SUITE DREAMS ARE MADE OF THESE
We review three family staycation packages for different budgets.
Pack your bags and check into a Singapore hotel this school holiday. ELISA CHIA reviews three family staycation packages for different budgets.
There’s only one bed in this swanky, spacious suite at The Ritz-Carlton hotel, but my kids didn’t have to squeeze with Hubby and me.
They wouldn’t have wanted to, anyway – they were going glamping.
A sleeping tent that could t two kids was pitched next to our king-size bed (main photo). Inside, there was a thick, cushy mattress, two pillows, a portable night light and adorable Ritz-Carlton lion plushies.
The latter were still sealed in plastic bags, giving parents peace of mind that these are brand new. (You know how easily germs are spread through shared soft toys.)
My kids were so excited, they said they were going to stay up and chat all night in the tent. But that didn’t happen – they were exhausted from playing at the hotel’s new kids’ zone earlier on.
Five rooms have been converted into a library, cinema, arts and crafts area and two toy rooms – all with views of the amazing Marina Bay.
Drop your kids off here if they are between four and 12 years old – this service is free. Babies and tots are welcome, too, if an adult joins them.
The hotel pool is under renovation till December but in the meantime, guests can use the ones at the neighbouring Conrad Centennial hotel (ask for the free buggy service) or head to W Singapore at Sentosa Cove (a free one-way transfer is provided).
Breakfast at Colony was included under our Ritz Kids Night Safari Adventures room package. Besides offering an impressive spread, the buffet restaurant has live cooking stations, with chefs serving piping hot noodles, naan and more.
HOW MUCH Until Dec 29, you can book a Premier Suite from $780++ per night under the Ritz Kids Night Safari Adventures room package. It includes breakfast for two adults and two kids. FIND OUT MORE www.tinyurl.com/RitzKids.
Swissotel Merchant Court hotel has just completed an 18-month-long overhaul and it feels like a new property all over again.
Its signature Kids Room is lled with child-friendly xtures and its decor is awash in a riot of colours that any young guests would approve of.
During our stay, my four-year-old son busied himself with Fisher-Price toys, building blocks and colouring sets, while my nine-year-old daughter pored over The Usborne Book of Princess Stories.
The thoughtful hotel team must have arranged these according to age and gender. And both of them went crazy over the Wii video games.
It was a challenge getting them to go out and explore nearby Clarke Quay, which came alive at night. We were spoilt for choice with the sheer number of dinner spots available.
The next morning, we tucked into an international buffet spread at the hotel’s Ellenborough Market Cafe before we hit the pool.
There are two water slides – one that goes down into the 1.5m deep pool, and another one into the 0.5m water-play area.
We had a great time and didn’t want to visit the Universal Studios Singapore theme park yet – our Family Fun Escape room package came with two adult and two child tickets, which we could use at a later date. Another
perk: this promotion allows you to check out at 4pm, instead of the usual noon. Nice!
HOW MUCH Book the Family Fun Escape promotion at $569++ for two rooms, per night by Dec 31. It includes tickets to Universal Studios Singapore for two adults and two kids. Buffet breakfast at Ellenborough Market Cafe is available at $30++ per adult and $15++ per child. FIND OUT MORE www.tinyurl.com/ SwissotelKids.
Enjoy a staycation in a downtown hotel, but at the room rate of a chalet on the outskirts of Singapore?
Sounds impossible, but we found such a deal at Village Hotel Bugis, (formerly known as Golden Landmark Hotel).
Over the years, the property has been overshadowed by newer, shinier hotels. Indeed, its lobby, lifts and corridors look tired and outdated, but the rooms have been refurbished with new ooring, curtains and lighting, among other changes.
When we checked into our child-themed rooms, my two kids exclaimed: “Waaah!”
They liked the Princess Soa wallpaper, cartoon rug, pink sofa bed and cloudshaped cushions on the king-size bed.
We found out from the front desk staff later that other themed rooms have wallpaper featuring Lightning McQueen from Cars (pictured), Baymax from Big Hero 6 and Captain America.
It’s a pity, though, that the hotel doesn’t have a kids’ waterplay area; only a 1.1m-deep pool which faces Rafes Hospital.
Breakfast was a simple spread of stir-fried bee hoon, sausages, toast and old-school butter cakes at Mooi Chin, its Hainanese restaurant.
Under our Kids First room package, we were also entitled to rides on the Funvee Hopper open-top doubledecker bus, which picked us up from the hotel.
My kids were thrilled to play tourists, soaking in the sights en route to Gardens by the Bay, Chinatown – and of course, the historic Kampong Glam district that is opposite the hotel.
HOW MUCH Until Dec 31, you can book a child-themed superior room from $160++ per night. This Kids First promotion includes breakfast, as well as Funvee Hopper tickets for two adults and one child. FIND OUT MORE www.tinyurl.com/ BugisKids.