Senior editor Robert Silk traveled to Singapore on Singapore Airlines' first nonstop service from the U.S. since 2013. Read his first and second dispatches; his third and final dispatch follows.
With its spa, direct beach access, four restaurants and two bars, Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa in Singapore has plenty to offer the adult set.
But during a recent two-night visit to the hotel, where I stayed as an invited guest, it was the range of offerings for children at the 454-room property that especially caught my eye.
To start with, the resort's Sentosa Island location, a few hundred yards across the harbor from Singapore proper, is an obvious draw for families. Sentosa is home to Universal Studios Singapore as well as many other attractions, including a zipline, a marine park and something called the Skyline Luge, which features a gravity-powered, three-wheeled cart that propels riders of all ages down a twisting, turning track.
Still, the many offerings at the Shangri-La Sentosa itself will have some families wondering if they should even bother to leave the property.
Aside from the requisite large pool, the resort features a waterslide; a splash pad; a three-level, indoor slide in the motif of a tree house; and a flying trapeze.
Parents will like the rooms that are furnished with Murphy beds, which provide extra sleeping space at night and then disappear for more living space during the day.
Children and parents alike will be happy about the full-service programming available to anyone between the ages of 5 to 12 at the Toots Club. The club offers at least eight activities daily and repeats none of those activities during the following day.
Meanwhile, a separate playroom, called the Mini Toots Club, offers toys, storybooks and a jungle gym, while the Fun Zone, designed for older children, is highlighted by racecar simulators.
But even with all these offerings, I was most impressed by the little touches the hotel has added to enrich the experience for children and their parents.
The resort's all-day buffet restaurant, the Silver Shell Cafe, features an area called Kids Zone, where children can serve themselves entrees, fruit, cupcakes and plenty more from a counter scaled down to height.
Meanwhile, the Baby Zone, also at the Silver Shell Cafe, offers baby food, bottle sterilizers, baby utensils and even diapers.
The Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa's focus on families was obvious to me from the beginning of my short time at the resort. But if it had not been, the point was underscored by general manager Ben Bousnina during the brief meeting I had with him about halfway through my stay.
"Please tell people how family-friendly we are," he said.
Doing so proved to be easy.