Unlike last year‘s September holidays, we did not leave the country this time – because we forgot to renew Shannon’s passport! By the time we got round to doing so, it was a week from the holidays, and I thought it was too stressful trying to figure out if it would get done on time. So we decided to take a staycation instead.
Changi Village is about as far from our home as it gets in Singapore. Ironically, it is even further than taking a trip to our usual favourite spots in Johor… So it came as no surprise when Shannon asked if we were reaching Malaysia yet, before we even reached Loyang.
Changi Cove Hotel is fairly new, just under two years old, located in Netharavon Rd near Changi Village. In fact, it overlooks the government Cranwell Bungalows my parents used to book for the school holidays when I was young.
The minimalist-rustic reception was complete with casually dressed receptionists in polo T-shirts and white jeans. None of the stuffy hotel suits here.
It appeared to be The Place for corporate retreats. In the two nights we spent there, we were one of two families with kids during breakfast. The rest comprised KKH bigwigs, ITE staff and NTU folks. Below is the small breakfast area. Simplicity is probably the name of their game. Decor-wise and food-wise. Reasonable variety, less than the usual hotel buffet but satisfying nonetheless. The kids loved the free flow of Horlicks and Milo. Jason would be happy with any breakfast as long as he sees scrambled eggs (me too), while Shannon is happy with just cereal and milk.
The room, while small, stood out for several factors.
1) Nespresso Machine: It was our first encounter with the machine, complete with three capsules each day. Hubby had fun making coffee.
2) Doodle Wall: Maybe it’s for the corporate people to brainstorm ideas in the room (poor them!), but it was a perfect canvas for drawing for my kids. The hotel thoughtfully provided whiteboard markers of various colours but we brought our own too!
First time in their lives they got free rein to draw on walls. Jason took to leaving a message for the staff, hoping for more chocolates than what we got as a welcome on our first day. Nope, didn’t work. No chocolates on subsequent days.
3) Beanbag: Like I said, the room was small, so in place of a couch or sofa, there was a huge beanbag. It was the perfect spot to snuggle up with a book (Jason) with her milk and Friend (Shannon).
4) L’Occitane bath products: That’s my favourite. I don’t use such pricey stuff at home, so bath time was especially luxurious in the three days there!
While I had read about the whiteboard wall during booking, I didn’t realise our stay came with free soup and salad buffet each evening. So we ended up having dinner at the hotel both nights.
I was surprised at the spread. Maybe my expectations were low. So it was a nice surprise to find five types of hearty soups, oxtail, seafood chowder, tomato, salmon and mushroom soups, as well as a spread of salad ingredients and even cheesecake for dessert.
Only Shannon didn’t like the Western dinner we had, so we went out to Changi Village hawker centre to get her rice/noodles both nights.
But the best part of the stay was probably the free games we played.
The table soccer was located at the Verandah where we had our soup and salad buffet, so we stayed on to play for over an hour after dinner. Yup, all four of us. Three super-competitive players (them) and one relaxed and not-on-the-ball goalkeeper (me) made for much screams and laughter. Thankfully we were the only ones there most of the time. The corporate folks probably got a proper dinner somewhere else.
The other place we spent most of our hot afternoons and nights after table soccer ended, was the Family Lounge. It had board games, newspapers, free flow coffee, tea, biscuits and kept us all very happy and well-fed.
All in, it was an enjoyable getaway. Laidback, relaxed, totally us. The kids said it’s even better than going to Malaysia. They would have been happy to just stay in the hotel all day. But we made it to Chek Jawa and the Changi boardwalk. Details in the next post.