When you hear the name Shangri-La, what do you think of? Maybe cosmopolitan charm? Luxurious design? World-class restaurants? I expected all these things but I certainly did not expect that my stay at one of Singapore’s oldest hotels would catapult me straight into a future where one place could cater to business people and families alike, a place I would feel right at home because business and family describe my life quite well!

You can immediately tell something is different upon entering the grand hall that is the lobby of the Shangri-La, making up 4 whole stories, that’s how high the ceiling is. There are as many suits as there are children, a bakery sells custom-made birthday cakes in the shape of Spiderman, Ninja-Go or Barbie Princesses. Various sculptures of kids playing at the beach and by the pool are spread across the floor, adding a surreal and quirky element to this majestic hall.

One short escalator ride down from the lobby the scope of the children’s paradise unfolds with a kids’ club unlike any other. Socks are mandatory but they are the only thing keeping kids and their parents from entering a world of ball pits, slides, a music room and an art room in which every wall is painted entirely by kids. While parents can mingle and relax in a small cafe area befittingly called “Recharge”, kids can do all the running and climbing, crafting and building they please.

In addition there are hourly activities on offer every day, from story-crafting to treasure-hunting across the hotel area. By the way, even guests who are not staying at the Shangri-La can bring their kids here for some fun playtime, it simply is charged extra.

When indoor-action becomes too boring, guests can simply take the kids outside to the hotel’s very own little waterpark. Various fountains are spraying and some guns are shooting water, a bucket unloads some 50 liters of water every minute ensuring gleefully screaming kids (and the odd grown-up, too). Next to the waterpark is a pirate ship with more slides, fun climbs and a deck for little explorers to unleash their inner pirates.

All of the above are super cool and would technically be enough for me to recommend the Shangri-La to any family coming to Singapore, but wait for their latest trick and expect to be amazed…

It was 3am when we arrived at the hotel so I was most grateful for the in-room check-in that comes when you’ve booked a family suite like we did. All the family suites are on the 9th floor and it’s impossible not to notice this floor is a bit different to the others by the adorable wooden shelves in the shape of animals lining the hallway. What’s more, outside every room there is a mailbox shaped like a lion, a deer or, in our case, a rocket ship. Upon entering the room at first glance all seemed normal until I noticed a small door on one side of the bed. Only someone half my size would fit through it without ducking. Someone like my 3-year old son.

It only took my little guy 10 seconds longer than me to spot the same door and once he walked through it, he never was the same again. Atlas was beside himself with excitement. A room just for him! With so much cool stuff to discover and play with! I think that especially while traveling kids tend to live in an adult world more often than not and to give them that extra bit of space where they can just be kids is so magical.

We had a truly wonderful time staying at the Family Suites of the Shangri-La Singapore and I most definitely plan a return trip in a year or so. After all there are more themes to discover (Tree house? Yes please!) .

Thanks Shangri-La Singapore for providing my son and I with the perfect base for spending some super quality time together and thanks Singapore Airlines for flying us there in the best way possible. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to resist booking Premium Economy again!

*Disclaimer: I was invited to 3 complimentary nights at the Shangri-La and to complimentary flights to Singapore by Singapore Airlines