Opened earlier this year, Buds by Shangri-La is the only children’s play area in Singapore situated in a hotel. With it’s very central location just off Orchard Road, Buds is open to both hotel guests as well as the public. Spanning over 1872 square metres, it’s comprised of an interactive indoor play area and outdoor playground.
The indoor playground has a baby and toddler area which my 1-year-old absolutely loved playing in, especially in the baby jumpers which he was very reluctant to leave. There’s also a ball pit, slides, mini rock climbing wall, piano floor and foam blocks that slot in the walls to entertain the babies and toddlers. The flooring in that area is entirely made out of foam so they are able to tumble around freely.
There’s also motorised cars available for children 3 years old and over to ride on.
The main part of the indoor playground for the older kids has several ball pits, slides, tunnels and climbing frames to explore and play in. There’s also three activity rooms, “Muddy” where kids can get creative and paint using glow-in-the-dark paints and even use the walls as their canvases, “Stage” where they can make their own music videos with instruments and outfits provided too and “Bake” where you and your child can learn how to bake together!
If your child is 4 years old or over then you could always let your child roam freely within the indoor play area whilst you sit back and relax in the Recharge cafe. Radio-frequency identification wristbands made from natural, organic materials are provided for all children so that parents can keep track of their whereabouts easily.
There are also children’s bathrooms available on the premises and there are nursing rooms just opposite the entrance to Buds as well as an area to park pushchairs.
The outdoor playground, which is a short walk past the hotel swimming pool and through the gardens of the Shangri-La, is a huge 1300 square metre space with a giant pirate ship to climb up and slide down as well as a water play area. Daily treasure hunts are also organised so you can explore the 40,500 square metres of lush gardens around the hotel with your children and collect a prize at the end of it.
During my visit to Buds, there was actually a children’s party going on in their dedicated party room. It’s a great space to host a birthday party and they offer everything from simple play parties to themed and customised party packages.
Admission to Buds is free for hotel guests staying in a deluxe family room, themed family suite and families that have purchased the Family Fun Package, where they get unlimited playtime in Buds as well as one free activity. For other hotel guests and residents of the Shangri-La apartments, there is a discounted rate of $28 for 3 hours of playtime. Members of the public pay $36 (peak times) and $28 (off peak times) for children under 4 years old and $58 (peak times) and $48 (off peak times) for children 4 years old to 12 years old, for 3 hours of playtime. One adult is allowed in with each child otherwise it’s $10 for each additional adult. Peak times are weekends, Singapore public holidays, Singapore school holidays and during the months of July and August. Activities are at an additional charge.
I happened to have lunch in The Lobby Lounge in the Shangri-La hotel beforehand and as I had spent over $80, I was given a voucher for $10 off Buds admission. However this voucher can only be used during off peak times so I wasn’t able to use it on this visit since it’s August.
Shoes aren’t allowed in the playground and children have to wear non-slip socks and adults have to wear socks. There are no lockers in Buds but there is an area in front of the reception desk where you can leave your shoes.
Overall I think that Buds by Shangri-La is a great place to bring kids of all ages, it allows them to develop and learn through play in a creative, experiential and fun environment as well as being a great place for them to bond with their parents. For older kids, it’s also a great place for parents as they can chill out in the cafe with other mummy/daddy friends whilst the kids go off to play by themselves. One complaint though is that the service from the staff was not of the standard that you would expect in a 5-star hotel. Firstly the girl at reception almost forgot that we were waiting for her to show us how to get to the outdoor playground and after approaching her again she asked another member of staff to show us but instead we were given a brief description and weren’t taken there by her as promised earlier. We did get a little lost but luckily other Shangri-La staff were around outside to ask directions from. Also the toddler area is supposed to be for children under 4 years old, however at times older kids ran and played in the area which was definitely hazardous for the young babies and toddlers playing at the time. Not to mention whilst my baby was playing in the ball pit in the toddler area, one of the older kids threw a huge foam block which narrowly missed his head! Considering Buds should be a safe and secure environment for children to play in, the staff should make sure that older kids don’t roam into the toddler zone where they could potentially cause accidents.
Buds by Shangri-La
Address: Shangri-La Hotel, Lower Lobby, Tower Wing, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
Tel: 6213 4833
Indoor Playground Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 9pm
Outdoor Playground Opening Hours: Daily 9am – 7pm
Hope you’ve enjoyed my review of Buds by Shangri-La, please feel free to leave a comment below with your own review of the playground or if you have any questions!