As the coronavirus situation worsens in Singapore, the government has implemented a slew of measures aimed at curbing the spread of infection.
Travel advisories and restrictions. Safe distancing measures. Companies making sure that their employees have the option to telecommute, where possible.
And if you are like me, slightly paranoid and mostly nervous, then it is likely that you would be staying at home as much as possible.
But even introverts get a bit stifled from not leaving the house. Really, there are only so many laps you can make around your living room before you lose your marbles entirely.
So let me get this out of the way and say that I have been an extremely lucky duck for Andaz Singapore to offer to host me for one night.
Yes. A Staycation in Singapore. In a five-star hotel.
Most people think of staycations as a romantic getaway with their partner in a luxurious space, with a solid 20-odd hours of uninterrupted alone (ahem!) time.
It can be real nice to spend quality time with someone you care about, don't get me wrong. But you know what is equally, if not even nicer?
Spending the full duration with yourself, without having anybody in the same space (especially during this period, where anybody could be a virus risk).
Which is exactly what I did.
And with that, presenting to you my home (a Deluxe King room) for a solid 21 hours:
I know what you're thinking. What about social responsibility?
Booking a hotel stay in Singapore may be a great way to help boost the struggling tourism sector, but there are, of course, very real concerns about venturing out during this time.
Worried about encountering SHN individuals? Don’t, because hotels accommodating SHN folks are accepting only SHN guests.
Visitors are also not allowed to enter these dedicated SHN hotels.
And I would urge everyone to have responsible adventures and staycations, by avoiding crowded places and parties as far as possible and and also to reduce the time you spend with other people.
Since check-in time is around 3pm, you would most likely avoid peak hour traffic while travelling there. Or if you'd like to avoid contact with most people entirely, you could choose to take a taxi or private hire car to the hotel.
Most hotels have stepped up on their precautionary measures. For Andaz, guests are required to take their temperature upon arrival and fill in a travel declaration and contact tracing form.
The hotel restaurants also abide by safe distancing policies when seating guests, and hand sanitisers can be found throughout the property.
Their breakfast buffet is also adapted, with many breakfast items that have to be ordered from the menu in order to reduce the number of common contact points.
Guests are free to help themselves to items such as yogurts, breads and fruits at the buffet counter, though.
Also, if you were to venture out of your hotel room and around the rest of the building or even the neighbourhood, it would certainly behove you to practise safe distancing as you would when leaving the house for essential activities like grocery runs.
And, in case this hasn't been made clear umpteen times before, if you are at all not completely well, don't go on a staycation. Don't even leave the house, except wearing a mask, to see the doctor.
OK, fair enough. But isn't it kinda sad to have a staycation alone?
If you're the type to travel alone or eat alone, then the concept of solo staycations would likely appeal to you as well.
Doing this alone comes with real plus points too, because there is absolutely no pressure to go anywhere you don't want to or answer to anybody.
Think about it: For those few hours, you're no longer bound to the schedules and requests of others. You finally feel like your time is truly yours.
Another plus is that you now have an excuse to treat yourself to offerings at the hotel bar (happy hour, woohoo!) and other F&B options on site, which would be far from crowded during this period.
And here's the thing.
If you weren't alone, you would probably have to ask your partner or friend "eh, what we eating tonight ah?" before going through a solid 15 minutes asking Google for recommendations nearby, bounce off a few ideas, and then finally settle on a place that neither of you are entirely sure you want.
But when you're alone, you can have whatever you want, at whatever time you want(!!). Even if this means tom yum cup noodles at 10pm.
Who's going to stop you? Your imaginary friend?
In my case, Andaz very kindly ordered dinner for me at the hotel. Which is great for me, because I cannot for the life of me be bothered to think about what to eat.
Here's my dinner, featuring a fresh salad and tasty barbecued pork ribs with steamed rice:
There was also ice cream for dessert, but I gobbled it up before realising I had forgotten to take a picture. Sorry.
Alone but not lonely
Staycations are a great opportunity to explore lesser-known places in a neighbourhood, but if you're worried about the virus situation (or maybe you're just lazy), you could decide to just hang out in the room.
For couples on a staycation, I imagine they wouldn't be spending that entire time burying their noses in a book. Or being glued to a screen watching trashy dramas.
Like, it would be rather rude to do so unless your partner is completely content with doing the same.
But there was absolutely nobody to judge me for binge watching the nth episode on Netflix or YouTube ("huh you still watching, haven't sleep yet??").
Or drinking beer at 12:26am (I hope my parents aren't reading this).
Yes it was 12:26am when I took the photo. Don't ask me what time I eventually slept, though.
But can't you do this at home?
Sceptics may be quick to point out that being alone in a hotel room is not all that different from being alone in your own room.
Well yeah, that may be true, but I would argue that there's a real difference. At least for me.
Unless you have the privilege of having a king-sized bed in your room with plush sheets that smell like paradise, a minibar you can raid, as well as a breathtaking view of the city, I don't see how staying at home could beat this.
I mean, look at this view.
And this minibar.
Also, it's officially Top 10 Life Joys to blast Spotify (and sing along) while enjoying a rain shower (I don't know about you, but I don't have a rain shower in my home bathroom):
Another underrated perk of being on a staycation alone is that the entire bed is yours.
This means I can lie down diagonally across the bed and sprawl across the sheets without being scolded for hogging precious bed-space.
Here are some completely unsolicited photos of me lying down:
There is also something immensely freeing about going to sleep without worrying about being woken up by miscellaneous movements of the world around you.
Be it the shuffling of feet in the hall, or a stirring of another warm body in your bed.
That's the gloriousness of waking up in a hotel room by yourself. For that one morning, you wake up not to the sound of your alarm clock or your siblings having an extremely loud conversation outside your room.
You open your eyes to this:
And the world outside is quiet.
If you are itching for a getaway that involves something more than just travelling from your bedroom to your kitchen, hotels like Andaz are offering staycation offers from as low as S$180 nett for a King Bed room from Mondays to Thursdays.
Weekend prices start from S$220 nett.
To sweeten the deal, room offers include breakfast for two adults, 25 per cent off all a la carte dinner at the hotel restaurant Alley on 25, as well as an in-room minibar with alcoholic beverages and snacks.
For more information, visit Hyatt's website.
This offer is valid until June 30, 2020.
Top photo by Tanya Ong.
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