19th in the Era of COVID-19

In 2020, COVID-19 didn't stop us from celebrating our 19th year as a married couple. It was in the middle of a lockdown when my husband and I decided to have a staycation in the city. After all, in recent years pre-pandemic, we usually celebrated our anniversaries by traveling out-of-town or abroad. We, somehow, felt deprived, of our tradition as a couple. To make a long story short, we booked a room at the Shangri-La in Kuala Lumpur to relieve our itchy feet. 

The experience was fruitful, to our surprise. We lowered our expectations considering that it was an abnormal time in history. The hotel did not fail to deliver an excellent service despite the challenges and so many changes it had to implement in its amenities and services. 

The welcome kit assures we have the buddies that we need. (I love this! Although this is a deviation from the usual fruits or wine welcome gift.) 

I was happy that there were very few people who checked in. In fact, it was early afternoon when we came, and we were the only ones at the counter. 

Our first stop: the spa. Getting a massage is one of our simple pleasures as a couple. When I learned that the hotel was offering a buy-one-get-one deal, we did not hesitate. We were a bit wary, to be honest. In my head, if my masseuse had COVID, I'd most likely get it. Being a five-star hotel, they had measures to ensure that the spa won't be a breeding ground. Of course, the attendants were all wearing masks and gloves while massaging. Sanitizers were everywhere. The hotel limited the number of people that can use the changing room. 
Spa-ing, like a ninja! 

I got the jacuzzi to myself. But I didn't use it. I'm more excited about the massage.

I fell asleep while having the one-hour massage, meaning I was satisfied. I felt I badly needed it. Although, 75% of the time, I was listening to the life story of my masseuse! Haha! Imagine her narrating her biography while wearing a mask. Endurance it was. I pretended to be sleeping at some point so she'd stop talking. 

Next: poolside. We continued relaxing a bit by getting some warm and fresh air by the pool. We were the only people there. It's not as grand as the other hotel pools we've seen in our past check-ins. But it's inviting enough. 
The poolside is inviting. Too bad we did not bring any swimsuits.

The mister/financier haha... Trying to relax further. 

After staying for a bit by the poolside, we walked around the hotel so that when it is dinner time, we could say we deserve a buffet. Haha! 

A view of the lobby from the mezzanine. No one was around.

I swear I don't own this. Hehe...

Did we take this labyrinth challenge to make us exhausted and hungry for the buffet? No! :-P 

The koi pond is an attraction. The koi pool looks larger than that of the actual pool. Hehe... This area is surrounded by lush greeneries surrounded by tables and chairs just outside the buffet restaurant.

The main event: Shangri-La's seafood buffet at the Lemon Garden. We entered at 6 pm even though our reservation was at 6:30 pm. There was a good number of diners because the hotel had a promo. As a precaution, it was a different buffet set-up. Although there is a large food display, restaurant staff will get your order, and they will serve it to you. Diners are not allowed to get the food themselves to avoid contamination. People eating per table have a certain distance from each other. It was just me and my husband but it looked like we were on a long table because we were seated far apart. We enjoyed the seafood dishes. However, my husband found the roast lamb outstanding. For me, I guess, I enjoyed the salmon and clam dish. As usual, I forgot the name. It was a bit creamy and with some chickpeas on the side.
"Welcome to Lemon Garden. We'll make your seafood dreams come true." Haha!

Lemon Garden's spacious and bright interior.

The crab is fresh and sweet.

That's what I like. Creamy salmon and chickpeas on the side.

My husband's first serving. He's always been an oyster person.


This caps my binging. Always a chocolate person all the way.

All the Shangri-La Hotels I've been to never disappointed. I've been to or checked in to Shangri-La in Cebu, Makati, EDSA, Boracay, and this latest one, Kuala Lumpur. Excellent food, fantastic service, superb amenities, and comfortable rooms. 

Check out our room. It was a bit old but very cozy, and there was no sign of any damaged corner or cracked interior. Haha!

We had a very relaxing sleep. I think I overslept. That's why we decided to have an in-room breakfast. I just can't find the photos. The American breakfast was generous. I particularly liked that instead of regular milk, the hotel obliged my request for soy milk to go with my hot chocolate. It was a big pot of hot chocolate, good for three persons. I was so happy! :-) 

Before going back home, we stopped by Over the Moon for some moon cakes to take home. It was Mid-Autumn, and Malaysia is big in this season. 

We were just so glad that the government allowed hotels to operate at that time. For this year, we hope for the same. No, make that we hope things will get better. No more pandemic. No more SOPs. So that we can all celebrate whatever anniversary or personal occasion there may be. Because years are short to spend in fear.

Looking forward to having our plans for our 20th happen this year.