A tropical sanctuary in the heart of bustling Singapore, Shangri-La Hotel is a perfect refuge after a taxing day of shopping, exploring and gorging on the delicacies that Singapore has to offer. Set amidst 15 acres of lush greenery, our stay in the Garden Wing was nothing short of magical.
The hum of running water, the chirping of crickets and the scent of fresh flowers greeted us as we made our way to our room. It was hard to believe that we were in a hotel, it felt more like a resort in some distant land. Because just beyond its perimeter lay a concrete jungle where life moved at furious pace and the city roared like an untamed lion trapped in a cage.
But what was strangely comforting was that we were staying at an arm’s length from the famous shopping and entertainment street of Orchard. City slickers as we are, we were joyous that we had the convenience of location and the tranquillity of a sanctuary so nearby.
The spacious room made it feel more like a miniature suite
The beautiful landscaping we walk past to get to our room
Pool view from the balcony
Our Deluxe Pool View Room was large with a cosy king size bed, a lounge area with a small dining table, a private balcony with two arm chairs and a coffee table and a large marble-clad bathroom with double sinks, bath tub and glass-enclosed shower. We honestly felt snug as a bug in a rug in this place.
We switched on the ceiling fan (yes they have a ceiling fan as well), opened the sliding doors and soon had fresh air circulating throughout the room. The Fan was a good touch we thought, gives one an option of enjoying some fresh air over the usual air-conditioned options you would rather tend to avoid sometimes if you so please to. And while we were settling into our abode for the next few days, we heard a knock on the door.
It was housekeeping with a welcome drink. Unlike the usual juices and mock-tails that most hotels serve, the Shangri-La Singapore’s version was very unique – it was hot Chinese tea instead. It came with an interesting note:
Serving tea to a guest is an age-old custom handed down for generations in China. Tea drinking is an art and important part of Chinese culture. Chinese tea cups do not have handles. The correct way to hold a tea cup is to place the thumb and index finger on opposite sides of the top of the rim while resting the base of the cup on the small finger. It is most courteous to lift the cup using both hands. As a gesture of warm welcome and in true Chinese tradition, we serve you this pot of Jasmine tea. Please note that Chinese tea should be taken without milk or sugar. Have a pleasant day.
We have never really cared much for welcome drinks until that experience as it was so distinct and allusive. The container that it arrived in felt as if we were opening a small treasure chest. It is one of Rosemarie’s fondest memories of staying there. She loved it so much and speaks about it so often, that sometimes I suspect that she may end up writing a whole article on it!
Fresh roses in our room
More importantly, our 538 sqft of luxury also had complimentary Wi-Fi , fresh fruit, chocolates and drinking water. Not to mention a delightful hand-written personal note from the General Manager. The note was good touch, makes a stay delightfully welcoming.
Staying in the Garden Wing at Shangri-La had an additional perk. We had two choices of places of where to have breakfast. We could either have it at the The Waterfall or at The Line. The Line boasts modern surroundings and has a large breakfast buffet spread that services guests from the Tower Wing as well.
The Waterfall on the other hand is catered for the guests from the Garden Wing. It’s eclectic, colonial interiors and comfortable plush seating adds a new meaning to luxurious breakfasting.
Apart from the regular assortment of breads, cereals, fruits, sausages and a variety of healthy options, guests get to select hot breakfast dishes from a special menu. Rosemarie had poached eggs on rye bread served with smoked salmon trout, spinach, Portobello and fennel hollandaise. I had buttermilk pancakes with blueberry compote, maple syrup and butter. It was a lovely morning to savour our breakfast slowly while reading the morning paper. The atmosphere of The Waterfall provides a sophisticated relaxing feel.
Food I picked from the buffet section at The Waterfall
Rosemarie’s poached eggs on rye bread
The walk down to breakfast or to the pool is amidst beautifully landscaped gardens. A large pond near the waterfall structure is home to a large school of koi swimming around. Just ask the hostess at The Waterfall restaurant for some fish food and she will happily pass you some. You could toss some into the pond and watch them scamper towards the food and fight for it. It’s a lot of fun, honestly. I could spend an hour at that pond amusing myself feeding those Koi.
There is an added benefit of staying in the Garden Wing. You get to sample some complimentary evening cocktails from 5pm to 7pm at Garden Wing Lounge. The assorted dishes of Chinese and Western influences made snacking quite an elaborate affair. We were so contended with tea that we had no room for dinner. We spent the rest of the evening lazing in our room.
The Koi Pond
Feeding the fish
Singapore is a city where there is always so much to do. If you are not busy shopping or visiting its many attractions, the night life is vibrant and its night clubs are filled with party goers.One normally does not get a lot of time or have the inclination to hang out in a hotel room.
But Shangri-La Singapore is unique. You actually feel like spending time in the room. Somehow it gives you a sense of feeling at home; it calms you down and helps you unwind from the rigours of the day gone by. The night arrives at the Shangri-La, humming its lullaby to seduce you to slumber. You are enticed to stay indoors to enjoy the comforting ambience of the room. Meanwhile in the concrete jungle the creatures of the night have gathered at their watering spots, while you have decided to relish the luxury of the legendary Asian hospitality of Shangri-La that began 40 years ago.
Hotel exterior – entrance
At The Waterfall, spoilt for choice
A special L’occitane pouch for guest in the bathroom
Shangri-La Singapore is located at 22 Orange Grove Road, 258350, Singapore. For more information on rates, head to their official page.