As with all Village Hotel staycations, one thing we love is the good hospitality by their friendly staff. We have stayed in Village Hotel Changi (read here and here for our 2 times review on the Play and Stay package) and Village Hotel Katong (read here for the Kim Choo Peranakan Experience package) and both hotels have their unique charm. Both have great staff who served us well. Hence, we were full of expectations on our stay in Village Hotel Bugis which boasts their Kids’ Themed Room and I even had my mobile camera on video mode waiting to capture the kids’ excitement when they entered the room. Well, you will read our initial disappointment and how later on, the hotel staff saved the day and put the smiles back on to the kids’ face within an hour!
Village Hotel Bugis is located directly above the Golden Landmark shopping mall. Being situated at the crossroads of culture, it is a mere 5-minutes’ walk from Singapore’s Arab, Peranakan, and Indian heritage districts. Hence, if you stay in this hotel, you can Explore like a Local, especially if you are a foreigner, or even Singaporeans may find gems exploring along these streets!
DRIVING TO VILLAGE HOTEL BUGIS
If you are driving to the Village Hotel Bugis, you will see the Hotel’s entrance at the corner. I encourage you to park the your car on the 4th level carpark of the shopping mall for an extraordinary experience! Forgo the Basement carpark as your kids will be thrilled to take the car lift up to 4th level! I was thrilled too!
The hotel lobby is on the 3rd level. If you are entering from the Hotel’s main entrance, take a long escalator up to the lobby. The check in was a breeze as usual for Village Hotels. The hotel’s lifts are kinda grand looking, except that they were super busy lifts with the hotel’s high occupancy rate. When we found our hotel room, my mobile video started recording, expecting the usual excitement from the kids. The room was, well clearly a Kids’ Themed Room with the lovely Marvels wall paper in baby blue. It has a king size bed, which looks luxurious, and a sofa bed at the side which we gathered that it must be one of the beds for the kids. We check out the bathroom. It has a bathtub which is a must-have for our staycation. Toiletries were placed neatly beside the sink and toothbrush and toothpaste were included (that’s important as we usually do not bring ours!) Everything was in place and looked good, except that it was missing any other signs of what should go into a Kids’ Themed Room except for the wall paper!
So what happened when our expectations do not go hand in hand with what we see? Mummy called the concierge to check if this was what was supposed to be a Kids’ Themed Room as she strongly believed there might be a mistake, and sent her kids to the swimming pool to start their staycation must-do activity, which is of course SWIMMING!
KIDS’ THEMED ROOM
An hour later, the kids returned to the room with a totally transformed and lovely decorated opened sofa bed with 3 Pokemon cuddly toys, 2 cheerful cloud cushions and swans made of towels. We received some bath toys with kids’ shower set and toothbrush sets. It looked as if the superheroes did visit our room after all!
The very friendly staff, named Yeong, even taught my girl how to fold the towel to make a swan! His cheerful demeanour and his sincere apologies for not setting up the room prior to our arrival more than made up for our initial disappointment! We were even offered a family room upgrade which was newly decorated and more spacious than the Kids’ Room to compensate for the miscommunication. However, as the family room had no bathtub, we gladly stayed on in the cosy Kid’s Themed Room which by now, the kids had grown to love! Receiving great service can really turn mood around! So, we witnessed that!
Some of the things that we love in the room includes the hidden strip of light behind the bed frame that turns the room to a cosy ambience. The wall paper, simple as it looked, has subtle stars that glow in the dark!
You may be wondering how we slept as a family of 5. While this room is more suitable for 2 adults and 1-2 kids, we asked for a roll-away bed to have the 3 kids sleep more comfortably. You have to be a really accommodating person like our family to accept the narrow walkway after the roll-away bed is set up right in front of the TV! In order to save some money in some hotels that we stayed, we have done all sorts of sleeping arrangement to accommodate the growing kids! We had ever put blankets to sleep on the floor, arrange sofas beside the bed to create more space and safety while one kid sleeps, etc.
One thing I like in this staycation is that we all get to sleep in one room, so close to each other. I could talk to the kids without going to the next room. We could interact more within the same room. I will certainly miss such cosy nights after the kids grow up and we no longer can save some bucks by booking 1 hotel room.
