Testing out Singapore’s family-friendly and innovative Shangri-La Hotel

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Singapore has been on my bucket list for years to see if its family-oriented reputation is justified. We arrived at Changi International airport late afternoon, taking an easy taxi ride into town, and felt as if we’d entered a sci-fi movie. The future has arrived. Singapore has a great sense of energy and space. Staying in cities with kids can feel daunting, but the Shangri-La Hotel goes above and beyond for families.

Sleeping in a submarine, climbing a pirate ship and singing like a rock star are all on the agenda. The hotel’s Tower Wing now has some innovative family facilities, including Buds by Shangri-La – large outdoor and indoor play spaces that encourage kids to embrace nature, adventure, camaraderie and independence. Outdoors, there are lush gardens, a giant pirate ship with climbs and slides, a water play zone and a freeform pool.

Off to the pool!

The Buds outdoor play area

The indoor play area features Muddy for budding artists, Stage, a music studio for young performers, Bake, a fully equipped cooking classroom for kids and parents, and an interactive Party Room for celebrations. Stimulating and bonding, it’s a treat to experience with my two. Molly also made good use of the Toddler Zone, with its swings, slides, piano floor and vintage rides, while I had a cuppa in the Recharge Café beside Buds’ entrance.

On the ninth floor of the Tower Wing, 19 new deluxe family rooms are ready and waiting, or you can bag one of five themed family suites, including Safari, Treetop, Castle, Underwater and Space. The suites have two bathrooms, the larger of which is designed for children, but best of all is a connecting tunnel between the kids’ and the parents’ room. How cool is that?

Add in the special family check-in, a dedicated family concierge service, childcare amenities by Stokke (inset), including high chairs and buggies, and a centralised pantry with a steriliser, and Shangri-La has it covered.

Bipan Kapur, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, General Manager: ‘We understand travelling with kids can be stressful and can incur (literal) baggage. With the launch of our integrated family experience, we offer unique service touch points, such as the centralised pantry on the family floor, as well as an array of amenities. Buggies, car seats, even nappies are available, meaning parents don’t need to bring a lot with them and can have peace of mind while travelling light.’

Bake cookery school

Buds indoor play area

The lowdown: Shangri-La Hotel

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The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore offers themed family suites from £486 per night, while the family deluxe rooms start at £260 per night. Families who book at the family floor on Level 9 receive complimentary access to Buds.

Flights with Singapore Airlines or British Airways cost from around £700 return. Flight time is 13 hours direct.

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