Have a relaxing staycation with a location that just can’t be beat.
At long last, the school holidays were here! The little one had a week off from school, and we were really excited to go somewhere as a family. However, we just couldn’t decide on where to go; the hubby just wanted to chill while I, naturally, preferred somewhere with a little bit of shopping. Then we came to the realisation: why not just have a staycation in Singapore?
We did some research about family staycations in Singapore and Orchard Parade Hotel caught our eye.
Located right smack along the Orchard Road stretch, it seemed like the perfect option that will please everyone – a big pool for the husband, lots of shops for me and the little one could still catch her favourite Cartoon Network cartoons on the TV. It was a complete win-win for all of us!
The exterior looked more like a resort than a hotel; the red-washed walls reminded us somewhat of a scene out of the Flintstones, which we really loved! The interior, however, was a whole different story altogether. Modern and classy with intricate decor, the lobby gave a definite boost to our excitement. Check-in was quick and fuss-free, and we were off to check out our room!
We stayed in the Deluxe Room, which came with a king-sized bed. A rollaway bed is available on request; all we had to do was make a call down to the concierge, and one of the staff was up in a jiffy to help us set it up. If you prefer a more cosy sleeping arrangement, the king-sized bed was actually large enough to fit all three of us comfortably. Our little girl, Sophie*, insisted on bringing her favourite blocks along, and promptly turned the giant bed into her playground!
*a moniker, and not her actual name, created for this particular page
The room was incredibly spacious; there was even enough space for Sophie to show off her breakdancing moves! I have no idea where she picked them up from, perhaps from a sneaky session of MTV when we weren’t home? Judging from the hubby’s expression, he was probably thinking the exact same thing. Nevertheless, it was absolutely adorable watching her dance around freely.
And yes, the bed is even large enough to build a pillow fort. Or even have a pillow fight!
The bathroom is worth a mention as well – the walls are adorned with attractive flowery motifs, which we thought were a really nice touch. The vanity top was larger than usual, with more than enough space for Sophie to sit on. The bright yellow cups also added an extra element of fun to our nightly teeth brushing routine! The hotel’s Superior Rooms are similar to the Deluxe rooms, the only difference being the addition of a balcony for the latter.
Should you desire even more space and a proper bed for your child, this is the room for you! Besides, it isn’t called the ‘Family Room’ for nothing. The beds were so comfortable that the hubby fell into a deep sleep in no time but Sophie, being the mischievous prankster, couldn’t resist tickling him till he woke up!
The room provided a fresh fruit platter, which was great because all of us love fruits! We know that it’s rare for kids to like eating fruits, but the trick is to craft games out of the act. Take for example, using bananas as phones to carry out funny conversations. Do this with your kids from a young age, and they’ll soon look at fruits not as icky items but as props for playtime. And, of course, each play session ends with a delicious chomping session!
*Elephant towels are for illustration purposes only.
Should you, in the future, plan a staycation for just the two of you sans kid, do check out the Club Rooms! Children aren’t allowed on the Club floors to cater for those who desire more peace and quiet and, by extension, more privacy.
The Club Rooms come with a private balcony that overlooks a sea of lush greenery. This was a refreshing change from our usual concrete jungle views! The balcony provided a nice alcove to unwind at.
Club guests also have exclusive access to the Club Lounge, but more on that later on!
The Premier Room is the larger counterpart of the Deluxe/Superior Rooms. This is a great option for those who like more space! We loved how we could spread our luggages out, and Sophie even had more than enough space to roll around and get up to her amusing antics.
We only have one word to describe the suites here at Orchard Parade Hotel: GINORMOUS. It seriously felt like we had an entire apartment to ourselves! Besides the beds, we had a coffee table as well as a sofa set strategically positioned right in front of the television. Needless to say, the TV had Cartoon Network on loop.
The sofa was plush and superbly comfy; the hubby soon drifted into a peaceful sleep before being woken up by… a pocky stuffed into his nose. Oh, Sophie!
There was even a cool room divider that was perfect for a game of Hide and Seek. In fact, the whole room was just so comfortable that we didn’t even want to leave for dinner! Thank goodness for room service.
