The great thing about staycations is it allows the family to enjoy a relaxing break from the usual routine without hitting the road, or skies. Especially if it involves a hotel that is located in the culture-rich district of Katong. Relaxation has never been so close to so much good food!
The Village Hotel Katong, as its name implies, is located in the eastern side of Singapore and is formerly known as Paramount Hotel. I know, the exterior of the hotel looks pretty jaded and uninspiring but after an extensive round of refurbishments, I assure you that I was taken aback - in a good way - when I first set afoot into the hotel's lobby.
The lobby exuded a warm and homely charm, with references to the rich Peranakan heritage of the surrounding Joo Chiat and Katong areas. Of course, the make-or-break factor of any staycations with the monkies relies primarily on the hotel room and on first impression, it did not disappoint.
We were put up in one of the hotel's Family Rooms which comes with two queen beds - ideal for families with kids and certainly more than enough for my family. The wifey and I loved the overall design of the room which was modern and clean, with a hint of Peranakan influences through the use of its furnishing motifs.
For the monkies though, the main draw of our room has got to be the spaciousness of the room - which is pleasantly huge and it also comes with a walk-in wardrobe area. Yes, the monkies spent a long time playing hide-and-seek with those wardrobes.
The toilet is fairly spacious as well. There is no bathtub but it boasts a fantastic rain shower.
All rooms come with complimentary wired Internet and Wi-Fi access, including a 46-inch LED TV with in-built port access to portable electronic devices.
Somehow, watching TV at home doesn't quite cut it like watching Cartoon Network while slothing it out on a hotel's bed. Perhaps it was due to the ultra comfy queen beds but I had a hard time in trying to get the monkies out of bed and explore the vicinity of Village Hotel Katong.
At least I had the awesome balcony view as a consolation.
But it was not long before the monkies wanted to get those feet of theirs moving... which we did. Besides the all the Katong coffeeshops/cafes/restaurants one can visit in the vicnity, the hotel sits above Katong V, a cosy shopping mall that is adjoined to. Desperate for more shopping options you say? How about a mere 5-minute walk to the Parkway Parade Shopping Mall - a mall which is notorious for its terrible car park jams during weekends.
Even East Coast Park is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel! Walk towards the direction of the expressway towards Parkway Parade, cross the underpass and come face to face with Parkland Green.
Parkland Green is a newly-opened low-rise development that comprises of a mix of family-friendly restaurants, casual cafes and sports retail shops. Families will love the 1-hectare lush green lawn nestled in front of the restaurants and cafes, providing kids with the perfect open space to run, jump and tumble while parents sip on a cuppa nearby.
Oh, there is also an hourly complimentary Shuttle Service to Big Splash at East Coast Park from 8:35am to 10:35pm should you prefer not to walk.
Or if you prefer to keep things really sloooow, then there is always this.
Swimming pools in hotels never fail to excite the monkies and even though the one at Village Hotel Katong is nothing more than a fairly big round pool, the monkies still managed to clock in more than one hour's worth of pool time!
Do note that one half of the pool is 1.8m deep, while the other is 1.2m deep so for parents with young children, you will need to be in the pool with them. There are also noodle and foam floats available freely so those kept the kiddos pretty occupied for most of the duration.
Of course, a staycation is never complete without a hearty buffet breakfast to round up the experience!
Katong Kitchen is an international concept and halal restaurant featuring Nonya, Macanese, Asian, local Chinese and Western fare.
The breakfast buffet spread is rather decent, which serves up quite the wide spread of American-styled breakfast to local eats like Nasi Lemak and Laksa. The chicken congee deserves to be singled out though, especially since Ale had THREE bowls of that!
Clearly, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Village Hotel Katong. It is pleasant, not too overly crowded compared to other hotels and its location is an interesting one - from some of Singapore's best food and shopping options to activities at East Coast Park for the kids. If you are looking for an interesting staycation for that relaxing escape from the bustle of city life, the hotel is a great alternative for families!
From now until the end of 2015, bring out the Peranakan in you when you stay at Village Hotel Katong! The Peranakan Family Experience lets everyone in the family experience the life in a Peranakan kitchen when you learn to wrap rice dumplings the Nyonya way at Kim Choo. Understand more about the Peranakan culture and history and get to sample Nyonya favourites!
For just S$285*, enjoy:
• One night’s accommodation in Family Room
• Unlimited WiFi access
• Buffet breakfast for 2 adults, 2 children at Katong Kitchen
• FREE 2-hour Peranakan experience at Kim Choo
• Late check-out at 3pm (subject to availability)
*Rates are exclusive of 10% Service Charge & 7% GST
For more information and/or to book, visit www.stayfareast.com/en/hotels/village-hotel-katong/deals/peranakan-experience.aspx
Village Hotel Katong
25 Marine Parade, Singapore 449536
Tel: +65 6344 2200