After completing my Bangkok Series, I’m starting another one – this time featuring Singapore. Read on! 🙂
We had another family vacation out of the country in May 2013, this time in Singapore. Just like our trip to Bangkok, this was actually Daddy Rupert’s business trip and Baby Zuri and I just tagged along. It was a two-week stay for Daddy Rupert and an eleven-day stay for Zuri and me.
Just like our Bangkok trip, this was another impromptu trip for us because we only found out about it around ten days before we actually flew out of Manila. And, because this was an unplanned family trip, we had to watch our budget closely. Singapore is known to be an expensive city and ours was a long stay so I spent a considerable amount of time googling “Things to do in Singapore for free” and “Cheap things to do in Singapore”.
We went to Singapore shortly after Zuri’s 2nd birthday, so the trip was actually like an extension of her birthday celebration. The things that we did and the places that we went to are all child-friendly and cheap, or at least as cheap as Singapore can get. So, here goes:
First, the hotel. We stayed at Oasia Hotel Singapore. Well, the company paid for the hotel and being cheap isn’t one of its good qualities but it certainly has several.
6 Things I Like About Oasia Hotel Singapore
1. Clean, modern room with king-sized bed
The room that we got was a Deluxe room. At 25 sqm, it was big enough to make the three of us feel comfortable even after a cot (no additional cost) was added for Zuri.
It had a king-sized bed, a long desk, a flat-screen tv, a refrigerator, an iron and ironing board and a coffee/tea maker.
There was no bathtub in the bathroom but the rain shower was good enough for us.
Housekeeping cleaned the room everyday and never forgot to replenish our supply of bottled water. Some members of the staff are Filipinos and it is always nice to see a kababayan (fellow Filipino) in a foreign land.
2. Buffet Breakfast
Our stay came with daily buffet breakfast for two while Zuri ate for free. I’m never picky when it comes to food so I have no complaints. My only requirement is for breakfast to be filling because I would need my energy for the rest of the day.
Breakfast is served at an all-day restaurant found at hotel lobby level called Zaffron. Below is a picture of Zaffron.
Breakfast consists of the following: different types of bread, cheese, eggs, cereals, yoghurt, fruits, rice, pasta/noodles, bacon, ham, sausages, potatoes, beans, milk, coffee, tea, fruit juices, etc.
3. Shallow kiddie pool and jacuzzi
Oasia Hotel Singapore has an outdoor 20-m lap pool, a small kiddie pool and a jacuzzi/heated pool all found at the 8th floor. I loved the jacuzzi but Zuri didn’t like it so we spent most of our time in the small kiddie pool. I loved the kiddie pool, too. It is really shallow, perfect for toddlers. Zuri was able to stand on her own in the pool and she was only about 30 inches tall then. Here are some pictures of the pool area.
During weekdays when Daddy Rupert had work, I made it a point to go out only in the morning and to reserve the afternoon for rest and relaxation at the hotel pool area. I learned from our trip to Bangkok that in order for my energy to last until evening (when Rupert would be free to spend time with Zuri and me), Zuri and I should spend our afternoons to rest and recharge. I stuck to this rule during our Singapore trip no matter how tempting it was to go out and roam around the malls instead. (If you also have a 2-year old with you, believe me, this is good advice.) This is why for our family, a nice hotel with a nice room and a nice pool is necessary for us to have a nice time when we travel. Oasia Hotel doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
4. Good location
Oasia Hotel Singapore is in the Novena area, not directly in the center of but is only two MRT stations away from the most popular shopping district of Singapore, Orchard Road. Now, the MRT in Singapore is nothing like the MRT in Manila. So, when I say “two MRT stations away”, there is actually nothing to worry about and your destination feels like just a step away. To illustrate this, take a look at the pictures below.
(Above) This is Zuri aboard the MRT. See how it is almost empty? This is kind of unbelievable if you are from Manila. No long queues. So much space! The longest we had to wait to board a train ever in our two-week stay was 5 minutes, and this only happened once. Singapore MRT is very convenient and reliable.
5. Direct connection to MRT
Oasia Hotel Singapore also has an underpass that directly connects the hotel to the Novena MRT. For me, this made all the difference. Because when you are always lugging a stroller, a toddler and a bag along with you, you want to find the most convenient way to do it.
The hotel elevator goes all the way down to the basement which is where you will find the Novena MRT. (Below) Here is Zuri at the basement, ready for the day’s activities. Just a short walk from where Zuri is standing is the Novena MRT. Behind Zuri is the hotel elevator.
A standard ticket from Novena station to the next station (Newton) using EZ-link card costs 0.77 SGD (around PHP 27). To compute how much your ride at the MRT would cost, go to www.smrt.com.sg/Trains/NetworkMap.aspx.
6. Surrounded by Malls
Although it is not found in Orchard Road, Oasia Hotel Singapore is still surrounded by malls, such as, Novena Square, Square 2, Velocity and United Square. All these malls are within short walking distance from Oasia Hotel.
Novena Square is directly on top of the Novena MRT Station. Velocity is an extension building of Novena Square. Zuri and I bought most of our meals from Kopitiam, a food court found inside Velocity. Most of the time, we bought chicken rice priced at around SGD 3.8 or PHP 128. Filipino food is also available at Kopitiam.
I was very happy to find out about United Square Shopping Mall. It is a children’s mall that can be easily reached from Oasia Hotel by passing through an underpass that is connected to the Novena MRT Station. Zuri and I checked out the following stores: Cotton On Kids, F&X kids, Gingersnaps, Crocs and Toys R Us. I was able to buy a pair of Crocs for Zuri at a discounted price (around SGD 30 or PHP 1,000). Zuri also insisted that I buy her a Just Like Home Housekeeping Set which I got for around SGD 22 (about PHP 750) from Toys R Us.
Oasia Hotel Singapore is located at 8 Sinaran Dr, Singapore. A night in a Deluxe room with breakfast and broadband on the average costs 360 SGD (around PHP 12,500) exclusive of taxes. Prices are lower if you book early. Sometimes, they offer promo rates. For more information, visit www.oasia.com.sg.
Thanks for reading!
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