The best thing about a staycation has got to be the fact that there are no trains to rush for, no sea-sick pills to pack, and no long waiting times to waste at airports. We were out of our house and at our destination in 10 minutes flat.
|Image courtesy of Park Hotel Group|
If you want to venture out of the hotel on an unguided walking tour, Come Singapore has a nice one to follow at your own pace.
But we did none of that. Because here's the other great thing about a staycation: There's no pressure to rush around and take in the sights of the city because guess what? You can do that any other time if you so wish. So we chose to stay within hotel grounds.
We were ushered to our lovely rooms - that's right, rooms - and oh, the joy on our kids' faces when they saw theirs! Did they like it? I didn't ask, but I'd have to say yes :)
Bright kiddy bedspreads, stuffed animals to hug, little table and chairs, fun bath towels.... oh these kids really lived it up!
I'm sure they would have been happy to jump on their king sized bed all night long had the old farts next door not stopped them. Yeah it was us next door in the adjoining room. They were fascinated by the 'special door' that connected us, but after a while the novelty wore off and we were concerned about the possibility of little feet (and perhaps big ones too) getting caught under the doors.
|Nothing says "5-star" like good ole marble counters.|
|As always, Hide and Seek remains a favourite game|
We enjoyed the Family Moments package (more details at end of post) which thoughtfully includes tailored in-room family ameninties like gentle baby toileteries, baby bath tubs, baby cots with bedding and baby towels at no additional charge. There are also food/bottle warmers, bottle sterilizers, baby cots/play pens, strollers and high chairs available upon request to make holidaying with baby effortless and enjoyable. All you have to do is ask. The Family Moments package includes a complimentary upgrade from Superior to Deluxe rooms, subject to availability.
But perhaps the most thoughtful thing that we really appreciated was the late check-out time. How late? Like 3pm late. Oh yes, 3pm! That meant that instead of having to rush through breakfast and morning swim for a 10am or 12noon check-out, we could even squeeze in a regular nap for the baby. Checking out with happy well rested baby versus tired and cranky baby: Score! Again, subject to availability, but I do hope you'll be able to get it because oh my, 3pm!
There are 333 rooms in this historic hotel, and at first glance, it may not look very big but still we did not manage to explore and try everything out within our stay. I did however, sign myself up for an indulgent 90-minute spa treatment at Spa Park Asia. Their signature Gold Lava Shell treatment was probably the most interesting massage I'd ever had in my life. I was told it's similar to a hot stone massage (which I've never had), but less painful. It wasn't painful at all, in fact, it was really pleasant.
|Those shells, yes I was massaged with them. It was nice yet weird|
I only wish I was paying more attention when my therapist was introducing the massage essential oils to me - I would have asked her to omit the one that would keep me warm for hours after the massage. It would have been nice for an evening massage perhaps or a rainy day, but certainly not for a hot and humid morning!
And while I was drifting in and out of blissful slumber, this is what the rest of my family was up to.
The pool was tiny, but then again, kids aren't so big themselves. So they had a good time splashing around. The jacuzzi is slightly hidden, and in comparison, rather big for a jacuzzi. The water though was hot, like kinda-makes-you-feel-like-a-lobster-in-a-pot kind of hot. But everyone got used to it after a while.
There are plenty of wine and dine options within the hotel: Indulge at Park was where we had all our meals, and Park Palace is famed for its Cantonese delights such as the Park Palace imperial suckling pig, deep-fried king prawn with crispy rice and tomato-mayo and thousand layered tofu (here, you can share my bib). The Deli offers a delicious array of freshly baked breads, savouries, cakes and gourmet sandwiches and the alfresco Beer Tavern is the place to be to unwind after a long day out. You can tag team with your spouse to nip out for a quick beer (over 30 varieties of beer around the world to choose from) when the kids are asleep.
|Oh kiss me, you yummy thing, kiss me|
|Oh this girl. I wonder where she gets her sweet tooth from|
|The Bar, with its live entertainment, entertained Calla quite a bit during dinner. She'd stroll over, dance a little, then run back to us for a further installment of her meal|
The lobby must be one of my favourite parts of any hotel. The lobby sets the tone of any hotel - shabby lobby, shabby hotel. Classy lobby, classy hotel. Many years ago, I worked in one myself. A rather classy one too. I learnt to recognise the faces of regular guests so I could greet them by name, and ask how their flights were. I loved my job as a Guest Relations Agent but one of the things I loved best was the lobby at night, when it was quiet and calm. Just like this.
The courtyard was one of my favourite places as well. I kept getting drawn toward it. It's the charm of the restored century-old shop houses, I tell you. I'm a sucker for those things. And nestled within them, a lovely little fountain. Of course we made wishes.
It's amazing how much of this hotel is accessible to public. This is one of them.
It's funny how the hotel is situated right along a busy road, but the noise doesn't reach the hotel's compounds. With all the greenery, it's hard to believe we're right at the road.
|She's at the "I don't want to smile for photos" stage, but made all these funny shots when she programmed the camera on the self-timer function. Ah, 5 year olds.|
* Disclaimer: My family and I received a 2D1N stay at the Grand Park City Hall with all meals and a spa treatment for me included. I received no monetary compensation for this post; all photos and opinions (and blissfully un-knotted shoulder muscles) are mine.
|Oh, true that!|
The Family Moments Package (also available at Grand Park Orchard and Park Hotel Clarke Quay) includes is valid till 31 December 2014:
* Accomodation for two adults and up to two children per room
* Complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults and two children below the age of 12 years
* Complimentary internet access
* Complimentary upgrade on weekends
* 50% discount off second room when booked under the same package
* Complimentary lunch and dinner for up to two children, below the age of 12, from kids' menu when accompanied by paying adults
Prices start from S$350++
All Gingerbreadmum readers can enjoy a special 25% off their total bill for dining in for "A Carnivore Carnival" (Sunday lunch) at Indulge at Park from now until 30 April 2014. All you have to do is call 6432 5888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your booking, and quote "Gingerbreadmum" to enjoy the privilege
Specially for Gingerbreadmum readers! Get your bibs ready everyone, because the good folks at Grand Park City Hall are very kind to offer 2 sets to "A Carnivore Carnival" (Sunday lunch) for 2 adults and 2 children (valued at $180nett per set)!
Here's what you have to do:
1) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what you think makes a good buffet
2) Leave your name AND email address in your comment
Contest will close at 23.59 of 25 March 2014. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Winners will be announced on the Gingerbreadmum Facebook page on 26 March 2014 and have 48 hours to respond to my email (which will be sent to the email address they've provided) or else I'll have to pick another winner. Open only to residens of Singapore.
Link up with Park Hotel Group on Facebook to be the first to receive news of special deals and promos! And here's me on Facebook if you haven't, ya know, liked me yet.
Edited : The good folks have Grand Park City Hall have chosen two lucky winners to feast away at A Carnivore Carnival. And they are...... J 'Shamelessly-Greedy' Tupaz and Pei Ling! Congratulations guys! Please check your email - I've sent you a mail requesting for your details; do acknowledge my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be picked! And you sure as heck wouldn't want to miss this buffet!!