Shangri-La Singapore: Iconic luxury on Orchard Road

Shangri-La is a brand known and loved around the world- the pinnacle of luxury accommodation and consistently one of the top names in the game when it comes to the 5-star experience. This world-renowned brand got it's start here at the Singapore property, so the famous Asian luxury hospitality that made Shangri-La the industry giant that it is today is on full display here at their magnificent hotel in the heart of Singapore's Orchard Neighborhood.

There are a few travel brands around the world that have become like family- it's such a relief when we're traveling all the time to come back to a property or a brand we know and love, and know exactly what level of service and and accommodation to expect. We've gotten quite familiar with the Shangri-La brand over the past few months, and we were so excited to be able to check out their Singapore property a few weeks ago. 

Singapore is one of our favorite cities in the world, and the Shangri-La Singapore was the perfect place to stay on our quick stop through. They are located just at the quiet end of Orchard road on an expansive property with several towers and wings. You can easily walk to the happening areas of Orchard or to the SMRT station to get around Singapore, but the property itself is a luxurious oasis that you can't help but love!

As we always do, we'll highlight some of the reasons we love the Shangri-La Singapore as well our favorite brand-signatures that make Shangri-La one of the most renowned names in luxury five star accommodation!

The Location

Shangri-La Singapore's location is in our very favorite part of the city- Orchard Road. Endless shopping, nightlife, dining for every budget and palette, central to all transport and never a dull moment. What sweetens the deal though is that the property is at the quiet end of Orchard Road. Still only a 5-10 minute walk to the middle of the action, but the tranquil, quiet immediate area tricks you into thinking you're far removed from the madness when you get home from a hectic day of shopping and fighting the crowds. 

The Property 

Shangri-La's singapore property is absolutely massive- 15 acres, to be exact- and every inch is beautifully manicured and meticulously maintained. The pool is surrounded by lush tropical gardens and there's numerous paths and areas to explore outside. Manmade waterfalls, ponds, rock formations covered in beautiful greenery and a stunning structure called "The Orchid" that can be rented for a romantic dinner are just a few of the outdoor elements that make the grounds unique and wonderful. The hotel boasts a grandiose lobby with live jazz in the evenings, three different wings, a plethora of dining options and a luxurious spa, so there's something for everyone. We stayed in the newly renovated tower wing and can't wait to return!

The Club Lounge 

We've talked about the club lounge at Hotel Jen before (another chain under the Shangri-La brand), and while we thought it couldn't be topped, Shangri-La brings the lounge to a new level. You'll have to pay extra for a club-level room and access, but it's worth every penny. 24-hour access to a beautiful space for working, meeting, or enjoying some peace and quiet in an exclusive setting is something that we've come to know and love about Shangri-La's family of brands. You'll have access to snacks and drinks around the clock, a beautiful breakfast buffet in the morning, afternoon tea, an extravagant cocktail hour with delicious hors d'oeuvres and a lovely selection of wines, beers and spirits- worth the upgrade alone. The top-floor view of the city through gigantic windows doesn't hurt, either!

Origins Grill + Bar

We had one of our favorite dining experiences in a long time at Origins Grill and Bar, one of Shangri-La Singapore's newest fine dining option. A mouth-watering selection of craft cocktails are categorized by theme and each tells a story from a different area of Singapore. They focus on sustainably sourced local seafood and some of the best beef in the world (I had the snow-aged Wagyu beef and it changed my life), and the service was exactly what you'd hope for- attentive and not a detail missed but warm and personal. The Chef de Cuisine, Heidi Flanagan came out to check on our food personally and it became immediately clear why the food had some much flavor and creativity- chef Heidi was a fireball of energy and attitude and she was absolutely delightful. We'd come back to Origins just to have a drink with her!

We loved our stay at Shangri-La Singapore, and it was so cool to see the birthplace of this iconic luxury brand. It's no surprise why Shangri-La has grown to become a household name and a pillar in the luxury travel space with this impressive property. We'll be back for sure!

**This post was sponsored by Shangri-La Singapore but our opinions, as always, are our own

Chapung Sebali

Ubud has no shortage of incredible places to stay- this tranquil paradise in Bali’s jungle-y center is home to some of the most famous resorts in Bali. While this makes Ubud a wonderful holiday destination for any taste or budget, it can also be an overwhelming list to sort through when you're planning that perfect getaway.

A few weeks ago we took a trip up to Ubud for a stay at Chapung Sebali and we loved it so much that we had to share it with you! It was the perfect property in Ubud for people that are looking for a balanced mix of midcentury modern and traditional Balinese style. Don’t get us wrong, we love having a cultural experience when staying in Bali, but Chapung Sebali has designed a resort that seamlessly merges the ancient Balinese charm that we love with clean design and beautifully modern architecture. There’s so much to say about this property- so as usual we’ll just share some of the top reasons that we love Chapung Sebali!

The Design

From the moment you arrive on the property, Chapung Sebali’s distinct style and thoughtful design makes you feel right at home. Non-pretentious luxury and elevated traditional elements come together to create an environment that stays true to Balinese culture while maintaining a high level of modern comfort and service. Beautiful balinese gates stand alongside rice terraces and newly-constructed buildings without force, and the entire resort layout begets tranquility and relaxation.

We stayed in valley view suite, and our room was a spacious, wide-open loft with tons of room and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the jungle below. Two sliding doors opened to a giant balcony, and every detail from hardwood floors to gorgeous furniture and functional space was meticulously thought out. 

