Reply To: Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

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July 2015, 3 days / 2 nights

During my birthday trip we also wanted to revisit Singapore.

Making the decision where to stay was difficult, because there are so many great hotels, but the Shangri-La had been on our bucket list for a longer time. We visited many hotel websites, watched Youtube videos and read Trip Advisor reviews.

After all this we decided to have our second Shangri-La and booked the Valley Wing to make it very special. It was also a good chance to compare a Shangri-La Resort (See the review of the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang.) with a city property.

The Shangri-La Singapore was the first hotel of the group, opened in 1971, and it is also the flagship. Previously the grounds were an orange grove.

We took a limousine from Singapore Changi Airport, arriving from Kuala Lumpur (Please see also the review of the Sama Sama Hotel.) It cost 55 SGD (ca. 35 Euro or ca. 39.65 USD). The journey took around twenty minutes.

Since there are two different entrances for the Valley Wing and the Tower Wing/Garden Wing combined, we told the driver where we wanted to be dropped off.

We were greeted warmly by the door man Krishna, who was wearing a colonial uniform. It was opulent and included a helmet.

Opposite to the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang there was no list and we were invited inside immediately.

There was a large painting of Shangri-La from the famous book Lost Horizon, after which the hotel chain is named.

The reception was right in front of the entrance. The check in formalities were done quickly, but there was still time to ask for the reason of our stay and to hand over a Dendrobium Orchid, which was created for the 35th anniversary of the Shangri-La Singapore, as a welcome gift.

When the receptionist heard it had been my birthday the week before he looked for a special room for us.

It was a smoking room on the 17th floor (the highest) with a balcony. He told us we could have a look, since we had originally stated in our booking we wanted a non-smoking room, and if the smell did disturb us we could always change again, but it should be beautiful and the smell no bother at all.

Another colleague accompanied us to the room. On the way she explained our privileges and pointed out things we might be interested in.

When entering the room there was no smell at all. If we hadn’t been told it was a smoking room we wouldn’t have believed it. We were very happy and kept it.

The room was very large and was a good mix between classic, Chinese and modern design elements.

There was a small hallway. To the left was the walk in closet, leading to the fully marbled bathroom. The walk in closet could be closed with richly decorated Chinese double doors.

There was a vanity table, large writing desk, a seating area with coffee table and Time, Robb Report, Epicure and Prestige Magazines.

The writing desk had a complete set of office supplies and a guest directory.

There was also a credenza with a flat screen TV and DVD-Player. All necessary international channels were available as well as regional ones.

The color scheme was green, gold, white and brown.

We liked the chandelier, the Nespresso coffee machine and Dilmah Tea selection.

The minibar was stocked with Sunrasia juices, other soft drinks (all non-alcoholic beverages were free of charge and replenished daily), liquors, Champagne, beer and Whiskey. The 375 ml bottle Veuve Cliquot was for example 72 SGD (ca. 46.60 Euro or ca. 51.30 USD) and the 50 ml Johnny Walker Black Label was 52 SGD (ca. 33.65 Euro or ca. 37 USD).

The fresh orchid plant, the fruit basket and nightly turndown service with free bottles of water, bookmarks with an excerpt from the Lost Horizon and a golden flower print and mint chocolates, packaged neatly in small Valley Wing branded boxes, were appreciated.

The king-sized bed was large and extremely comfortable.

We loved sitting on the balcony, which was fully furnished with wooden chairs and a marble topped table. We had views over the other wings, the garden, swimming pool and the city.

We saw one magnificent sunset.

The bathroom was large with double sinks and a separate bath tub and shower. The toilet and bidet were in their own room.

The bathroom amenities were by L’Occitaine Jasmin & Bergamot. We enjoyed it so much we bought a large hand soap at the L’Occitaine Raffles City store in Singapore.

During our two night’s stay we used in room dining, though there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, including Nadaman for Japanese, Shang Palace (Chinese), The Line & Shop, which was designed by Adam Tihany, the Waterfall, the Lobby Court, the Rose Veranda and the BLU Bar. Since we were very busy throughout our days we enjoyed to have dinner in the privacy and peaceful atmosphere of our large and beautiful room.

