7 best family-friendly hotels in Singapore
In many regular hotels, the family rooms just aren’t big enough.
Stick in an extra bed and you are practically pressed up against the wall. Or make do with separate rooms and you have the endless in and out, doors slamming, phones ringing and aimless waiting in the lobby for everyone to re-group; hardly the best start to a family getaway.
Here are seven options in Singapore that will ensure yours won't be a holiday from hell.
Big on space and fun: Festive Hotel
When Festive Hotel of Resorts World Sentosa opened with family-size rooms that could accommodate up to five, it was music to the ears of family travelers.
The massive rooms are divided into separate chambers for parents and kids, while some rooms come with living areas and others are structured like mini-flats.
Kids get the novelty of sleeping on loft beds and if you have more than two kids or are bringing the domestic helper, sofas open out into comfy double beds for extra sleeping room.
If you've got small ones to entertain, what’s around a hotel is as important as what’s in it. For Festive Hotel, the jam-packed Universal Studios ticket booths are right outside the hotel. The ticketing area is also right in the thick of Resorts Worlds’ shopping, dining and entertainment strip, Festive Walk, and there are tons of other fun things to keep your kids dizzy with exhilaration and get them, hopefully, exhausted by the end of the day.
From S$400 (excluding taxes). Festive Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway; +65 6577 8899; www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Hotels/FestiveHotel
For the kids and kiddults: Wanderlust
Little India does not often show up on the radar as a kid-friendly precinct but all that changed when boutique hotel guru, Loh Lik Peng, planted his dolled-up 29-room Wanderlust Hotel at Dickson Road, tossing up a kaleidoscope of themed rooms to pique the wildest realms of your imagination.
Most riveting -- for the young and young-at-heart -- are the lofty Whimsical rooms on level four, all of which come with ceiling-hugging loft beds and quirky eye candies: one features floor-to-ceiling rocket, another has a garishly gigantic typewriter and yet another, a vibrantly colored life-size tree house.
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If you can tear yourselves away from ogling the resident monsters, take a stroll through the neighborhood -- there are invaluable lessons to be learnt about Little India’s spirited past as a centre of commerce. And when hunger strikes, Cocotte on the lobby level serves homey French fare, the platter of roast chicken is as good as mum’s.
From S$300. 2 Dickson Road; + 65 6396 3322; wanderlusthotel.com
Escape to the other island: Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort
Kids take top billing at this newly renovated resort. In fact if you don't have kids, you may want to skip this hotel altogether.
The brand new kids’ club has extended opening hours, a giant three-level slide and ball pool, complimentary lunch and dinner, arts and crafts, arcade games and a baby and toddler area.
Family-size rooms are spacious enough for two adults and two kids, some come with large balconies, and there are guest pantries on every floor with snack vending machines and launderettes.
And should you run out of ways to tire the tykes out, get them out on the Flying Trapeze.
From S$476 per night (family fun package inclusive buffet meals and use of Flying Trapeze). 101 Siloso Road; +65 6275 0100; www.shangri-la.com
Holiday like a rock star: Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel will appeal to families with tweens and teens. Rooms are done up in mock MTV "Cribs" style with lots of glitz, color and trendy furniture, just over-the-top enough to make this stay a modicum of cool and yet practical and livable.
Rooms here are also family-size, though not as specifically set up for families as Festive Hotel. Pull-out beds are available in all rooms and the teenagers will enjoy frolicking in the free-form pool, next to which is a private beach with a volleyball court.
From S$450 (excluding taxes). Hard Rock Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway; +65 6577 8899; www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Hotels/HardRockHotel
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Living the high life: Marina Bay Sands
While Marina Bay Sands may be known more for its bars, restaurants and casino, it’s actually got a lot for families too.
Most stunning of which is the rooftop SkyPark. Kids (and grown-ups) will be in awe of this infinity pool perched 200 meters above ground with an impressive view of the city below.
This alone will provide hours of fun, but should you tear yourself away from the SkyPark area there’s more. Head to The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands’ shopping mall for other family happenings. Take the kids on a boat ride through the mall, or go to the brand new skating rink. Using synthetic ice, this 600-square-meter rink can take up to 100 skaters and rents skates, including ones with ice hockey blades.
For a kid-free time, leave them at QUBES, the kids’ club right in the mall. Equipped with Sony Play Station, X-Box and PC games, DVDs and Internet stations, they won't even notice they've been left behind.
From S$359++ (excluding taxes). Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave.; +65 6688 8868; www.marinabaysands.com
The rustic getaway: Changi Village Hotel
If you want your family to take a break from urban life, the Changi Village area still affords that.
A popular choice with families looking for a local getaway, the Changi Village Hotel's proximity to Pulau Ubin means that you can easily head out to the island for a day of cycling, walking and nature spotting, which, in busy, built up Singapore is literally a breath of fresh air.
Hang out on one of Pulau Ubin's quiet beaches, explore the Chek Jawa wetlands or visit the wild boar domesticated by one of Ubin’s remaining residents.
Back at the hotel, the rooftop pool is great, although there isn’t really a kiddy’s pool area so floaties are important. For mum and dad, there is also the on-site spa, ask for a treatment room on levels 8 or 9; these have gorgeous sea views.
From S$203-S$233 (excluding taxes and breakfast). Changi Village Hotel, 1 Netheravon Road; +65 6379 7111; www.stayvillage.com/changi
Get into the outback: Rider's Lodge
For a local break with a difference, try Rider’s Lodge. These horse stables with accommodation are a fun and relaxing way to vacation with the family.
The Lodge is a large colonial building set in lush Turf City (the old race track) and it has 40 rooms. Horse riding of course is the main reason to stay here and the stables offer riding lessons, trail rides in Bukit Timah, and pony rides and horse feeding sessions for young children.
Outside the lodge, the nearby Turf City has a spa, yoga studio and restaurants for other activity options. The rooms fill up quickly, so book well in advance.
From S$150 (including taxes). Rider’s Lodge, 100 Turf Club Road; +65 6465 4828; www.riderslodge.net