After decades in business as Shangri-La’s maiden property, this gorgeous grand dame of luxury continues to deliver.
The 792-room Shangri-La is buried within a leafy, tropical paradise that spans six hectares (15 acres) of beautifully manicured gardens smack bang in a high-class residential estate that fringes Orchard Road. Yet, the Orchard and Stevens MRT stations, and the surrounding glitzy malls, are no more than 15-minutes away on foot. The Central Business District is a short taxi ride away. Shangri-La feels so remote and yet so central.
Address: Orange Grove Road, Singapore, 258350.
Style & character
The hotel is made up of three towers. The Tower Wing exudes a contemporary design with a subtle Asian touch; the Garden Wing is a resort-like oasis; and the Valley Wing offers classic elegance. A recent facelift to the Tower Wing has breathed new life into Shangri-La Singapore’s voluminous lobby. While retaining its towering ceiling of cathedral-like proportions, the colonnaded lobby now sports an eye-catching Tree Canopy art installation featuring metallic leaves festooned from the ceiling by Japanese designer, Hirotoshi Sawada. Adjacent to this is a gigantic silkscreen tapestry depicting raindrops, which forms the backdrop to the grandiose check-in area.
Over the years, the property’s lush tropical gardens has amassed a collection of more than 133,000 types of ornamental flowering trees, fruit trees, aquatic plants, tropical flowers and Asian herbs. Not to mention the seven-metre-tall, open-air orchid greenhouse sculpture that was erected on the grounds of the hotel. It’s certainly befitting of its status as the city’s ‘second’ Botanical Gardens.
Service & facilities
Apart from a 24-hour gym, four floodlit tennis courts (that come complete with racquets, balls and apparel to loan) and a free-form swimming pool, the hotel also offers a wood-decked, seven-treatment-room CHI Spa with results-oriented Biologique Recherche facials and an array of soothing body massage treatments. The hotel staff, about 10 per cent of whom are long-standing employees, are trained to please dignitaries and celebrities; but the same poised, sharp and impeccable service is extended to all guests. If we had to pick the happiest hotel staff in Singapore, it would be Shangri-La’s.
- Fitness centre
- Kids’ club
- Room service
- Tennis court
Rooms are available are across the three wings. Leisure travellers tend to go for the rattan and wood-decked Garden Wing rooms with private balconies overlooking either the swimming pool or the city; heads of states – and those with deep pockets – are ushered to the ultra-exclusive Valley Wing, which comes with elegant rooms, its own driveway, complimentary breakfast as well as unlimited champagne, wine and canapés in its lounge. Otherwise, head for the Tower Wing, which recently emerged with 503 revamped rooms.
All rooms come with a Nespresso coffee machine and marble bathrooms, but only specific room categories (the Grand Premier room, the one-bedroom Suite and Grand Suite) offer a kitchenette with an induction stove. Guests who book the Horizon Club rooms on levels 20 to 23 or suites (in the Tower Wing) all have access to the airy Horizon Club Lounge on the 24th storey of the property. Apart from panoramic city views, there is a choice of hot and cold beverages (including soya milk, almond milk and rice milk) all day, plus complimentary meals including a generous breakfast spread, afternoon tea (think scones and foie gras sliders) as well as DIY cocktails and canapés in the evenings.
Food & drink
The Line remains popular for its breakfast buffet, and Shang Palace for its Cantonese fare, but don’t miss the hotel’s newer dining concepts. The towering Lobby Lounge serves a Peranakan-inspired buffet to go with hawker fare prepared with recipes and sauces purchased from local markets (try the laksa by Katong Laksa, “bak chor mee” from Seng Kee, prawn noodle soup by Beach Road Prawn Mee and chilli crabs in deep-fried buns by Dragon Phoenix).
Nami, on the 24th storey of the Tower Wing, serves sushi, sashimi and omakase by former Nadaman Tokyo veteran, chef Shigeo Akiba, who prides himself on dashi-based dishes like hamo (pike conger eel) stuffed with uni with Japanese pickling melon and junsai (watershield). The Waterfall serves an extensive range of reasonably prices pastas and pizzas.
Instead of jostling with the public at The Line for breakfast, we recommend guests pay for the entry-level Horizon Club rooms for access to the excellent breakfast at the Horizon Club Lounge – think fresh fruits, pastries, Beurre D’Isigny butter as well as a decent hot food buffet including eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, nasi lemak and plain porridge.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The Tower Wing offers six accessible rooms, while the Garden Wing and Valley Wing offer three and one respectively.
When its integrated children’s amenities roll out in December 2017, Shangri-La will have specific child-friendly amenities, including a VIB (Very Important Baby programme), a dedicated family floor with 19 Family Deluxe rooms and five themed family suites (pick from Castle, Underwater, Treetop, Safari and Space), as well as an indoor kids’ club.
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