After a full day of activities, Sophie was more than willing to clamber into bed. The beds provided for children are marshmallow-soft and large enough to accommodate a before-bed storytelling session. The hubby was on standby waiting to exact his revenge; he pounced the minute Sophie’s eyes fluttered close, which resulted in a hilarious wrestling match!
The hotel is home to a big pool, which delighted the hubby and Sophie alike! We went down to take a look before changing into our swimming costumes, and neither of them could resist splashing around!
Needless to say, everyone got really wet! The rack of towels by the pool were a godsend, if not we’d have to trudge up to our rooms sopping wet. There’s a row of cabanas by the pool as well, which looked great for relaxing with a book or, in Sophie’s case, for playing with her box of blocks.
The deck surrounding the pool was so large that we felt as if we were in a world of our own. There’s also a pool bar situated right next to the pool; we took the chance to play bartender and customer when the bar was unoccupied. Sophie had such fun pretending to order her own cocktails! The hubby, naturally, got really into his role as well and started rattling off a long list of recommendations.
We popped by the gym to have a look on our way up; we weren’t planning on using it during our stay, but it looked like they had everything needed for a decent workout! Do note that kids aren’t allowed in the gym.
We were walking around the hotel and this caught our eye. Just look at that grand exterior design! P.S. Our little girl took this photo for us; she has a good eye, huh! We entered the restaurant expecting the usual Japanese fare, but boy were we blown away.
We were faced with a dazzling array of ingredients, displayed in front of two eager Japanese chefs. So it turns out that the restaurant specialises in robatayaki (hence the name!), which refers to a Japanese technique where patrons point to fresh ingredients to place their order and the chefs will grill the selection before serving it on a wooden paddle. It was such a novel and authentic experience; we recommend this restaurant as a must-go during your stay!
It was a really unique experience! We had such fun placing our orders and soaking in the lively atmosphere. We especially recommend the grilled squid. Poor little Sophie was too short to get a clear view over the sake bottles, so she had to stand on her chair to see the ingredients! Kudos to the chefs for entertaining her; we all had a really good time.
Akashi Japanese Restaurant is the place to go for fuss-free yet absolutely delicious Japanese fare. Their set meals are really something to be raved about – the sets come complete with rice, soup and salad, and are all reasonably priced. The Sashimi here is thickly sliced and fresh; none of that waterlogged taste from previously-frozen slices. Our favourite is the Sukiyaki set, where each customer gets their own personal bowl of soupy goodness.
The restaurant offers both Omakase (chef’s choice) or Ala Carte menus (that include the set meals). Request to sit at the counter if you want the Omakase and at the tables if you want to order from the menus.
Brewerkz, we believe, needs no further introduction. An institution amongst Singapore’s many watering holes, Brewerkz serves up pints of frothy gold together with delectable pub grub. Apart from finger food, the place does serve a mean BBQ Pork Ribs dish. The long tables positioned at the side of the restaurant is also good for a session of people-watching!
This is definitely one for the men – head to Black Angus Steakhouse for a healthy dose of steak! We were seated in a cosy little booth reminiscent of an American cowboy diner. Sophie just couldn’t resist running around all the booths, and even started chasing the waiters around. Luckily we visited in the late afternoon and had the full attention of the waiters, who got along pretty well with Sophie!
For those that aren’t such big fans of meat, do check out their potato skins that come loaded with bacon bits, chives and cheddar cheese.
We don’t know about you, but we just can’t do without Chinese cuisine. Luckily, Orchard Parade Hotel has both Kam Boat Teochew Restaurant and Tung Lok Signatures within the hotel itself! Kam Boat Teochew Restaurant is known for its crisp Peking duck, whilst Tung Lok Signatures is the place to go for Dim Sum. Kam Boat Teochew Restaurant also has a wide variety of live seafood, including cold crab which is their specialty.
We sneaked out for a quick walk-around the hotel after Sophie succumbed to her tiredness. To our surprise, we stumbled upon K Suites which is open until 4am! We couldn’t resist renting a room and belting out a few tunes. The hubby got really into it (his expression says it all), but I don’t blame him; there were all our favourite songs and we could basically sing to our heart’s content!
