Luxury Hotels


Just sometimes Girlahead gets tremendously excited in a child-like manner, and that happened at ISLAND SHANGRI-LA, run by GM Clifford Weiner, above.

Why? No it was neither the boss nor his building that touched the inner nerve. It’s what is about to happen, and Girlahead had a hard-hat tour.

As the 554-room hotel – 1991 vintage – re-positions from heavily-corporate to urban resort, a lot of changes are necessitated. Already the entire eighth floor has been given over to wellness. Exit the elevators there and you could well imagine you are in a rainforest. A multitude of hanging greeneries forms the elevator lobby ceiling – basketball players have to duck.

In about two months’ time another entire floor, the 45th, will re-open as the family floor. It is totally brilliant. There are 21 suites. All have one normal bedroom, attached – with connecting doors and kids’ height tunnels – to a specialty room aimed at youngsters. These are themed, as forest room, castle room, treehouse room, airship room, harbour room and soon. The kid’s bed is therefore in the treehouse, or airship, or in a boat, and so on.

The entire floor shares a workshop lounge, with activities for the kids. There is also a ‘pantry’, in fact a parents’ help-yourself to baby and kids’ supplies. The hotel already has an extensive kids’ roomservice menu but there is special china for the kids’ floor. Other services that come with the family floor include mother and child yoga classes, and pay-for babysitting. Staff on the family floor have combined concierge and childcare training. Honestly, it is going to be so well thought-out it will be a sell-out (it might even be worth borrowing someone else’s youngster for the experience).