Another Hotel ‘Kids’ Club’?
No. Far from it. Buds by Shangri-La Hotel Singapore sets the benchmark.
We are no strangers to hotels with Kids Club facilities. Although we love travelling with our kids, like many parents, there are moments we crave for some private time or just 1 quiet meal together. This is why hotels with Kids’ Club appeal to us. For many hotels though, the idea of a Kids Club is confining kids to a room filled with lego bricks, board games, a video console, a makeshift ‘library’ and perhaps even a large screen that play popular animation movies on ‘repeat’ mode. This is often manned by one or two staff who are not engaging the kids at all.
How Buds sets the benchmark:
The Shangri-La brand is synonymous with setting the benchmark in hospitality, service and luxury globally. This has translated into the concept of Buds, the hotel’s newest indoor and outdoor playground which was just opened early this year.
Let our kids give you a tour of BUDS through this video!
What is Buds?
Buds is a large, 2150 sq. m of themed indoor and outdoor play area INSIDE Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore (opposite their famous LINE Restaurant). The space, dedicated solely for children aged 0 – 12 years old, is designed to incorporate themes of adventure, camaraderie, independence and embracing of nature. We booked a Mothers’ Day staycation at the Shangri-La Hotel early this month and our kids declared this is their FAVOURITE play space ever!
8 Reasons Why We Love Buds!
1. Safe and Hygienic: This is key in any children playground. We have heard enough ‘horror’ stories of kids getting hurt or taken ill because of poor design and poor hygiene. Strict hygiene practices are observed here – kids are scanned for temperature and hands are sanitized before entry. The indoor play area is equipped with its own clean washrooms and nursing areas. All kids and parents have to wear socks to enter the indoor play area. It also provides sandals to be loaned to parents who forgot to bring socks. Every child will be issued with a RFID tag. Staff keep a keen eye on kids’ entry and exit with their RFID tags, ensuring no kid will be lost.
2. Active Supervision: Staff are stationed at the entrance to welcome and greet kids. There are even staff to supervise kids on the ‘2nd level’ which is a no-access zone for parents. While there are always risks involved in an indoor playground, having attentive staff to keep an eye on the kids while they play mitigates those risks. The staff were able to engage the kids and are genuinely happy to interact with the little ones. This gave us the assurance that our kids will be in good hands while we sneak away for a much-awaited meal at one of the hotel’s restaurants.
3. Large and Spacious: The playground is huge! With colourful purpose-built slides, ‘cannonball’ machines and even an organic Cassia seeds pit (instead of the usual sand pit) in the Explorer Zone, Buds promises a full day of safe and fun play for children.
These are the purpose-built activity rooms:
• Toddler: A soft-play Toddler Zone, for children under four years old and their parents, including vintage kiddy rides, floating balls, slide, crawler, climber, ball pit, and piano floor.
• The Stage: A music studio for young performers. For kids to sing, dance and play an instruments. Parents can join in too to sing-along or dance along.
• Muddy: A room for budding artists who like to make a splash. For kids to get ‘arty-dirty’ all in the name of fun!
• Party Room: As its name suggest, it’s a room where parents can book to hold children’s parties.
• Bake: Situated opposite Buds, this is a fully equipped cooking classroom for children and parents to bake together.
The outdoor space consists of: Pirate ship Playground and Water-Play area.
4. Themed Activities: Themed activities are scheduled throughout the day in each specialty room which allow kids to play and learn for hours on end so much so they simply refuse to leave. The kids never seem to run out of things to do in Buds and parents need not worry if they are bored or sitting passively being entertained by a screen inside the hotel room. Parents are encouraged to participate in the activities together with their kids. This is commendable as it allows parents to join in the fun and to bond with our kids actively.
5. Fun Indoors and Outdoors: Kudos to the Shangri-La team to dedicate a outdoor play area for the kids to expend their energy and get some Vitamin D. The outdoor playground features both dry and water play including a giant pirate ship structure plus 40,500 square metres of lush gardens to enjoy and explore.
6. Slides and Tubes: Kids love slides and tubes at Buds! They are neither too tall nor too short. They are just nice, with enough excitement to keep them sliding down again and again! In fact, there are covered tubes where the sense of thrill and fun is amplified.
7. Recharge: Right in the ‘middle’ of Buds, there’s a cosy café area for parents to sit, sip a cup of coffee, tea, enjoy a tea cake or savor a healthy granola breakfast while watching the kids play.
8. Open to Public: Best of all, you don’t have to be an in-house hotel guest to enjoy Buds. It is open to the public for a fee. Parents can choose to enjoy a meal together at one of the many dining outlets inside Shangri-La Hotel while their kids are kept meaningfully occupied in Buds.
Tips to Maximize your Buds Experience:
1. Make it a Staycation: Complete your family’s experience by checking-in into one of the 5 Themed Family Suites, extending your visit to a staycation. The suites come with Shangri-La’s iconic luxuries including access to the hotel’s club lounge. As registered guests, you can enjoy the facilities at Buds without time limit during the opening hours. Check back here for our upcoming review of the Family Suite.
A Sneak Peek at the Family Suite of Shangri-La Singapore!
2. Go Early: Though it’s a large area, the playground gets filled up with kids and parents really quickly especially on weekends and public holidays. Crowds tend to come in around late morning and stay through till evening.
3. Participate in the Activities: There are special art and craft activities and even thematic reading sessions for kids and parents to enjoy together. Do look out for the schedule and register your kids.
4. Socks and Shoes: Bring your own socks and leave a clear label on your shoes left on the rack. Another visitor had accidentally swapped Buddy’s Skechers shoes (they were identical!) for a smaller pair. Hence, Buddy had to go home bare-footed. This could also happen to adults’ shoes. So make sure you don’t go with a brand new pair of shoes.
5. Get Wet! Remember that there’s an outdoor play area as well that consists of a large Pirate ship playground and a wet-play area and extend your experience there. Bring the kids’ (and yours!) swimwear along. Remember your sunblock while outside.
6. Mama Mia! Complete your day with an exceptional Italian meal at ‘Waterfalls Restaurant’ (Waterfall Ristorante Italiano)
Dining at the Waterfalls is akin to having a family meal in the setting of a large Italian home. It’s warm and inviting, accentuated with homely décor – vases, books and even an old piano, which adds a personable dimension to the whole dining experience. For us, we fed the kids an early dinner consisting of a fine Italian pizza and gelato before sending them back into Buds so that Angie and I could dine together in peace. Quiet and unhurried, a meal at Waterfall really brought the feel of a homely meal, complete with prompt service.
BUDS BY SHANGRI-LA HOTEL
• Indoor: Mon – Sun 9am to 9pm
• Outdoor: Mon – Sun 9am to 7pm
• Complimentary to Shangri-La Singapore hotel guests who book the Themed Family Suite and Family Deluxe Room
• For other Shangri-La Hotel, Apartment, restaurant and/or spa guests, entry is $28 per child (four to 12 years old), $18 for toddler (below four years old) inclusive of one adult.
• For non-hotel guests, entry is $48 for child (four to 12 years old), $28 for toddler (below four years old) inclusive of one adult, for three hours.
• Classes and Special activities are charged separately.
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 22 Orange Grove Road, 258350 +65 6236 1666