Thursday, May 29, 2014

Precious Couple Getaway/Staycation @ The Scarlet Singapore

Great selfie @ Le Chocolat. Could have done with better pastries though
Since Noah came, couple dates have been few and far between (and that's why all 3 previous ones were extensively covered). One which allowed us to have a night off Noah was even more precious!

Thanks to the collective help of Noah's maternal grandparents and aunts, who gave him an incredible staycation separately, and the recommendation of some dads on my Daddy Matters group, Li Li and I finally had the opportunity to have some romantic couple time to ourselves at The Scarlet Singapore, a refurbished shop-house-converted-into-boutique-hotel which I had never heard of prior to this trip.

The Scarlet Singapore
The mystique of a boutique hotel aside, what attracted me more to this location was the fact that it was a few steps away from Maxwell Food Centre (which would satisfy our local food craving), and comfortable walking distance away from heritage sites like Sri Mariaman temple, the Red Dot Museum, Chinatown, bustling Tanjong Pagar, and also chill-out spots like Club Street and Duxton Hill. It meant that even if the room was not as good as expected, we would have no lack of places to spend some quality time together without the need to take any public transport.

Tian Tian Chicken Rice, arguably the world's most famous Hainanese Chicken rice thanks to Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, my first try after nearly 33 years. It was good!

金华鱼头米粉, undoubtedly the most delicious Fish Head Bee Hoon I had ever eaten!

The Scarlet Hotel itself reminded me very much of Hotel Muse in Bangkok with a nostalgic twist, as its classy dark-coloured contemporary interior design made us forget for a while that we were actually in a shop-house lot. Service was one of the best parts of the experience, as the team was nice local blend of different ethnic groups, all well-trained and ready to lend a warm helping hand when required.

Taking a picture in the lobby

I loved the loud red corridor, though it started to remind me I was in a shop-house lot.

There is no question that the designers did an intricate job. Every doorknob, wall accessory and toilet fitting screamed of creativity. However, our room was really quite small (I expected it) and did not have any windows. Luckily, they ensured the room at least had some skylight to make it feel less claustrophobic.

Our cosy little turquoise-themed room
Li Li loved the basin area of the little toilet, but if I were to be very honest, the finishing of the floor and wall tiles left a lot to be desired, maybe I just expected more in such a well-crafted hotel.

The best part of the staycation turned out to be the hotel breakfast. It was a combination of a perfectly-executed American breakfast and a small but very presentable Continental breakfast spread, served in the hotel's beautiful Italian restaurant. I personally feel that this is a masterstroke, because it would be a huge ask for Scarlet to serve up local/Asian flavours that can beat the insane amount of tip-top local delicacies available at the nearby Maxwell Food Centre.

Yummy American Breakfast

Nice selection of breads and pastry
It felt like we were dining in Europe

Just when my Noah-withdrawal symptoms grew to its almost-unbearable peak after breakfast, my cute sister-in-law sent me this.

Guess where he was? Looks like he was having a heck of a time as well.

So I would like to hereby extend my gratitude to Kunqi, Fengyi, my parents-in-law for taking such good care of Noah when we were 'on leave' and my dear brothers in Daddy Matters for recommending so many ideas before I decided on this one. We needed it, especially before our little one arrives this September. Hopefully we can find time for another such getaway before then.

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