The Singapore Shangri-La represents the hotel chain’s maiden offering, having been opened almost 50 years ago. As such, it’s the flagship hotel of the Shangri-La chain, and over the years the Shangri-La Singapore has undergone numerous refurbishments and renovations, with the latest upgrade coming in the form of a US$80 million refurb of the Tower Wing.
When we last wrote about the Tower Wing renovation, some amenities weren’t ready for guests yet, but now that the makeover is completed join Australian Business Traveller as we explore the new Tower Wing and Horizon Club at the Shangri-La Singapore, and all it has to offer.
Location & Impressions
Set on a lush estate just off Orange Grove road (and a short walk to the famed Orchard Rd strip), the Shangri-La Singapore is designed to be an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
If public transport is your preferred option, the Orchard MRT station is a 15 minute walk away, or you can head for the closer Delfi Bus Interchange. If you’re in a hurry, taxis are cheap and plentiful and you’ll find yourself downtown in around 15 minutes from the Shangri-La Singapore.
While Orchard Rd is walking distance from the hotel, on particularly humid or hot days it can be a taxing walk. Similarly, if you’ve got business in Downtown, Chinatown or Clark Quay you may prefer something closer rather than having to arrange transport.
When you’re getting in, Changi Airport is about 25 minutes away by taxi.
Arriving at the Shangri-La Singapore, you’ll notice the immense size of the hotel and the lush greenery, with 15 acres of landscaped gardens making up the hotel’s footprint.
The hotel is split into three distinct wings, including the Tower Wing (the first wing of the hotel opened in 1971 and the focus of our review), the Garden Wing and the Valley Wing.
The Tower Wing’s recently refurbished lobby continues the ‘urban resort’ setting, with a leaf-adorned wall and large plants setting the vibe. A central water feature and contemporary furnishings continue the trend, with large columns to break up the space.
The Tower Wing hosts most of the hotel’s restaurants, as well as all of the Horizon Club Deluxe rooms, of which there are 79 in total. There are also 360 Tower Wing deluxe rooms, offering up city or pool views with 38sqm of space.
If you’re after something larger, there are also Tower Wing Horizon Club Grand Premier rooms available, which offer up 72sqm of room or One-Bedroom Suites that go up to 88sqm.
If you're staying in a Horizon Club Deluxe room, you can skip the lobby reception and head straight up to the Horizon Club on the 24th floor to check-in.
You can also check-in prior to arrival – look out for a booking confirmation email from Shangri-La, where you can then reply with your personal details and save some time once you arrive. If you link your Golden Circle membership to your booking, you can save even more time and just provide a signature upon check-in.
The first thing you’ll notice when entering your Tower Wing Horizon Club Deluxe Room is the strange shape – the king-size bed pokes out at an angle, greatly diminishing the amount of usable space.
The bed faces a wall-mounted television, underneath which is a beautiful live-edge console that houses your Nespresso machine and complimentary water.
Underneath the console, you’ll find your minibar, refrigerator and miscellaneous drawers contained in a cabinet.
Next to the bed are bedside tables where you’ll find an array of controls for the blinds, curtains and lighting as well as plenty of power points for charging up your devices.
The bedside controls are fantastic – you no longer need to hunt around for that one light that stays on, or get up to close the curtains when you’re already tucked in.
There is also a comfortable lounge chair and ottoman next to the bed...
...accompanied by a side table with fresh fruit and a card welcoming you to the Tower Wing.
The focal point of the room is the large alcove window, with a large executive desk overlooking the city view. Tower Wing Horizon Club Deluxe rooms are available with either a city view or a pool view, so if you have a preference you may want to notify the staff in advance.
A luggage storage area and a nifty transparent wardrobe are located in the hall...
...and next to the wardrobe is a small vanity desk with a pop-up console, perfect for applying makeup or drying your hair if required.
There are also powerpoints ensconced within for charging up your devices.
The bathrooms are generous, with both a bathtub and an enclosed shower available...
...although there is a single sink only.
L’Occitane Jasmine amenities feature in the Horizon Club Deluxe rooms.
The Shangri-La Singapore’s Tower Wing Horizon Club Deluxe rooms are actually a great place to get some work done. The large executive desk is expansive, and with fast, free Wi-Fi and a beautiful view over Singapore, it’s a nice spot to fire up your laptop and tackle work tasks - although an actual office chair would have been ideal, rather than the dining chair provided.
If you prefer to get out of your room when working, head over to the Horizon Club on the 24th floor. With plenty of comfortable lounge seating, as well as tables and chairs it’s easy to post up for the day.
Inside the lounge, you’ll find concierge services available from 6AM to midnight, although you do have 24-hour access to the lounge if necessary.
There’s a great assortment of self-service snacks...
...and food available, making the Horizon Club perfect for ploughing through a few hours of work.
Business travellers will also appreciate the business centre, where you can take care of tasks like sending out packages, printing, faxing and using workstations in case there’s an issue with your own.
The new Tower Wing features several restaurants, ranging from casual dining to more high-end options.
Those of us that like to try the local fare but may not have the time to travel around will appreciate the new lobby lounge, serving up a good variety of local hawker dishes. Signature dishes include Hainanese Chicken Rice, as well as Chill Crab & Mantou and Katong Laksa.
If you’re after a taste of home, head to Origin Grill & Bar, which is headed up by Sydney-born Heidi Flanagan, though this was not open at the time of our visit.
The Shangri-La Singapore’s signature restaurant is NAMI, offering up Japanese fine dining on the 24th floor of the Tower Wing.
For dinner, we opted for NAMI’s Hokkaido Omakase – not dissimilar to a degustation menu with a number of dishes selected by the chef.
We start off with cold appetisers of hairy crab with vinegar, and Yuba tofu accompanied by sea urchin.
Next up is Dobin-mushi, a seafood broth served in a teapot…
…with mushrooms and seafood releasing a beautiful aroma as soon as you lift up the lid.
Perhaps the most decadent dish follows – five pieces of sashimi flown in from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market. While the offering is seasonal, our sashimi included tuna, amberjack, scallop, botan ebi,and flounder.
After that is a Capelin fish tempura...
…followed by a melt-in-the-mouth Saga beef sirloin steak accompanied by Oita shitake mushrooms.
To cap things off we have mushroom rice and miso soup…
…with seasonal fruits as the final offering.
All in all, it’s a stunning display of regional Japanese cuisine, with plentiful flavours, interesting presentation and decadent ingredients.
The Shangri-La Singapore is already a relaxing place to be, thanks to its lush setting. If you need more convincing, there’s a large resort pool, landscaped gardens to wander through and plenty of amenities to keep you relaxed, fit and healthy.
The well-equipped health club offers up a range of treadmills, exercise machines and free weights, as well as a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna in the change rooms.
You can also work up a sweat at the tennis courts, with both artificial grass and multi-weather surfacing options available, or gead down to CHI spa if you’re in need of a massage.
With plenty of dining options, a convenient but off-the-beaten-path location, and fantastic amenities, the Singapore Shangri-La has long been a favourite of Australian Business Traveller. With the new Tower Wing refurbishment, it’s even better than before. Our only gripes were with the oddly shaped rooms, which seem slightly smaller than they used to be – nevertheless, we found the Singapore Shangri-La to be a great business travel destination for getting work done and relaxing at the end of the day as well.
Sid Raja stayed at the Singapore Shangri-La Tower Wing as a guest of Shangri-La Hotels