Staycation at Equarius Hotel Resort World Sentosa

Every December Kel and I will plan a family holiday. Unfortunately this year due to several reasons, we needed to be in Singapore. We know it is school holiday and Lauren will be busy with Primary 1 next year.  Thus we wanted to make her school holiday as exciting as possible even though we are just going to explore our own sunny island.

 

While planning, we realized that a staycation in Sentosa may do the trick. We booked a 3D2N stay at Equarius Hotel. The last 2 staycations we had in Sentosa were at Festive Hotel and Amara Sanctuary Resort. We were not pleased with our stay then.  A friend recommended Equarius Hotel and here we are..

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Equarius Hotel lobby

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The girls were so excited watching mummy brushing her teeth..

The standard at Equarius Hotel is wayyyy better than Amara Sanctuary Resort or Festive Hotel. The room was huge, clean (very important factor for me) and smell really nice..  The bathroom was big enough for the entire family to be inside. The girls in the tub, me cleaning their bottles and papa watching after them. OK the only not so good was the distance from the attractions. Equarius Hotel is supposed to be the SPA hotel so tranquillity is their business, away from the busy streets and attractions. If you really want to walk from Universal Studio back to the hotel,  it will probably take you 20 to 30 mins. There is a hotel shuttle bus every 15 mins that will bring you around the hotels and to the casino. You can drop at the casino and walk to the attractions. For us, it was not easy even with the shuttle bus arrangement as each time we had to unload all the stuffs from the stroller (the stroller was full of stuffs above and underneath) and load again.  Most of the time we just drove to the East carpark but you will incurred extra carpark charges as the hotels’ carpark (West) and attractions’ carpark (East) are not linked. You can get the complimentary parking from hotel but you are only entitled to one complimentary carpark pass a day for hotel guests so if you have to go in and out of the carpark then one complimentary carpark pass is definitely not enough.

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We spent Day 1 at the Adventure Cove and Alexis got to play on the water slides too!! There are many activities and you will really need 1 full day there, especially so if you plan to include Dolphin Island.  Lauren’s favourite activity in Adventure Cove was the Rainbow Reef.  Initially she was really scared because the staff told her the water at the Rainbow Reef is 3 metre deep. Upon hearing the 3 metre, Lauren came up with all sorts of excuses to not get into the water… eg. the goggle was too tight, the water was too cold (the water was indeed quite cold)… bla bla bla.. I was very upset with her as we queued for awhile.. So I used a little “Mummy’s angry”  tactic and soon Lauren was in the water. She was so engrossed that Papa had to keep pulling her back. When she was up, she told me the fishes were so colourful and beautiful.. This is definitely a must try even for adult.

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Papa and Lauren then went on to Dolphin Island. Of course Lauren loved this particular section of the visit.. She is an animal fanatic and dolphin is one of her favourite animals. The whole session took 90min.  Out of the 90min,  the actual dolphin interaction was only 30min while the rest were pre and post interaction briefings and choosing of photographs taken during the session.  The trainer briefed them on the hand signals to interact with the dolphin and the ways to stroke and handle the dolphin.

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Lauren was very much in love with WaWa, the dolphin she was interacting.  She kissed and kept giving WaWa the hand signal to talk to her.

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Alexis, Aunty and Mummy continued the water play while waiting for Papa and Lauren. For parents bringing young toddler, these are the attractions that are suitable for younger kids. Do note that an accompanied adult needs to be with them at all time.

  1. Adventure River

    Grab a tube and take a leisurely ride down Adventure River, floating through 14 stunning scenes including a lush jungle garden, a mysterious grotto and an underwater tunnel with a sea of marine life swimming above and around you.

     

  2. Big Bucket Treehouse

    Get wet and wild at the Big Bucket Treehouse! Share the rush of the giant bucket tipping over gallons of fun in an action-packed wonderland of interactive water plays. It’s the coolest place for kids to be.

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  3. Bluwater Bay

    You’re sure to catch a wave at Bluwater Bay where the surf’s always up! Come share the rush in this giant wave pool and have a swell of a time with the family

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Lauren was sulking when we told her it was time to leave..

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Our day 2 was kept for Universal Studio. Lauren was super excited about USS. She woke up very early and pestered us to get ready. She even proposed to skip breakfast and lunch. Honestly when you are out with a 6 years old and a 13 months old toddler, how fast can you be.. So by the time we were done with getting dressed and food, it was past 12noon. We bought the Universal Express passes on top of the regular tickets and those were our BEST INVESTMENT EVERRRRR!!!!!  Please… do yourself a favour, if time is an issue, please get the pass.  You can always check out the crowd inside the park before deciding if you want to get the express pass. There are many shops selling the express pass inside. Due to the fast track queues from the express passes, we completed all rides (except Battlestar and The Mummy due to Lauren’s height) within 4 hours.. In fact, we took a couple of rides twice or thrice.  We walked past the long snaking queues with all the envies of the others queuing.. FYI, most of the rides need 50-60min of queuing if you do not have express pass during peak season.

