Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Staycation in Singapore - Hotel Fort Canning

Recently, I have seen many of my peers having staycations at different places in Singapore. I guessed this isn't a term that is being used worldwide as I have an Australian colleague who wasn't very sure its meaning. It's a word formed by combining 'stay' and 'vacation', meaning, a holiday spent in one's home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. It's getting so popular nowadays that it's a common sight to see pictures of staycations' resorts/hotels via my Facebook and Instagram news feed, especially during weekends.

I have always wanted to have one but Singapore's hotels and resorts are so EXPENSIVE! Chalet is a cheaper option but the comfy level will not be as good. Thankfully, my BF's boss gave him a letter that offers complimentary one night stay at Hotel Fort Canning with Breakfast buffet provided. YAY!!!! I was mad excited and went to google about the hotel. It's a gorgeous 5 Stars Hotel with great amenities and environment! The price of staying a night during weekend would be around SGD 400-500 with breakfast buffet for 2. =O (Tip: It would be cheaper to book through agoda! Especially if you have credit cards from Citibank, UOB, DBS or ANZ where you can get 5-7% off.) In this blog post, I'm going to talk about the time spent in the hotel using it's facilities as well as the other activities we did in this 2D1N staycation in Singapore.


Day 1: 22 Mar 2014, Saturday

Hotel Fort Canning
Address: 11 Canning Walk, 178881
Website: http://www.hfcsingapore.com/
Contact: +65 6559 6770
Fax: +65 6338 8915
Email: contact@hfcsingapore.com

Check in time was 2pm but we arrived at about 3.30pm as I was watching my mum's performance on Goldenage Talentime (黄金年华) on Channel 8. This week will be broadcasting her performance in the finals! If you are curious, you can tune in to Channel 8 on Friday 28 Mar 3.30-4.30pm or Saturday 29 Mar 1.30-2.30pm. She's the last contestant (her name is Jia Xiang) and the best out of all, in my opinion. Hehe <3

Anyway, back to the hotel. Hotel Fort Canning is a huge hotel sitting just next to Fort Canning Park. It's a short walk to both Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station with malls such as The Cathay and Plaza Singapura nearby; as well as 8-10min walk away from the most happening hang-out venue in the night - Clarke Quay.

Stairway from public carpark to Hotel Fort Canning

It's getting nearer..

Hello Hotel Fort Canning!




As both the front desks were occupied, we were told to wait at the holding area

Behind the holding area was a private lounge that provides free flow drinks

They even have a huge coffee machine!
The front desk lady was very friendly and pretty! She came over the where we were seated at the lobby and introduced us to what we were entitled to for the stay. There's a compulsory SGD 50 deposit which has to be paid in either cash or credit card upon check in. I gave $50 cash and got an invoice from them as a proof.

She brought us up to our hotel room located on the 3rd floor, the highest floor of the building. The room was really so nice, comfy and welcoming!! The ceiling is high, bed is huge, the toilet has an awesome view of the city and there's even a couch with a lamp on top for reading. It's like the perfect bedroom that I wanna have in the future.

Huge bed and a reading couch

Cupboard with dark mirror

Samsung TV with Keyboard, Coffee Maker Machine on the left. You can control almost everything using the TV and it's remote control, i.e. lights, aircon, curtains, etc.




Nice deep bathtub



We went out for a few hours as BF needed to run some errand for his company, on a Saturday. =/ I didn't have lunch that day so I was supremely hungry after BF finished his job. We ended up somewhere in Chinatown and parked opposite Tong Ah Eating House.


Tong Ah Eating House
35 Keong Siak Road
Opening Hours: 6.30am-10pm (Closed alt Wednesdays)

This eating house has made history over the years and it was shifted from its iconic corner triangle-shaped coffeeshop at Keong Siak Road to this new location just 50m away. People who stays at Chinatown would have heard of Tong Ah Eating House. It's not a fanciful cafe, just exactly how an eating house will look like. There's no air conditioning as well. I guess the cook (Mr. Tang) was already quite old. I repeated 'Kaya French Toast' twice and he still ended up serving us normal kaya toast. -.- Then when my BF told him we wanted 'French Toast', he mentioned "you should have said earlier". Okay. (-______-)""" Anyway, we ordered an additional French Toast, we never make replacement.

Tong Ah Eating House

Hot Milo

Traditional Kaya Toast - Good

French Toast with Kaya - $3.50

This French Toast! Yummy yummy


The toasts were good. It would be a nice place to have breakfast if I am staying nearby. However, it would be too troublesome and not worth the effort if I had to travel all the way to Chinatown just to have the food. I would rate it 7.5 out of 10 for an eatery. If you are nearby, it's worth a try though.

We drove back to our hotel to explore Hotel Fort Canning as well as to enjoy our complimentary evening drinks that's available to all hotel room guests from 6-8pm.

