Staycation in Singapore

Seasoned staycationer Angie Han shares some tips on stay-vacationing with your children and some of her favourite city spots.


With the school holidays right round the corner, many families have already planned their short getaways.  But for some, there is not enough time for a vacation, while others have budget concerns.

A good alternative is a staycation – where you take a break with your family without leaving the country.  In Singapore, there are many wonderful hidden gems in the city and the outskirts, waiting for you to explore or re-discover.

But first, a look at what you need for a relaxing and stress-free staycation.

Must-haves for a staycation with kids:

  1. Look for family-friendly hotels with facilities to keep the children occupied.
  2. List down kid-friendly places nearby e.g. theatres, museums, nature reserves, parks, playgrounds, etc.
  3. Check on the events during the duration of your stay e.g. concerts, musicals, fireworks, F1 race, River Ang Bao at Marina Bay, carnivals, etc.
  4. Plan an itinerary on the activities to do and places to visit.
  5. Bring along DVDs, portable DVD player, iPad, colouring book, a few toys and books to keep the children occupied.
  6. Most importantly, treat it as if you are on vacation. Take the opportunity to visit or re-visit familiar places, eat at different restaurants and try new activities.

Stay at the Marina Bay area

My family has been to the city hotels along Marina Bay area – a historical, cultural and shopping paradise.  The location is accessible and there are so many activities for the whole family.

During our hotel stays, we went to musicals and SSO Concerts for children at the Esplanade, visited the nearby museums, had fun at the Marina Barrage, took an educational tour onboard the duck tours and went for a leisurely stroll along the Marina Promenade and the Helix Bridge.  Another highlight of staying in these hotels was the spectacular fireworks on National Day and New Year Eve.

We have had 3 staycations in the Marina Bay area and here are our personal experiences at these hotels.


Spend holiday in Singapore!

Pan Pacific

  • A lovely, elegant hotel.
  • Friendly, helpful and attentive staff throughout the hotel.They make us feel like VIPs (very important people) by attending to our every request.
  • Spotless clean rooms which are spacious (approx. 43 sqm) and they offer breathtaking views of the Marina Bay Harbour and Singapore’s Central Business District.
  • The marbled bathrooms have a separate bath and shower configuration.
  • Dedicated area for guests’ leisure and recreational needs e.g. round-the-clock gymnasium with up-to-date fitness equipment, tennis courts, playground and a large swimming pool with underwater acoustics, beverages and light refreshments.
  • At the swimming pool, the staff serve the guests with little treats like water, apples and lollipops.
  • A wide choice of shopping, dining and entertainment options available within and around the hotel.

Marina Mandarin

  • The rooms are newly refurbished.
  • Each with a private balcony overlooking the Marina Bay or the city skyline.
  • The bathrooms are huge, with separate bath and shower cubicle.
  • It has a 25-metre mineral water pool.  This reduces the proneness to sore eyes, dry skin or bleached hair, benefiting the health and fitness of all swimmers.
  • Located near the indoor playground at Marina Square.
  • Easy access to shopping malls (e.g. Marina Square, Suntec City) and The Esplanade.

Marina Bay Sands

  • The rooms and bathrooms are large and come with a stunning view of the city skyline or the sea.
  • Hotel guests have unlimited access to the Sky Park.  The Sky Park was an amazing experience for young and old.  It is 200 metres above the sea and spans the tops of the three hotel towers.  The SkyPark features an observation deck, tropical gardens, restaurants, and a large infinity-edge pool with spectacular views.
  • The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands offers a wide array of designer boutiques, restaurants, a food court, and canal rides on traditional – style sampan boats.
  • Catch a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline on the Helix Bridge which links Marina Bay Sands to Marina Centre.

The best part of these staycations is discovering new things together as a family, like trying out the room service and water play at Marina Barrage, or having an enriching experience at the museum.  And it cost us less than $1,000 for a family of 4.