Explore Like a Local
While this staycation does not include specific packages like the other 2 hotels that we have been to, it really doesn’t need any. It has so many places in the vicinity to check out!
You can uncover the culture of Singapore Malays when you pay a visit to Masjid Sultan – one of Singapore’s most impressive religious building. Its massive golden dome formed out of many glass bottles collected by devotees is a remarkable sight.
You can trace the history of the Singapore Malays and learn about their contributions towards nation-building at the Malay Heritage Centre. Located in the historic Kampong Glam precinct, your family can explore the artefacts, murals, and multimedia displays across nine galleries.
Both my elder kids have been to the above places with their school excursions, hence we skipped that and decided to take a leisurely stroll to our dinner place. On route, we finally walked to the building with the fascinating men holding a ball each – the Parkview Square, our Singapore’s very own ‘Gotham City’. To our excitement, we spotted many statues and beautiful sculptures on the ceiling, in a far corner, right in the middle and almost everywhere you turn your head to!
Best of all, it has recently opened a Parkview Museum featuring contemporary art and now showing an awesome exhibition on Sharks and Humanity. It was late when we passed it, but we will be back again to check it out before the exhibition ends on 9 Sept 2017!
EAT LIKE A LOCAL
We had dinner at one of the uncountable dining places around Bugis for Mala steamboat buffet. Village Hotels are usually situated right in the centre of delectable eating places. You will never never go hungry when you stay at Village Hotels. That’s one of the best attraction of staying with the hotel chain.
After dinner, we contemplated to watch a late night movie but it was hard to book a blockbuster on a Saturday night. Otherwise, it would be perfect to watch a movie and stroll back to the hotel just 5 minutes away. There are plenty of activities to do!
Breakfast Buffet at Mooi Chin Place
It was noticeable that the hotel has a high percentage of Indian tourists staying with them. It explains why the hotel has 2 breakfast places, with one on International + Indian cuisine on the 5th level in a restaurant called Landmark, and the other on International + Chinese cuisine on the 3rd level in Mooi Chin Place.
I shall let the food do the talking for a moment.
After breakfast, we explored the gym and found some interesting quotes to motivate the workout buffs!
For a family who loves staycation, we usually spend a great deal of time in the hotel room and its facilities. For a good part of the night, we watched X-Men: The Apocalypse on Fox movie channel while eating cup noodles and snacks for supper till midnight. The next morning, the kids spent an hour in the bathtub while the hub and I snugged in bed to watch TV. We decided that a staycation deserves more time to be spent in the hotel itself and we leave the exploration of the streets after we checked out.
For the best hotel, I am sure there will be room for improvement for a better stay experience. It will be good to have the following in my honest opinion for a more interesting experience as part of the Kids’ Themed Room package:
- Include Kids’ activity sets to engage the kids in the room for some quiet play and keep them busy.
- The activity sets can include walk-about activities for the kids to explore the hotel premises or be a tourist together with the parents around the hotel’s vicinity.
- Have more kids’ themed amenities in the room and around the hotel.
- Include a kids’ stool in the bathroom to reach the sink.
- Have kids’ play area in Dining area.
I realised that more and more hotels, including those that we have stayed before, are including kids’ friendly amenities and activities recently. With the start of the Kids’ Themed Room in Village Hotel Bugis, I am pretty positive that we will be seeing more kids’ friendly staycations down the road with Far East Hospitality!!
The Kids’ Themed Room includes:
• One night’s accommodation in Kids’ Themed Room
• Unlimited WiFi access
• Buffet breakfast for 2 adults, 1 child
• Individually Controlled Air Conditioning
• Hair Dryer
• In-Room safe box
• Iron and Ironing board
• Electric Kettle
• 40″ LCD TV with Cable TV Channels
Room rates and promotion:
Right now there is a mid-year Mega sale, with below rate for a weekend stay for Kids’ Themed Room:
Deluxe King Bed – SGD201.26 including tax
Click here to book for a staycation with Village Hotels!
For our previous Village Hotels staycation review, check out the below links:
Disclaimer: We were invited for a weekend staycation in Village Hotel Bugis for the purpose of this review. This is the 3rd hotel under Village Hotel Chain that we have reviewed and each experience is a unique and memorable one. Thanks to Far East Hospitality for the awesome service and great stay experience! 🙂