Thanks to National Day falling on a Friday and Hari Raya Haji on a Sunday (with the following Monday a public holiday), Singaporeans will enjoy a four-day long weekend this year. This is a prime opportunity to round up your nearest and dearest for a staycation – at where else but parade-adjacent hotels, where you’ll enjoy front-row seats to the extravaganza that is the National Day Parade (NDP 2019), which takes place at the Padang this year.
Nearby, you can witness traditional Hari Raya Haji, or Eid al-Adha, festivities. In mosques like Masjid Sultan in Kampong Glam and Masjid Al-Burhani on Hill Street, you will observe Muslims spending the weekend in prayer and reflection. The faithful will also be sacrificing livestock to commemorate the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his only son to god.
These 10 hotels in and around Bugis and Raffles City make great bases for exploration, or a weekend of pure exuberance, indulgence and relaxation if that’s more up your alley.
Watch the NDP2019 from the rooftop bar of Andaz, Mr Stork, while you’re entertained by live musicians and plied with craft beer and delicious cocktails. Booking a room in Andaz also entitles you to all-day lounge access, where beverages like homemade pandan tea and tea by Singaporean brand TWG are served. Across Ophir Road, Kampong Glam will teem with religious activity during Hari Raya Haji. You can book a tour of Masjid Sultan or learn about the precinct’s history at the Malay Heritage Centre, which used to be the local sultan’s palace. Take a closer look at Masjid Sultan’s gilded domes and you’ll notice that its dome bases are decorated with glass bottle ends – lower-income Muslims donated these bottle ends so that everyone in the community had a hand in building this mosque.
GRAND PARK CITY HALL
Tech-savvy families will love this futuristic hotel, located a stone’s throw away from the Padang. An app provides a mobile key, a concierge messaging service and control of in-room electronics. The app’s facial recognition technology lets you check in while you’re en route to the hotel, so that you can head straight to your room when you arrive. Grand Park City Hall has also partnered with digital platform Mummyfique to curate a special family package, which includes a welcome kit worth over S$400 and breakfast for two adults and two children.
The InterContinental Singapore is just a short distance from the gentrifying district of Jalan Besar and the already-gentrified neighbourhood of Kampong Glam. Pick up quirky knickknacks from the National Design Centre just across the road, then check out hipster apparel, accessories, cafes and bars along Haji Lane. The hotel is also home to new-ish bar Idlewild, which aims to transport its guests across the world through cocktails with exotic flavours and ingredients.
JW MARRIOTT HOTEL SINGAPORE SOUTH BEACH
The JW Marriott has swimming pools on its 6th and 18th floors that offer clear views of NDP2019. Couples might like to book the hotel’s Romantic Weekend Getaway, which comes with a buffet breakfast at Beach Road Kitchen, along with Champagne Sunday Brunch, while families might prefer the Fun for the Whole Family deal, which includes buffet breakfast and the hotel chain’s signature Family by JW kids’ amenities. This hotel also offers a Rejuvenating Spa Staycation package that includes complimentary 60-minute signature massages, and an Ultimate Suite Dream deal, which treats guests to executive lounge benefits and S$100 of hotel credit per night that can be used at restaurants, bars and the spa.
NAUMI HOTEL SINGAPORE
Just two blocks from the Padang, this youthful and off-kilter hotel is tucked away from the hustle and bustle but offers a scenic vista of the festivities. While staycation-ers are soaking in the patriotic vibes from Cloud 9, Naumi’s rooftop infinity pool bar, they can enjoy a free flow of beer, soft drinks and canapes for an additional S$78++. Meanwhile, Table Restaurant & Bar will roll out a special street food menu to celebrate the independence days of Singapore and India (the Jhunjhnuwala family, which owns the hotel, have Indian roots). This will comprise popular snacks from cities and provinces across India.
PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE
Foodies will love spending this long weekend in Pan Pacific, which will be feting Singapore’s 54th birthday with glorious feasting. Don’t miss the National Day Buffet happening at Edge, an in-house restaurant, which will be serving rich renditions of traditional delicacies like Carrot Cake, Xing Zhou Bee Hoon, Seafood Hokkien Noodles, Stir-fried White Pepper Crabs and Bak Kut Teh. Decorated Chinese restaurant Hai Tien Lo will be serving a local-style Cantonese set menu, while sister eatery Poolside Patio will be holding a National Day Heritage Barbecue that will treat diners to Crispy Softshell Crabs in Singapore Chilli Crab Sauce, Hainanese Chicken Rice Arancini with Pickled Ginger and more.
RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE
After a year-and-a-half of restoration and renovation, the world-renowned Raffles Hotel reopens its doors on August 1st. The suites of Singapore’s most historic hotel are now complemented by new restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs like Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic and Jereme Leung. The Raffles opening package will entitle you to daily semi-buffet breakfast in the Tiffin Room, S$100 of dining credits, late checkout and a commemorative Raffles Heritage Souvenir.
SWISSOTEL THE STAMFORD
Young couples might like to check into a room in Swissotel The Stamford. The vaunted SKAI restaurant on the 70th floor offers gorgeous views and will be serving a Special Fireworks Menu. Otherwise, toast the nation’s birthday in Bar Rouge on the 71st floor. The next morning, pamper yourself with relaxing treatments in sister hotel Fairmont Singapore’s award-winning Willow Stream Spa, which include indulgent options like Pearls and Caviar Ultimate Anti-Ageing Rejuvenation.
THE CAPITOL KEMPINSKI HOTEL
Located within colonial buildings that have been painstakingly restored, The Capitol Kempinski Hotel treats its guests to a bevy of food and beverage options, headlined by 15 Stamford by three-Michelin-starred chef Alvin Leung. Book this establishment’s Weekend Escape Package to enjoy complimentary breakfast, late checkout and S$50 in F&B credits. A two-minute walk from the Padang, the hotel compound also comprises the Capitol Theatre where you can catch a performance or two.
THE FULLERTON HOTEL / THE FULLERTON BAY HOTEL
The Fullerton Bay Hotel is running a promotion called Staycation by the Bay (for two persons), which includes 12 per cent off Best Available Rate for selected room categories, daily buffet breakfast at La Brasserie, dining credits and the Fullerton Bear as a memento for your stay. For something different, opt for the Family Glamping package at The Fullerton Hotel that will transport you and your loved ones to the great outdoors, sans the humidity and mosquitoes. This simulated camping environment includes sleeping bags that your children can take home. Come morning, you’ll wake up to a buffet breakfast spread overlooking the Singapore River.