I wrote a couple of months back that Shangri-la Singapore reopened its Tower Wing back in May 2017. This essentially came in the form of the refurbished Tower Wing guest rooms, Horizon Club Lounge, a new Japanese restaurant called Nami as well as a spanking new look and concept for the Lobby Lounge. I have been back in the hotel a couple of times since the reopening of the Tower Wing (the most recent being a weekend stay at the hotel).
Shangri-la Singapore has been around for more than 45 years. It is the very first Shangri-la hotel in the world. The recent Tower Wing renovation is just another step in the series of refurbishments the hotel has done over the years – the other recent one being the Garden Wing back in 2012.
Getting to Shangri-la Singapore by Shuttle Bus
The hotel is located in Orange Grove Road, a residential area that branches from Orchard Road. While it’s a 5 minute walk to Orchard Road itself, the hotel also provides a shuttle service that takes on a circular route between Shangri-la Singapore, Hotel Jen Tanglin, Wisma Atria and Takashimaya. For everyone’s benefit, here is the shuttle bus schedule of Shangri-la Singapore:
Shangri-la Singapore Lobby
One of the first things that regulars will notice when they enter the hotel is the new nature-inspired look of the hotel. The 8 iconic columns supporting the main hall are still there but these, along with the walls, are now painted in soothing white. Gone is the bouquet centerpiece and this has been replaced with a variety of plants including potted ficus benjamina trees as well as sculptures of children created by artist Yi Hwan Kwon. The Shangri-la Singapore has one of the most spacious lobbies in Singapore and thankfully, this has been retained.
My favorite element in the lobby has got to be the Tree Canopy – an art installation over the ceiling consisting of thousands of swirling metallic leaves. It creates a soothing, mellifluous feeling when viewed from afar.
Even the staff uniforms have been adjusted to blend with the new look. Instead of the typical black found in most Shangri-la properties, the color scheme has now been changed to a more earthy shade.
Shangri-la Singapore made a smart move by deviating from the usual afternoon tea and drinks concept by transforming its own Lobby Lounge into a full-fledged dining venue with mains that are worth looking into. The menu reads like a highly local affair but with a premium touch. Think: Bak Chor Mee (Minced Meat Noodles) but accompanied with soup and fish maw or Fish Soup but with the usage of Hamachi.
The localized dishes can be ordered off the ala carte menu or as part of the semi-buffet which the hotel offers for lunch for $38++ on weekdays and $45++ on weekends.
While I typically prefer to have my fix of Singapore food in hawker centers, I found the dishes offered at the Lobby Lounge to be quite compelling. The Bak Chor Mee for instance was simply brimming with flavors. The fish maw broth – having been boiled from pork bones and dried sole – was so good that I almost forgot about the noodles.
The Fish Soup is another highlight. It is notable for its creamy finish despite the lack of milk. I also loved the Hamachi fish slices which add a sour element into the sweet soup.
Tower Wing Deluxe Room
The Tower Wing rooms now exude a very zen feel and this is due to the conception of Japanese designer Ryoichi Niwata of Bond Design Studio. The nature-inspired aesthetics of the rooms definitely don’t look like any other Shangri-la hotel. I am not sure whether this is a new direction the chain is taking but the design of some areas are also quite unique.
The wardrobe is transparent. Not merely a trendy fixture, this also helps reduce instances of guests forgetting to take out their clothes from the cabinet when they check out. The vanity mirror can be lifted up from a high table in order to save up on space. I’m the type who gets creeped out by mirrors facing the bed so this definitely alleviates that concern. The 38 square meter Tower Wing Deluxe Room takes after the layout of the old wing – including the diagonally-angled bed and the small alcove which now contains the working desk.
The control buttons by the bed have also been updated to allow guests to control the room lighting without having to get up.
The bathroom retains the same layout with the tub and shower area at opposite ends and with the sink in between.
Located at the topmost (24th) floor of the Tower Wing, the Horizon Club was also renovated with the rest of the wing. The new look is in keeping with the rest of the wing. It is one of the more spacious hotel club lounges in Singapore and personally, I would also rank it within the top 5 when going by looks alone.
I was handed a piece of paper containing the lounge benefits. Since it’s not available anywhere online, I’m posting it here for everyone’e benefit. Here are the Horizon Club benefits at Shangri-la Singapore:
- Breakfast from 6AM to 10:30AM Monday to Friday and up to 11AM on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
- Afternoon tea from 2 to 4PM
- Evening cocktails from 5PM to 8PM
- Complimentary pressing of one suit upon arrival
- Complimentary broadband access in the room and wifi access in the lounge
- The lounge is open 24 hours
It is also worth noting that children are also welcome at the Horizon Club Lounge but only until 6:30PM. I dropped by the lounge a couple of times during my stay and never found it especially busy, not even during evening cocktails.
The canape selection during evening cocktails are quite extensive and they were all placed in these petite plates. I could count no less than 10 different kinds although full-fledged hot dishes were not offered.
Nami Japanese Restaurant
I had dinner once again at Nami during my stay at Shangri-la Singapore. While the previous time was devoted to Nami’s ala carte dishes, this time I checked out the omakase dinner. A 7-course run through of the house specialties, I was reacquainted with my favorites like the Assorted Sashimi Platter and the fatty chutoro.
I also had the Sliced Raw Japanese Saga Wagyu Beef Sirloin A4, Kyoto Vegetables and Dashi Broth – this time as part of the omakase set and I noted the consistency of the beef compared to my wonderful experience the previous time.
The hotel has more up its sleeve when it comes to the Tower Wing and apart from the abovementioned new venues, Shangri-la Singapore will also soon debut a family-friendly kid’s floor. There will also be a steakhouse taking over the space where Nadaman used to be near the walkway between Tower Wing and Valley Wing.