Image © Jennifer Ennion
Review: Mercure Singapore Bugis
Stay in Singaporean style hotel and introduce the kids to the finer things in life at Mercure's Bugis abode.
It may not be your typical choice for a kid-friendly hotel, but the new Mercure Singapore Bugis, in the city's arts and cultural district, is a funky, comfortable option for travelling families.
If you're a family-of-three needing a place to crash for a few nights, don't go past the Executive Loft. Although it's ultimately designed for singles and couples, there's a queen bed as well as a sofa that converts into a single bed, making it a fun room choice. Word of warning though, you may have to fight over who gets to sleep in the queen on the mezzanine level, which has a cubby-house feel to it and overlooks the small living area. Due to the stairs, this room is best suited to school-aged children, but if you're travelling with a baby book the standard Loft, which has space for a port-a-cot. If you have more than one child, you'll want the Superior room with king bed, which features a lounge and kitchenette, and interconnects with a Standard Twin.
One of the main reasons to stay at Mercure Singapore Bugis is its location. A couple of minutes' walk away is Bugis Street Market - a great introduction for kids to a typical Asian marketplace. The best time to show off your haggling skills to the rest of the family is at dusk when plenty of locals go shopping and stallholders are happy to bargain more. Stock up on toys and t-shirts, handbags and phone accessories. You can even let the children sample some street food or cool off with a papaya milkshake. Teenagers will also appreciate the hotel's proximity (about 10 minutes' walk) to Singapore's famous Orchard Road, where you can spend hours shopping at the huge range of international-brand stores.
Al fresco hang-outs
There is no kids pool but teenagers will love the hotel's three al fresco areas. First port of call should be the 25-metre lap pool. Parents can laze in the lounges, soaking up the great skyline views, while children enjoy a refreshing dip. In the afternoon, head to the Sky Deck - a rooftop garden that's the perfect chill-out zone for the entire family - or the leafy outdoor terrace with sunken lounges. They're great spots where the kids can Skype their friends back home using the in-room smartphones that come with free, unlimited internet access and are yours to use during your stay.