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Luxe City Resort: Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Not too long ago, hotels were mainly places to shower and sleep after a full day of activities. These days, some hotels are destinations in themselves.
At the luxury five-star Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, it’s possible to enjoy a myriad of activities without leaving the hotel premises. The hotel recently unveiled its new Tower Wing after an extensive eight-month refurbishment which saw its lobby, rooms, suites and club lounge rejuvenated, and three restaurants revamped. This only means that there’s even more to see and do at the iconic hotel.
Here are some of our favourite must-dos when staying at the hotel:
• Take pictures and explore the newly renovated Tower Wing Lobby
Get your cameras ready as every part of the bright and breezy nature-inspired lobby is Instagram-worthy, thanks to the creative expertise of Japanese interior designer Ryoichi Niwata of Bond Design Studio and his team of craftspeople and artisans, who updated the lobby with a refreshing urban resort feel.
Two of six sculptures of children playing by South Korean artist Yi Hwan Kwon placed around the lobby
As you enter the lobby, you’ll be greeted by a playful “child”, one of six cast iron 3D children sculptures created by Seoul-based Korean artist Yi Hwan Kwon dotting the lobby. Look out for the sculpture of a girl with a donut swimming float around her waist and a boy taking a dip, submerged to the shoulders in the black stone infinity pool.
The swirling stylised metallic leaves of the Tree Canopy ceiling art installation evokes the lightness of cloud and the flow of wind
Taking centrestage at the reception area is the captivating Tree Canopy ceiling art installation, made up of thousands of swirling stylised three-toned metallic leaves, created by renowned Japanese artist Hirotoshi Sawada. For a closer look at the piece, which looks like a school of fish or a flock of birds, head up to the mezzanine floor.
The green wall at the Lobby Lounge, Southeast Asia's largest indoor natural feature wall, took 700 hours to install. The 350kg of basalt stones were attached by a stonemason from Scotland.
Behind the bar of the Lobby Lounge is a magnificent 9m by 6m basalt feature wall, created by Australian landscape designer Charlie Albone. The green wall comprises 350kg of basalt stones from Australia, as well as tropical plants such as Rabbit’s Foot, Jungle and Staghorn ferns, and purple Spanish sprawl mosses.
• Explore the hotel’s lush gardens
As the hotel is set amidst 15 acres of lush greenery and beautifully landscaped grounds, put on your walking shoes and check out its gorgeous green spaces.
Its vast collection of plant life – over 133,000 ornamental flowering trees, tropical fruit trees, aquatic plants, tropical flowers and Asian herbs – has earned it a nickname as “Singapore’s second botanic gardens”.
The Garden Wing rooms overlook a lush garden where the hotel's very own orchid hybrid – Dendrobium by Shangri-La Singapore – can be found
Photo: C. Leong
It comes as no surprise then that the hotel has its own orchid hybrid – Dendrobium by Shangri-La Singapore – which debuted in 2006, growing in a garden close to the swimming pool.
Look out for heliconia and ginger plots, a 35-year-old African tulip tree and an old Abiu tree planted by the late American singer John Denver in green spots such as the garden at the Garden Wing, which also features a cascading waterfall and ponds filled with Japanese koi; another waterfall and koi pond next to the gym; and the garden behind Waterfall Ristorante Italiano.
Admire pretty orchids like the bright red Renanthera Kalsom and yellow Oncidium Gower Ramsey at The Orchid
Photo: C. Leong
A must-see for orchid lovers is The Orchid, a 7m tall orchid greenhouse built in June 2016 to showcase the beauty of orchid species such as Renanthera Kalsom, Oncidium Gower Ramsey and Vanda Fuchs Delight. The Orchid can also be booked for an intimate dinner, complete with your very own chef and waiter.
• Savour Singapore flavours at Lobby Lounge
No trip to Singapore is complete without tucking into some local hawker fare. At the Lobby Lounge, you can sample a wide variety of well-loved local dishes in one place, served on colourful Peranakan crockery.
Sample authentic Singapore hawker dishes such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Katong Laksa and Prawn Noodle Soup at The Lobby Lounge
To ensure that the hawker fare is authentic, the hotel worked with hawker masters of favourite Singapore dishes to come up with six signature items: Bak Chor Mee with Fish Maw Soup, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Fish Bee Hoon, Prawn Noodle Soup, Katong Laksa and Chilli Crab and Mantou.
Enjoy these dishes on their own or as part of the Local Semi-Buffet Lunch where you savour local appetisers and desserts from the buffet table along with your choice of one of the signature dishes.
Other local must-trys include Kueh Pie Tee, Ngoh Hiang, Nyonya Chicken Curry, Satay Lau Pa Sat and Beef Rendang.
For an indulgent mid-day treat, order the 3-Tier Local Signature Afternoon Tea Set, paired with local-style tea or coffee.
• Check out the books at Lobby Lounge library
See which book catches your eye from the shelves of the library at the back of the Lobby Lounge. Browse through coffee table books on Singapore’s garden plants, culture, heritage, fashion, food, landscapes, architecture, design, politics and more over a cuppa or a cocktail.
The Lobby Lounge library features a collection of Singapore books on plants, design, heritage, culture, destinations and more
Photo: C. Leong
• Enjoy live jazz music at the Lobby Lounge
Wind down with some cocktails and be entertained by the crystal clear voice of Veronique Forget who specialises in classical and modern jazz. The sultry Mauritius-born singer performs from 7.30pm to 11.15pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 8.15pm till midnight on Friday, Saturday and eve of public holidays.
• Practice yoga
Yoga fans can enjoy complimentary yoga sessions at the Banyan Deck from 6pm to 7pm on Thursdays, and from 8.30am to 9.30am on Sundays. Private yoga sessions are also available upon request.
Yoga sessions are held at the Banyan Deck
• Chill out at the revitalised Horizon Club Lounge
Book a refurbished Horizon Club Room and enjoy 24-hour access to the rejuvenated Horizon Club Lounge on Level 24.
Sporting a soothing colour palette of brown, beige, white and grey, the chic lounge offers captivating views of the city and suburban greenery.
Horizon Club Room guests can enjoy complimentary beverages and refreshments 24/7 at the renovated Horizon Club Lounge
Enjoy a buffet breakfast from 6am to 10.30am on weekdays (till 11am on weekends and public holidays); afternoon tea from 2pm to 4pm daily; cocktails and canapes from 5pm to 8pm daily; and coffee, tea, juices, milk, soft drinks and snacks 24/7.
Wine lovers will be happy to know that the Lounge has an enomatic machine which dispenses a selection of wines in tasting, standard or extra portions so you can sample them all before settling down with a glass (or three!) of your favourite wine.
Room rates start from $420++ for a Tower Wing Deluxe reburbished room.
Photos courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore