Singapore…A City in a Garden!
Trip Recap August 27th - September 3rd, 2013
 


August 30
My driver is waiting and has been for a while as my flight was delayed. Finally arrived at 2:30 a.m. and once through customs and immigration, which again was very brief, I was met and taken to my car and then a lovely ride on quiet roads to my hotel, the Shangri-La Singapore. How I love this brand of hotels.

I was met at the hotel by Mazlan and Rafizah if you can imagine at that hour of the morning and taken to my room, in the new Garden Wing and after showing me around was told there was a pot of jasmine tea waiting for me to enjoy while I unwind and get ready for sleep. It was hard though as I was still on a high…I am in Singapore!! Thank you two for my wonderful warm welcome to your gorgeous hotel, an oasis in the city!

I awoke to the sun shining and as I stepped onto the balcony saw the layout of the hotel and how it molded itself around the pool area and how wonderful the gardens looked that enveloped us in green. As I left my room to head to breakfast down by the pool at the Waterfall Cafe, I discovered that the Garden Wing is in the shape of a rectangle and looking down into the center of this there is another most beautiful garden with water softly washing down over rocks and a bridge to discover what is there…sublime.

For a while I was the only one sitting down for breakfast, coffee came swiftly and so did fresh juice. You can order off the menu or help yourself to the buffet. Sitting there enjoying my café latte in just the perfect insulated coffee ‘mug’ with the sun peeking through the palms was just what I needed. Then my eggs benny arrived…simply delicious. After breakfast it was off to explore the hotel and take some photos. The gardens are beautifully laid out and hidden out of sight is a most stunning herb garden. They have their own floral designers so it was a treat to see such floral works on display in the hotel. At 12 Noon I met with Joleena to take Afternoon Tea in the Rose Veranda (note the beautiful napkin with the rose on it) of the hotel. This is not your normal tea. It is a full buffet of hot and cold dishes plus tea and what a delight to the eyes and tastebuds it was. At 4 p.m. I was booked in at the beautiful Chi Spa for a facial.

Lemongrass tea greeted me after I changed into a robe and slippers, I had the sleep treatment so I would be relaxed and ready for sleep. Wrapped in soft chenille blankets in buttercup yellow soothed me nicely. Then afterwards I sipped ginger tea with small pieces of fruit cut up to enjoy. What a way to relax after a long flight, now I was ready for a good nights sleeps and can hardly wait for my time spent here to begin.

Through the years, Shangri-La has welcomed guests into the sanctuary of its hotels and resorts with warmth and graciousness. The unique sense of arrival is created by attentive and caring colleagues who keep hospitality at the forefront and genuine from the heart. The same level of dedication persists in all hotel areas so that whether it is a floral display, tea service or dining experience, a Shangri-La moment awaits every guest. At the group’s flagship, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, guests are drawn to the hotel’s “green thumb” – Mohd Kassim bin Abdulla, or “Kassim” as he is known. He has tended the hotel’s 15-acre garden for four decades. Alongside 200 Japanese koi and tumbling waterfalls, Kassim and nine gardeners water and prune over 110 varieties of 133,000 plants, tropical flowers and fruit trees, ensuring the garden retains its widely known moniker as Singapore’s second botanic garden. Even the hotel’s new Garden Wing herb garden – with 82 different plants that possess healing properties – is nurtured by the team of green fingers.

Having witnessed hotel milestones – the refurbishment of the Tower Wing, Garden Wing and The Valley Wing – Kassim delights in sharing memories of the transformations while highlighting notable herbs and plants on his garden tour every Friday and Saturday morning. In addition to his days among the flora and fauna, Kassim creates vivid landscaping designs for the hotel’s public areas, returning the plants to the lush gardens after use.
http://www.shangri-la.com/singapore/shangrila/

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