller events, the Dutch Pavilion is a sound choice. Once a Dutch school, the building was annexed by Shangri-La Hotel in 1982 and restored to its former glory.
We are blown away by the impeccable level of hospitality demonstrated by the hotel staff. Every aspect of our stay has been taken care of to the finest details. It is no wonder that Shangri-La Hotel Singapore has been consistently rated as one of best hotels in the world. To appreciate Shangri-La's highest standards of hospitality, one need not look further than the hotel that pioneered this longstanding tradition.
Name: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore
Address: 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Contact: +65-6737-3644
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila
Coordinates: 1.31106 N, 103.82661 E
Directions: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is located along Orange Grove Road. The hotel is 500 meters from the western end of Orchard Road. Meanwhile, the Valley Wing's lobby is located at Anderson Road. Shangri-La Hotel provides complimentary parking for its guests.

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