One meal included two carrot juice, one hot chocolate, one Milo, Singaporean Chicken Rice, which was fragrant and delicate flavored and very beautifully presented, Rigatoni Carbonara and a cherry banana crumble to share. Both were very light and flavorful. We would have this dinner again. It cost 124.75 SGD or ca. 81.50 Euro / 89.35 USD.

The other evening we weren’t very hungry and shared a Malaysian Chicken Curry with rice, which was messy to eat, but very delicious and spicy as we like it. Even though we didn’t order anything to drink the curry came with a glass of water, no charge, which was a nice touch. I had the dish before, but it was a first for him. We both enjoyed it. The curry cost 29.45 SGD (ca. 19.25 Euro or ca. 21.10 USD).

The ladies and gentlemen from In Room Dining were an asset to the hotel, discreet, friendly and generally interested in us.

During our stay we also used the shoe shine service, which was reliable and the shoes returned as good as new in a special box the next morning.

We decided to use the laundry service. Of course it wasn’t cheap, but worth the money paid for (103.60 SGD / ca. 67.70 Euro / ca. 74.20 USD). Each individual shirt was washed, ironed, starched and wrapped in paper. They looked as if we had just bought them.

Now to the benefits that come with the Valley Wing. It includes access to the Valley Wing Lounge and breakfast at the famous and lavish Summit Room which is gorgeous and memorable at the same time.

The lounge has snacks throughout the day, afternoon tea, canapés in the evening and free flowing Perrier-Jouet Champagne, cocktails or any other beverage one could wish for.

On the one evening we took part hot and cold canapés were served. They were watermelon and Feta cheese, Foie Gras on toast and decorated with a blueberry, tofu with soya sauce and green pesto, BBQ Chicken drum, Polenta, cod and prawn, which was brought to the table by the waiter, wearing white gloves.

At the bar was also a buffet with an excellent international cheese selection, crudités, salads, dressings and a very delectable cherry pistachio cake.

The quality was outstanding.

Breakfast was as high caliber and offered a huge choice of hot a la carte dishes. Guests can requests items, that aren’t on the menu or order as many dishes from the a la carte menu as they want.

The Continental buffet was large and included many cereals, fruits, berries, fruit salad, smoked salmon, cold cuts, cheese, bread, nuts, seeds and so much more.

The members of staff were the same as at the Valley Wing Lounge. Overall they were efficient, understated and friendly. They were happy to see us, but not so pleased when there was a small hiccup with our order on the last day. Many guests were ordering at the same and there was a confusion who should get what, so I received instead of an omelet fried eggs and baked beans. The mistake didn’t worry us too much and was quickly rectified.

We enjoyed a variety of egg dishes and French Toast.

Interesting enough every morning the table was set with different porcelain, which was a first for us.

We loved the elegant and lavish décor, the floor to ceiling windows and being able to catch a glimpse of the squirrels living in the garden.

The lounge was very large and had different seating arrangements from a bar/lounge to a restaurant setup.

It had a classic feel and beautiful design.

Besides spending time at the Valley Wing, we explored the hotel grounds, the Tower Wing and a bit of the Garden Wing.

When we needed transportation we went to Krishna, who organized taxis for us. Waiting time was minimal.

He was extremely friendly and showed us the VIP entrance/exit to the Valley Wing, allowing famous persons to avoid the lobby and go straight to their floor. There is also a secret door connecting the public spaces with the VIP entrance. Krishna was so kind to and let us use it, which garnered a few surprised stares and some disappointment by fellow guests, because we weren’t VIPs.

Krishna and we also chatted about other Shangri-La properties we had been to, not that many in our case. He had been at the Golden Sands, the sister property of the Rasa Sayang. We talked about our jobs and Krishna proudly explained he was working for the Shangri-La for over twenty years and loved it. You could see he was very proud and happy. Krishna told us which presidents of the US and other politicians he had met. We realized his brother and I were working for the same global company on different continents.

Then it was unfortunately time to pack, check out and leave. It was hard, because the setting is very romantic, the comfort great, the cuisine outstanding and the staff attentive and can’t do enough for you.

We would love to stay here again, should we be in Singapore.

Would we recommend this luxury hotel to a friend? YES!
Would we want to stay at this luxury hotel in our future? YES!

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