You probably think Singapore is a top spot to stop over, but it really has so much more to offer. It’s time to rethink your mindset and consider Singapore as a destination for your next family holiday...
With a flight time from most Australian capital cities of under eight hours (faster on the way back), Singapore is a no brainer for a fun family holiday. It’s safe, it’s clean, it’s hot all the time and there is an abundance of things to do no matter what you look for in your holiday. Shopping is excellent, eating is a national hobby and as such food options are limitless, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep the kids busy. You can do it all, or you can just kick back poolside! Singapore prides itself on its efficiency: no traffic, no queues, no crime, no litter, no fuss, no worries! Want to hear more? This was the unanimous assessment of our recent 10 day trip to Singapore. Words and imagery: Georgie Watts | See more of Georgie’s travels at www.thewindowseat.net
Georgie wears Tanliines swimsuit, $199
Universal Studios Singapore
Our kids are only now at an age where they are tall enough to get on most rides at amusement parks, so this was a first for me. The park is divided into seven different themed zones, with attractions for all age groups. The Transformers ride was incredible, a must do! We did the Puss in Boots and Jurassic World ride three times each, but were too chicken to do the gravity defying Human Vs Cylon rollercoaster! Bring a hat and water, as the concession stands dotted around the park don’t open until after 11am. There’s lot’s for littlies to do too, with entry level rollercoasters and carousels in the Madagascar and Far Far Away Zones. Go to www.rwsentosa.com
Sea Aquarium Sentosa
This aquarium is HUGE. We get there early, and race to the Open Ocean exhibit (it contains 18 million litres of water, to give you an idea of it’s scale!) where we sit and watch, mesmerised, manta rays, sharks, tuna and the rest, before hitting up the education corner where we pat sea cucumbers and sea stars. We always make a beeline here on our first day, to shelter from the heat and humidity until we acclimatise. Go to www.rwsentosa.com
Adventure Cove Waterpark Sentosa
When did my babies become such dare devils? They want to go on all the slides and the wave pool. I am happiest floating around the park in a rubber ring… there’s something for everyone here! Go to www.rwsentosa.com
Georgie with her husband Merrick and their children Kinga and Wolfe
Have you ever had breakfast in the company of orangutans? We did! While you’re no longer allowed to have a cuddle with them like you were back in the 90’s (their DNA is too close to ours, and they catch colds easily!), it’s still a huge thrill to sit alongside them and tuck into your brekky. This zoo is lovely with really lush gardens and very happy and healthy animals in huge enclosures. Go to www.zoo.com.sg
Jurong Bird Park
I think the bird park gets overlooked a little, but it’s worth it for younger kids. For a gold coin donation, we fed African Penguins and lorikeets in one of the largest aviaries in the world. Being covered in little Aussie parrots was definitely a highlight! There’s a handy tram that does laps of the park, so be sure to get tickets with this included. Handy for when little legs get tired. Catch the Birds of Prey show – we loved it! Go to www.birdpark.com.sg
I love little India. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. The colours, the incredible smells… tuberose, curries, exotic toiletries, incense… and the people! This is the spot to indulge in authentic vegetarian South Indian food, fish head curry, and roti aplenty. We don’t have favourite restaurants, we always pick at random, but have never been let down. Our kids particularly love egg roti. Go to www.visitsingapore.com
Newton Circus Hawker Centre
This is one of the more touristy of the outdoor food centres, but holds a special spot in my heart, as it’s where I spent many Friday and Saturday evenings as a high schooler. There are food offerings to please everyone, from sambal stingray, to BBQ prawn and crab dishes, to soups, noodles, satay, and the rest. Pictures of the meals adorn the individual stalls, so when in doubt, pick from the picture that appeals most! Good to know too that stalls are fiercely competitive, and health inspections force out anyone below acceptable cleanliness levels. We’ve never been sick eating at hawker stalls.
Sunday brunch at Raffles
Sunday brunches are a huge thing in Singapore, all the big hotels offer them. We had the kids babysat and met up with friends who were in transit on their way home to Sydney. This brunch is super decadent, with a choice of free flow Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve or Rosé. Oysters, crab claws, lobster tails, blini and caviar, 40 different varieties of cheese, salads and a dessert station of my dreams. Very special indeed. Treat yourself! Go to www.raffles.com
We slept at…
Sentosa Sofitel Resort
We had adjoining rooms at the Sofitel, joined by a lounge room; to have so much room whilst on holidays is a real treat! The hotel is super kid friendly, and has a kids’ club considerately located next to the spa. There’s even a complimentary fish foot spa! The breakfast buffet at Kwee Zeen is the stuff of dreams, and dinner there is excellent too! Our kids quickly made friends poolside. A courtesy bus runs half hourly, and drops you to Resorts World (where the aquarium, universal studios and adventure cove are located, as well as a plethora of restaurants). Go to www.sofitel-singapore-sentosa.com
To stay at such an iconic hotel was a real treat. There is a sense of old world hospitality and luxury at every turn. It is luxe without being stuffy, and the attention to detail is next level! The four of us shared a Palm Court Suite, and it was perfect…with a sitting room and a huge bathroom we never felt crowded. The pool is a little on the small side, but as soon as we arrived, the lovely pool attendant quickly produced all manner of inflatables for the kids. A gin fizz made with Sipsmiths custom Raffles blend of gin was pretty special poolside! Raffles is undergoing a bit of a facelift over the next few months, as the hotel turns 130 this year, but we didn’t even notice the reno’s whilst we were there. Go to www.raffles.com The Watts family would like to thank Singapore Tourism Board, Sofitel Sentosa Resort and Raffles Singapore for their assistance in making this holiday our “best ever”.