a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation or travel; recess or holiday
a vacation spent at home or near home, doing enjoyable activities or visiting local attractions.
Before we conceived our first child, we would go for vacations every quarter. Out of the country kind of vacations.
Now, the new word in our dictionary is: Staycation. It is so young a trend that the term was added to the Merria-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary only in its 2009 version.
Benefits of a staycation:
- lesser stress associated with travel
- doctors are readily available
- lesser cost involved
- enjoy your country as tourists
- home is just a drive away
- daddy is on leave and always around!
As an ex-hotelier to a luxury hotel, we were spoilt with our choices of accommodations whenever we travel. The Peninsula, Four Seasons, Raffles, Ritz, SLHs (Small Luxury Hotels) and LHWs (Leading Hotels of the World) will always be our destinations instead of the country itself. Besides, hoteliers do get preferential hotelier rates so we never really had to pay published rates. There will always be a friend or GM you know somewhere to get you pampered on your trips.
When we stopped flying (I wasn’t allowed to travel due to the nature of my pregnancies), we started staycationing. We’ve gone from St Regis to Four Seasons but the only place we kept going back to was Capella Sentosa. Three times in one year!
First, we counted down to my 31st birthday.
Then, we returned for our second babymoon.
Lastly, we brought our 19 month old son for a weekend.
Each stay was personalised. Each stay was unique. Each stay was memorable.
In January 2013, we were booked into the Premier Room over my 31st birthday. It is an entry level room that offers us a sea view at 77 sqm with an long balcony. We were pampered with space. Where our money’s worth, we were pampered with complimentary breakfast, minibar, lounge facilities, wifi, ironing services, 46-inch flat screen swivel wall-mounted TV (a man’s must-have), New Year’s Eve Party and a scrumptious New Year’s Day Brunch.
I remember it was our first night without Ewan since we had a baby. We were both looking forward to a good night’s rest! After a long while, I finally had my fill of champagne and red wine (including pumping and dumping). After a long while, Meyer finally had his time with his Tele. We were both tired after the Countdown party but just couldn’t bear to shut eye for the night. We had to watch a movie and not waste whatever time we had. Ewan will be joining us the next day!
When we saw him at The Knolls for Sunday Brunch, it was all hugs and kisses. Capella is definitely a baby-friendly hotel. You’ll get your baby cot lined with bumper, pillow and blankie. Your bathroom will have an additional Ikea bathtub for the little one. Do I need to mention the kitchen at The Knolls can mash up potatoes and puree some spinach for your little foodie over breakfast? What a breeze it was for us to stay at Capella with a six-monther in tow.
We had such a wonderful experience with service and food in Capella that it brought us back again in December 2013. This time for a babymoon.
a relaxing holiday taken by parents-to-be before their baby is born
In December 2013, I was still in my first trimester and the morning sickness was still evident. I think I looked like I was going to pass out any moment in the lobby when we checked in. The front office staff took care of me and made sure I had a seat while they prepared our room. Apparently, it was not available when we arrived but that did not stop them from giving us a room immediately so that I can lie down from my dizziness. We were upgraded to Sentosa Suite.
It is furnished with a separate living and sleeping area at 86 sqm. There is a private balcony with a lounger which is perfect for me to rest on when housekeeping came. First thing that crossed our minds was, “Ahhhh Ewan would have loved the space in here!” but it was our time. Our couple-time with the upcoming baby. Besides, Ewan’s having a great time in Koh Samui with his grandparents.
The automated blinds system in the room is impressive and perfect for a very tired pregnant lady. All I had to do to black out the room is to press on a touch screen control at my bedside. There is a netted blind at every glass door and window which closes vertically. If it isn’t good enough, you can draw the black out curtains after the blinds. How convenient!
With weird midnight cravings and tucked away on a retreat island, I flipped through the in-room dining menu but disappointed to find no Naan with Butter Chicken on it. It was a long shot but why not try? We dialled for our butler and checked if the kitchen can whip out a dish that my baby’s craving for. Instead of a downright N.O., we got a very kind voice telling us that they will check with the chef and be back shortly with a favourable reply.
Holly Moly! I got my Masala Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan! Chef went out of his menu and got me my Naan! I was jumping with joy and I must say, it was Deeee-Leee-Cious! I literally lighted up and forgotten how pregnant-tired I was. My husband was really thankful he didn’t have to drive round Singapore looking for Garlic Naans for me. *haha*
In January 2014, we returned. This time with Ewan, my father and Pat. We booked the Sentosa Suite and Premier Room which opened up into one large suite. Many hotels cater to adjoining rooms but they are always configured with one King bed in one room and two Queens/Super Singles in the other. At Capella, we have the luxury to enjoy two King beds – one in Sentosa Suite and the other in the Premier Room.
Who had the best time of his life? Ewan of course! We had a total of 163 sqm in total which includes two bedrooms, a living, two bathrooms, one guest toilet, two balconies and three entrances! Each room can be closed for privacy and it is perfect for business meetings. While my dad and Meyer were busy in the living area for their work, Ewan and I can easily nap in our bedroom without getting disturbed.
Capella’s service is beautiful. While we drove into Sentosa, I called my butler and told her I would need to order a kid’s portion of Spaghetti Bolognaise for hungry Ewan. No fuss at all. We checked in with a neatly trayed kid’s portion for Ewan PLUS a plate of chocolate chip cookies personalised with “Ewan” on it. It touched my heart that they had his name recorded in the system somewhere. We never registered him at the front office before but they manage to get hold of that information from our last stay. A nostalgic tingle of my butlering days came rushing back. We take precise notes of our guests in the system and take pride in remembering their personal favourites. When they return, they will be WOWed by us with their favourite fruits on the table or the way they like their bed to be turned down. There at Capella, they had done the same. They’ve WOWed us. Even the hostess at The Knolls remembers Ewan from six months back.
We will always head off to the pool because it is Ewan’s most loved activity. Capella has three levels of swimming pools catering to the needs of different guests. If you want a lap pool, a slightly more private pool or just a play pool, they have it all. We love the serenity, the greens and the vastness. It is so tranquil that peacocks are permanent residents here. What a great place to teach our children about the birds.
Best part of it all is, it has private beach access to Sentosa. It isn’t a private beach but you needn’t take a buggy or a shuttle all the way to the Beach Station and walk to the sand and sea. All we had to do to dig our feet into the beach was to walk pass the three levels of swimming pool with an access card to get there. Ewan’s haven.
Meyer’s listed Capella as his personal favourite now, bumping Four Seasons to second on his list. I guess there’ll be many more visits to Capella when little F arrives! Maybe we can give the Villa a try the next time!
Give their website a check before you head down with a booking. They might have an exciting promotion for you.