Staycations haven't always been my thing, but a night at Hilton Singapore changed my mind.
Instead of simply a staycation though, I brought my mum to their highly sought-after steak-cation — an overnight stay that came with a steak (or seafood) dinner at their in-house restaurant, Opus Bar & Grill.
At $265++ (or $310 to be exact), it was a well-worth break from the monotony of the pandemic life for my mum and myself.
Located right at heart of Orchard Road, this grand old dame of a hotel has creatively come up with various food-themed staycations that are perfect for the foodies since last September.
The four includes the il Cielo Gourmet Staycation (from $345 a night) which stars Hilton's famed Italian-Japanese restaurant, High Tea, Seafood & Prosecco Staycation (from $245 a night), Family Weekend Foodie Staycation (from $315 a night), and the Opus Steak-Cation — which is what I've signed up for.
From the moment we checked in to the hotel at 3pm, the front desk arranged everything for us: evening cocktails at the Executive Lounge at the 22nd level from 5:30pm to 6:30pm, dinner at 8:30pm to 10:30pm, and breakfast the next morning at 9am.
We could even book a slot for the pool and the gym by just scanning QR codes — something we highly recommend doing the moment you check in.
It was like having a butler for a weekend.
Definitely a nice switch of pace from all the working from home, and planning your own (and your family's) schedule daily.
A chill evening
With check-in being a whizz, we quickly dropped our day luggages — which hasn't seen daylight in over a year — in our King Premium room, and headed to the rooftop pool that overlooks Orchard Road.
While I swam a few laps to work up an appetite for the feast ahead, my mum chose to read in the shade. Both great ways to start a staycation.
At closer to 5pm, we went back to our room to switch up our looks while resisting all temptations to crawl into the king-sized bed.
When 5:30pm came around, we headed up to the 22nd level for some cocktails and light bites at the Executive Lounge.
Despite the array of snacks set in front of us, only the ondeh ondeh cake took my heart. Soft, pillowy and full of flavour, this tiny cake, strangely, paired perfectly with my gin and tonic.
Mum, probably thinking about the free-flow wine at dinner later, ordered a ginger ale. We later ordered another drink — a mimosa this time round, because a champagne cocktail just screams 'vacation'.
Spent some mother-daughter time at the lounge, went back to the room to lay in the comfy bed and watched some tv before prepping again for our opulent dinner.
Steak-ing amazing night
First things first, I'm a huge fan of steaks, but my mum isn't.
Thankfully, despite being famed for their steaks, Opus Bar & Grill has got their seafood nailed down too. For our sharing platter (U.P. 178++) that came with the steak-cation package, we got the Wagyu & Lobster — 500g of Australian Wagyu sirloin with a live Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Boston lobster.
While the sirloin was a tad overdone for my liking, the flavoured salts at the side went beautifully with it.
The sauces — red wine & bone marrow, and black truffle & wild mushroom — though highly recommended by our server, was a let-down. They were diluted and added nothing in terms of flavour to the steak.
The lobster was fresh, but a tad heavy-handed on the seasoning. My mum, who has the lighter palette between the both of us, had to scrape off some of the seasoning lathered on top. The silver lining though was its sauce. Similar to a salsa, its acidity and slight spice paired perfectly with seafood.
My recommendation? If your mum, or your partner, and yourself are both steak lovers, do yourself a favour and go for the tomahawk instead. I was drooling at my table neighbours' tomahawks when their servers lit up their steaks — perfect for the #foodiegram, no?
And the best part of the dinner was the two-hour free-flow wine — take your pick between the Cabernet Sauvignon or the Sauvignon Blanc, or have them both at one go.
And if dinner isn't filling enough — though we highly doubt it — 7-Eleven and Shake Shack are just around the corner. Heck, you could even get a late-night massage at Natureland five minutes away if the in-house spa is closed for the day.
Sleeping-in is mandatory on a staycation, so that's what we did.
Breakfast was once again at Opus, but this time, instead of steaks, we have eggs.
I went for the nasi lemak (that came with a hardboiled egg) while my mum stuck to a healthier options of egg whites.
While we miss having extravagant breakfast buffets at hotels on vacations, it was nice having someone bringing all the food to you.
After which, we went window shopping at Hilton's own luxury shopping gallery directly connected to the lobby. We also dropped by D9 cakery to buy some pastries (the black sesame macaron and sourdough loaf were so good I had to go back the following week to get more).
Checked out at 12pm and ended my first official staycay in Singapore since the start of the pandemic, and I have to say, I'm kind of hooked on this sort of all-in staycations.
Aside from being able to spend some one-on-one bonding time with my mum, the weekend getaway also gave us the opportunity to just mindlessly enjoy some good food and activities.
If you're wondering about my mum's verdict, here's what she has to say about her early Mother's Day celebration: "Not bad lah."
A woman of few words she is, but I'm sure this steak-cation experience is sure to make every mother happy this Mother's Day (and beyond).