As we race towards the end of an intensely busy year for our family, I wanted to share an adventure we had with the boys recently, which involved a “staycation” – something we’ve never done as a family in Singapore. There’s a first for everything of course, and we stayed at the Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa to celebrate Lex’s 7th birthday.
Steve and I decided a local get-away option was the perfect choice, because we had both experienced the busiest weeks of our lives, including Steve flying back from Saudi Arabia landing on the Friday morning. Worse than that, both of us were away for Lex’s actual birthday – sigh – AND I had to jump on a plane to the US Sunday night. So local was the perfect option.
We had a great weekend. The Rasa Sentosa is a brilliant hotel, with its own private beach, a great kids’ pool with water slides (although some of the life guards were a bit intense), a kids’ playroom for the little’ies and another one for big kids, as well as fantastic restaurants to choose from. My boys think breakfast buffets are pretty cool – they’ve never had so many choices in their lives – and the Rasa Sentosa breakfast buffet is superb, even if it is a stampede. One thing about Asia, it’s everyone for themselves at breakfast time, and the kids need to watch out too. There is no consideration for little ones enjoying their independence during the breakfast battles!
Back to the hotel, we only booked one room, so it was a little bit of a squeeze for all of us, and the early morning wake ups meant everyone was in it for the day. However we got a ground floor room, which gave us more space and options – including easy access to the pool. The reality is, we always try to get a ground floor room, because the image of one of our monkeys climbing over the balcony is one that leaves us both cold. You know your own kids right?
We did a lot around Sentosa over the weekend (which we’ll write about), but as far as our experience staying at the hotel goes, I have to say it was superb. A lovely lady Shirley – I didn’t get her family name – checked us in. She had the biggest smile on her face, which was heartfelt and genuine. Shirley took personal care of us the whole time we were there, and when she found out we were celebrating Lex’s birthday, she could not do enough.
We had birthday cake in the room when we checked in, as well as some extra chocolates for everyone. When we went to the pool, she surprised us again with balloons in the room. We booked dinner on the beach at Trapizza (and the pizza is very good BTW) and Shirley came down in a buggy with another birthday cake and all of the staff sang Lex happy birthday. Bless that woman. How often do you get amazing customer service experiences like that? Not often, and it will be Shirley that we really remember from our time at the Rasa Sentosa. She should set up a customer service training course because she’s just brilliant at it.
It was a great weekend for all of us and the expectation has been set that we stay somewhere for birthdays… Oh well, happy to do it again for Jax when he turns six in February. While we won’t always do a ‘staycation,’ Sentosa provides a great selection of activities to do with the kids (not all expensive), and the Rasa Sentosa is a perfect choice, because it has enough on offer for two busy boys, so you can just stay there and enjoy it’s facilities.
With that said, it was an expensive weekend for us, but we didn’t really care, because two guilty parents missing their son’s actual birthday can only result in a lot of making up to do! Thankfully Lex was none-the-wiser, which was lucky, because we won’t get away with it again next year. Then again, we’ll be working hard to make sure we don’t have to.
We can highly recommend a ‘staycation’ on Rasa Sentosa, and of course, if you have any other ‘staycation’ recommendations in Singapore, or perhaps even the JB area, let us know?