Family Moments @ Park Hotel Clarke Quay

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 11, 2020
in ,

I guess now is not a good time to travel overseas, especially if you have kids. I had wanted to plan for a short family trip during the March school holidays but eventually, the hubby and I felt that it was best for us to just remain on our island until the virus situation gets better.

Nonetheless, not being able to travel doesn't mean that we stop having fun altogether. In fact, I would prefer that our lives go on as usual even in precarious times like this as long as we are being socially responsible and practising good personal hygiene. So, what's the next best thing apart from an overseas vacation? Well, a STAYCATION, of course!

We had a family getaway last weekend and explored Park Hotel Clarke Quay for the first time. In fact, I think this was our first time staying in Clarke Quay area and I have to say we totally loved the location. You can take a stroll along Singapore River, play in Fort Canning Park, dine in Clarke Quay, and if you wish to venture further, the MRT station is just a stone's throw away. Here's sharing more about our experience and how you can do the same too during the March holidays.


THE HOTEL

With its striking red-tiled roof and towers with spires, Park Hotel's Clarke Quay displays classic architecture inspired by Singapore's colonial past while still appealing to the modern day traveller. Although it is still mainly a business hotel catering to the needs of international guests, it is now introducing more kid-friendly packages which makes this 4-star hotel an affordable option for families to take up during weekends or school holidays.



The hotel has a total of 336 rooms and suites which provide views of the city skyline or the iconic Singapore River. The history surrounding this place is so rich and I wish we had more time so we could have gone on the bumboat for a river cruise or take the kids on an educational tour and let them better appreciate everything we have today.


The well-lit hotel lobby felt cosy and we were greeted by the friendly smiles of the staff when we arrived. The kids made themselves comfortable on the sofa seats while I did the check-in, which took merely a few minutes. There are three elevators for guests to use and on the left is restaurant Porta which I will share more about later on. You will need your keycard in order to access your level in the elevator.

Once, the hubby brought my entire bag upstairs and took the big girl back to our room first while the younger ones and I were still eating. So we were left stranded but thankfully, the staff at the reception came to our rescue and did not forget to verify our name and room number first before helping us to tap the button.



COVID-19 MEASURES

As part of the precautionary measures, all guests are to screen their temperatures before entering the premises. We also had to fill up a declaration form to inform them of our past travels or if anyone in the family is not feeling well. Hand sanitisers are available in public areas and masks are also provided upon request. In addition, the staff has also increased their frequency of cleaning. All these measures help to make us feel more assured as we looked forward to a pleasant family weekend together.





FAMILY ROOM

Our family room consists of two interconnecting Deluxe Rooms - one with a queen bed and the other with twin beds. Each room has an area of 24sqm, high ceiling and full length bay windows, and for ours, we got to enjoy a city view. The room also comes with a 40" full HD LED TV, cable channels (yay for the kids!), coffee and tea-making facilities (yay for the hubby!), a bathtub (yay for the kids again!), complimentary Wi-Fi with hi speed internet access, bathrobes, safe, bar fridge, mini bar and rain shower (yay for me!).







There is total of 21 sets of interconnecting rooms and I think they are comfortably sized for a family of four or below. For us, since Asher is still quite young and able to fit comfortably between the hubby and I, we were able to make it work too. The girls were ecstatic to get their own room and told me "The beds are very comfortable, Mummy!". Yup, I thought so too.



I was trying to find the wardrobe and almost missed it before discovering that it also doubled up as this full length mirror right beside the bed. It is not huge but I did manage to put our cabin-sized luggage in it. Except for the complimentary bottled water, all food and drinks from the mini bar come at a fee. Note that the Evian bottles are chargeable - two for S$10 - so don't mistake them for the complimentary ones.

While I don't think the pricing of the snacks and beverages are exorbitant, they aren't exactly cheap too - 1 packet of potato chips cost S$4 and one instant noodles cost S$6. So what did we do? We hopped over to UE Square which is just a 3-minute walk away and you can get everything you need from 7-Eleven or Cold Storage. Yup, don't say I never share hor.



