In my previous post, I had talked about arriving in Singapore, and checking into our hotel to serve our SHN. It’s great that the government is taking great lengths to welcome its overseas residents home, and taking such good care of us. At the same time, this can also save our tourism industry. Even the receptionist we met at check-in agreed with this!
Entertaining an active toddler
Our jetlag seemed to disappear pretty quickly – we adjusted to Singapore’s time zone almost immediately. With the lack of sleep, I was still exhausted and unable to keep up with J Boy’s activity level. So we resorted to screen time, and lots of it! Chromecast + iPhone games sure have saved our sanity! And no, I’m not guilty of it – parents need their down time too!
We’d packed 3 toy cars for J Boy for the trip, so these entertained him a little bit too. We also built a fort (under J Boy’s suggestion) with the huge quilts. In the days that followed, he would also build structures with the multitude of water bottles we collected from our meals. We have to find creative ways to distract J Boy.
With the super huge bed (two adjoining double beds), J Boy found himself lots of space to bounce around safely!
The hotel’s awesome Wellness Team also checks up on us on a daily basis. On Day 1, they sent up some (very interesting) colouring sheets with colour pencils for J Boy. We later learned that their main priority was to ensure our wellbeing was in a tip-top condition.
It isn’t fun being confined in a room, even if it were a hotel room. The fact that it’s a hotel room (especially a 5-star one) definitely makes the situation better though! We couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to serve our SHN with such comfort.
I’ve received several questions from friends and family about my stay, so I thought I’d talk about them here. Feel free to post more questions and I will address them in a subsequent post!
Do you have to pay for your meals?
No, all 3 meals plus a snack are paid for.
Is food the same every day?
No, they’re different every day.
Do you get to choose your food?
There is only one choice for breakfast and afternoon snack, but we get to choose between two options for lunch and dinner. Usually it’s between chicken or fish, but sometimes we get pork or seafood. Every few days, we receive a Google form through WhatsApp to make our choices.
Is the food good?
We receive catered food (not hotel food), and they’re usually warm if we collect it at the doorstep right after they arrive. The food is mostly fine – not the best, but not bad either. We definitely cannot complain, since it’s free and we still get our tummies full!
Do you get to do laundry?
Yes, we get to use the hotel’s laundry service, and each of us are entitled to 3 pieces of clothing a day. Additional pieces are chargeable.
Do you have to pay for anything at all??!
We do not have to pay for the hotel stay, nor transportation from the airport. If you simply serve out your SHN without extra requests, then you do not need to fork out a single cent. We receive basic hotel amenities upon request (we fill in a Google form every day to make our requests), like toilet paper, or even tea bags and coffee capsules.
Can you leave the room but remain within the hotel’s vicinity?
No, it’s compulsory that we remain in the room at all times. The ICA officers call us twice daily through WhatsApp video chat, and we have to show that we are in the hotel room. We also receive unannounced random visits from ICA where we have to present our physical self to them at the door.
Do you get a change in linen or towels?
The hotel provides new towels 3 times a week on set days, and we will place our dirty towels in a bag they provide and place it at our door. On the 7th day (Day 6), we also receive new bedsheets, pillow cases and quilt covers to replace our used ones. However, it also means that we have to change them ourselves. Since we are extremely unskilled in handling heavy linen, we kinda screwed up our change of quilt covers 😅.
Will anyone clean your room?
No one is allowed to enter our room, so we have to make sure our room is clean and in a liveable condition. We managed to request for a vacuum cleaner (the super effective and powerful type that hotels use) to do the cleaning ourselves.
With limited options of things to do in a confined area, we feel like we are just looking forward to receiving our food all the time. So without further ado, I present to you our meals for Days 1 and 2!
In the next post, I will talk about how my first work week went during our SHN.