$1,400-A-NIGHT STAYCAY THAT’S A KID’S DREAM COME TRUE

De­spite the ex­pen­sive room rates, this ho­tel’s lux­u­ri­ous fam­ily suites are said to be al­ways fully booked. ELISA CHIA checks in to find out what money can buy.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

We check into this lux­u­ri­ous ho­tel to find out what money can buy.

Where would you take your fam­ily for a holiday with $1,400? How about a onenight stay­ca­tion in Sin­ga­pore?

I widened my eyes in dis­be­lief when the room rate popped up on the web­site. But then again, I was check­ing out the iconic Shangri-La Ho­tel’s lux­u­ri­ous Themed Fam­ily Suites.

These were added to the ho­tel’s re­fur­bished Tower Wing in De­cem­ber last year. Words have it that they are al­ways fully booked.

What’s the ap­peal of these su­per pop­u­lar suites? I found out when the ho­tel ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to ex­pe­ri­ence a one-night stay.

BIG­GER THAN A 3-ROOM FLAT

My fam­ily en­tered the suite with great an­tic­i­pa­tion. Our eyes were im­me­di­ately drawn to the plush king-size bed, which looked ab­so­lutely invit­ing. Mean­while, two adorable squir­rel soft toys placed near the U-shaped ban­quette by the win­dow called for my chil­dren’s at­ten­tion.

Still, the suite ap­peared to be de­signed with adults in mind. Where was the kids’ room?

The guest re­la­tions of­fi­cer, who ush­ered us into our suite, must have read our mind and told them: “See that lit­tle door? Go on, open it!”

In­deed, there was a cute door – about the height of a preschooler – next to the bed. My five-year-old son pulled it open slowly, took a glimpse and couldn’t con­tain his smile. The look on his face was price­less!

On the other side of the door was a green par­adise fit­ted out with a “tree­house” loft bed, which my son and 10-year-old daugh­ter im­me­di­ately climbed up to ex­plore. The fo­liage-print wall­pa­per gave the room a whim­si­cal for­est-style vibe.

This was Tree­top (pic­tured), one of five Themed Fam­ily Suites which guests can choose from. The other amaz­ing op­tions are Sa­fari, Space, Cas­tle (pic­tured op­po­site, top right) and Un­der­wa­ter (pic­tured op­po­site, top left), which al­low kids to play and sleep in a “sa­fari tent”, “space­ship”, “cas­tle” and “sub­ma­rine”.

The kids have it bet­ter, right down to the bath­rooms – the chil­dren's one has a full-length tub with body wash and shampoo from US or­ganic skin­care brand Er­ba­viva. In con­trast, my room had only a stand­ing shower room; thank­fully, it was stocked with L’Oc­c­i­tane toi­letries.

Mea­sur­ing 76 square me­tres – big­ger than a three-room HDB flat – the two-room suite al­lows par­ents and chil­dren to re­treat to their own spa­ces, just like at home.

What I found in­trigu­ing was that the suite came with a large dou­ble-door retro-style Smeg fridge – in place of the typ­i­cal ho­tel mini fridge – and an in­duc­tion heater. I fig­ured that this makes it con­ve­nient for par­ents to cook for their lit­tle picky eaters, but surely they

didn’t have to do that.

Af­ter all, the ho­tel of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of din­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing Ital­ian, Ja­panese and Can­tonese, to please dis­cern­ing palates.

WEL­COME TO THE FAM­ILY FLOOR

The Themed Fam­ily Suites are lo­cated on the Tower Wing’s ninth floor, where you’ll also find 19 new Deluxe Fam­ily Rooms. These mea­sure 38 square me­tres each and are de­signed with built-in beds for kids.

Stay­ing on the ded­i­cated fam­ily floor has its perks, es­pe­cially if you have a baby. You have ac­cess to the cen­tral pantry (pic­tured right), which is stocked with strollers, bounc­ers, high chairs and cots – all from pre­mium Nor­we­gian brand Stokke.

You can also re­quest for Hug­gies di­a­pers, Tom­mee Tippee ster­ilis­ers, Nuk bot­tle cleansers, Philips Avent mon­i­tor sets and other baby es­sen­tials.

Here, you will find board games such as Mo­nop­oly: Sin­ga­pore Edi­tion and Scrabble Ju­nior for older kids. But my chil­dren didn’t have time for these; they pre­ferred to go to Buds, the ho­tel’s in­door and out­door play space at level one.

Chil­dren from age four will love its Ex­plorer Zone, which has spe­cially cu­rated in­stal­la­tions to suit five themed ar­eas: Fire Moun­tain, Wa­ter­fall, Un­der­wa­ter, Space and Mesh Cave. There’s a Tod­dler Zone for those younger than four and fea­tures gen­tle slides, jumpers and an in­ter­ac­tive piano floor.

As guests stay­ing at the suite, my chil­dren en­joyed un­lim­ited en­try and could also choose from two free ac­tiv­i­ties: Stage (song-and-dance) and Muddy (art). Each of these one-hour ses­sions usu­ally costs $25 per child.

If you’re stay­ing here on week­days, you can sign your kids up for a free BFF (Bak­ing For Fun) ses­sion, as well. Our chil­dren joined in and helped the chef make choco­late crois­sants for the next day’s break­fast spread at The Line buf­fet restau­rant.

Cham­pagne break­fast, after­noon tea and cock­tails are also served at the ho­tel’s Hor­i­zon­tal Club lounge, which we could ac­cess as part of our suite pack­age.

Lo­cated on the 24th level, it of­fers views of city; we could also drop by for non-al­co­holic drinks and light snacks around the clock if we wished to. There is child-friendly tableware, but kids un­der the age of 12 must be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult and can­not en­ter af­ter 6.30pm.

Be­fore we knew it, 24 hours had passed and it was time for us to leave. We re­quested a late check-out but were told po­litely that the next fam­ily would be ar­riv­ing soon. Nei­ther could I take a quick peek at the other themed rooms to shoot a video. That’s how pop­u­lar these suites are.

So, was it worth the four­fig­ure price tag? Based on all that the pack­age of­fered and the ob­vi­ous glee on my chil­dren’s faces, it’s one of the best fam­ily stay­cays we’ve had.

I would rec­om­mend stay­ing dur­ing off-peak pe­ri­ods so you can get a bet­ter room rate and your chances of get­ting a later check­out may be higher.

HOW MUCH The room rate varies through­out the year. At press time, a Themed Fam­ily Suite costs $1,400++ per room per night. This is for a max­i­mum of two adults and three chil­dren un­der 11 years old, and in­cludes break­fast.

Check out its Fam­ily Fun stay pack­age where two adults and two kids un­der six years old can en­joy daily buf­fet break­fast and din­ner at The Line.

FIND OUT MORE www.shangrila.com/sin­ga­pore

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