The one thing that the kids most loved about our room was... the bathtub! Yup, a tub is a luxury to them and they don't often get to enjoy it. It's also nice to see how all three of them are still willing to soak together, sing songs and play self-invented games - which gives us parents a good half an hour of peace to rest and relax. Woohoo!



I was happy to see that the hubby and I got our bathrobes but I also hope that in future, the hotel can look into providing kid-sized bathrobes, slippers and kid-friendly toiletries too. There was also no stepping stool so Asher had to ask one of us to help whenever he needed to turn on the tap.

Nonetheless, the kids absolutely loved our hotel room and asked me "Can we stay here longer and not go home tomorrow?" Well, I guess that means they enjoyed their late night snacks, movie night, comfy beds and everything we did as a family during our stay. Their happiness, is what matters most to me.





MARCH OUT FOR FAMILY MOMENTS (14 - 22 MAR)

If you have not planned anything for the March holidays, this is the newly launched Family Moments Package at Park Hotel Clarke Quay that you may want to consider.

Here are the perks you will get to enjoy:
  • Complimentary stay for children under 12 years old
  • Complimentary daily breakfast 
  • Complimentary lunch and dinner for two children under 12 years old from kid’s menu (when accompanied by paying adults at Porta Restaurant)
  • 20% off Food and Beverage purchase at Porta and Cocobolo Poolside Bar + Grill
  • Complimentary upgrade to Deluxe Rooms on weekends
  • Complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi for multiple devices
  • Free parking
For those who need, baby toiletries, cots, bathtubs, bottle sterilizer are also available at no additional charge. For more details or to make your booking online, go HERE.

There will also be kid-friendly activities conducted at the Games & Activities Room during this period and these will include:

2pm - 5pm
: Fold Towel Origami, Learn Paper Origami, Card Games and Pickup Sticks, Colour & Doodle
5pm onward: Movie Fiesta


DINING

A main determinant of what makes or breaks a family staycation is.... the FOOD! While the hubby and I are not food connoisseurs and my kids aren't exactly picky eaters, we still look forward to having a good feast during our getaways. It's fun and exciting to try out food that we haven't tried before and I also always look forward to having a taste of the desserts too. I must say that we were impressed with the flavours, range and quality of food we had at Porta because we simply didn't expect it to be this good! It was so delicious that we decided to have not just our lunch but dinner there too on our first day because the lunch was really delectable and satisfying. Let's have a look at what we ate!

-> The Restaurant

Located on Level 1 of Park Hotel Clarke Quay, Porta serves modern European cuisine with flavours influenced from around the world. It has a warm, homely ambience and boasts a seating capacity of 134 pax - 78 indoor and 56 alfresco. The ala carte menu offers a mixture of both familiar and exciting dishes which combine fresh, seasonal produce sourced both locally and globally.







Their Brunch menu is served all day from 11am to 10:30pm and a key highlight is their Green Monday menu - which is served on all days of the week - which I will share more below. For families with kids, the good news is they have a Kids Menu (there's ice cream!) and kids cutlery are provided upon request too.

While the restaurant was rather empty when we were there for lunch, it was crowded during dinner time so we reckoned this is quite a popular place to dine in, especially for tourists staying in nearby areas. Be sure to make a reservation in advance and don't be surprised if you have to wait a little while for your food to be served. It will be worth the wait, I assure you.







-> The Menu

With a commitment to conscious and sustainable dining, the restaurant has launched a Green Monday menu in line with the Green Monday movement. This is a plant-based menu which provides more options to cater to diverse dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free. It offers plant-based meat and dairy alternatives which are suitable for guests who wish to cultivate a sustainable lifestyle and dining habits.

I have to tell you that our family are meat lovers and I never thought a plant-based menu would be to our liking. However, since I have been on a no-carb diet for the past few weeks and am staying off red meat for the time being, I thought this was the perfect time to give it a try. It turned out that I was blown away by how my meatless sausage was so yummy and tasted like the real thing. Fwah!



