Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Valley Wing: Hotel Staycation Review
Tatler checks into Shangri-La Hotel's exclusive Valley Wing, which is one of the best family-friendly staycations that one can have in Singapore
The Shangri-La Hotel is possibly one of the most fully-booked hotels in Singapore—in fact, it took about two months for us to nail down a weekend staycation here, because they are often at full-capacity on weekends.
Their popularity is no surprise.
Set amidst 15 acres of landscaped gardens on Orange Grove Road, Shangri-La Hotel have topped itself as the ultimate family-friendly hotel, a fact which I was already fully aware of after doing a previous staycation in the Themed Family Suites at the Tower Wing last year. The Tower Wing isn't available for staycations at this point—though we might have to rule the highly-raved Themed Family Suites out for a while anyway because they've set such a high standard for my children that they've compared it to every other hotel room after, and none can live up to it.
Right now, guests can choose between the Garden or Valley Wing, and we picked the elegant Valley Wing.
A perk of staying at the Valley Wing is the exclusivity of this wing in the hotel. With its own driveway and mini carpark (for extremely convenient access) that is exclusively for Valley Wing guests, it’s no surprise that it's often the choice of government officials, VIPs and discerning luxury travellers.
During the time when we were there, it never felt busy in the lobby, even when the hotel is running at close to full capacity. The friendly butlers and staff also knew us by name the moment we stepped in.
Checking in was done at the Champagne Bar that has an extensive drink menu that was complimentary to all Valley Wing guests, including—of course—free-flow champagne throughout the day.
Do Not Disturb
While the Tower Wing is more modern, the 16-leveled Valley Wing is classically elegant, with little touches that I love—for example, the carpet in the lift changes daily, with a cursive that reminds one of the day of week: it’s true, you can lose track of days when you’re there.
There are 131 guestrooms, including 26 suites—one of which was a Deluxe Suite that we were in, and it overlooked the pool and the sprawling lawn.
Our butler informed us that there was a surprise for our little ones; they prepared a little teepee set-up with balloons and gift bags filled with games, snacks, even slippers and face shields, something special that they offer to VIP guests.
The Shangri-La Hotel also has a great array of extra amenities that can be requested by families. I loved how they provided everything that a child might need in the bathroom, from little bathrobes, dental set to a step stool. Additionally, guests can also request for bottle sterilisers, baby chairs to baby bathtubs so that one can feel at home immediately.
For the adults, we were welcomed with a personalised bottle of wine, alongside trays of chocolate truffles, nibbles and fruits. The mini bar was empty due to Covid restrictions, however, the hotel provides guests with a QR code that links one to a digital request app so that guests can explore and select anything they might need, be it a specific type of pillow from the pillow menu, drinks (all non-alcoholic drinks were complimentary), or anything from the amenities list.
If you count the relaxing long meals you’ll have and the activities the hotel has prepared, the day can get packed pretty quickly. Different packages come with their own set of activities: The Valley Wing Indulgence Staycation package includes a couple's spa session and rose petal drawn bath. When booking it, we mentioned that it was for the kids, and they thoughtfully drew a bubble bath filled with rubber duckies instead.
There is also the popular Fun Family Playcation package which comes with a picnic basket and kit that is best enjoyed on the hotel’s sprawling lawns.
There’s no need to book pool or gym facilities, but as the kids' spots tend to fill up quickly, reservations are required. The new Splash Zone is now an outdoor water playground with a pirate ship bursting with slides, while Buds is an indoor playground with a performance room and a painting studio. Both now run in 90-minute slot schedules, which is actually quite wonderful because there is more room for children to run around as the capacity is smaller. Additionally, Buds also runs simple culinary classes for kids.
The areas are cleared and sanitised between every session. For Buds, there are additional anti-bacterial misting machines and ionisers to improve air quality in the indoors play area. The plastic ball pit and cassia seeds play area has also been cleared out to minimise contact and ensure proper sanitisation.
If you're a Valley guest, it's impossible to feel even a tinge of hunger as there’s food available all the time.
Breakfast in the lavish Summit Room has to be the most luxurious way to begin every morning. The menu is extensive, the service impeccable and the food sumptuous, with epicurean options that span from steak and eggs to Japanese breakfast bentos… and a whole lot more in between. Service runs until 11am on weekends and guests will invariably spend longer breakfasts here—one of the luxuries of having time on your side on a staycation.
After breakfast, a complimentary traditional afternoon tea is served daily to guests in the lobby or on the patio, the latter is lovely on drizzly days as it overlooks the hotel's lush lawns. There is also a small menu catered just for kids. Following that, evening canapes are available.
All-day champagne is served from 11am to 10.30pm—if you’re not here with children, it’s a perfect spirit-filled weekend with friends. The bubbly served is Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV Champagne and there is also a selection of sparkling, white, red, rosé wines from the elegant Champagne Bar. There is also a dedicated gin trolley, where Gins Around the World is ongoing daily sampling from 5pm to 7pm. If you don't drink, there are mocktails alongside a selection of tea and coffee.
The hotel has a good range of food options. Local favourites are available at the Lobby Lounge, there are great Waygu options at Origin Grill and Italian comfort food at Waterfall Ristorante Italiano which is by the pool.
We headed to Shang Palace, which serves up authentic Cantonese cuisine. The restaurant has had a long-standing relationship with Shangri-La hotel, and was opened in 1971, the same year the property opened its doors. The modern red interiors of the dining space is contemporary Chinese at its best, and just chic. The dishes are gracefully plated, while there are the more experimental items, there is a section of traditional fare that they also do so well in. A must-order: the signature barbecued pork loin.
Stay for at least two nights. If you’ve kids and you want an activity-filled staycation, it's worth preparing a two-hourly schedule so that your butler (who will email you a day before your check-in) can book everything you need.
It might sound intense that to plan a schedule for a staycation, but I did feel once the reservations for the restaurants and the booking of the kid-friendly spots were done, that’s the last thing I had to think about, and we could just focus on spending time with loved ones.