Where: Singapore - LegoLand, Johor Bahru
Who: Mr & Mrs + 1 Little miss & 1 baby boy with Granny!
When: December 2017
What: Singapore + Legoland in Johor Bahru,Malaysia
How To Get There:
Getting to Singapore, from Manila is fairly easy as there are more than 10 flights per day from different airlines with the average time of 4 hour flight.
Getting around SG is also easy as they have a really organized transport system in singapore. But since we are a family of 4 (and a half!) we decide to hire taxi to pick us up rather than going walking around the MRT with the kids as one is a baby and may need a diaper change at random times.
ProTip: Try looking for accommodation that provide those phone with 4g internet. They usually have very helpful apps that can allow you to check traffic, and have a taxi pick you up. It was very useful on one busy saturday night show at the Supertrees where queue for taxi was unbelievable, so we tried using the app and we got picked up by a special taxi we booked in less than 5 minutes.
Where To Stay:
We stayed in 3 different hotels in our whole 6 day stay. As we have kids, we chose the most kid friendly yet still affordable type of deals.
Quincy Hotel (by: Far East Hospitality)
+Location is good and near orchard road.
+ Cool looking building
+ Cute Lobby, posh looking simple yet modern
+ Room was able to accommodate 3 adults and 1 child and 1 baby.
+ Beds was huge yet soft and nice to sleep on
+ Drinks and mini bar refilled everyday for free.
+ Free unlimited refreshments everyday, from breakfast, afterlunch and antipasto.
+ Free refillable soft serve vanilla ice cream, coffee, water, tea.
+ Nice rooftop pool, although small has a nice view of the city and a glass overlooking bldg.
+ Towels to use coffee and refreshments are all for free to use
+ Has gym and sauna open 24/7
+ Very helpful and approachable staff, even helped us book a taxi to Legoland
+ Free fast & reliable WiFi from Lobby to rooms
+ Free use of 4G enabled smart phone even outside the hotel premises.
Price: $$$ 10K - 15K ($200 - $400 USD) per night for 3 adults and 1 child and 1 baby
Service: 5 star - Service & staff were all helpful and nice.
Facilities & Amenities: 5 star - Nice rooms, good bathroom, loved their indoor pool, gym etc.
Restaurant (foods): 4.9 star - Loved breakfast to refreshments, can have more choices though.
Bar: 4.8 star - The lobby also serves as bar as you can order drinks.
Overall: 4.93 /5
Legoland Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
+ If you love lego with or without kids you will love the place
+ Rooms now have better prizes for kids compared before
+ Went to legoland theme park, left our bags at hotel due to late checkin time 3pm
+ Still love the themed rooms and space for children to sleep outside parents room (privacy!)
+ TV for both parents room and bunk bed for children
+ Very kid friendly
- You have to cross border from Singapore to Malaysia, but it is fairly easy read below on To Do.
- Very late check in time, almost 3pm
- The carpet was not thoroughly cleaned as our crawling baby picks up lots of dirt/stuff.
- Though if you have been here a couple of times, might get tired of the same rides and stuff.
- Toilet same as first stay, still smells like pee (drainage issue maybe?)
Price: $$$ 10K - 15K ($200 - $400 USD) per night for 3 adults and 1 child and 1 baby
Service: 5 star - Service & staff were all helpful and nice
Facilities & Amenities: 4 star - Nice kid friendly surrounding, but rooms not that clean.
Restaurant (foods): 4.5 star - free breakfast, many choices but nothing worth a special mention
Bar: - No Bar - kid's theme park and muslim country (Malaysia)
Overall: 4.5 /5
Festive Hotel, Resorts World
+ Very convenient if checked in here as it is very near Universal Studios and other many attraction
+ Luxurious looking hotel complex with Casino nearby and lots of restaurant and attractions.
+ Has a strip of shopping area, but limited brands only, other malls are a bit far from here.
+ Rooms were clean and spacious, and nice bed to sleep on
+ Free WiFi
+ Staff were all nice and helpful
- Far from other areas, might need taxi to get to other places quick
- Breakfast is not included with what we paid for from Agoda, I mean what kind of hotel is that?
- Nevertheless, if still paid for free breakfast, you still have to walk to another hotel for it.
- Very late checkin time 3pm then extended to 30 more minutes, staff were apologetic about it.
What To Do:
1.) Cross Borders and Go to LegoLand Malaysia
Johor Bahru, the town in Malaysia where Legoland is located is just 15-30 minute drive away from any point in Singapore. Now what makes it longer according to other people's experiences and other blogs we have read is the border crossing process which means you have to queue up for immigration.
