Predictably the first question my friends asked when I told them I’d booked to go to Singapore was – “Are you taking the kids with you?” – My answer was always a resounding “Yes!” Keen for my children to explore new cultures and experiences this had been one stop on my list that was long overdue.
The Asian hub of Singapore is often overlooked as a stop off for far-flung shores, yet it’s a fantastic family-friendly destination that has no language barriers and is jam packed with fun and interesting attractions.
In the heart of city is the Fullerton Hotel. Steeped in history with its grand neoclassical architecture, the iconic hotel was once a government building before it became known as Singapore’s General Post Office. Popular with families, our welcome came in the form of two oversized teddy bears that serve as the hotel’s mascots, Lizzy and Robby. The kids’ excitement continued at check in with activity books and ice cream galore, while I kept my focus to remember to enquire about the spa having set my heart on a little treat.
Our beautiful room overlooked the outdoor pool and Singapore River, and needless to say was perfect in every way. The convenience of baby baths, children’s toiletries and newborn essentials meant we hadn’t needed to take everything half way round the world.
Following a 12-hour flight and keen to avoid any jet lag, a walk to the surrounding neighbourhoods gave the first glimpse of the melting pot of cultures that this fabulous city beholds. We returned just in time to catch the twice-nightly light show at Marina Bay Sands from the hotel’s chic rooftop bar, a bonus as the exclusive viewing spot meant no crowds and I could enjoy a Singapore Sling at the same time!
Five days barely seemed enough to take in all the museums, horticultural parks and amusements. The Townhouse Restaurant set us up for our daily adventures with a feast of delicious western and Asian dishes providing lots of opportunity for Marley to sample new foods such as the scrumptious kaya toast and bao buns, while indulging in her first love – pancakes.
On our first day we visited Sentosa Island to get our kicks at Universal Studios theme park. We quickly realised one day was not enough, and in true child pester-power style, we returned the following day to visit the Sentosa Luge and Adventure Cove waterpark which has a great splash pad and water maze for little ones to cool off in the heat.
Another highlight was Singapore Zoo and adjoining Night Safari, a unique animal interaction experience with educational talks and a tram ride by moonlight that had Marley in awe.
Five days was not enough, I’m not sure five weeks would have been. I overheard my three intrepid travellers conjuring up a ‘plan’ to move to Singapore so I know we will return. The zest for travel that has grown in my children seems to have made our friends more curious and they are now asking very different questions!