A staycation, according to The New York Times, is “a neologism used by [those] who prefer to unravel the mysteries of the world from the comfort of their living room couches.” Well, last weekend, our family went a little further than our living room couches, and drove 20-minutes to the sunny island of Sentosa.
We picked the Movenpick Heritage Hotel – a gorgeous hotel that sits in a lovingly restored colonial building that dates back to the 1940s. Step into the lobby of the Movenpick and you are immediately drawn in by the lovely fragrance of jasmine and stylish decor that exudes serenity. Perfect for a weekend getaway.
Our rooms at the heritage wing of the hotel was once a barrack base that housed British artillerymen during World War II. Architectural details have been restored and the rooms feature colonial doors, window frames and high-ceilings. Each room comes with a separate sleeping and living areas, and they occupy what were once verandah spaces. Throughout the rooms are little touches with hints of Asian flavour and Singapore’s heritage.
And the best part of the room was the floor to ceiling glass windows with a fantastic view of the majestic Merlion towering over us.
With such a beautiful hotel, you’ll probably be surprised to know that just 2 weeks ago, I had voted a big, grumpy ‘no’ to the weekend getaway. You see, I’m a cheapskate when it comes to staycations. The idea of of splurging on a hotel room when I could have simply had dinner with the family and driven home 20-minutes home to sleep in my own bed for free seemed ridiculous. Thankfully, I was outvoted and the staycation went ahead.
Research shows that we are happier when we buy experiences than when we buy things. Last weekend, I learnt that the price tag for a staycation was not so much for the luxury hotel but for a weekend of uninterrupted time to reconnect as a family.
Instead of the usual rushing around and running of errands, there were leisurely strolls, long conversations over dinner and breakfast, and the usual bickering and goofing around.
Sunday morning found me happily nestled in between my parents in the big comfy hotel bed while having a conversation about absolutely nothing with The Mum, trying to teach The Dad how to take a decent selfie with his iPhone and complaining about how irritating The Brother was. That moment alone was priceless. We were drawn into a world where it was just the four of us again, when things were simple and carefree, and we were little once more. No matter that we had all grown up, grown older. No matter the many imperfections or that we sometimes drive each other up the wall. This was my haven in a constantly changing world, one where I will always be loved and kept safe. And for that, I am truly blessed.
There are times when we stop.
We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory.
We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper. – James Carroll