Pack your bags

Looking for a new staycay spot? STEPHANIE YEO & ELISA CHIA check into two centrally located hotels.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Looking for a new staycay spot? STEPHANIE YEO & ELISA CHIA check into two centrally located hotels.


My Reading Room

Did you know that Singapore has three Marriott hotels? There’s the Orchard Road stalwart Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza, swanky JW Marriott Singapore South Beach, and now, Courtyard by Marriott at Novena.

Located adjacent to the Velocity and Square 2 malls, this mid-priced hotel opened late last year and caters mainly to business travellers.

But it is worth a weekend staycation thanks to its proximity to Orchard Road and the views it offers – the hotel starts from the 22nd floor of the building.

The rooftop infinity pool is the highlight of this hotel – we loved splashing about and enjoying the views of the Novena area (bring your own floats). If you have time away from the kids, head to Urbana bar – also on the rooftop – for drinks. 

While there are many dining options nearby, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Sky22, offers value-for-money buffets and delicious a la carte dishes – our favourites were the nasi ulam (wild rice salad), chilli crab pizza and a to-die-for deconstructed bubor cha cha dessert. Kids’ meals are available. 

Rooms are comfortable – ours had a king-size bed – and you can request for a baby cot, as well as an amenities pack for kids and child-size bedroom slippers and bathrobes. 

A one-night stay for two adults and one child under 12 in a deluxe room costs $239++ under its opening promotion rate, valid until March 31, 2018. It includes buffet breakfast. 



My Reading Room

The building has a long history behind it, but Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium certainly looks younger than its 13 years. In fact, it’s much older. 

It was rebranded Singapore’s second Holiday Inn in 2005, taking over from Concorde Hotel. Grandparents may even recall that this was, at one point, the Glass Hotel. 

Yet we couldn’t tell its real age at all when we recently checked in for a weekend staycation with our kids, aged 10 and five. The lobby, rooms and restaurants had a major facelift about three years ago, and still look new. 

The contemporary decor, which consists mostly of earth tones, had a calming effect on my husband and I, but less so on the children – after all, it was difficult to suppress their excitement when there was a fun lineup of activities ahead. 

We borrowed swim floats from the front desk and took a dip in the two pools, which are 0.5m and 2m deep, respectively. 

Every Saturday and Sunday, from 4pm to 5pm, the staff host craft sessions such as painting and cupcake decorating. At 8pm, it’s movie time by the poolside, with free popcorn and drinks. 

The hotel doesn’t have a full kids’ club, so it has partnered with Waka Waka by The Polliwogs. The safari- themed indoor playground is located across the street at Annex@Furama. 

Kids enjoy 30 minutes of free playtime here, but be warned, it won’t be enough for them when there’s so much to explore. Besides a multi-level structure with wavy slides and trampolines, it also boasts obstacle rope courses and climbing walls (additional charges apply). 

Check in to the hotel on a Friday or Saturday to enjoy this Fam-tastic weekend staycation package. It starts from $220++ per room, per night and includes buffet breakfast for two adults and two kids aged 12 years and under.