While the hubby remains skeptical and says he still prefers real meat, I am glad we gave the Green Monday menu a try. If you are like him, then you can always turn to the Main Menu which has a wide array of food to choose from, including refreshing appetisers, comforting mains, adventurous desserts and brunch classics. We heard that some of their highly popular creations such as the Prawn & Chorizo Pasta and Spicy Salmon Tartare have been recognised as dining gems with the Singapore River Signatures, an annual accolade that recognises the best of culinary specialities around Clarke Quay, Boat Quay and Robertson Quay.



As for kids, they can select their appetiser (Soup / Caesar Salad), main dish (Pappardelle Bolognese / Chicken Teriyaki Burger / Battered Dory Fillet Fingers) and dessert (Cheese Cake / Movenpick Ice Cream). Asher loved the pasta, Ariel loved the soup and dory fillet while Angel finished up her salad and entire chicken burger and said it was delicious. I told you my kids are not picky but they don't always give thumbs up to the food they eat too so this must have really surpassed their standards. Of course, I think the sweet desserts at the end made them even happier too!





Some of the dishes we tried and love include:

Main Menu
- Prawns and Avocado. A refreshing and appetising combination.
- Spicy Salmon Tartare. This Japanese dish is unique and a first for the taste buds.
- Black Cod. This was tender and perfectly cooked.
- Prawn and Chorizo Pasta. Comes with fresh tiger prawns and a spicy flavour, perfect for the hubby.
- Kopi 'O'. A sweet combination of Mocha cake and coffee ice cream for the coffee lovers.

Green Monday Menu
- Orecchiette Pasta. The mushrooms were nicely flavoured and complemented the plant-based sausage.
- Tomato and Basil. Pasta in Tomato cream sauce which is delightful even for kids.








If I have to pick my top 3 recommendations which you should consider trying on your next visit to Porta, they are:

1) Feed Me!

This was my choice during my first meal at Porta and the idea is to let the chef surprise you with a dish based on the freshest ingredient he has in the kitchen that day. My dish turned out to be Chicken Roulade which was heavenly and surprisingly tasty, and I finished every last bit of it. The chicken was tender and complemented by the stuffed spinach and the sauce had a burst of flavour without being overly salty. I would definitely love to eat this again!



2) Beyond Burger (Green Monday)

Using plant-based ingredients like Daiya cheddar cheese and housemade ketchup, this burger took me beyond my wildest imagination. I am a burger lover but this is my first time devouring one that is entirely plant-based and contains zero meat. I didn't expect it would be satisfying or appetising but there I was, taking mouthful after mouthful and telling the hubby "This is really good, right?"



3) Black Forest

I haven't had chocolate for a long time (no carbs, remember?) but I couldn't stop myself from trying this when I heard that it is highly popular and raved by many. It turned out that this dark chocolate dessert, which comes with coconut powder and and maraschino cherries, was really irresistible and delectable. For those with a sweet tooth like me, you should definitely give it a go and see if you love it too!


 -> Breakfast 

For those who take up the Family Moments, complimentary daily breakfast is provided from 6:00am to 10:30am. Note that complimentary lunch and dinner is also provided for two children under 12 years old from kid’s menu (when accompanied by paying adults at Porta Restaurant).

As usual, we are not early risers - we watched movie the night before - and only made our way to the restaurant when it was past 9am. Pssst, it's not easy having to wake three kids and look, the kids were still in their PJs. Haha. Still, they were happy to dine al fresco and enjoy the warm sunlight that morning and swiftly went around looking for their favourite food.







I wouldn't say that the breakfast spread is outstanding but it suffices to provide a hearty meal to start off the day. Cereal, bacon, pancakes, sausages, scrambled eggs, salad, pastry, fruits, yoghurt, milk, juice, coffee, tea - these were some of the usual items we had.





The more unique and outstanding breakfast items included grilled chicken, buttered vegetables and beef barley soup. The hubby and I enjoyed these dishes immensely and they left us feeling pleased and contented. Angel was happy to find that there was mushroom pasta served, Ariel ate a huge portion of potato gratin because she said it was so yummy while Asher enjoyed the fresh fruits.





