Taking to the road on two wheels is one of the best ways to discover a destination. As Ernest Hemingway advised, "It is by riding a bicyle that you learn the contours of a country best...". Now guests interested in absorbing the sights and sounds of a destination can take advantage of a diverse selection of cycling experiences Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is offering at several properties.
Guest can explore bustling cities and tropical locations by bicyle at the following hotels and resorts in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Canada and the Maldives.
At Shangri-La's Sentosa Resort & Spa in Singapore – the only beachfront resort in this metropolitan city-state – guests can either venture out on their own, or explore one of the cycling routes recommended by the hotel. One of the recommended routes is the cycle track along the beach. During the journey, guests can enjoy views of the South China Sea and then venture inland to explore more of Sentosa Island, which is home to hectares of natural coastal and secondary forests, as well as 170 species of birds and animals. Bicycles are available for rent at the hotel's Sea Sports Centre, ranging from standard bicycles for S$13 (plus service) per hour, or hybrid bicycles for S$17 (plus service) per hour.
There's no better way to explore the lush island of Borneo, than by bike. Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort & Spa in Malaysia offers two cycling tours. The first is a four-kilometre cycle to Terayong Village, with a stop at one of the local houses for light refreshments of local sweets and coffee. The second, four-hour ride, is for the more adventurous. Guests travel to Turan town along a 13-kilometer route to the town's Chinese temple and the weekly 'Tamu' open market. Guests can see local products on display and try out their haggling skills with the traders. Terayong village cycle costs MYR 50, and the Tuaran Town costs MYR 55 per person (plus 10% service).
Every villa at Shangri-La's Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives has two complimentary bicycles available for guests to explore the resort and cycle to its restaurants, bars, golf course or the dive/watersports center. The resort is unique in that it is in close proximity to a Maldivian urban population. On the resort's bicycle tour, guests can join one of the hotel's Maldivian guides and visit the local community. Guests depart the resort by speedboat for the islands of Feydhoo and Maradhoo, which is connected by the causeway that runs northwards from Gan. The tour includes visits to local mosques, schools and the tuna landing site at Maradhoo harbour. There are even examples of traditional coral stone houses to see, as a few still stand amongst more modern constructions. Being part of the community themselves, the hotel's guides are able to offer a truly local perspective of "real" life in the Maldives. The tour costs US$40 (plus service) per person and takes place on Wednesdays and Sundays (3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.).
Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo’s "Tokyo on Two Wheels" package has been designed in association with the Tokyo Great Cycling Tour, offering guests a tour around the city's hidden spots. Together with an English-speaking guide, guests can enjoy a six-hour sightseeing tour through narrow alleyways and across pristine parks, dropping by eateries offering hard-to-find local specialities and more. The Tokyo Great Cycling Tour, based in Shinkawa, has created various routes over the years. The routes are designed to offer cyclists the chance to discover the city, even in familiar places. Eight-speed cross bikes, as well as various children's bikes, are available. The ride takes place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and includes a Japanese 'bento' lunch box.
The "Tokyo on Two Wheels" package includes overnight accommodation in Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, breakfast, transportation to the cycling meeting point (Shinkawa), late check-out until 6 p.m. for guests joining the tour on their check-out day, and a cycling t-shirt exclusive for guests of Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo. Package prices range from ¥ 68,000 (plus tax and service). Valid until 30 June 2014.
One of Canada's greatest cities, Vancouver, was made for biking. To take advantage of this, Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver has teamed up with Bayshore Bicycles Ltd, to provide guests with special rates on bicycle hire. The hotel will provide recommended routes around the city, and suggested picnic spots for those wanting to stop for refreshments.
Stanley Park Seawall is one of the best rides visitors will find in Vancouver. This one-way seaside bicycle route is an eight-kilometre paved bike path that begins at Lost Lagoon and continues around to English Bay Beach. Viewpoints along the way include Prospect Point, Siwash Rock, Ferguson Point, as well as Third Beach and Second Beach. Other highlights include Brockton Oval, to watch cricket and rugby players; and Beaver Lake or the Rose Garden at Stanley Park Pavilion, to catch the sun setting over English Bay. Bicycles are available to rent from C$13 for two hours and C$25 for up to eight hours.