5 ways to make sure your staycation feels like a true escape
What do you need to do to feel like you’re on vacation in your own city? It’s all about mindset and fresh experiences…
Travel may be different for a while, but our love for exploration and escape hasn’t changed. Right now, we have an opportunity to rediscover amazing experiences close to home. The family staycation can be just as full of adventure, rich in cultural experiences or as relaxing as journeying to a far-flung destination. Here are some ways to light that spark for a sense of holiday, or to truly switch off — with some tips on best hotels for a staycation, of course.
First, Make it Feel Different
The key element of the staycation is creating a sense of escape — even if you’re close to home. When considering your staycation spot, choose a vastly different atmosphere to home.
If you live in a condo where heading to the pool is your family’s regular escape from the everyday, a heritage hotel will provide a cultural point of difference. For one of the best staycations in Singapore, Raffles Singapore is legendary. From the doormen in immaculate Grieves and Hawkes military uniforms to the exquisite afternoon teas in The Grand Lobby and tradition of sipping Singapore Slings while brushing peanut shells onto the floor of The Long Bar, this 130-year-old hotel transports you to another era.
The iconic Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi combines lush tranquility with historic significance from the heart of Hanoi's French quarter.
Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa offers a a break from bustling city life, and plenty to do for the kids.
For families in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in the French quarter is a local icon — and if you’ve always wanted to experience it for yourself, now is a perfect time. If your kids love history, they can delve into the Metropole’s past with you: the hotel’s historian can guide you on a Path of History tour, which includes a visit to the recently uncovered bomb shelter.
Set against an emerald backdrop, Pullman Ciawi Vimala Hills instantly transports your family to paradise.
For a different change of scene, urbanites may find themselves in instant holiday mode in a hotel with lush, green grounds. If you’ve been feeling the strain of the year that has passed, a staycation that surrounds you in nature could be the perfect antidote. Studies speak of the soothing effect of being outdoors — even viewing nature scenes reduces stress and increases pleasant feelings. Physically, it reduces heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Make it an escape for the whole family with the help of a kids’ club offering guided activities to entertain and educate. Wise parents know this can be the secret to some real down-time. For families with younger children, great playgrounds or fun water play facilities will be essential for burning off energy!
If you’re looking for a family holiday in Indonesia, the Grand Mercure Bandung Setiabudi Indonesia boasts a stunning, heated pool that kids love. Our tip is to choose one of the Lagoon rooms with direct access. If you’re based in Jakarta, Raffles Jakarta knows how to keep city kids active, with a rooftop garden to run around, a colourful playground to enjoy and dedicated kids’ pool to splash around in.
Raffles Jakarta's rooftop playground and garden gives the kids a safe and private place to play and explore.
The whole family will love stepping straight from the Lagoon room and into the pool at Grand Mercure Bandung Setiabudi.
Our guide to the best kids’ clubs in Asia will give you plenty more to explore down the track.
And never underestimate the ability of a stunning pool to bring on instant holiday vibes. Raffles Jakarta deserves another nod for its stunning pool with pool bar. And for things to do in Malaysia with kids, you can’t beat happy days at the rooftop pool at Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, against a backdrop of impressive KL views.
Learn to Explore Your Own City
"Walkers are 'practitioners of the city,' for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities,” says Rebecca Solnit, author of Wanderlust: A History of Walking. No matter how long you’ve lived in a city, there’s always something new to discover, and some of the best finds are discovered by chance — on foot.
Think back to when travelling to a new city involved pure exploration — without Google maps to lead the way — and the amazing scenes you chanced upon. Open yourself up to the possibilities in your own city. Choose your staycation base in a unique part of town and go out for a walk: no plans, no smartphones, and no set destination in mind.
For families looking for things to do in Singapore with kids, exploring the city on foot couldn’t be easier. The Sofitel Singapore City Centre looks over the beautiful terracotta rooftops of Tanjong Pagar and is strolling distance to lovely pockets of the city: pretty shophouses, boutiques and bookstores in Duxton, historic temples nearby and colourful markets in Chinatown — with plenty of bright murals by local artists Rippleroot and Yip Yew Chong to chance upon along the way.
Or, if you can’t resist making a plan, decide your itinerary around new experiences and not old favourites — you can revisit these any time.
Choose a destination with an exceptional spa to help you unwind. If you’re staying in Bangkok, the Pullman Bangkok King Power is the place to indulge. The spa features eight private treatment rooms including a Moroccan Hammam, spa suite, and treatment rooms with steam rooms and a jacuzzi.
Or create a sense of occasion by indulging in a Sunday buffet brunch or traditional afternoon tea. The Pullman Bangkok is famous for its family brunch. Foodie families staying in Singapore can enjoy afternoon tea 70 stories high at SKAI, when they stay at Swissôtel The Stamford.
A Moroccan hammam is just one of the unique spa experiences that await at Pullman Bangkok King Power.
As a member of ALL – Accor Live Limitless, remember to ask about your MyResorts Programme privileges: MyGlass and MyKids. MyGlass lets you indulge in all-day free-flow drinks, while MyKids gives your little ones access to child-friendly drinks and kids’ menus for lunch, tea and dinner!