Many consider Singapore a transit destination rather than a destination in itself. However, it really has so much to offer from its museums and gardens to all the theme parks on Sentosa. At 4 hours flying time from Hong Kong it’s also the perfect destination for a fun-filled long weekend.
When choosing a hotel for a city break, the most vital ingredient for my 6 and 3 year old is a good pool. As usual I spent ages pouring over the Tripadvisor reviews and photos of various hotels and settled on the Shangri La as its pool looked awesome.
Getting to the hotel
The hotel is an easy 30 minutes drive from Changi Airport. You can either pick up a taxi or book a fancy airport car through the hotel (hot towels, cold water and wifi galore!)
About the hotel
I’m a huge fan of the Shangri La brand and have experienced many of their family friendly resorts/hotels throughout the region. I actually had no idea that this was their very first property.
The hotel had three wings: the tropical Garden Wing, the more business focused Tower Wing and the super fancy Valley Wing. We were staying in a Deluxe Pool View room in the Garden Wing. I absolutely loved the Garden Wing of the hotel, you are immediately transported to a tropical resort.
My only issue with it was as our hotel balcony overlooked the pool, all my kids wanted to do was go swimming! I had to drag them out of the hotel to go sightseeing!
The hotel is in a really nice downtown location – walking distance from one end of Orchard road but set back far enough that you’re away from the hustle bustle and surrounded by greenery. You are also less than 10 minutes walk to the Botanical Gardens.
We are still at the stage where we are happy to all be in one room together (my girls are only 6 and 3 but I’m sure that will change once they get older and want to stay up late past 8pm!). Our Deluxe Pool View room was great – my husband and I were in the big bed, there was a rollaway bed for my 6yo and we converted the sofa into a bed for my 3yo.
There’s a fairly big bathroom with separate bath and shower. The large balcony has two chairs offering up great views of the pool area.
I always appreciate the extra touches now like the Nespresso machine (a must if you have an early riser in the family). The Shangri La also give each child a welcome pack with a cuddly toy and some snacks in a cute little drawstring bag.
My complaint about some of the Singapore hotel pools is that they can be compact and shaded. This however, is a fantastic pool. There’s a nice shallow area with fountains for younger kids and a fun area where they put up a volleyball net and have water table tennis. There’s also a great grassy area behind the pool for kids to run around on.
I randomly bumped into an old boss in the pool who now lives in Singapore. He told me he was a member of the health club as the pool and gym are some of the best in the city. I didn’t get to the gym as I was too busy stuffing myself at the breakfast buffet but it looked good from the outside!
Likewise I didn’t make it to the Chi spa but if it’s anything like the other Shangri-La Chi spas, it will be good.
The hotel has 5 different restaurants ranging from Chinese to Italian. Kids highchairs and cutlery are available at all. We ate lunch at The Waterfall, a beautiful Italian restaurant with some of the best pasta I have ever tasted (was not expecting that in Singapore). Even better, they give kids dried pasta with colours & glue to decorate whilst you wait for your food.
Breakfast is your typical mass buffet affair at The Line. Lots of delicious food including yummy local delicious like kaya toast. If you are staying in the Garden Wing, you can also opt to have breakfast at the Waterfall but they don’t have as much choice.
Keep an eye out for the Children’s Meal Plan for registered hotel guests, whereby under 6 can enjoy complimentary buffet meals in All Day Dining and the Pool Cafe when accompanied by paying adult.
Singapore has loads of great dining options so if you’re keen to head out and explore, you can also arrange a babysitter through the hotel on request.
If you are looking for a sleek, modern hotel with chic facilities then this place isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a grand hotel, in a great location with nice rooms and excellent facilities, choose the Shangri La. The 5* service from the service is what truly stands out; from chatting with my children as they ran around the reception area and then offering them cuddly toys, to assisting me with all my sightseeing queries at Concierge.
Will I be back? Absolutely. Although I’ve got my eye on the Shangri La Rasa Sentosa next….