Singapore

Local staycation finds

The June holidays shouldn't just be for students to enjoy. There are options for anyone looking to have a staycation. CHIN YONG CHANG (ycchin@sph.com.sg) goes exploring

FOR PARTY ANIMALS

Where: W Singapore 
- Sentosa Cove

How much: From $349++

W Singapore at Sentosa Cove is the only hotel in Singapore that hosts parties as part of its repertoire.

For instance, there's a pool party today from 2pm to 8pm.

And they have parties almost every day lined up throughout the month. They even have their own in-house DJs for these events.

Some events do not have a cover charge and there are staycation packages that offer free alcoholic beverages at their parties.

With a turnout in the hundreds for their events, it is an attractive option for partygoers.

Staycation packages have various perks such as complimentary room upgrades and free entry to select events.

The rooms that The New Paper on Sunday were shown had majestic sea views. But what was most striking was the soft lighting emanating from underneath the bed frame, adding to its futuristic feel.

It is small details like these that give the rooms a wonderful ambience.

This, combined with its exclusive Sentosa Cove location, makes you feel like you're in a world of your own.


FOR COUPLES

WHERE: THE QUINCY HOTEL

How much: $375++ for its "qool" weekend

This boutique hotel in the Orchard area snagged our vote for the couples category with its "qool" weekend deal.

The faux-hip spelling of cool is annoying, but we like how lovebirds technically never need to leave the hotel, nor ever be parted from each other, with the all-inclusive concept.

From the time they check in, they get light refreshments, like pastries and sandwiches by Dean & DeLuca and Modesto's.

There's a free flow of evening cocktails from 6pm to 8pm. The hotel also throws in a bottle of red wine as part of the deal.

Oh, and everything in the room's mini bar is free - perfect for sweethearts who just want to stay in and cuddle all day.

During the stay, couples can express themselves with the Art Jamming class on Saturday afternoons, and then catch a movie by, or in, the pool at 9pm.

On Sundays, there are cupcake baking sessions in the afternoon.

On a slightly saucy note, the hotel rooms make it possible to look into the shower cubicle from the bed. And every facility, including the lavatories, are unisex.

So technically, you need never be physically separated from your sweetheart the whole weekend. Ahem.

If you're a clingy couple, this could be the staycation for you.


FOR FAMILIES

Where: D'Kranji Farm Resort

How much: From $120++

D'Kranji Farm Resort is a surprising find, far away from the usual touristy spots, in Neo Tiew Lane.

Where?

Well, it's smack in the middle of the farms of Lim Chu Kang.

It's great for parents who want to tell their young children what living in a "kampung" is like.

Not that the resort villas bear any resemblance to the wood-walled zinc-roofed attap houses.

The rooms are well furnished in warm earthy tones and mood lighting accentuates the accommodation features. There are also deck chairs on the little verandahs, perfect for some quiet time.

The ulu (Malay for far-flung and remote) location is the best part of the deal. It sealed our vote for a family-friendly staycation treat.

If you decide the place is too big to walk around, you can rent an electric unicycle to zip around the resort.

Bicycles are also available for rent.

There's a fishing pond where families can go prawning together and an exhibition farm where guests can take a tour and see how crops are farmed. There are also guided tours of the farm.

Although the farm is small, it has a wide variety of crops that parents can show their children.

Day trips are also an option as there is a shuttle bus which costs three dollars for a day ticket.

Go farm-hopping to farms in the area such as Bollywood Veggies, Quan Fa Organic Farm and Farmart Centre.

The bus also goes to heritage sites like the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Thow Kwang Industry, the site of Singapore's oldest kilns.

There is no other hotel that offers such a "farmstay" experience in Singapore.


FOR NATURE LOVERS

Where: Siloso Beach Resort

How much: $190++ until June 18

They say that no trees were harmed in the making of this hotel.

And that's why you will feel like you are in the middle of a tropical rainforest while on the grounds of this beachfront property.

Its director of sustainability, Mr Sylvain de Forges, explains that not a single tree was removed.The entire structure was built on stilts to leave the soil untouched.

It's not uncommon to find a tree trunk in the middle of the room if you're in one of their many villas. Indeed, they would rather cut a hole in the floor and the roof than cut down a tree.

You've got to love nature to stay here.

Mr de Forges says: "We've had guests complain about the cricket noises in the surrounding flora as they think it's artificial.

"There are cases where frogs jump into the outdoor bathtubs in the villas."

On the roof, there's a rose garden and a vegetable and herb garden.

A wormery converts all the food waste of the hotel into compost with the use of earthworms.

It has been so effective that they even had to get food waste from their neighbours to sustain the critters.

There are guided tours to these aspects of the hotel, free of charge.

In the backyard is 45 ha of natural forests, and the hotel provides maps for nature enthusiasts to explore them.

Taste the swimming pool water and you'll find it salty.

Instead of using chlorinated water, 50 bags of salt are used to treat the water every month.

The result is water that has enough natural chlorine from the salt to kill most bacteria, yet is completely natural.

The water is kept warm by heat from the air-conditioning vents.

Guests tell Mr de Forges they feel rejuvenated when they stay here.

"Guests love how close to nature they are when they're here."