Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Pan Pacific Singapore: A staycation to remember

This travel post is written by June who blogs at mamawearpapashirt. She spent one night at Pan Pacific Hotel with her petite travellers Vera (5 years), Javier (3 years) and Josh (7 months) in August 2014, just in time to catch the National Day rehearsals and fireworks at Marina Bay.

This staycation is suitable for families with very little ones who may want to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, but yet save the hassle of flying on a plane (and get a healthy dose of national pride to boot)!

We recently went on a staycation at Pan Pacific Singapore and were just in time to catch the National Day Parade rehearsal and...of course, the fireworks!

Between 12 July and 9 August 2014 (exact dates may vary year to year), the hotel offers a special Fireworks by the Bay package. From S$430, you stand to enjoy:
  • Complimentary Internet connectivity
  • Breakfast for two people at Edge
  • Daily parking
  • 30% savings for dinner at hotel-operated bars and restaurants
  • Access to outdoor swimming pool and round-the-clock fitness centre
  • Pacific Club access at Level 38 for two persons (available for bookings of Pacific Harbour Room, Pacific Harbour Studio and Harbour Suite)

The Pacific Harbour Room we were in was spacious and comfortable for our family of five. It came with a great view of the Marina Bay area, and yes, that's a Nespresso machine you spot up there. (Absolute life-saver for parents with little ones, I say.)

The best part of the room was the BED. Yes, the BED. It's just huge and could fit two (slim) adults, one active 3-year-old, and one itty-bitty baby. No one fell off the bed at night. And the hotel accommodated our request for an extra bed to be put in for Vera.

The bathtub was great too. We could dump all our kids in there for a bath together, of course with one of us holding on tightly to the baby.

The pool was a straightforward affair, and every kid loves a good splash right? The only downside is there isn't a separate kids' pool. But my little ones were contented with playing around on the steps, which were wide enough to accommodate all of them (and others). The water gets deeper as you wade inwards, so do take note if your kids are not independent swimmers.

After a dip in the pool, we all bathed and dressed in time to catch the fly-past by the Republic of Singapore Air Force, which happened around 6.45pm. But alas it happened so fast, we couldn't catch it on camera!

So when the clock drew near to 8pm, we were all excited, especially the kids. They kept asking, "where're the fireworks?" and any sign of bright lights got greeted by "Fireworks, mummy!" or "Is that the fireworks, daddy?" Cute...

My two older ones were happily perched on the bar-stools by the window all the way, enjoying their first-class seats to watch the National Day Parade, which we could watch from the big screen at the Parade grounds. 

Food, glorious food. For dinner, as we were all excited to watch the parade (and did I mention fireworks already?), we ordered room service to enjoy our dinner in the comfort of our luxurious room.

The mee goreng and chicken rice did not disappoint. The Indian butter chicken with papadam and prata was strong and flavourful. The satay, however, was a little average. Truly, a multi-racial dinner huh...

The next morning, we had our breakfast at the Edge restaurant on the fourth floor. The spread was decadent, from chinese dim-sum to Japanese, to your usual bacon and eggs fare. The omelette station was as usual very popular, and they also had waffles and pancakes made fresh on-the-spot. I appreciated the fact that they offered a variety of fresh juices, so we didn't miss our morning juice!

By about 8am, the queue in front of the Edge was already snakingly long. So be sure to start your day bright and early if you go!

The other option we had was champagne breakfast at the Pacific Club, on level 38. Access to this exclusive club is complimentary for those who book the Pacific Harbour Room, Pacific Harbour Studio and Pacific Suites. It does have a child policy however, and only those aged 12 and above are allowed entry. I wanted to check it out but unfortunately didn’t have the time to do so during our stay.

The club also offers afternoon tea, sunset cocktails and canapes, and 24-hour club service so if you intend to head up for some tummy pampering and me-time, remember to arrange for babysitters to help watch the kids for the evening.

On Sunday morning after breakfast, we decided to head out for a morning walk to make full use of the beautiful weather. We meandered through Millenia Walk. The shops weren't open yet at 9-plus, but the kids were happy to jump and prance around. You could pick up specialty children's books at Woods in the Books, or enjoy a red velvet cupcake from Twelve Cupcakes.

From Millenia Walk, it was a 5-minute trot to the Helix Bridge. We were pleasantly surprised to see these National Day themed drawings lining the brick wall leading up to the bridge, painted by primary school children.

Up the Helix bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. Opened in April 2010, the bridge has a distinctive double helix design inspired by DNA molecules. On one side of the bridge lies the Singapore flyer and the esplanade. The other side houses Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the ArtScience Museum.

On a normal weekend morning, you'll see lots of joggers and walkers here. It's also a great place to view the fireworks on National Day.   

We also spotted some segway tours going on on the MBS side, and I was very tempted to go on one. The walk took us about 45 minutes, so we were all glad to hide inside the air-conditioned comfort of MBS for a while before heading back to the hotel to freshen up and pack up. 

Of course, when the time to check out came, the kids couldn't bear to leave. They all wanted to dip in the pool and play in the bathtub again...But oh well, we'll have to wait for next year when National Day comes round again. (Gee, this could well become a family tradition of sorts!)

Thank you, Pan Pacific Singapore, for the memorable staycation!

Pan Pacific Hotel
7 Raffles Blvd, Marina Square, 039595
Tel: 6336 8111

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