It’s our yearly family trip again! Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation is not getting better, so there goes our dream of having a last overseas trip in a non-holiday period before Kpo Kia goes to Primary School. This year, our staycation will be in Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. We bought the “1-Night Stay at Garden Wing Deluxe Room with Breakfast & 3-Course Dinner at Ristorante Italiano” package through Klook. It was SGD380, and we managed to offset SGD100 with the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers. To top of it, there’s a promotion of an SGD50 voucher for our next hotel stay if the booking is SGD200 and above.
We had initially made a reservation with them earlier in May for a different package from Klook, without meals. But few days before our check-in date, the government announced Singapore entering into Phase 2 heighten alert. This means we will not be able to enjoy our meals anywhere except in our hotel room-to-be. Not willing to spend our staycation like a quarantine order stay, we canceled the booking.
Seeing how Kpo Kia enjoyed the hotel area when we dropped by Shangri-La Hotel to collect mooncakes for our parents, Kpo Kia papa decided to revive our staycation plan there. September is a busy month for us, but also with the cheapest rate we can get, before the school holiday.
Side story: How to tell we are beginning to live with COVID? The same package now costs an additional $100. I guessed the economy is slowly picking up?
Anyway, cheapo HDB tai tai proposed to have the staycation on weekdays, with the checkout day happening to fall on our Wedding Anniversary. Time flies, we had married for 7 years!
Unlike our previous staycation at Marina Bay Sand, there’s not much we can do before check-in. We can’t book any facility nor provide any wishlist. Since it’s just a one-night stay, we packed light with just sufficient clothing and our swimwear.
I was also disappointed to learn that a lot of activities are not available due to:
- COVID-19 measures
- they are available only for guests who stay during weekends with minimum 2 nights stays.
The check-in process is smooth, and the hotel staffs are professional and delightful. Tammy, who served us, is friendly and cheerful. Upon knowing it’s our wedding anniversary, she offered to give us a free cake for the celebration. She initially wanted to help me make it a surprise for Kpo Kia papa, who happened to be away when we were talking about this. But since Kpo Kia papa did not share with me his plan for the day and I am not sure when we will stay in the room, I decided against it.
Other than the complimentary amenity kit we received, Kpo Kia also received a kid amenity set which includes a pair of kid’s room slippers. There’s also an activity book that encourages kids to explore the hotel in exchange for some freebies.
We were issued the highest level for our town, and the view is pretty decent. There is some construction nearby, but we have no issue with the noise once we got into our room. 🙂
The basic facilities are there, and we were surprised to find an extra bed for Kpo Kia. Frankly speaking, the bed is really big enough for the 3 of us to be “cozy squeezy”.
After putting away our stuff, we went out for our late lunch and do a bit of shopping before we go back to the hotel for our next activity.
Once we reached the entrance of The Splash, we were greeted by the cheerful staff there. After our safe-entry check-in, they reminded us that we only have an hour window to stay inside the facility. They also shared that there are locker facilities, and then offer us towels before we went in. Kpo Kia had so much fun she nearly refused to leave!
The wedding anniversary cake from “Shop House” was delivered to our room but we only took some photos of it before we proceed to have our dinner.
Our dinner (at Waterfall & the lounge) & Cocktail session
I had read that kids 5 years old and below can dine for free in the restaurant with paying adults. But when we asked for the kid’s meal menu, the servers told us we can get a 50% discount instead. Not convinced, I asked again… and again. Apparently, the servers had assumed Kpo Kia to be over 6 years old without asking. I personally think they should ask us her age, instead of assuming it. I miss Tokyo Disney, where the staff will assume she is of a younger age (although she looks big), and I will gladly share her actual age.
Technically, her birthday is not over yet, so I reminded him that she is still 5 years old.
Our Klook voucher comes with complimentary 3 courses meals for 2 adults.
