A380 Extravaganza: Shangri-La Singapore

Filed Under: Hotels, Travel

The hotel situation for my second night in Singapore was pretty unique. I was flying straight to Colombo and back that night, departing at 10PM and arriving back in Singapore at 7AM. Then that evening I had a flight to Dubai on Emirates at 9PM. So I knew I wanted a hotel room (for the afternoon before my Colombo flight and for the whole day before my Dubai flight), but didn’t know where to stay.

The remainder of my Jetsetter credit was nearing expiration, so I decided to book the Shangri-La. I booked a Horizon Premier Room since I was curious to see how the club lounge there compared to club lounges I’ve experienced at other hotel chains. The rate would have been about $400, though I had enough credit so paid nothing out of pocket.

The Shangri-La is located near Orchard Road, which many consider the “place to be” in Singapore. I’m not a huge fan of the area as I don’t really like shopping, though I do see the lure of the area.

Upon arrival I was promptly assisted by the bellman, who was perhaps a bit too assertive about helping me. He took my bag out of the taxi’s trunk, and I thanked him and said I could take it from there. He said “please, allow me, sir.” I thanked him again and said it was really fine. He said “it would be my pleasure.” At that point I just grabbed it and went!

Hotel exterior

Though speaking of the bellmen, their hats are probably the highlight of this hotel. Check those monsters out! I don’t think anyone can fully appreciate how badly I want one. Could you imagine walking into a Walmart wearing one of those bad boys?

Coolest. Hats. Ever.

The lobby of the Shangri-La is stunning. It’s classic without being shabby.



Just inside the doors I was welcomed by a “host,” who escorted me to the check-in desk. Once they realized I had booked a Horizon Club room I was escorted up to the Horizon Club for check-in formalities.

Elevators in lobby

The Horizon Club agent informed the “host” that check-in formalities could be completed in-room, so at that point I was escorted to my room. I couldn’t help but feel like the whole process was a bit unnecessarily complicated. In my opinion the hosts should have a list with guest information so that at least one step of the check-in process can be eliminated.

Hallway to room

Anyway, the room was massive at 775 square feet, as large as suites at most hotels. It was triangular, however, so just a large open space.

Near the entrance of the room was a couch with a coffee table, leading to a desk by the window.

Room entrance

Couch and desk near entrance

On the coffee table was a bowl of fruit.

Fruit plate

Room from other side

Bed, TV, and more seating


View from the room

Chair by other window

The bathroom was next to the bed, though between the two was an oddly placed, well, I don’t even know how you describe this?


The bathroom was awesome(ish). It featured a tub, walk-in shower, double sinks, and toilet. I say awesome(ish) because the shower wasn’t fully enclosed, but instead only the door closed, while the other side of the shower just opened up towards the bathtub.


Double sinks

Shower and bathtub


The bathroom was stocked with L’Occitane toiletries, probably my second favorite only behind Bulgari.


On the whole I loved the size of the room, though couldn’t help but feel like it was decorated similar to a dull cruise ship. Fortunately Wi-Fi was fast and free. You know how consuming alcohol makes people more attractive? I find that free Wi-Fi at hotels has the same effect on my impression of hotels.

The Horizon Club serves evening drinks from 6PM till 8PM, and I had the chance to pop in there and check out the spread prior to my flight to Colombo.

Horizon Club entrance

Horizon Club

Horizon Club

While the spread had a good variety of items, they were all super-gourmet (in other words, I had no clue what they were, even with the descriptions) and in tiny portions. Certainly no substitute for dinner as you’ll sometimes see in club lounges. I hate to say it, but I thought the spread at the Conrad was better.


Evening spread

Evening spread

The following morning I returned after my Colombo turn to check out the breakfast spread.

Interestingly breakfast isn’t served in the club lounge, but rather the private dining area located next to the club lounge. The spread was excellent for a club breakfast, with several hot dishes as well as an a la carte menu. I didn’t actually eat anything but rather just had an iced coffee after flying all night and wanting to catch up on a bit of email.

Breakfast venue

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

Breakfast spread

I napped for much of the rest of the day, though briefly checked out the hotel’s other facilities.

The hotel has a gym with modern (and plentiful!) equipment.



There’s also an outdoor pool, though it was raining the whole time I was there, so I didn’t use it either.


I was curious to see whether Shangri-La offered an experience substantially different from the “mass market” chains like Hyatt and Westin. If this hotel is any indication, the answer is “no.”

