Plan A Zen Retreat Near Botanic Gardens For Your Next Staycation

As Singapore cautiously inches towards phase 3, we start to see the slow reopening of many businesses. In early July, there was reopening of several local attractions and this week saw several hotels that have been granted the license to reopen for staycations.

The fact that this is happening during phase 2 spells good fortune for the rest of our friends in the tourism and hospitality industry.

In light of the rather stressful situation the world is in, we’d thought it be a good cure would be a zen retreat anchored by Singapore’s sole UNESCO World Heritage Site – Botanic Gardens.

Where to Stay

While these accommodations aren’t on the list of hotels that have recently opened, it might not be too long away that Singapore expands the list of hotels.

The hotels listed below are within the Tanglin neighbourhood, about 5 to 10-minute drive to the Singapore Botanic Gardens!

1. Mecure Singapore

First up is Mercure Singapore, whose over 500 guest rooms are locally inspired by colonial black and white houses that was once part of the architectural makeup of the neighbourhood.

It has all the amenities you’d expect from a 4-star hotel, perfect for a nice quiet retreat with facilities at your disposal should your company (still) require you for some remote working.

2. Le Grove

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Our home away from home for a week. Sayonara.

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Le Grove Serviced Residences is a step away from your normal accommodations, offering up premier serviced apartments with sizeable rooms as opposed to the smaller rooms typical of a hotel.

Rooms come with a well-equipped kitchen with a range of tools and utensils, Le Grove might be the best choice for some when it comes to a staycation.

3. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore

If you have a little a lot more budget at your disposal, why not consider staying at one of Singapore’s top luxury hotels at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore.

Hidden away from the hustle and bustle that is Orchard Road, Shangri-La exudes a sense of exclusivity and serenity that will have you wondering if you’ve left the country.

How To Explore Singapore Botanic Gardens

While you may choose to stay within the premises of your accommodations during the length of your staycation, we’d recommend extending that zen retreat to the Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Learning Forest

One of the newest development areas of the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest is a restoration of the lowland forest and wetland habitats that once surrounded the Gardens.

The fully restored section of the Gardens lies at the Tyersall-Gallop core and features extensive boardwalks and elevated walkways which will allow you to explore the various habitats in the area. Of note is the Keppel Discovery Wetlands which highlight the region’s freshwater wetlands habitats.

2. Tanglin Gate Gardens

The Tanglin Gate may very well be one of the most iconic facades of the Botanic Gardens, which also happens to be the entrance of the oldest part of the entire reserve established in 1859.

The main attraction through the gate will undoubtedly be the beautiful Swan Lake, which is named after the White Mute Swans from Amsterdam. Featuring the Bandstand landmark, the Bonsai Garden, and the Sun Garden, there are lots to see and explore in this section.

3. National Orchid Garden

Everything in Botanic Gardens is beautiful, sure, but the prize jewel is the National Orchid Garden.

You’ll be captivated by tall, beautiful leafy arches, fountains surrounded by colourful orchids and many more. All in all, there are about 1000 species and 2000 hybrids that can be found in this area. Every nook and cranny is a photo op waiting to happen.

And of course, beauty comes at a price: there’s an entrance fee of SGD$5 to enter, which isn’t much if you ask us for entails!

Where to Eat

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to head to one of the many eateries available throughout the Gardens.

1. The Halia

True to its name (Halia is the Malay word for ginger), The Halia offers up a nice space just beside the Ginger Garden.

Choose between the air-conditioned indoors and sit by the glass windows or get close to nature (if you haven’t done enough by now) by opting for the alfresco area. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a selection of pastas and mains, brunch favourites, and desserts to your heart’s content.

2. Botanico At The Garage

Let’s switch things up with The Garage, a 1920s Art Deco-furnished conservation building which houses two dining concepts.

At the upper level, you’ll find Botanico, which serves up delectable European cuisine infused with Asian influences to bring you a combination of flavours not widely seen and tasted. If that’s not your style, perhaps the more kid-friendly Bee’s Knees on the lower deck will appeal to you.

The bistro has more of a chill vibe, with a menu that ranges from pancakes and waffles to pizzas and pastas. Oh, and the Bee’s Knees is pet-friendly too, so even if you don’t have a pet, you can still see some furry friends around!

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