- L’insalata Di Cesare (Classic caesar salad)
- Calleto Steccato Al Rosmarino Con Purea Di Patate e Salsa Ai Funghi (chicken breast)
- Vellutata Di Zucca Napoletana (Pumpkin soup)
- Trancio Di Salmone – Roast salmon steak
- Panna Cotta Classica
After dinner, we explored around the hotel to complete the quiz questions. One of the quizzes includes us checking out the Tibetan Warrior Doorman’s name and taking a photo with him. Unfortunately, the one we were checking out had gone off for the day, so the ‘stand-in doorman’ – Vijay, helped us check off the name. Shhhh…. let’s keep this a secret!
We then went to The Lobby Lounge to redeem our complimentary cocktail drinks that come with our Klook vouchers before 10pm. I ordered one of their Signature cocktails – Daydreamer (made of Hibiscus & Hawthorn Vodka, Cold Brew Earl Grey Tea, Strawberry, and Champagne). Kpo Kia papa ordered Milo Dinosaur so he can share it with Kpo Kia. We had a relaxing one-hour stay in the area and feel so peaceful.
We started off our second day with a short swim in the swimming pool, and follow by splash again. The water in the swimming pool is quite warm compared to the Splash, so I personally took some time to adjust to the temperature. Kpo Kia, as usual, does not need to take time to adjust if there’s play available, LOL.
The hotel claimed they can’t give us a late checkout as our room is connecting room, and the latest we can check out is 12.30pm. Was disappointed since the hotel looks just half-filled, and there’s a lot of online reviews of others sharing how they enjoyed their late checkout. We were really hoping for a relaxing wedding anniversary in the hotel since we requested it upon check-in, but alas. In life, we cannot have everything we want, right?
With this, we just have to rush for our late breakfast and check out as soon as we can!
Our breakfast (at The Line)
This is the first time we have buffet at The Line. There are many food stations, but with COVID-19 safety measures, we can’t walk around to choose our food. We were to order our food through an application, which unfortunately messed up big time on that morning. Due to the system malfunctioning, orders not made by us are reflected on our order history, and orders ordered by us are not served. The service of the servers is still great, but not sure if the guests are seated too spread out, I felt that their attention level can be improved.
After our breakfast, Kpo Kia rushed us to redeem her freebies (from completing the quiz) from the Buds. Raresh, a friendly lady from The Buds, was chatting with Kpo Kia and warmed her up easily.
The checkout process is simple and fast, Kpo Kia papa just took barely more than 5 minutes since there’s no queue. They also provide express checkout service, all the guests need to do is drop the door keys into the counter and it’s done!
We continue to explore the hotel for a while more before we left the hotel to go home unpack for the next working/schooling day!
Overall, I have to say it’s quite a pleasant stay, and it’s really a ‘family friendly’ hotel. Believe most kids will enjoy exploring around the hotel, playing in the Splash, which means less screen time! The Splash, although is not very big, enables both young and older kids to play together. The servers generally are cheerful and friendly and love to chit-chat with the kids, making them feel comfortable.
Unfortunately, not sure is due to ‘bad planning’ on our part, or purely bad luck, I felt the stay could be improved compared to our staycation in Marina Bay Sand.
Some disappointment involved during the stay includes:
- There are not many activities for Kpo Kia as mostly are available only during weekends, and guests who stay for more than 2 nights.
- We were issued a connecting room that “hinder” our late check-out request despite us putting across it before we got our room number. Hope I don’t sound too Karen for mentioning that it’s a mad rush for us with the late 3pm check-in and 12pm checkout timing? I mean, I understand if the hotel is full, but I barely see many guests around (except at The Splash).
- I was served with lukewarm Laska as the meal ordering system messed up and the servers missed out on delivering it to me promptly.
Learning gained from this stay: double, triple check out the activities, any and fine print before I make any reservation. Go for a minimum of a 2-nights weekend stay if Kpo Kia is coming along.
Last but not least, Kpo Kia loves this staycation! Although it’s just a short 1-night stay, she was inspired and told us she wants to marry a husband who owned ‘a lot of’ Shangri-la hotels.