Despite the expensive room rates, this hotel’s luxurious family suites are said to be always fully booked. ELISA CHIA checks in to fi nd 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 four- figure 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