The service at the hotel was reasonably good, though not great, and I thought the rooms were outdated. The club lounge spread was nothing that sets a Horizon Club apart from a club at a Westin or Hyatt, where you receive complimentary access as an elite member.

I can’t imagine actually paying the rates they charge out of pocket, though as they say, “your mileage may vary.”

  1. Did you get a late checkout or pay for 2 nights? Just trying to understand how you utilized the hotel given your odd flight schedules.

  2. This statement is spot-on: “You know how consuming alcohol makes people more attractive? I find that free wifi at hotels has the same effect on my impression of hotels.” Great report!

  3. That gym equipment is pretty nice – good stuff for weights (rope pull, lots of dumb bells in high weights).

  4. Completely agree about the room decor. The Shangri-La in Sydney looks a bit more modern, but seems pretty similar. I had a Horizon room and the Sydney club lounge was quite nice – the spread there looked a little more generous than Singapore. Service was fine, but not outstanding.

  5. It’s too bad you had this experience – my experience at the Shangri-La Manila (and in their Horizon Club) was one of my best hotel experiences ever.

  6. I know I don’t like triangular rooms. From the pictures I actually like the decor, but not the layout (I dislike very modern styling, it’s just a question of taste).

    As another perspective on the bellman, when you decline his offer of help, you are perhaps implying that he is not of use to you, ie, he isn’t a good bellman (no issue of tip motivation in Singapore, as there usually no tipping).

    What’s the reason you disliked the thought of bag help as much as you did?

  7. I know it guess against frugal ways, but after a decade of luxury hotels I let them take my bags for <$5 tip. Less confrontation that way and you can call it a business expense, Lucky.

  8. Thanks for the report! Looks nice, but I agree it doesn’t seem anything special.

    As for “whether Shangri-La offered an experience substantially different from the ‘mass market’ chains,” it must vary by hotel. I was lucky enough to stay at the Shangri-La Vancouver a few years ago, and it was fantastic–one of my very top city hotel stays.

    In-room check-in, fantastic room and amenities (fruit and wine in the room, hors d’oeuvres and free drinks in the bar), excellent food, and very polished service. The Shangri-La Singapore looks nice, but I’d never guess it was the same hotel chain as the one in Vancouver.

  9. I know what that seating area is for. For putting on Skinny jeans after coming out of the shower. You have to sit down to get some pants on, and it is nice to have a seating area as soon as you come out of the shower/tub.

  10. Of course it is all personal preference, but I can’t see why you’d prefer the Conrad over the Shangri-La. View from the lounge is awesome. I may be biased though as my wife likes to shop and I can do without ice cream sundaes for breakfast;-)

  11. @ Brad — As a club guest I did get late checkout. I thought I’d get it till 4PM, though they only granted it till 2PM. Worked for me!

  12. @ beachfan — Because I only had a rollaboard, and usually it takes at least 5-10 minutes after you make it to your room before the bellman arrived, and that seemed like a waste of both of our time.

  13. Interesting report.

    Last time I was in SIN with my wife and 3 year old (thanks for the great award booking help, BTW), I narrowed our hotel choice to this room or a Shophouse suite at the IC. We chose the IC because with the F&F rate, it was about half the price.

    Based on your report, it looks like the room at the Shang is bigger, same with the pool and fitness area. It seems the Club facilities are comparable, and at least for me, the IC’s location is better given the short walks to malls, MRT, and a great hawker centre. I’m not regretting my choice.

    Great report!

  14. @ choi — It was about $400USD, though I used Jetsetter credit.

    @ TravelerMSY — True, though it wasn’t the money but rather the fact that it always takes a while for them to bring the bags.

    @ Rasputin — LOL!

  15. Hats are one thing (I’ll get to any other items later) bit don’t miss those shoes/boots! If costume attire is your thing, make it complete. We’ll hope that you don’t get shot as a terrorist is SEA/SFO/LAX when you return…

  16. Where you really want to stay at the Shang is the Valley Wing. Sure it costs more, but the service is extraordinary. You can use all the services of the main hotel, plus those of the Valley Wing. Its really an upscale hotel within a hotel.

  17. LUCKY! *With as much internet faux-anger I can summon* WHY DIDN’T YOU GO TO THE LINE!?!? I understand that you were pressed for time and the lounge is alluring, but the Line (the hotel restaurant) is absolutely amazing. It is an absolutely enormous buffet, THE most spectacular I have ever seen. It’s quite expensive but considering that you didn’t pay anything for the room, I reckon you could’ve gone for it 😉 Next time you’re in Singapore, I hope you get to check this out: be prepared….

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