When we think of Staycations, the decision to indulge is never one planned for the middle of the work week; especially when preparing for it involves packing for a 2yr old toddler who believes that swimming 3 times a day (even an hour in the bath tub counts) is her perfect Staycation. We leave these ordeals to the weekend.
But the truth is, a midweek getaway turned out to be the perfect speed bump for a busy work week and by the time we checked out on Thursday afternoon, I was glad I put effort into making the most out of our stay.
Here’s what you should do to guarantee that your Midweek Staycation is well worth it.
Tip 1: Pick a Hotel to Suit Your Staycation Style
Above everything, we wanted comfort and quiet so the obvious choice for us was the beautiful Capella. Tucked atop The Knolls in Sentosa, the serenity of the compound with all its greenery and old charm was a warm welcome enough, but the staff are also always top notch and we were in the lobby for no more than 10 minutes before we were escorted to our room for the next 2 days: the Constellation Room, fitted with an outdoor Jacuzzi, and a stunning view of our West shore. Perfect for viewing the sunset!
The one thing that Capella always does right is that it makes you feel perfectly at home. Comparing my humble abode to a 5-star hotel would be laughable but to give you a good sense of what I mean, not only was our room prepared for us with a personalized welcome note from the General Manager alongside the juiciest array of tropical fruit I’ve had in awhile, our daughter Zola Mae was also provided with a crib at no additional charge.
The mini bar was stocked with complimentary drinks – and I don’t just mean bottled water – soft drinks, capsule coffees and premium teas were also there for our picking, and to top it off, our personal favourite touch: finding delicious bottles of Aseop Skin Care in the bathroom all lined up for our use as we set out to unwind.
The treats didn’t end there. Every time we returned to the room, we found local tidbits and postcards that shared a piece of Singapore history – great for tourists and Singaporeans alike! My favourite was a step-by-step illustration of how to play traditional kampung game, Congkak, that was also available for us to play at the hotel’s lounge, The Library.
To Zola Mae’s delight, she was never left out of these deliveries too. For her, they left the cutest toys. The one she took the most liking to was a stuffed toy peacock. These grand birds were a common sighting on the Capella grounds in the evening. Peahens would take their peachicks on walks in the central gardens and teach their little ones how to fly on the tiered steps facing the Auriga Spa; a wondrous moment to witness.
When you indulge in a Staycation at a place like Capella, it’s never easy to leave the premises, let alone the room! So you can imagine how hard it was for us to peel ourselves off the bed and take Zola Mae down for a swim after we settled in.
It turned out to be the best thing to have done.
The pools (yes, plural – there are 3 pools on the grounds: one for adults to wade/lounge in, one for families, and one lap pool) were all magically the perfect temperature to dive into and in the most serene of settings. It’s possible that Kevin and I spent a good 10 minutes discussing the possibility of the hotel monitoring and maintaining the water temperatures because it was truly and simply divine. The stunning blue skies for as far as we could see set atop the luscious greenery that surrounded us didn’t hurt either.
I don’t know about you but I have a proper obsession with hotel breakfasts. From their array of breakfast cereals, juices, fresh cut fruit, breads and spreads to their complimenting a la carte menu of French toast, Buttermilk Pancakes, Eggs – poached, scrambled, sunny-side-up, over-easy and omelette-d, I can never decide! My dilemma usually ends with me ordering them all.
Other great hotels for Staycations on Expedia:
Tip 2: Spend Your Time the Way You Want
To compliment our stay on Sentosa, we were armed with one-day Sentosa Fun Passes that allowed us access to up to 20 attractions across the island from the Flying Trapeze, Adventure Cove, Madame Tussauds, and Wavehouse to the S.E.A. Aquarium for just $79 each. If that’s not a steal then I don’t know what is. The Fun Pass even includes promos at various F&B outlets across the island. Win!
How the Sentosa Fun Pass works is simple.
By purchasing your Sentosa Fun Pass beforehand on Expedia by clicking through their new Things To Do tab, it pretty much saved us the trouble of lining up at any of the given attractions offered to us. With the Fun Pass, all we had to do was rock up to the attraction and exchange our passes for tickets at the Guest Service counter – no lines, no fuss. This definitely made things more enjoyable knowing that we wouldn’t have to waste time in queues and cut straight to the fun instead.
Zola’s Favourite: S.E.A. Aquarium
Our first stop, the S.E.A. Aquarium and possibly Zola’s favourite attraction on the island to date.
Walking into the aquarium is always grand especially when greeted by the colossal Chinese junk that anchors The Maritime Experiential Museum. The journey begins with a walk into the past of Singapore’s maritime history where the space is brandished with artifacts and replicas of our island’s rich antiquity. While exploring the aquarium and its different enclosures always thrills me, there is something about the Maritime Museum that moves me.
As always, we were awestruck by the Strait of Karimata & Java Sea enclosure with its shipwreck and schools of fish weaving through. It took us at least 20 mins to feel like we were ready to move along.
The colourful aquatic world of the S.E.A Aquarium never fails to astound us, and we always end up at the magical Open Ocean with so many “look at that”s for Zola Mae that she spent all the time we were there with her chubby hands pressed to the glass.
Our enthrallment got the better of us and we stayed at the aquarium a little longer than we had planned so it didn’t leave us with a lot of time to do much more. Nevertheless, we were not going to end our day without some fireworks and theatrics. We made our way to Palawan Beach and got our Wings of Time passes for the 740pm show at Ticketing.
The award winning show though impressive because of the tremendous water, laser and fire effects, was a little lackluster with its story of Shabaz, a mystical pre-historic bird that travels through time with his friends Rachel and Felix. Nevertheless, the spectacle was visually enthralling and the fireworks at the end were still well worth it.
Tip 3: There’s more after Checkout.
Checking out of your room doesn’t necessarily mean having to check out of the hotel. We savoured our time at Capella by having some mid-afternoon drinks at Bob’s Bar after leaving our bags at the concierge.
While I enjoyed a virgin Sentosa Sling (a refreshing mix of Pineapple and Dragonfruit), the husband got to nurse a beautifully made Old Fashioned created especially for the bar by head bartender Vincent Zheng. I snuck a sip, and it was good.
Inspired by the glory days of Cuba’s Havana, Bob’s Bar is a throwback to that glamourous age with its rich old-time décor, and tropical flavours, colours and spirits of the West Indies featured in the drinks. Definitely a stop to make even if you’re not staying at Capella.
Post-drinks, we got lucky and were treated to a tour of the hotel grounds including a walk through a fully restored colonial manor – all 436 square metres of it, complete with a dining room, study, lounge room, fully equipped kitchen and a mini lap-pool. If we could unpack and move in, we would’ve!
Before we took our leave, we revisited the quaint hotel lounge, The Library, and were pleasantly surprised with a modest spread of finger sandwiches, cookies and tea. The perfect way to end a perfect stay.
We’ll be back for more very soon, Sentosa.
About the Author
Aarika Lee is a Musician, Copywriter and Mom to (almost) two, whose penchant for sending postcards to her friends and family from her travels leaves her constantly on the lookout for getaways and new adventure. Her first love is documenting on film.