The curse on global travel isn’t going away until the world as a whole succeeds in containing this awful virus. But even if our wings are clipped, there’s nothing to stop us from vacationing within the country. In fact, it is downright important for us to be kind to ourselves now, and give in to some indulgence. For anyone who needs to bust the blues or break the monotony of a sheltered existence right now, a staycation is just what the doctor ordered. And it’s more carbon-negative since we won’t need to take a plane.
a room with a view
So I take advantage of Marriott International’s Vacay With A Staycay offer and check in to W Singapore with my sister. We’ve been busy mothering our broods through the Circuit Breaker and then Phases One and Two of reopening. The time is ripe for us to take a break, catch up on each other’s lives and pamper ourselves a little. We got a twin room in W’s Fabulous Category. It is so lovely having a queen bed each all to ourselves.
Just as we settle into the comfortable room, the staff drop us a surprise. It’s a set of chocolate-coated cupcakes and lollies served on an actual vinyl, with a bunch of balloons to add festivity. It’s a nod to W Singapore’s “holiday like rock stars” vibe. And we can still buy into that since we’re technically heaps younger than Mick Jagger. To be honest though, the cream is a little disconcerting (read: fattening) for two Gen X-ers, but what the heck. We simply wash it down with TWG Earl Grey tea from the room’s pantry.
chilling by the pool
Our licensed lazy, do-nothing weekday afternoon continues by the pool. Although there are safety measures in place to mitigate viral contagion, such as quotas and time slots, everyone seems to be having a great time. We kick back on sun lounge chaises and order cocktails and a snack of Korean chicken bites. Delicious.
As dusk approaches, we venture out to take a walk around the Sentosa Cove marina. It’s a lively enclave with groups of beautiful folk engaging in various fitness activities. As the sun disappears down the horizon, people make their way to the restaurants lining the quayside. It’s good to see people out and about, enjoying themselves, even if they’re in masks half the time (when not dining). Life goes on, and we need a positive and resilient attitude to get through trying times.
an epicurean feast
A little hungry by now, we head back to W Singapore and make our way to the very picturesque Skirt restaurant. We get a booth right next to the bar and have a fine view of the space and all its artworks. Actually, one can sit anywhere in the restaurant and enjoy an inspiring view. Yet there are better things than a glamorous looking restaurant. Certainly, the friendly and confident service staff are an asset. And then there is the food.
We go for the Grazing Menu, which is a set shared meal with several courses of appetisers, a main and a dessert. We especially like the Blistered Padron Peppers starter flavoured with Himalayan salt. The Grilled Baby Gem Salad is good too, with a kick from the tiger beer pork carnita. The House-made Ricotta sugar snap peas satisfy a cheese craving. They all work up an appetite for the main course of a Flat Iron Fillet with confit garlic puree. This is beautiful, pure and simple – a lean and juicy fillet done just as we like our steaks. For a moment, we didn’t think we could eat dessert, but when the Ovaltine Kulfi with caramelised banana, popcorn and clotted cream is served, we make a swift job of finishing it.
After a most satisfying meal, we return to our room and embark on a private beauty ritual. Of course it would be nice to be pampered at Away Spa but we failed to secure the limited slots. No matter. We soak our tootsies in a refreshing foot bath, and then stick them into the warm, emollient foot masks we brought. And while giving ourselves the ultimate pedicure, we catch up properly about everything. From our son’s girlfriends, to our pets, to online shopping sprees, and to the consuming madness that is the American presidential elections.
My sister wakes up at 6.30am to go for a workout at W Singapore’s Fit gym. I allow myself to sleep in. The bed is just too comfortable to tear myself away from it. I rejoin her for breakfast and let her rave to me about the state of the art gym facilities. I should probably have gone with her. Next time, maybe. Instead of a buffet, breakfast is served via personal portions to facilitate safe distancing. The fare is wide and hearty, with something to satisfy everyone. I start with a smoked salmon but feel envious of my sister’s poke as soon as it arrives in all its colour and glistening morsels of sushi. I well and truly make up for it on the subsequent dishes. As they say, we should eat like kings at breakfast.
We check out after breakfast and went back to our individual offices. It is a good idea to take such a weekday break. We both feel satisfied, refreshed and energised to go back to our lives and responsibilities. Will we do it again? That’s a YES, in less than a heartbeat.
Marriott International ROLLS OUT the Weekday Staycation
More travellers are embracing the weekday staycation and rediscovering their own backyard. For many, it is not just the destination that makes the idea of travelling transformational. It’s the pampering of doting service along with the moments of togetherness with loved ones that are immensely cherished. These can come in the form of enjoying gastronomic gems in the heart of the city such as a decadent dinner, or exploring Singapore with the family in specially curated excursions.
Marriott International’s slew of staycation experiences are not only at W Singapore Sentosa Cove, but also at the St Regis Singapore, the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore and Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza. Each hotel staycation is designed to set the perfect stage to help Singapore residents create unforgettable moments with their loved ones. But don’t drag your feet. You need to book your perfect staycation by 30 October 2020 for stays until 30 June 2021. See here for more details. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy Enhanced Members get to save up to 20% on rooms and suites.