A 15-minute drive from Raffles took me to the Shangri-La Hotel. It’s in a quiet part of the city so you won’t hear many cars. The hotel has three distinctive wings with a total of 750 guestrooms and suites. The main is the Tower Wing. Then there’s the Garden Wing, which overlooks the tropical atrium and swimming pool and is currently under construction until May 31. But the most exclusive tower is the Valley Wing, which has a private entrance and reception and is where many celebrities and Heads of State stay. The Valley Wing has 131 rooms and I was fortunate to be in one of their suites for three nights. Here are my top 10 reasons why you would want to stay in Shangri-La’s Valley Wing:
10 reasons to stay in the Shangri-La’s Valley Wing
1 The service is off the hook
Everyone in the lobby knows who you are even if they don’t let on. For example, the bellman was near the elevator and after holding the door for me, he then pressed my floor without even asking. When I later called down for a box and some package tape to ship something, they were at my door within five minutes, no questions asked or charge to my bill. And when I asked my butler if they could sew a button on my coat and one on my pants, he said no problem and returned them like new in less than 10 minutes. Impressive.
2 The rooms
The rooms are billed as being the largest and most luxurious in the city. Ibelieve it because mine was huge and there was so much detail … from a desk full of office supplies (including personalized stationery) to mood lighting. There are remote control blinds, daily newspapers on the living room table, a Nespresso coffee machine, a shoe polish kit (and they provide free shoe polishing), flat screen TVs, and a universal adaptor built in to the electrical outlets so you don’t need to bring one from home.
3 Free Wi-Fi
Don’t you hate when expensive hotels charge an Internet fee?
4 The bed
I slept like a champ each night. The bed was firm and the duvet and pillows were perfect. Having a pillow menu helps.
5 The gorgeous lobby and its offerings
The lobby has complimentary champagne, cocktails, cookies and truffles throughout the day. There’s also a private dining room with a free breakfast buffet and appetizers in the evening. By day two, all the waiters know exactly what you like so all you have to do is nod your head. When I rolled in the second morning, the waiter said, “Orange and guava juice again, Mr. Jet?” I would then hit their mini buffet before trying the chef’s omelet of the day (one day it was crab meat, corn and potato), or the chef’s special like chicken tandoori. Note: The Tower Wing has the main breakfast buffet, which offers everything you can think of … all kinds of pastries, cereals, fruits, fresh squeezed juices, Indian, Chinese, American food – you name it! Even Singapore toast and fried carrot cake. The latter is not what you think it is but it sure is good.
6 The maids
The maids know when you aren’t in your room and come in like little elves. They bring their work cart in so the hallway always looks peaceful. They change the sheets each day unless you tell them not to and the marble bathrooms are stocked with Bulgari shampoos, conditioners, lotions and body wash. There are wrapped combs, dentist kits and mouthwash, which I kept hiding to see if they would replenish them and sure enough they did — twice a day. By the time I left, I could have opened up my own Bulgari store.
7 Free bath butler
The deep soaking tub comes with bath salts and a free bath butler. All you do is choose what kind of bath you would like (Gentlemen’s or Ladies Retreat or Rejuvenating Salt Bath), the time you want it filled and voila! At exactly 9:30pm, the butler knocked on my door, filled the tub with the Gentlemen’s Retreat bath (a refreshing aromatic bath created from peppermint, bergamot and juniper oils), dimmed the lights, placed three votive candles strategically around the tub and put the bathroom TV on to play soft music. When he was done, he said he made the bath warm so I could add just cold or hot for my liking. It was perfect the way it was.
8 Gym and pool
I worked out more in their fully equipped, state-of-the-art gym than I have at any hotel and I was just there for three nights. That’s how nice it was and their attentive workers were always there to greet you, hand you a towel, a bottle of water and headset to listen to your own personal TV while on one of the treadmills orbikes. Afterwards, I would swim a few laps in their outdoor pool, which is surrounded by lush tropical landscaping. Ah Singapore, how I love you.
I wanted to arrange for a massage but they informed me that the spa, in the Garden Wing, was currently under construction. However, they offer in-room massages, which was good enough for me! Right on time, the middle-aged Singaporean masseuse knocked on the door and I answered in my robe. She didn’t have a table, which I thought was weird and when I asked about this, she said she could get one but they normally do the massage on the bed. I went with the bed since it would be a first and I was told they do about fifty percent of them that way. She took two minutes to set it up by laying towels and pillows and had me lay on them. She then had a towel folded up by my forehead so I could breathe. She held up another towel while I took off my robe but I’m not sure why because half the time, my bare butt was exposed as she worked it like no one else … and it felt great! The whole time I was thinking – Natalie’s not going to like this. LOL! I opted for no music and instead, listened to the afternoon thunderstorm.
10 Location, location, location
It’s just a 10-minute walk or a free, two-minute shuttle, which comes every hour, to Orchard Road, Singapore’s most famous shopping street. Mammoth malls line the streets and inside they have every possible store, restaurant and shop you can imagine. Along the way, I even spotted a Chicago Garret’s Popcorn, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, CPK … and other American chains. But I was there to get some real Singaporean treats like peanut butter pancakes. One of the malls has an MRT station in it, which will take you to wherever else you want to go, cheaply, safely and comfortably.
Note: This stay was sponsored in part by Shangri-La Singapore