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19 October 2015

Sofitel So Staycation(s)

We've been lucky enough to enjoy a couple of staycations in Singapore (take a look here and here for some inspiration for your own) and since these have taken the opportunity to spontaneously enjoy a couple more, this time at the Sofitel So on Robinson Road, just near to Lau Pa Sat.

The hotel is in a beautiful heritage building, mixing the best of the old and the new in its style and decor. Owing some of its style and design features to Karl Lagerfeld it's really quite impressive. I particularly liked all the little extra details and nods to its location in Singapore. From the cushions in our room with Robinson Road and Joo Chiat cushion covers, the coffee table with the outline of Singapore painted on to it and the hand shaped towel and bathroom robe hangers in the bathroom, quite amazing. Of course we also got to benefit from a well stocked minibar with both complimentary tea and coffee, items you'd expect to pay for and some surprising little extras, some beautifully fragranced complimentary toiletries and, an absolute must these days, wifi access! 

We opted for two separate one night stays (having enjoyed our first so much) one over a public holiday weekend and one for our wedding anniversary. Both times we had the chance to enjoy both the hotel and also a little more of the surrounding area. Everything about the hotel was just lovely and second time around we were especially lucky as we managed to get an upgrade which gave us a bigger room and our own balcony giving us a fantastic place to sit amongst the grand pillars at the front of the building. 

On our first stay our room over looked Lau Pa Sat but we didn't notice any noise coming from there, the windows are obviously well glazed and we had a great nights sleep. The second time around we did hear a few cars being driven at ridiculous speeds outside during the night, but what can you do about that? Particularly as we hear them sometimes where we live in the east and used to hear them back in the UK too.


Hotel lobby from the bar area - love all the beautiful orchids





Robinson Road and Joo Chiat Road inspired cushion covers




Coffee table with an outline of Singapore as decoration

Our hotel room on our first stay



Our upgraded room on our second stay (above and below) check out that bath!







After checking in ( the first time we stayed there) we decided to go out for a late lunch somewhere close by. After an extensive search of what was in the area (and open as it was a Sunday) we settled on Blue Ginger, a Peranakan restaurant I'd heard amazing things about previously. It definitely did not disappoint, especially as we were served achar which is one of my favourite condiments, that was a definite winning moment for me! I really could eat it simply as it is. As well as the achar we, of course, did enjoy a variety of delicious dishes, including ngo heong and chicken and beef favourites such as beef rendang. All were beautiful prepared and absolutely delicious, it is definitely a restaurant to visit if you've never tried Peranakan food. By the way on our second stay we also went to a different Peranakan restaurant for our anniversary meal, check back on the blog shortly for a post about that.

Achar!









As I said we stayed at the Sofitel So on a holiday weekend (on our first stay) and in the evening, after letting our lunch settle and having done some suitable staycation chilling, we went for a wander and something to eat in the Chinatown area. I guess because it was a holiday evening and also a Sunday Chinatown was pretty empty of life, though this may also have been because a lot of places were shut. However this made for a pleasant walk around this part of the city without the usual throng of people everywhere and despite this we still found somewhere to eat and enjoyed a pleasant meal.

Upon returning to the hotel we went to the rooftop bar for a couple of drinks before retiring. The rooftop bar has a funky, modern feel and decor overlooking the hotel pool. You can enjoy drinks by the bar or at one of the tables dotted around, admire the surrounding office buildings and skyscrapers and enjoy some funky beats as you do. Second time around we opted not to have a drink up there though as there was a private birthday party in progress and it was a little too busy and noisy for us that evening.

Breakfast the following morning on both occasions was the usual range of both Western and Asian options as well as fruit, yogurt and other lighter choices all washed down with fruit juice, coffee or tea. Again the breakfast area embraced the funky modern decor of the whole hotel and was a very pleasant start to both days. Of course with a one night stay breakfast means that all too soon it's time to check out and head home but, if nothing else, we knew we had a cat waiting to greet us and tell us off for going away for the night!

Down a backstreet in Chinatown

Looking towards the Central Business District

Chinatown temple

On both of our stays we had a lovely time right on our doorstep and without having to set foot on a plane or remember to take our passports. I've definitely become a fan of staycations since we tried it for the first time in Singapore on our first wedding anniversary three years ago. It's a great opportunity to enjoy just a little spoiling and explore your hometown just like a tourist. Where do you like to stay in Singapore and why?

BTW don't forget too to keep checking the blog for a separate post about our evening restaurant choice for our anniversary meal during our second stay.

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