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Before you leave the park, if you do plan to come back soon, especially Singaporean. Please upgrade your ticket to the 6 months season pass. We did that to all our tickets and now I can just bring my girls as and when we want.

 

Day 3: Honestly to explore Sentosa properly and if you have the luxury of time, I will suggest a 4 days stay. Resort World Singapore will take you 3 days to fully enjoy all the attractions, not forgetting Sentosa Island also has tons of activities for you to explore. This time round we skipped S.E.A Aquarium and Trick Eye Museum as we were very worn out from the walking and Alexis was starting to get very cranky.  Papa and Mummy decided to go for a SPA session at ESPA to unwind. The ESPA is heavenly….. We do not have the time to stay and enjoy most of the facilities although we very much wanted to.

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We ended our staycation with  The Luge ride inside Sentosa Island, Lauren needed this before agreeing to go home. We saw the soon-to-open Kidzania Singapore next to the Beach Station.  Sentosa is going to be “The Place” to go the next school holiday.

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Our Sunday exploring Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay

Our kind AIA insurance agent gave us 4 priority pass to this year’s Garden by The Bay’s Christmas Wonderland.  So yesterday we decided to head down and immersed ourselves in the feeling of Christmas.  It was probably a hot favourite among Singaporean as the queues to all the carparks nearby were extremely lonnnngggg when we were there at 5pm… Kel had to drop us at the drop off area and valet park at MBS.

 

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There were many activities for everyone. We under estimated the time needed as we could not finished everything by the time we left. We managed to bring the girls to the Fairground where we took the Carousel and the Helter Skelter Slide. Papa also won a small plush toy for Lauren at one of the carnival game booths.

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Lauren wanted to go into the Ice Palace and play.  There are 2 activities inside the Ice Palace, Ice Skating and the Snow Playground.  The ice skating seems more appropriate for Lauren’s age.  It costs $14 per pax for a 45min session. You will need to have gloves and socks to go into the ice skating rink, they do sell them at $4 and $2 respectively if you do not have them with you.  There are guiding tools inside the rink and Lauren was totally engrossed the entire 45min. Our dear Papa is like Lauren’s guardian angel always behind her watching her back.

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There are many eateries within the Supertree area, I will suggest family to try  dining at the Spiegeltent or “Mirror Tent” as the range of food and beverages options  are specially curated by Harry’s. Children can go for their finger food. Culina is another good option for a grab and go sandwich and drinks.

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Our free candy floss with the AIA Christmas Wonderland Pass

The Christmas Wonderland is open at 4pm to 11pm daily from 27th Nov to 27 Dec. Admission is free but you may want to check with your AIA agent if they do have the priority pass as it does help when queueing for Carousel ride, free candy floss and also the 15% discount when getting the Dome ticket.  Oh and each pass comes with 10 free tokens. Tokens are needed at all the rides and game booths and each token costs $2.

 

 

For the program highlights and the timing of the performance, you can refer to their official website here

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Cirque du Soleil TOTEM is a must watch for everyone

Cirque du Soleil returns to Singapore after 10 years with an awe-inspring production, TOTEM,  presented in an intimate setting of the signature blue and yellow Big Top.

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Source: Courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.

Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

 

It was our 1st time going to Cirque du Soleil and we have heard so much about it.  All the acts were breathtaking and magical.

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Pardon on the blurry photo. My phone camera was giving me a lot of issues lately

Among all, Lauren’s favourite was the Ring Trios.  A Bollywood-inspired music accompanies two men as they compete against each other on the rings – until a woman arrives and shows them how it’s done. Their graceful movements, sheer physical strength and superb physiques take to the skies above a summer beach.  Lauren kept saying the 2 men were very sexy. (Faints….)

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Lauren was also intrigued by the Fixed Trapeze Duo. The act which was performed by two lovebirds, a young man and woman tease, play and sulk in an innocent game of seduction and eventually intertwine their bodies in a lighthearted vertical dance of fresh, unusual movements and lifts.

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Kel and I were both mesmerized by the roller skaters.  The highlight of the show.  In a scene that evokes a wedding ceremony, a pair of roller skaters spin and whirl at heart-stopping speeds atop a tiny platform – just 1.8 meters in diameter – shaped like a drum.

