Another staycation idea to add to the list

If you visited the Shangri-La Hotel on Orange Grove Road the last few months, you will realize that the main lobby area and the entire Tower Wing (the main building of the first Shangri-La hotel in the world, opened in 1971) have come under wraps. But it has now emerged from an eight-month refurbishment project and we are excited to see that it is more than a simple facelift.

The first thing you will notice upon entering the hotel lobby: gone are the huge crystal chandeliers that hung from its ceilings—they were dismantled and pieces of it were given out to friends of the hotel at a Great Gatsby-themed closing party for the Tower Wing last year. Rather than sporting an old luxury vibe, the lobby is now a bright, warm and welcoming space with foliage adding to that resort feel. And instead of the grand chandeliers, the ceiling is now home to an art installation by renowned Japanese designer Hirotoshi Sawada, called "Tree Canopy", that is made using thousands of cascading stylized leaves.

Of course, the stars of the revamp are the rooms. All 503 of the Tower Wing’s guestrooms and suites are now refurbished and equipped with modern conveniences while retaining parts of its classic charms. Check out the entry-level 38 sq meter Deluxe Rooms, or opt for the Horizon Club Deluxe (with club benefits) and Executive Rooms. There are also the One-Bedroom Suite or the 250 sq meter Grand Suite for those who really want to live it up.

There is a distinct move towards incorporating parts of Singapore’s local culture into the hotel’s redesign. This can be seen at the lift lobbies embellished with Peranakan aesthetics, as well as with the introduction of the Lobby Lounge now serving up piping hot bowls of fish head bee hoon, prawn noodle, bak chor mee and chilli crab with mantou. Apparently, Shangri-La’s culinary team consulted famed hawkers of each dish in the making of them. Found beside the Lobby Lounge is ShopHouse (a throwback to mama shops of yesteryears), a grab-and-go retail kiosk peddling items like bread, sandwiches, salads, snacks, festive goodies and more that are infused with local ingredients. More on these local F&B concepts soon once we have more info.

In the meantime, you can also check out the new NAMI Restaurant and Bar on level 24 of the Tower Wing, a Japanese fine dining establishment helmed by Head Chef Akiba Shigeo who once cooked at the royal wedding of Japan’s Prince Akishinomiya and Princess Kiko.