“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Taking a vacation is enjoying a period of leisure and recreation and all about how I felt when on vacation and how I feel when I’m back. I’d love to see more of the world but ever since a travel experience some years ago, I would rather not insist on making it to different places of interest at a certain place but rather enjoy the fact that I’m on vacation at this very moment, and I have all the time in the world to experience it. I often find myself rediscovering places and walking into unexpected experiences when on holiday because of this attitude towards vacations.
There are more to think about when you’re responsible for not just yourself but a restful vacation for families is still totally doable. With some planning (an earlier post I wrote on this here), you can travel with even very young children to most places but if you’d really like your vacation to start from the planning stage you can do a staycation. That’s what we did recently, to spend more time together as a family the weekend before the hubs was posted to Indonesia.
For 2 days and 1 night, we lived in Room No. 1119. The room was decorated with various Peranakan-inspired pieces befitting of the hotel’s location – right smack in the middle of rich cultural heritage. There were two plush queen sized beds as well as everything you need to live there and more. The floor and almost the entire bathroom were covered with wood tiles, something I’m considering for our new home, so it’s like testing out how it’s like before confirming the decision. Totally going ahead.
After getting to know Room No. 1119, confirming and re-confirming that Joy was too excited to nap, we decided to head out for our first activity –
goofing golfing at LilliPutt!. The cost? Nothing on top of the room package because it is one of the three you can choose from as part of the room package. Awesome!
There is a complimentary hourly shuttle bus service for guests of Village Hotel Katong to Big Splash from 8:40am to 10:40pm and from Big Splash to the hotel from 9:20am to 10:20pm. We missed the shuttle by a minute and didn’t want to wait for the next one, so we drove!
This is the description I got from their website and it’s absolutely true.
“Based on the theme of Miniature Singapore, LilliPutt features fascinating lifelike structures modelled after famous landmarks such as the Esplanade, Sentosa, Singapore Zoological Gardens and many many others.
You’ll get a chance to ‘tour’ Singapore as you putt your way through 18 putting stations – all with its own set of irresistible challenges and obstacles. Hold your breath and try to contain your excitement as your ball rides on a cable car at Mount Faber, navigates its way around Singapore Port, survives a journey on the Mass Rapid Transit, splashes through the Fountain of Wealth…all complete with visual animation and special sound effects.” – http://www.lilliputt.com
I was still recovering from a bad bout of gastric flu, the flu part seemed to be gone but the gastric tortured me almost the whole day, except when we were at Lilliputt (thanks for letting me play). I wanted to try Modestos at the hotel since I haven’t been (I heard that their tiramisu is super) but Joy was cranky from not napping, so we settled on Sushi Tei, that was on the ground floor below Lilliputt. Not that Sushi Tei is bad but its a pity because there are so much good food available in the vicinity (which we would usually be too lazy to pop by because of parking and logistics) that we could have tried. *tears in eyes*
The hubs and I originally planned to get some snacks from the Fairprice Finest at Katong V, a new retail attraction that also houses Modesto’s, Tomi Sushi, Japan Home (my auntie-ness shows itself everywhere) as well as other retail stores but I experienced severe gastric pains on the way back. Its a good thing we drove, it took only 5 minutes to get back to the hotel for my medication / rest.
Coming back to the hotel felt “normal” with the usual night duties to perform. Getting a bath, taking our medication, chatting and playing tag team with the hubs, but it’s different as well because our focus was reduced to the room and the people in it.
2 queen beds is really the best idea ever, as compared to a king sized bed for families. I normally co-sleep with Joy while the Hubby gets to rest on a measly mattress on the floor but that night, we had options! Me co-sleep with Joy or me co-sleep with the hubs. I can’t tell you how happy the hubs was at finally getting a plush, comfortable bed to sleep in.
If Joy wasn’t so tired, I would have totally introduced her to the concept of supper and KTV but Joy fell asleep really quickly. Just as well, I got to rest and chat with the hubs. We went to the balcony where I laughed at him for not knowing how to take a panaroma photo with his phone and we chatted while looking out to an unblocked view of bright lights and quaint shophouses just outside our room. If you know where to look, Singapore is still a very charming place.
Guess who woke up the next day well rested and happy (the curtains are fantastic at blocking light out)? This is a sight I would love to wake up to everyday.
We got ready in record time because somebody was keen to do something.
But first, breakfast at Katong Kitchen.
A hearty breakfast that doesn’t involve me cooking is always a good idea. Katong Kitchen serves an international buffet breakfast with asian selections as well. There are four aisles of food you can help yourself to (read Angeline’s post to see more food photos!). The cost? Included in our room package!
I highly recommend going earlier (we got there at around 9am without needing to rush, not unachievable) to get seats by the window. I enjoyed having a leisurely breakfast with Joy and the hubs by this quaint window with sunlight streaming in. Mealtimes are more than just about food.
We didn’t really but you can fully utilise the hotel’s gymnasium or steam room facility. We brought Joy to the steam room (which I always use whenever I can to improve absorption of skincare products and curl my hair by tying it a certain way) but it we wanted to enjoy a warm bath before checking out so we had to go.
We needed to bring very little since it was a staycation so everything was packed quickly and there was still time left to enjoy the room before checking out.
ITS NOT OVER YET!
There are plenty of activities to do around the area but we went for something which Joy absolutely loved – Cycling! The cost? Nothing on top of the room package because it is one of the three you can choose from as part of the room package. Awesome!
What I love about quality family time is that it extends beyond the time spent. We reminisce about the staycation alot, especially Joy. She recalls the stay very fondly and talks often about it to me, asking a lot of “do you remember that we went to….” / “do you remember that we did …..” questions and smilling a lot at the recollection. “你开心吗?” (“Are/Were you happy?”) she once asked when we were chatting about the staycation but before I could reply, she said “我很开心” (“I am very happy”) with a big smile on her face – anybody noticed the present tense?
Before our staycation, I had already read about Summer’s family staycation and Angeline’s family staycation and I’m not unfamiliar with the hospitality of Village Hotels, after all, my own wedding solemnisation was held in a beautiful glass ballroom at Changi Village Hotel. I wasn’t disappointed. As this is a sponsored stay, I troubled their Marketing Manager, Christina, and staff at check-in to confirm arrangements more than I’d like to but they remained warm and helpful without me feeling like they did it because they had to for the sake of the review.
Interested to stay? Here are details of the staycation package we enjoyed.
Family Savers Package (from SGD295++)
• Accommodation for 4 in Family Room
• Breakfast for 4 at Katong Kitchen (Halal)
• Complimentary WiFi access
• Choose from one of these 3 activities at Big Splash
(*Guest can utilize either use the voucher on the day itself or within one month)
– LilliPutt Indoor Mini Golf’s family package for 4
– Urban Inline’s 2 hours inline skates rental for 4
– Integrated Recreation Centre (IRC) by Spring Gear’s 1 hour QuadCycle (1 unit) rental Weekend
Weekend operating hours for the choice of 3 activities are as follows:
Lilliput – 10am to 8pm (last game at 7pm)
Urban Inline – 11am to 9pm
Quad cycling – 9am to 9pm
The Family Savers Package is perfect for families but I also spotted other staycation packages and deals that looked attractive, more about current promotions for stays at Village Hotel Katong’s here. For enquiries and hotel reservations, call +65 6344 2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: This staycation was kindly provided by Village Hotel Katong but all opinions are our own. Real family bonding moments & fond memories are also ours to keep.
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