Level 3 Corridor



Swimming pools

Another pool for real swimmer

Their swimming pools are filled with chlorine-free mineral water filtered by NASA technology. No stinky chlorine smell at all! Very clean water to swim in! (Will be swimming on the next day)

Free towels at the side for users' convenience

The Glass House - Serves buffet breakfast, lunch and an option of 3-course dinner at $35++ for Restaurant Week Special
Free flow red & white wines!!


Tasty canapés


Enjoyable evening in the hotel's lounge
Tisettanta Lounge



Gym





Tampopo @ Liang Court
Address: 177 River Valley Road, #01-23/24, Liang Court Shopping Centre, Singapore 179030
Contact: +65 6338 3186
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday: 11.30am - 10.30pm, Sunday: 11am - 10.30pm

I've never been to Tampopo for quite a few years and decided to bring my BF for dinner as Liang Court is just 8min walk away from the hotel, via Fort Canning Park. BF ordered Deluxe Tampopo Black Pig Shabu Ramen ($16.30++) and I ordered their famous Tampopo Black Pig Tonkatsu Ramen ($16.80++).

Tampopo Black Pig Shabu Ramen (SGD 16.30 before taxes) - tasted alright, not that fantastic as the soup had a very strong meat taste

Tampopo Black Pig Tonkatsu Ramen (SGD 16.80 before taxes) - Good tonkatsu, nice soup and chewy noodles!! Love it!!

The Tonkatsu deserved a close up.
Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice Cream - Dark Chocolate and Black Sesame Flavours at SGD 6.10. It was our first time trying Azabu Sabo, although we were disappointed that their green tea flavor was sold out, their dark chocolate and black sesame tasted great! The ice cream melts easily though, Singapore's too hot...

Clarke Quay
We ended our first night of staycation eating and walking around Clarke Quay. The feeling of being able to "walk 'home'" was really good as we always have to travel home via car/MRT whenever we go there.


Day 2: 23 Mar 2014, Sunday

The Glass House
Opening Hours: 7.00am to 11.00pm (Last order at 10.30pm)
Contact: +65 6559 6760 
Email: fnb@hfcsingapore.com

Breakfast is served daily from 7am to 10.30am at the Glass House for guests whose stay is inclusive of breakfast. There was quite a wide variety of food at the buffet. The station I liked the most is at the furthest corner of the restaurant, where there was a male chef who can make all sorts of eggs and even pancakes! His pancakes was SO SO SO SO SO NICE!!





Here's the awesome chef!! He was so genuine and warm that he even came to our table to ask if we want pancakes!
Yummy omelette cooked by the chef

Scrambled Eggs cooked by the chef

Pancakes - Fluffy, tasty, to-die-for!! The maple syrup was mouthwatering too!

Super love!
Thank you Chef!!


Ended my breakfast with Swiss Premium Strawberry Yogurt





We walked around the hotel for our breakfast to be digested and headed to the gym, then the pool. I really love their gym equipment. They have machines to train for like almost every parts of the body. Nevertheless, the best facility out of all is their swimming pools!! The water was so clear and no chlorine smell at all! That's because it's made of chlorine-free mineral water and filtered using NASA technology.

That's me swimming! The whole pool's mine!!

They even have a pool side menu with a telephone at the back if you need to have some snacks while spending your time at the pool.


Bye bye room 319

Checking out at 12.35pm (supposed to be 12pm)

'Touristy shot' with my bags and luggage

Complimentary Parking Ticket

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address: 466 Crawford Lane, Tai Hwa Eating House, #01-12
Opening Hours: 9.30am to 8pm (Closed on 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month)

As I was craving for Bah Chor Mee (Minced Meat Noodles), we decided to go to 466 Crawford Lane for it's famous BCM stall. It's just a stall in a coffee-shop, not very well ventilated. There was a queue with about 5 people in front of us. The prices are $5, $6, $8, $10. =O We were quite shocked at the prices! $5 for the smallest portion of BCM?!?! That's crazy!! The BCM better be good! We arrived at 1pm and queued for about 20 minutes, which was quite fast as I saw some reviews saying that they queued for 30 minutes to as long as 1 hour!

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

Bah Chor Mee, Mee Pok at $5. SO GOOD!!

Close up of BCM
This BCM was so nice! The noodles was tangy and chewy, the sauce was really addictive, meat/meatballs were tasty, wanton was not bad and the fried fish in the middle of the bowl was crispy and satisfying! Ahhhhh so yummy that I'm salivating while typing now! Comparing this to Upper Thomson's BCM (SGD 4), this wins by 1 level. I would definitely visit this stall again IF I'm near the vicinity. =)

BF fetched me home after the good BCM meal. We were both tired after the 2D1N staycation. We had a lot of fun and felt that it's like a mini vacation in Singapore as we tried food that we might never chance upon like Tong Ah Eating House and Tai Hwa Pork Noodle. Most importantly, the stay at Hotel Fort Canning was so comfortable and luxurious. The service was superb, drinks, food and facilities were of high standards. Thank you for having us and I would like to thank my BF (as well as his boss) for the hotel stay. I'd advise people to try on a staycation; it's relaxing and refreshing, especially after a long work week! Trust me. =)