As a family of 5 with 1 senior, 1 child and 1 baby we chose to hire a taxi instead (paying for bus fares x5 would also equate to the amount we had to pay for with a private taxi. (100SGD one way pickup from our hotel in SG to Legoland Hotel Malaysia).
Also the queue process for immigration when riding bus is that all of the passengers has to alight the bus as opposed to when riding a private taxi where we queue up for immigration without getting off the car and just showing ourselves and our passports to the immigration agent.
Protip: Just avoid the traffic or holiday rush hours in the queue (from workers employed in Singapore but living in Johor Bahru)
**Important note: Never forget to BRING your PASSPORT with you when crossing borders
2.)Get a nice view and see different shows in Gardens by the Bay.
There are many things to do at Gardens By The Bay, as it features lots of plants, flowers, much like travelling the whole botanical world. From the rarest cacti and semi giant trees that we thought we can only find in Africa (Baobab tree). The garden dome is temperature controlled an it was cool inside. Another feature was the SuperTrees which are these giant man made trees which are sustainable with lots of plants. The cloud forest is like a man made mountain with waterfalls and all different beautiful plants around.
PROTIP: There is one attraction that we thought would be nice and cool but seems we were mistaken at the Christmas Village,, which in their poster was full of snow, but when we went there, it was open air, meaning it is hot and humid and lots of people arround. We stayed there for less than five minutes then went directly out.
PROTIP#2: Avoid rush hour, or make sure you can call a taxi / or an app to book a taxi, for pickup to avoid monstrous long lines during rush hour going home.
3.) See a different perspective at the ArtScience Museum
ArtScience Museum is located within the Marina Bay area, located is this very nice museum that is a world class interactive art and science fusion-ed together with technology, culture and how they act in shaping the society. (deep!) Very good attraction for the family with kids, or older but still has room for learning and appreciation.
4.) Latest Fashion Trends & Christmas Shopping at Singapore
Singapore also has a nice and modern fashion scene, where they have all the latest and trendiest popular international fashion brands. They have big malls beside each other, with all the luxury fashion shops from Europe as well as popular American brands. Local fashion scene are also present and thriving.
The best thing about shopping here are their malls, even public restrooms are very child friendly, and most of all clean. And also, their WiFi, are very fast and reliable, just register and you get free use of it for a couple of hours.
5.) The Usual Universal Studio Drill
Universal Studios, the theme park that has dreamworks', minions, sesame street, transformers plus more films under Universal's license were all setup into thrill rides that the whole family will enjoy!
This time, we were not in a hurry and had time to try out all the rides that we haven't. Also now that little miss wanderlust was tall enough to get in the entrance for the big roller coaster, she had just bravely conquered both Battlestar Galactica rides. She was so ecstatic to have been able to ride them. While the senior who tried The mummy ride with her got a high blood pressure, and us, the not so young ones also got really tired and a bit dizzy from the rides, but both the kids had fun so we also were happy. (despite the really hot and humid temperature of Singapore!)
PROTIP: When going to theme parks, wear a dri-fit kind of shirt to have it dry quick, and have an extra shirt you can replace it with to feel fresh after all day of being in the sun.
PROTIP#2: Despite the expensive tourist prices of souvenirs in Universal Studios, ask the staff nicely for any discounted items or promos, and you might be surprised and happy with nice deals.
PROTIP #3: Don't get stuck with the other tourists taking too many pictures at the entrance, just snap a pic or two, then proceed to other rides to avoid long queues.
6.) Know Why Changi Airport is the BEST Airport in the World!
Now for 5 years in a row, the city-state's Changi Airport of Singapore has been named "world's best airport" at the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards. This was based on millions of international passenger surveys.
Among the amenities spread through its three terminals are two 24-hour movie theaters screening the latest blockbusters for free, a rooftop swimming pool and a butterfly garden. A fourth terminal has just been completed and is due to open in the second half of 2017.
Our personal experience with the airport was excellent to say the least. It was very baby and family friendly. They have state of the art and very clean toilets, that even has a live satisfaction rating just on its doors. Their baby changing station is complete with clean hot water, privacy for nursing mothers, washing station for baby's bottle, couch to wait and all which is really convenient. For the shopping loving moms, they can shop till they drop at the huuge choices of retailers from luxury to local souvenirs and products to bring home. They have not only the necessities, but even more, such as an Arcade games station just near the gate waiting for our flight, superfast free public wifi and computer stations everygate available for anyone.
Have been to Schippol, LAX, JFK, HKIA, NAIA, (LOL!) Truly the best airport in the world. Next level and Unrivaled.
There are lots more of family / and child friendly places like the Zoo, Night Safari, Shops, Restaurants, Gardens, Museums, and a lot more places for kids to enjoy and learn. Just do some research on which would you and your kids would enjoy.
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