“if we have not found the heaven within,we have not found the heaven without” – James Hilton – Lost Horizon
welcome home ! we have missed you so much !
Can you think of anything stranger when you walk in a place you have never been before and a total stranger smiles at you while singing those words… Well not here, this is the SHANGRI-LA and wether you have been here or not… you have come HOME baby.
I have just visited the Shangri-La Penang in Malaysia and apart from the great sense of hospitality of the Malay people, the hotel was a wonderful heaven of peace and tranquility, a beautiful place where to rest your mind and body. Where to heal any damage done by months of fast working pace, of running to fast, or eating the wrong food, sleeping to little, spending too much time in front of the screen of the old computer.
“Conway alone submitted to a rich and growing enchantment. It was not so much any individual thing that attracted him as the gradual revelation of elegance. of modest and impeccable taste, of harmony so fragrant that it seemed to gratify the eye without arresting it…” Lost Horizon
I could bore you to tears about the great food they serve, the size of the rooms, etc… but I prefer to tell you about the harmony I found in the place. Everywhere my eye decided to look I saw something beautiful, restful, and so elegant, it was toothing to the eye. I spent forever swimming in the Rasa pool recording in my head how turquoise blue the water was, how delicate was the tweeting of the birds and how warm was the sun on my skin. I know that back home I will have those images tucked somewhere in the back of my brain, ready to come out to make me smile when I am tired, overworked, a bit to stressed.
I could tell you about the cost of the meals or the breakfast hours but I prefer to tell you about the kindness of the staff, all of them… the whole concept of the Shangri-La group is to provide you with a home away from home. And for that reason, they will always welcome you home, anytime you come in the door. Is this not a lovely concept? They know your name, they have your preferred pillow ready for you, but more importantly they make you feel like you are important to them… precious like a family member. Now that is UNIQUE and I loved it. After 10 days of that beautiful treatment, I was as good as new, so refreshed, so relaxed.
The Shangri-La (Chinese group) opened their first hotel in Singapore in the 70’s looking for inspiration in the novel “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton (READ IT… its a great book). As a little touch, wherever you visit a Shangri-La hotel you always find in your room all you need to feed your thoughts, a Bible, a Quran and… a copy of the book “Lost Horizon” so if any doubt you can open the drawer and start reading wherever you left it last. how marvellous is that…
I love travelling but I love even more to have a Home away from Home…