Review: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore – A Night’s Stay At One of The Best Hotels In Asia

With its towering skyscrapers and vibrant lifestyle scene, Singapore is a nice place to visit. Now if only their exchange rate vs the Malaysian ringgit wasn’t so high, I’d go every weekend. 😦

As it is, my last visit was in 2016 for a travel assignment – so it was nice to be back again, even if it was just for a short trip. I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, located close to the Orchard Road shopping district. Founded in 1971, it is one of the country’s oldest hotels, but has managed to keep up with the times with splendid yet classic decor and modern-looking rooms. It has also been consistently voted as one of the best hotels in Asia, with the annual Shangri-La Dialogue being hosted here since 2002.

CHECK IN

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The lobby’s high ceiling and towering pillars evoked a sense of space. Check-in was a breeze, as we were given welcome drinks and were attended to by friendly and professional concierge staff.

ROOM FACILITIES

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My Deluxe Room was located in the Tower Wing, which had a nice view of the surrounding skyscrapers, as well as the swimming pool and parts of the garden below. The room itself is spacious and well furnished, with a comfortable king-sized bed, large screen TV and minibar. The fact that they have a large work desk and also plenty of charging ports (both USB and standard) seemed to indicate that they’re geared towards business travelers – but then again we’re so reliant on our gadgets these days that a couple of ports just won’t cut it. I loved that they had a tall window to let in natural light in the day, and warm, ambient lighting when you need to cosy in at night.

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A Nespresso machine, complimentary water and a well-stocked minibar.

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I know alcohol is fairly common in most if not all five star hotels (that’s why they call it a minibar!) but coming from Muslim-majority Malaysia, it’s still interesting for me to see every time I visit a foreign country.

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I was surprised to find a welcome gift on the table, which was a box of delicious chocolates. I might have finished the entire box by myself lol.

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A space saving wooden dressing table, complete with pop up mirror and a compartment for the hairdryer.

I don’t have a picture of the bathroom, but it was very spacious as well, with a bathtub and a rainshower. Guests will also find the usual luxury amenities such as bathrobes, in-room slippers, shaving kit, toothbrush and toiletries.

IN ROOM DINING 

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Hadn’t had anything to eat since the morning, so I ordered room service. They had an extensive menu offering both local and Western dishes, such as nasi lemak, laksa, pizza, fish and chips, salads, pizza and the like. I opted for a Seafood Marinara Tagliatelle, which was delivered promptly (complete with table setting!) in 30 minutes. They also give you a glass of water and bread rolls with butter.

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Presentation was a little messy, as  sauce was splattered on the sides. Taste wise, the pasta was done al dente but the scallops were overcooked and rubbery. Maybe skip the in room dining and dine in at any of the hotel’s 11 restaurants and bars instead.

Didn’t manage to explore much of the hotel as I had an event to attend and left early the next morning, but they offer many other top notch facilities as well, including a pool, health club, spa, meeting rooms and conference halls, ballrooms for events, and a children’s club.

Prices average from RM1,000 onwards.

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL 

22 Orange Grove Rd,  Singapore 258350

 

Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, Singapore

In the busy commercial district of Orchard Road in Singapore, hotels are a dime a dozen. But I bet none of them can offer the comfy, home-away-from-home feeling like how Hotel Jen does. Tucked within the Orchard Gateway shopping center, the lobby is accessible via lift to the 8th floor – but fret not, as there are ample signs guiding visitors to the place. It’s also hard to miss the bicycles; a trademark of the brand.

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Delivering five-star quality at a four-star price, visitors can expect all sorts of conveniences, from charging stations in the lobby to trolleys (for all that retail therapy!). True to their #LeaveBoringBehind theme catered to urban travellers, there’s even a large screen in the lounge where you can take a picture of yourself and send a digital postcard to family and friends back home. 🙂

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Although the room wasn’t very large, it was cosy enough with a double bed, work counter, shower and tea/coffee making facilities. I liked that they included a local snack of icing biscuits in the mini fridge – gave it a more personalized touch. 🙂

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The IPTV has everything you need, from a summary of messages, entertainment guide, TV channels, promotions and more. No more boring old TV! 🙂

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The bar/resto area where guests can wine and dine with an epic view of Orchard Road below. But there’s more to come…

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I’m talking about the rooftop view, of course! I think the hotel sports one of the best views of Orchard Road and the Singapore Skyline – unimpeded by other high-rise buildings, one can see all the way to Marina Bay Sands (which lights up with lasers at night!) The infinity pool gives one a sense of swimming and floating up in the clouds..

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Cosy chairs to sit on while sipping on a martini

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We joined a Sunset Yoga session, which is part of the hotel’s activities to promote a holistic lifestyle and urban wellness among travellers. Our dedicated instructor taught us some basic poses, but those were enough to get me huffing and puffing. I’m more inflexible than I realized 😀

Our hour long session saw the sky slowly turning from light to dark. My favourite part was seeing the city slowly coming to life with brilliant lights, and lying down on our mats with our faces to the sky, closing our eyes and feeling the worries melt away.

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When we opened our eyes, it was already dark, and were welcomed by this beautiful view of the night skyline.

Between Hotel Jen Tanglin and Hotel Jen Orchard Gateway, I prefer the former for its quirky charm, but the latter is equally cosy and conveniently located. The MRT station is within the building and it’s just a few minutes walk away from Ngee Ann City, where my favourite place in the world (a huge Kinokuniya bookstore!) is at.

More info at reservations at hoteljen.com/Singapore/OrchardGateway.