We even dabbled in a quick game of pool after our Karaoke session. For those looking to book rooms for large groups of friends or even for corporate events, K Suites offers giant VIP rooms where luxury is a sheer understatement.
Pop down to the Lobby Bar for a quick nightcap. The decor is immaculate and soothing, with the gold trimmings adding a touch of elegance to the area. The bartender was really nice as well, and is always willing to offer some advice or a bout of witty banter. Aside from all of that, the Lobby Bar offered a nice place to simply unwind after a long day.
We had our breakfast at Modesto’s, which served a great variety of food! We were literally spoilt for choice; we could take our pick from french toast, spring rolls, sausages, congee or even prata and curry. Talk about having a varied breakfast!
Our main achievement, however, was discovering the egg station which was discretely hidden behind the glass door. Some guests might accidentally miss this out; we had some people coming up to us to ask us where we got our eggs from! Do keep this in mind for your stay – the egg station is definitely one that is not to be missed.
As previously mentioned, we highly recommend the Club Rooms for any couples or parents looking for some time alone. Children are not allowed on the Club Floor, which caters towards travellers or staycation-ers who are simply looking for some peace and quiet.
Club guests have exclusive access to the Club Lounge, which offers all-day light refreshments, as well as canapés and free-flow evening cocktails from 6-8pm.
During its recent renovation in 2016, Orchard Parade Hotel decided to cover its walls and pillars with an intricate pepper flower motif. So why the pepper flower? The hotel is located along Orchard Road, which was named after the nutmeg, pepper and fruit orchards or plantations that the road once led to. What better ode to history than to embed this little fun fact in the hotel’s very own interior decor!
Heads up, all you Manchester United fans! The Orchard Parade Hotel used to house the Devil’s Bar, also known as the Manchester United Red Cafe. The establishment was a common gathering ground for all Manchester United fans, and often erupted into a cacophony of red shirts and frenzied cheers whenever a Manchester United game was on.
Bringing a welcomed nostalgic blast amidst the towering skyscrapers and shiny new malls, Orchard Parade Hotel is a homely abode that has been around since 1969. It was formerly known as Ming Court Hotel in 1969, and was renamed in 1991 after the hotel was bought over by Far East Hospitality in 1987.
The hotel is located along Orchard Road, and is the ideal location from which to explore the surrounding area. Shop till you drop along Singapore’s largest shopping belt, catch a movie at one of the many cineplexes or drop by an eclectic range of cafés and restaurants.
Orchard Parade Hotel is located along Orchard Road, right next to Forum The Shopping Mall. Forum, as it’s more colloquially known, is the go-to mall for a day out with family.
One café that really caught our eye was Benjamin Browns, which serves massive over-the-top milkshakes that are truly a sight to behold! We ordered the ‘Old School Vanilla’, which came in a super Insta-worthy concoction of milkshake topped with candy floss, sprinkles, red velvet cake and a crispy wafer. The café offers a large variety of these milkshakes, each more unique and show-stopping than the last, so make sure to check those out during your stay!
The food served is pretty decent as well, with our favourites being the Burrito Bowl and Sizzling Beef Chunks. Do be warned that service tends to be on the slow side during peak hour, so do time your visit to minimise your waiting time.
We went shopping for a little present for Sophie at Toys “R” Us, which is located on the third floor of the shopping mall. We soon lost track of her in the store; the hubby had to go running after her every five minutes! The store is also great for those who are evidently still a kid at heart, a.k.a. the ever-so-young hubby.
For a really fun dining experience, why not venture a little further from the hotel and check out The Ship Restaurant at Shaw Centre? The Ship is a themed cafe modelled after – yep, you guessed it – the interior of a ship.
There are maps scattered all around the restaurant and life buoys adorned the walls. Their signature dish, The Ship Steak, even comes in a flamboyant flambé flourish! The restaurant gets really popular on weekends, so do make your reservations in advance to ensure a table.