-> In-Room Dining

If you prefer to dine in the comfort of your room, just go for the in-room dining service which offers breakfast from 6am to 10:30am, all-day dining from 11am to 11pm and supper from 11pm to 2am. Check out some of the items they offer below which includes Asian favourites like Roti Prata and Hainanese Chicken Rice. We didn't try these though so can't tell you if they are any good, yeah?





FACILITIES

While this business hotel does not have much kid-friendly facilities to boast about at the moment, they offer more than what you need to occupy the kids for an entire day of fun. For parents who are able to sneak out for an hour or have kids who are tall enough to ride, you can rent these bicycles from the concierge at a small fee and have a good time riding along Singapore River and explore more of Clarke Quay. Since our kids are too small and short, we opted to go for walks instead.





If you have a habit of working out after the kids go to bed or before they wake up, there is also a small but fully-equipped gym you can make use of on Level 2 of the hotel. It is open for 24 hours and you just need your keycard in order to access the room.



Coco Bolo is a poolside ball and grill which is perfect for those who love to dine under the stars, enjoy the cooling breeze or have a Mojito while the kids are having a swim. We saw that it was having a BBQ buffet on the Saturday that we were there so for those who love grilled food and the irresistible aroma of outdoor cooking, do check it out too.



Our favourite place to hang out, apart from our room, is the.... Swimming Pool! Although there is only one, this inviting 25-metre swimming pool was where the kids had lots of fun and laughter during our 2D1N stay. It is 1.25m deep but there is an elevated platform to stand on at one end so younger kids who don't know how to swim yet can still have some fun wading or splashing around.







Other than the deck chairs, there are also five poolside cabanas within the quiet sanctuary of a garden-like setting for guests to enjoy. Feel free to read a book, indulge in your favourite drink or just sit back to relax while enjoying a scenic view of our Singapore skyline.



We initially made our way back to the hotel building when the kids needed to go to the toilet. These are located just beside the elevator on Level 2 and a few steps away from the pool. However, they are fully air-conditioned and we were freezing cold! Then I discovered this cottage style outdoor changing room near the cabanas which came with two toilet cubicles and since there was no air con, we could take our time to clean up or change out.



NEARBY PLACES OF INTEREST

As mentioned earlier, one of the best things about Park Hotel Clarke Quay is its accessible location and how convenient it is to get to nearby places. We decided to walk to Fort Canning Park to let the kids play at the playground during the evening and the walk took us merely less than 10 minutes.


This is one of our favourite parks to visit and the kids thoroughly enjoyed going on the swings, climbing the obstacle course, walking on nets, riding the see-saw and whizzing down the slides. The big girl also took time to be close to nature and was most excited to spot centipedes and grasshoppers. Yup, she is still my inspiring entomologist and bug lover.







The next day, we took a walk down Singapore River to enjoy the scenic views and explore more of Clarke Quay. We had a family hotpot lunch at Hai Di Lao (can you believe this was our first visit?) followed by ice cream for dessert before taking a stroll back to our hotel. I would love to take the bumboat along the river with the kids too but I guess that would just have to wait till the next time.





What's the best part about a family staycation?

It is having fun, spending time and making priceless memories as family. These are the moments that will stay in our hearts for a long time and I believe they do greatly to fill up the love tanks of my kids too.

Here's sharing a video I compiled to showcase all the fun highlights we had during our our stay. It's not done for the hotel but for us to look back and remember. The kids had a great time re-watching it over and over again and kept laughing at the slow-mo clips of themselves jumping into the pool. So funny mah? Haha. The good thing is they said "Thank you, Mama, for bringing us on this staycation" but they followed up and said "Can we go again real soon?" Haha.



Thanks to Park Hotel Clarke Quay for all the precious family moments! We hope to have more staycation experiences to share with you next time!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored review. We received a media invite from Park Hotel Clarke Quay to experience their Family Moments package. No monetary compensation was received and all pictures and opinions are my own.


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