As Singapore has fully opened up, travel has seen a sudden resurgence of visitors flocking to the city. Should you be planning a trip out there with your children in tow, we've done the homework and have the perfect recommendation for you.
Having tried and tested various hotels around the world (with our children) it is very rare that a hotel will offer such thoughtful consideration when it comes to catering for both parents and children equally. For those of you planning a trip to Singapore with your kids in tow, we can't recommend this hotel highly enough.
Of all the family-friendly hotels that we’ve experienced so far, we noticed that they are either geared more towards the parents with children as the afterthought and vice versa. It has become more challenging to find a five-star establishment that ticks all of the boxes especially when holidaying in a city. Well, the Shangri-la Singapore ticked all of our boxes. This is a hotel that has actually put their thinking caps on, asking themselves what gets children excited and how can they bring that experience to the forefront of the hotel experience? The concept at The Shangri-la Singapore is about the full guest experience with children being a large part of that. Children are treated as guests and are honoured with a full guest experience.
The Shangri-la Singapore is an urban oasis boasting 15 acres of landscaped gardens, and being here makes it hard to fathom that you’re actually within close proximity to Orchard Road (the city centre). Besides being the first flagship property of the Shangri-la Group, it is one of the first hotels here to offer a fully interactive program dedicated to families through its immersive play area buds as well as a whole floor located in the Tower Wing, featuring one-of-a-kind family themed suites and deluxe rooms that comes with its own Concierge. To elevate the program even further, the hotel offers various classes and activities and even has its own dedicated water playground area, Splash.
This was our first time staying at their Tower Wing which houses five themed family concept rooms (Castle, Safari, Underwater, Treetop, and Space) on the ninth floor. We stayed in the Underwater themed room and to say it was ‘so cool’ is truly an understatement. When children land on the ninth floor, it is the adults that are just as excited as the kids when they notice the themed post boxes located outside each door (which represent the theme of each room prior to entering). Igniting their imagination and sparking their innocent curiosity, this little feature alone quickly becomes meaningful for the little one's own holiday experience. Our underwater themed room was truly a delight. What we loved about the room was its subtleness - as you enter there is really nothing unusual about it until you take a closer look. Not wanting to give away the surprise, let’s just say there is a very inconspicuous feature in the room that leads to a magical reveal. The main highlight for us parents was really in the generous amount of space it provided. Similar to connecting rooms, the kids had their own make-believe area with its ensuite bathroom and toiletries as well as a dining area. The parents room was equally spacious, with its own ensuite shower, common area to dine in snugly at and a separate kitchen complete with a stove and SMEG refrigerator.
Returning to the room daily never felt more exciting for our kids as they got to return to a full-blown submarine bed with underwater elements surrounding them. What elevated their experience even more was the little activities they could expect each evening, where a problem-solving note would be left in the post box for them to solve in order to unlock the in-room treasure chest. Once solved, the password for the treasure chest was revealed which ultimately unlocked the surprise. What became so exhilarating the first night, became even more exhilarating the nights after as each night, the treasure chest would be filled with different treats. As parents, the most thrilling part about staying in these family themed suites is their family pantry room located on the same floor. It is a heaven for any parent traveling. Sterilizers? Absolutely. Bottles? Of course. Strollers? What? High chairs? There’s like six of them (Stokke’s), laundry and dryer(s)? Yes, plural. Nappies? They got you. Bouncers? Is that even a question (Stokke’s also). It was mind-blowing. The fact that you could go in with your room key and pick and choose whatever it was that you needed wasn’t just satisfying, it was a relief. What more can a parent ask for at this stage? Especially on holiday? Trust us, the Shangri-la has you sorted.
Besides the in-room experience, parents will be happy to know that their children get complimentary access to their large soft play area, buds and pool area , Splash. Another bonus are children’s activities offered during the weekends such as arts and crafts as well as cooking classes. For parents, there’s the main pool area to relax in whilst enjoying a refreshing beverage. For some pampering, the Chi Spa is a must - a well-known haven for those wanting an excellent massage or facial. In terms of dining there are various options to choose from - there’s LINE which serves a full-on breakfast buffet daily and features international breakfast choices. It is a social affair so don’t expect a quiet breakfast setting here. We loved it as we felt it kick-started our day. There’s Waterfall Ristorante Italiano serving some comforting pasta dishes ( we highly recommend the lobster linguine) as well as a dedicated bakery located at the lobby, providing fresh pastries, breads, coffees and patisseries each day.
As the Shangri-la is a large hotel with three different wings, there’s definitely something for everyone. Literally. The Tower Wing (where the family suites are located) is for someone that prefers a more contemporary vibe whereas the Garden wing features a more laid-back luxury category surrounded by the open-air Garden atrium. The Valley Wing is its more traditional and prestigious category which has seen heads of state and executive leaders take up accommodation. No matter which category one chooses, the service is consistent and welcoming, ever so heart-warming.
We give our deepest gratitude to The Shangri-la Singapore not just for its genuine thoughtfulness towards families and how they have thought through how a holiday should be spent - worry-free and memorable - but also for its stellar service and uber friendly staff. It is without a doubt a large hotel with three different wings and yet to manage the amount of guests and still remain hospitable and always inclined to help, really does say a lot about the establishment. We got to know a few friendly faces at The Shangri-la that will certainly leave an imprint on our memory when we think about our travels to Singapore. We highly recommend Shangri-la Singapore (note, their Orange Grove location) for families as it takes the experience to another level.
For those interested in a stay here, why not check out our special experience offer.
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