If you have no plans for an overseas vacation, and limited time, how about doing a 2D1N destination staycation right here in Singapore? The kids and I were invited to do that at D’Resort @ Downtown East during the June holiday and boy, did we have fun! So if you have 48 hours to spare and you want to squeeze in all the fun you can for the family within that time, this is a fabulous option! Here’s what we did.
Check-in at D’Resort. The kids and I pulled up along a broad, spacious driveway to a reception area that looked just like a hotel’s!
D’Resort describes itself as “Singapore’s first nature-inspired resort with an integrated waterpark experience”. You see that in the resort surrounds (it’s next to Pasir Ris Park) and the lushness of the resort gardens. This is echoed in the design of the reception, where wooden tree-like structures shelter the counters. As you check in, you can peek through the wooden screens to see the greenery outside.
We stayed in a Rainforest Family Underwater themed room. “Bunk beds!” the kids shouted, and spent the next 10 minutes climbing up and down.
There are three different styles in the Rainforest Family Room section: Underwater, Amazonian Jungle, and one M&M-themed room (it’s the most popular room and gets booked up quickly, we were told). And what’s an underwater scene without sunken treasure? As the kids continued their oceanic exploration they found a chest that promised riches within. Alas they had to find the clues and solve a puzzle before getting the code to unlock the box.
As they did that I took the opportunity to brew myself a cup of coffee using the in-room NESCAFE® Dolce Gusto® Genio 2 machine (had a bit of a hard time reading the instructions, which were tiny!), log on to D’Resort’s free wifi, and check out the rest of our 28 sqm room.
• There are two sets of children’s cutlery and plates provided.
• There’s an IKEA step stool in the bathroom.
• The tap has an extended mouthpiece so water flows outwards and kids won’t have to lean in too far to get to the water.
• The shower stand has a second shower head holder at child level so kids can wash themselves independently.
• There’s even a child-sized toilet seat built into the toilet.
It was hard but I managed to pull the kids out of the room. The trigger? That we’d be heading to eXplorerkid at E!Hub for more play! But first, I wanted to see the birds. Pasir Park is home to a colony of Grey Herons. With wing spans of up to 2m, these long-legged birds are also the largest winged creatures in Singapore. If you’re staying on Level 4 of the Resort, you can head to the Sky Garden to watch them take flight.
We take the lift down to Level 1 and board the free buggy to E!Hub. This buggy service operates between D’Resort, E!Hub, and Wild Wild Wet from 11am to 10pm daily during the holidays and on weekends. You can choose to walk instead of waiting for the buggy. However, as the area is undergoing extensive renovations, it is more pleasant to make the journey by buggy (see the video below) if you have kids with you.
eXplorerkid is one of the largest indoor playgrounds in Singapore. SingaporeMotherhood’s 18-month-old toddler explorer Elliott made a trip here recently (read his review) and he loved it. Would my older kids enjoy it too?
Oh yes they do, especially the Adventure Course! There are two levels: a lower one for children under 110cm in height, and a higher one for older ones. After several hours of rock climbing, high level rope navigating, ball pool ‘swimming’, sand building, sliding, and raucous running around, I manage to drag them out for dinner. There are lots of places to feast at within E!Hub itself, from buffets (Sakura) to fast food (KFC) to mid-range restaurants (Swensens).
At home, we’d be getting ready for bed now. Unfortunately the kids have an overdose of holiday adrenaline and are still hyped up. There’s an Orchid Bowl in E!Hub so we sign up for an hour of ball busting, during which they totally slay me. Of course it’s only because they get the ‘long kang’ barriers and I don’t. Ahem. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. Needless to say, bowling has become their new favourite activity and they’re clamouring to do it again.
Home sweet hotel! After TV and snuggles in bed, they’re off to sleep. Tomorrow awaits!
DAY 2 at D’Resort
Breakfast at White Tangerine, D’Resort’s resident cafe and caterer. There are set breakfasts, and a la carte Asian, and Western favourites. The resort also has a 24-hour Cheers convenience stall where you can buy snacks, toiletries, and pre-marinated meats if you’re having a BBQ. Very convenient! Need more variety? There are food outlets galore, and an NTUC supermarket at E!Hub.
Each room booking includes four complimentary tickets to the Wild Wild Wet waterpark and we were planning to have some splashing fun today. Unfortunately the weather is turning out to be wild and wet so we’re stuck indoors. But there’s no time to be bored ‘cos we’re going art jamming!
This activity is available daily, subject to availability. Just register an hour before at the iCounter off the reception area. You can also make bookings for other resort activities here, or loan (complimentary) a luggage trolley, a stroller, a wheelchair, or an umbrella. The (kind-of) finished artworks go well with the room decor, don’t they?
It’s still raining! Will we get to go to Wild Wild Wet today?
We request and get an extended check out time (2pm), and head to the White Tangerine for lunch, after which we explore the rest of the resort. In the passageway along levels three and four of the resort block you will find some hangout nooks – the hidden gems of D’Resort! Level four has a tiny toddler play area with slides. But it’s at level three that we all go “wow!”
Decorated with recycled materials conceptualised and created by the staff, these two areas, which face each other across the passageway to the rooms, offer a cosy space to read, chat, and relax. It’s like something out of The Enchanted Forest by Enid Blyton, and the view out towards the tree tops, with the drizzle making everything a misty blur, certainly enhances that magical feeling.
Check out. It’s stopped raining and the sun is out. Hooray! We leave our bags at the reception, and go on another buggy ride. Wild Wild Wet, here we come!
Wild Wild Wet is undergoing a renovation to double its size. The plan is to integrate both park and resort areas so that guests will be able to walk easily between them by the second half of 2017. We could see the structure of the path from our room, as well as some of the new waterpark stations. It’ll definitely be a lot more convenient then.
But even at its present size, Wild Wild Wet offers a splashing good time for all. While it’s not as swanky as newer water parks, it has enough twists and turns, and spills and thrills to give kids the time of their lives.
As we float upon the waves in the Tsunami pool while the sun sets over the water, we see a rainbow in the sky and it’s the perfect end to our two days at Downtown East. Who would have thought that there could be so much fun to be had in this little corner of the island? Thank you, D’Resort for giving us this wonderful staycation!
Where we stayed:
Kids will love the Rainforest family-friendly themed suites (M&Ms, Jungle and Underwater), where the staycation experience begins with a fun treasure hunt in the room itself! Each stay at the resort also includes four passes to Wild Wild Wet so you can slide down adrenaline pumping rides or laze the day away in the cool waters. Room prices range from $110 – $650+ a night, depending on the room type. These Rainforest themed rooms are popular, so book early (see the deals below) to get one! The other room types are not decorated in this manner, but each has a lovely natural, resort style that everyone in the family will love! See the other room types here.