Here at Slightly Pretentious, we’ve largely just glossed over the whole Coronavirus pandemic thing.
Most of us are spending a lot more time at home making cocktails, so I’ve chosen to focus on highlighting those for the time being – while hoping that in 2021 travel will be acceptable again, and I’ll be able to resume my quest to visit the top 100 bars in the world.
But that doesn’t change the fact that every week we’re seeing small (or large slivers) of our live vanishing before our eyes.
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have no lost anyone close to me due to the virus, so it seems trite and selfish to lament the closing of bars and restaurants that I love.
One of my great joys in life is eating and drinking at new and old places alike. Here in Portland I’ve watched dozens of restaurants I’ve frequented over the years close down permanently.
It’s a reminder of how even when things “go back to normal,” that there is no more “normal.”
The landscape has changed.
The Shangri-La Villingili: As Good as It Gets
This morning I’ve been feeling a little bit of extra wanderlust, so I was going back through old photos of previous travels.
This led to me starting to write a post about what I say relatively definitely was one of the very best weeks of my life: my honeymoon.
We blew all of our rewards points, and flew FIFTY HOURS in total to visit the Shangri-La Villingili in the Maldives where we spent a week in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
The goal was simple: stay in a hut over water.
We looked the world over to find the perfect place to do this.
But what pushed the Shangri-La over the edge was the fact it was much larger than most resorts in the Maldives – and thus more to do.
(We’re not great sit on the beach and chill for hours on end people.)
Not to mention it had the only golf course in the entire country.
We stayed three nights in a Water Villa:
The plan was to stay the next 3 day in a less expensive “Jungle Pool Villa” – but knowing it was our honeymoon, they surprised us with an upgrade to a “Treehouse Villa.”:
That’s still one of the best surprises of my life ha.
During our “Dine By Design” private dinner on the golf course we joked we were on a “Bachelor Date.” You know the kind of over the top, ridiculous date, that you’d only see on the show the Bachelor. Then two years later, they filmed the finale at the same place.
We spent the week eating, drinking, snorkeling, playing tennis, playing golf, just – playing in general.
It was truly an incredible trip and experience.
Shangri-La Villingili: May it Rest in Peace
However this morning when I woke up and began to write a post recapping our experience at the resort, I discovered that due to COVID it has now closed indefinitely.
I don’t know if we’d ever make it back there again. There’s simply too many places to see. But to see such a happy memory, and a place we hold so much fondness for be mothballed is just one more reminder of our new world.
Shangri-La is a massive company, and I imagine most people won’t be too upset to see a luxury resort for the 1% shutdown.
It certainly doesn’t quite have the same impact as walking down the streets of Portland to see “For Lease” signs in the windows of so many small businesses, that also hold such fond memories for us.
But I suppose it was just one more reminder of a very happy time, that has now been forever changed.
I’m choosing to view COVID as an opportunity for new beginnings. A chance to make new memories, at new places, with new people.
The world won’t be the same ever again. But that isn’t to say it won’t be good again. There are still countless places to explore, adventures to be had, and experiences to share and enjoy.
And I for one, can’t wait to see what that looks like.
But that doesn’t mean the people, the things, and the places we’ve lost don’t hurt.
Here’s to a much better 2021 and beyond.
Want More Hotel Reviews?
I’m looking forward to being able to write more hotel reviews on this site:
- St. Regis Singapore – Slightly dated, but still totally luxurious
- Shangri-La London at the Shard – This one better not close…