Family staycations and fun

Family staycations and fun

Compared with Orchard Road or Marina Bay, Jurong Lake District may not make a swanky address for hotels.

Nonetheless, with its transformation plans, the Government hopes to turn it into a holiday getaway for residents and tourists.

Hotel industry players and academics say there is potential for the area to have a different look from the Marina Bay area, which is about the same size as the Jurong Lake District.

While the southern area of Marina Bay has been decorated with shiny skyscrapers and leisure offerings such as the massive integrated resorts and Gardens by the Bay, the Jurong Lake District can adopt a slower pace of life, says Dr Michael Chiam, senior lecturer in tourism at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Think boutique or mid- sized hotels which cater mainly to families, he says.

"There's that possibility of off-city living, which will appeal to many families. Planners need to think about putting in good F&B and entertainment options which will cater to this group."

One hotel is already on its way up in the area.

Last year, Genting Singapore broke ground for a 550-room outfit, slated to open in the first half of next year.

The company is behind Resorts World Sentosa and owns six hotel properties there - Crockfords Tower, Hotel Michael, Festive Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Equarius Hotel and the Beach Villas.

The hotel in Jurong, which sits on a 9,027 sq m site along Jurong Town Hall Road, is the first hotel to launch in the Jurong Lake District.

There are also plans to develop a business and medical hub nearby.

The Ng Teng Fong Hospital, which will be completed next year, and Jurong Community Hospital will be there. It is also possible that the area would be home to Singapore's first high-speed rail station.

Leveraging on the proximity to the lake, Mr Yap Beng Tiong, founder of Gravity+Form, a hotel design consultancy firm, says hotels can be built for medical tourists and businessmen who make work trips to the area.

His home-grown company designed the Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Hotel in Changsha and conceptualised the new Hotel Ruigao in Changde, a district city in the Hunan province, in China.

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