Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Celebrating Singapore: The Sun(deck), The Sea(food) & The Spa

China
Denmark
England
Hong Kong
Italy
Japan
Norway
Poland
Sri Lanka
Sweden
Thailand

That's the list of countries that my family will be traveling to over the next three months to tour, work, study, visit my brother, transit in (or go to simply because someone won an air ticket to Rome by participating in a game on the Zuji Facebook fan page. Heh, heh heh.)

Yes, we're a bunch of six busy people, so much so that we'll be leaving my poor sister behind in Singapore, all alone on her birthday.

That's not the only thing we're leaving behind - the other thing being a giant carbon footprint *gulp* Yes, our big bad footprint. Not the acceptable types referred to in some wisecrack traveler's quote that says "Take nothing but memories; leave nothing but footprints".

So to lessen the load on our conscience, we opted to stay in a hotel - right here at home. It must have been more than three years ago since we did our last staycation at the Meritus Mandarin along Orchard Road because we had a voucher for a free hotel room stay. It turned out that the 2D1N vacation didn't have much of an "escape from the drudgery of daily life" factor - because the hotel was directly across the road from Dan's then-office. Suay.

Which is why I will never ever stay in a hotel in Marina Bay. I just cannot bring myself to do it. Unless it's a free room stay, of course. I'm a sucker for free room stays. Come on, admit it, who wouldn't take advantage of a freebie like that?

But I digress....

The day after my birthday, being a Saturday, saw us checking into Changi Village Hotel (possibly the hotel located furthest away from Marina Bay) for the weekend.

We brought half our room over to Changi.... nah, that isn't our luggage lah!

We love Changi Village Hotel for it's relatively secluded location at, well, Changi Village - which is practically next to the uninhabited (almost), rustic and undeniably wild island of Pulau Ubin right?

Fine. 'Wild' could be an exaggeration. But you get the idea - it's gets us pretty far away from the throngs of people suffocating Orchard Road and all the suburban malls on the weekend.

The husband booked a 2D1N weekend promo from the Zuji website (possibly contributing towards his own bonus) for less than $200 and because it was my birthday weekend, the nice lady behind the counter upgraded us to a Deluxe Room.

The room turned out to be more de-luxed than deluxe, but it was located on the highest floor of the hotel (which is all of seven magnificent storeys high) so we got a pretty nice view of the sea - and the URA carpark right below us. But I tried not to look at that too much in case it reminded me of work (no, I am not a 'parking auntie' who 'kiaps' parking summons under your windshield wiper for a living. And for the upteenth time - no, I cannot help waive your parking fines. I know how you people think.)

Pity we were asked to keep the drapes drawn cos the window cleaners were at work! Ah well, it's for their own safety I guess - in case they are greeted with a sight that burns their eyes and they fall off the ledge.

Well, luxurious or not, we weren't at Changi Village Hotel just for its rooms (although that was what the husband seemed to be most fixated on...) That was a secondary factor in choosing the hotel location.

We were there for THE SPA!

TA-DA!!!!

Ta-da (again!)

The Retreat Spa is located on the 8th floor of the hotel. We booked a couple package, which gave us access to the nice big suite on the 9th (and top) floor - and the right to hog it for a good part of the afternoon.

Ours! All ours for the afternoon! Bwahahaha!

The package came with a nice, hot, bubbling, outdoor jacuzzi with a view of the sea (and the URA carpark below, yes, yes...) and a chocolate fondue of bananas, marshmallows (which I don't fancy at all) and green apple cubes (strange ingredient for a chocolate fondue.) We were left to our own devices for twenty minutes in the water... which involved trying out every single jet in the bath, sweating like pigs from the hot water (and back into the hot water...) and well, eating the strange combination of green apples and chocolate. Very romantic. You should all try it sometime.

Ooooh, I spy a strange man in my tub

After twenty minutes, the alarm sounded, signifying the start of the next part - the massage! Yippee! Before that, a nice warm footbath with nice-smelling mineral salts that killed all the foot germs and made all the dead skin on our feet fall off. I told you it was romantic!

The massage was really good. Both masseuse were skilled in technique and exerted the right amount of pressure, alternating between gentle and relaxing, and firm and shiok. The essential oils felt finer than usual and seemed to be more easily absorbed by our skin, leaving a nice non-oily feel throughout - and after - the massage. Plus, they smelt lovely! The beds were the most comfortable massage beds I've ever had - nice and firm, and super wide (so I didn't have to worry about the masseuse kneeing me when she, erm, climbed on top...of...me...)

'Relaxing' was probably lavender oil. Not sure what oil 'Uplifting' was though.

And ooooh, the spa gave me a box of freebies from Phytomer! Yaaaay! Looked like my birthday was far from being over!

Stuff which you really need for birthdays once you're past 30 *sigh*

When the time came for us to leave, we simply transferred our relaxed bodies from the spa, to the room and then to the sundeck. The only programme that a lazy Libra likes is no programme.

Laying under the frangipani tree and staring into the lovely blue sky


All the deck chairs were taken so we embraced nature and shared the wooden deck with the ants and dead leaves...


Eyeing the rooftop restaurant where we had arranged to meet friends and some fried calamari (cos fish are friends) for dinner later


Reading yet another Star Wars book


Love the cleverly placed ledge at one end of the pool, perfect for lounging on and gazing into the sea


In the background: our spa suite on the 9th floor where we were earlier that afternoon


In the foreground: the wonderful guy who orchestrated my lovely birthday weekend


Just the two of us... and his bulging biceps


Act cute woah...


Catching a last glimpse of the pink sunset before we pack up and get ready for fried calamari (or did I mention calamari already?)

Earlier that week, my colleague asked if we would be spending the day at Pulau Ubin since we were staying at Changi Village. I think I choked out a horrified "WHAT?!?! Of course NOT!!!" Cycle up and down hills? Through a tropical jungle? And get all dirty and icky and sticky and sweaty and insect-bitten? Ewww. I. don't. think. so. Not on my birthday!

Don't call me lazy and unadventurous. I was just being practical, sensible and thrifty, and getting good value in return for our money by maximising our time spent in the hotel what!

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