The first ever Shangri-La property proves that it still has charm in spades with the recent refurb of its grand Tower Wing.
While it was formally unveiled in May, construction was still ongoing in some parts of the wing when I visited in July, as proven by the occasional racket that I heard in my room. Yet this minute glitch does not detract from the beauty of the 503-room wing’s marbled lobby. A showcase of the finest Asian art and bespoke furnishing, the lobby welcomes guests with a sweeping art installation featuring three-tone cascading leaves conceptualized by Studio Sawada Design. Titled Tree Canopy, the work aims to capture the texture of clouds and the movement of the winds.
At the center of the lobby is an imposing basalt rock formation that rises from floor to the ceiling. Made by Australian designer Charlie Albone, the wall is decked with a combination of real and faux ferns and mosses, and surrounded by gigantic potted ficus benjamina trees. A swanky bar stocked with the finest tipples—and manned by charming bartenders—is found at the bottom of the wall, right across a knee-deep black infinity pool. A quick sweep of the area will lead one to discover six sculptures of children captured in various stages of play and merriment, made by Seoul-based artist Yi Hwan Kwon.
Understated style seems to be the guiding principle when the rooms were being conceptualized. Streamlined and bereft of over the top décor, my 38-square-meter deluxe room comes with a massive window offering sweeping views of the Orchard Road skyline. But after an exhausting day where I was caught underneath a freezing downpour, marveling over the cityscape is the last thing on my mind, and I ended up having a siesta, cocooned by the bed’s multiple thread count sheets.
The modestly sized bathroom has plush bathrobes, premium toiletries, soft-to-the-touch towels, and the standard rain shower. Thanks to a top grade sound system installed in the room, I can clearly hear the chatter from the flatscreen television while deeply immersed in the bathtub. All things considered, not a bad way to spend the day.
Perhaps the best part about staying at the Shangri-La’s Tower Wing is the exclusive Horizon Club Lounge located on level 24. Accessible only to guests who book the Horizon Club rooms, its impressive spread of dining options will delight ardent foodies. If munching your way through the entire day may not sound ideal, grab a glass of wine and perch yourself on one of the plush couches and decompress by admiring the panoramic city views.
Worth mentioning too is the mouthwatering showcase of nyonya dishes at the Lobby Lounge. Each meticulously prepared dish and dessert is placed on vibrantly colored plates reminiscent of vintage cutlery used in the homes of nyonya families. Equally interesting are the colorful tingkat found on the buffet table. “Levels” when translated in English, these are food containers stacked one on top of another. I’m familiar with the plastic and stainless steel tingkat but I’ve never seen anything similar to the intricately made ceramic ones used at the Lounge.
Spend an hour or two at CHI, The Spa, where bespoke relaxing wellness treatments are offered. If you don’t feel like spending your entire day inside the property, get your retail fix on Orchard Road’s massive malls, all just a 10-minute walk away.
22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350; 65/6213 4769; doubles from US$325 per night.