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For those that are going, some advices for you:

  • If you are driving there, please do go early as all the carparks are very full and the queue to enter the carparks are very long.  Alternatively, You can valet at MBS hotel and walk over
  • It is stated on Sistic site that external F&B are not permitted but we saw people brining their own water as a bottle Dasani Mineral water cost $6 inside/ coke or Heaven & Earth green tea cost $7
  • Those bringing children, please ask for the booster seat from the crew before you are seated

I really wanted to take a video of Lauren being super fascinated at all the acts. Throughout the show, she was screaming “woah… woohoo!!!”  She was also constantly asking me to if I manage to catch what the acrobats did.

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Lauren wrote a diary about TOTEM when she reached home.

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It is a 2 hour and 25 min show (Inclusive of a 25min interval) running from now till 6th Dec at the Big Top beside Marina Bay Sands.  Please do bring your kids as I am sure children will be super excited by all the acts.

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Safari Boo is a Merry Not Scary Halloween for Kids

  1. If you are thinking of soaking up the atmosphere this Halloween but afraid that your child is not able to take scary event like the USS Halloween Night. Then dress your child up and head down to River Safari’s Safari Boo this Halloween.

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There are plenty of activities to keep your child occupied. We bought the 8pm to 10pm tickets as the earlier tickets were all sold out. Due to that, we were not able to complete all the activities in the park. You definitely need more than 2 hours if you plan to cover all the games and activities.

Remember to pick up the goodie bag at the entrance. The bag is useful for all the treats collected along the way.

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Do bring along your camera or ensure that your camera phone are fully charged as there will be lots of opportunity to take photographs with the characters.

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There is also a show that runs at 7pm ,8pm and 9pm. We missed that as Lauren took a long time at the games and activities session.

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We also missed the face painting and hair colouring corner as they were closed by the time we walked there. We spent some time queuing to take pictures with the animals.

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Lauren enjoyed herself very much. Asking if she can be here again next year.

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If you are planning to visit Safari Boo, you still have 2 more days before the end of this event. The last day for Safari Boo is on the 1st Nov. Children below 12 enter free and ticket for adult is at $20.  Safari Boo is open from 6pm to 10pm

Do get your tickets online to avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

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Alexis at Sparkanauts Baby Cadet Class

After trying Medley Toddler, I decided to give Sparkanauts next door a try. Sparkanaut has a more holistic approach. It is also a 60min, once a week program.

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Alexis tried the Baby Cadet, a program tailored for babies 5 to 12 months.  According to the school, Baby Cadet class builds the foundation for your child’s future learning.  It helps to stimulate visual and auditory senses to prepare for reading and writing. It also strengthens the body for confidence and train for nimble movements. The program is a combination of gym, flash cards, music & movement, play and story telling all in one.

The teachers will introduce a new theme every week. They will have flash cards where they will sing and flash the cards to the child individually. The child will also get to play with some instruments like tambourin or bells to expose them to sounds and coordination.

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Each week the teacher introduces an alphabet to the child. The alphabet is printed on a flash card in a textured material. The teacher will encourage the child to trace the alphabet and show the child an object related to the alphabet.

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In Sparkanauts Baby Cadet class, there is a trapeze session where the child will be asked to hold on to the handle bar of the trapeze for 30 sec.  The child would then be swung towards the parent. Alexis loves this part. This, according to the teacher, is to train the child’s arm and also to let them know when to hold and when to let go.

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Then comes the gym time; children are encouraged to crawl around through the obstacles to build their strength and awareness of the surroundings. I personally find that the baby gym had helped Alexis to develop her crawling skills better. Prior to that, she was always doing the leopard crawl. After the trial, Alexis went home crawling. 🙂 I think it is due to peer influence as she saw all the other babies crawling in class.

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One part of Sparkanauts Baby Cadet class is a mat time where the children are placed on their back and the parents would lift and drop the colourful parachute. Alexis enjoys this and always sits up at this time. Who would want to lie down when there are so many activities around.

 

I find this program very interactive for the child. Parent would need to be prepared that there will be a parent & child gym session during the class where you will have to swing, lift and hop with the child. It is pretty tiring but a good bonding session with your child.

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The school will email parents the class materials after every lesson. Parent are supposed to go back and reiterate the learning through revision of the materials.  Hard copy can be purchased at $60 for 10 sets or $10 per set.

 

The only part that would probably deter me from signing up again is the feeling I have that the school is not keeping to the standard of hygiene. I felt that they do not clean the toys or materials after the class. When asked, they told me they clean once a week which I find not acceptable.

 

The cost for Baby Cadet class is higher than Medley Toddler at $698 for 10 lessons. If you are a SAFRA member you get 1 additional lesson for free.

Appended is the class time table:

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Sparkanauts is located at:

SAFRA Toa Payoh
293 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #02-01
Singapore 319387

+65 62590307

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