The Blind Pig Bar

One thing that we really miss from Brooklyn since we’ve been living in Bali is the cool craft-cocktail bar scene. Bali has a plethora of watering holes to choose from, but there seems to be quite a gap between the Bintang-centric bars and clubs of Kuta and the ultra-swanky, expensive hotel bars with equally as extravagant prices. But even more than price point or target demographic, Bali doesn't seem to have much by way of craft cocktails, solid old fashioned and smokey whiskey drinks and passionate bartenders who know their ingredients and stand behind their craft. The Blind Pig, however, fills that gap and offers (in our opinion) some of the best craft cocktails and speakeasy-turns-modern vibes we’ve found in Bali. Choose one of the smoked drinks for a really cool experience, order the meditteranean tapas plate and catch up with old friends around a game of pool- we promise you won’t regret it!

The Spa + Gym

As with any good resort in Bali, hotel and spa are pretty well synonymous terms. It seems that a resort can only be as good as their spa- in which case Chapung Sebali is a very, very good one. Beautiful treatment rooms and facilities are only the starting point for their wonderful spa offerings. Our couples Balinese massage finished with a fruit bowl and a flower bath in the open air with rainforest views… need we say more?!

Another of our favorite parts about this resort is the workout area overlooking the jungle! There is a nice weight room with mirrors with a large assortment of weights and lifting machines. But the really unique part about it was the 2 rowing machines that were literally on platforms over pools of water! It was the type of set up that you actually look forward to and makes you want to go to the gym! :) 

The Pool

Jungle Fish is the well known pool + bar connected to Chapung Sebali, and even if you don’t stay the night at the resort, you have to get a day pass to experience this stunning pool! We are sure once you see the property, you will be convinced to book a few nights at the hotel as well. Admission is free for hotel guests, and we found ourselves lounging and swimming our way well into the evening at Jungle Fish almost every night.

The Breakfast

The last thing we couldn't help but mention is the breakfast included in your stay! There is a wonderful buffet as well as an a la cart menu with so many different options. The dining room itself is decorated so nicely with the coolest tile floor. It’s an instagrammer’s heaven! If you can pull yourself away from snapping pics for your grid long enough to actually eat, the breakfast buffet has the most epic smoothie bowl station of all time- full of such an incredible array of fruits, nuts, and seeds to make the perfect power bowl. You know by now our special affinity for breakfast- and this one ranked way up there for us.

Chapung Sebali’s rooms start just north of $200 USD per night, and you’ll need to either hire transport or rent a motorbike to get around, as it is located about 20 minutes drive from Ubud’s center. In our opinion, it’s worth every penny and perfect for honeymooners, solo travelers and families alike. 

India's Best Airline

When you travel for a living, you learn quickly which airlines to book with and which to avoid. It can get a little bit tricky though when you're visiting a new part of the world and are unfamiliar with the most reliable and reputable local airlines- so when we booked with Jet Airways a few weeks ago for our trip to India, we were eager to see what the experience would be like. 

From the outset, were impressed that Jet flew through every destination we had in our pre-arranged itinerary to, from, and within India. Our India lag was 10 days smack in the middle of a 3 week content creation trip, so we were coming from Singapore and heading to Bangkok after India. We wanted to see Delhi and Jaipur and a few other drive-able areas in northern India, and we were so glad to be able to book all of our multiple routes and stops through Jet Airways! We flew from Singapore to New Delhi, New Delhi to Jaipur a few days later, back to Delhi and from Delhi to Bangkok. We use Singapore as a stopover all the time, and Jet Airways has daily flights from Singapore to Bombay, Bengaluru and Delhi- which pretty well covers your bases for the different areas of India with easy onward connectivity within the country.

Jet Airways won Tripadvisor's "Traveler's Choice" award for best airline in India, which is well worth its weight in our opinion coming from the word's largest travel site. We flew Première class on the international flights and economy for the domestic flights within India, and we were impressed with every class of service. The flight attendants were professional and warm, and even our short flights between Delhi and Jaipur served a boxed lunch with a meat and a veg option. That's a far cry from what most domestic flights in the US offer. The food in business class on our international flights was incredible, and Jet Airways' "Dine Anytime" feature in Première and First class made it so convenient to work, relax and eat at our own leisure. Who doesn't want to dine at their convenience mid-flight?! 

On the Première class lags, we were greeted with a cold towel right when we sat down, a choice of fresh juices, roasted nuts and a glass of champagne before we'd even taken off. The menus are destination-inspired, which meant amazing Indian meal options when flying into Delhi and Indian or Thai options when flying to Bangkok. The meals were excellent, beautifully presented and overall extremely impressive. Add in a free flow of champagne, and it made for a wonderfully pleasant international flight and the perfect breather between jobs and adventures!

India can be as challenging to navigate as it is beautiful- so our experience with Jet was a breath of fresh air and we'd happily Fly with Jet Airways again anywhere they have a route (which seems to be pretty well all over the planet!) You can even book seamless travel from North America to India via codeshare airlines Delta, KLM and AirFrance, and you can continue to earn skymiles flying with Jet- which is perfect for all of you Delta-flying Americans (or otherwise!)

We know there's a million options out there for air travel- but in our opinion, Jet Airways is the only way to go when you're headed to India. We haven't yet had a chance to check out their international flights outside of India, but we'l definitely hop on it at the first chance we get! 

**This post was sponsored by Jet Airways, but our opinions, as always, are our own