Mum-ing is tough. It’s the best and the worst job in the world all rolled into one fun-packed, snot-stained, heart-wrenching, proud-as-punch package. We love our kids to the moon and back. BUT, sometimes we just need a break. An evening full of bubbles (of either the bath or the Champagne type) knowing we won’t have to get up at 2am (and 4am and 6am) to see to a toddler that seems impervious to sleep. And a lie in. A lie in would be lovely. There’s no shame in needing a wee break, so we say gather up your like-minded mum-mates and take yourselves off for a weekend away from Singapore with the girls. Here’s some tried, tested and oh-so-heavenly spots to get you started…
Sun, beach, spas, great boutique shopping and cocktails aplenty. Bali makes for a great family holiday, but it is also a top notch destination for a cheeky weekend away with the girls.
Where to stay: Plataran Ubud was a great base for our own girlie weekend, and the poolside cocktails were pretty decent too. Or how about trying the Goddess Retreats Bali? Surfing, yoga and spa opps galore? So much yes.
What to do: Head to Ubud for shopping, a traditional Indonesian cooking lesson and an afternoon at the exceptionally relaxing Five Elements Spa. Celebrate your day without having to break up any sibling fights with dinner at Locavore: possibly one of our favourite restaurants in the WORLD.
If the beach is what you’re craving (no need to make a single sandcastle), Sanur has a great selection of sand-side cafes and restaurants, and there’s often great little craft markets that pop up to add to the fun. Make sure you swing by to Ku De Ta in Seminyak for a sunset cocktail, and while you’re in the area why not grab a surf or boogie board and ride some waves? Probably best to put your cocktail down first. For more ideas on everything Bali with your mates, do take a look at Honeycombers Bali: it really knows its stuff when it comes to the hidden gems around the island.
Seoul, South Korea
We just took ourselves off for a VERY happy three-night trip with our Seoul sisters to check out this sprawling metropolis of beauty products, weird pet cafes (raccoon or sheep cafe anyone?) and bibimbap. So. Much. Fun.
Where to stay: We stayed in the Hamilton Hotel, Itaewon which was bang, smack in party central if nightlife is the name of your game. It was comfy, clean and cheap as chips, so definitely ticked all the boxes. If it’s a bit of luxe you’re after then you can’t go wrong with Hilton Seoul Grand Palace.
What to do: If you have time, it’s definitely worth trying the DMZ tour with Koridoor Tours. Our trip, led by the very charming and informative Vincent, was hugely interesting and gave us a quick and important history lesson about the divide, the consequences and the hopes for reunification that have been part of Korea’s landscape since the 1950s. Fascinating stuff.
Don’t forget to also leave a LOT of room in your luggage allowance for all the shopping you WILL be doing: beauty products are cheap, cheap and in such abundance that it will be impossible to resist. Keep an eye out for the gorgeous vintage shops dotted all over town, and if you’re feeling weary, take the weight off with a large portion of fried chicken and beer. Next, work it all back off in the Gangnam area doing ‘that’ dance.
Also: botox. Head to Ever Skin Clinic in Itaewon for a friendly, informative service that involves a free consult. It gets busy, so book ahead to save wrinkling your brow with disappointment. We *may* have given it a go and we *may* be pretty chuffed with the results.
When you’re done beautifying, stop by Gyeongbokgung Grand Palace, hire a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) and pose all around the lovely grounds perfecting your whimsical look. Join a free tour if you can for the full lowdown on what went down here back in the day…
We aced Hong Kong ourselves entirely solo, and loved every single second of it. With a flight time of less than four hours, and super speedy connections into the city, this is a girls’ weekend destination we highly recommend.
Where to stay: If you can afford a splurge, the Mandarin Oriental is in a great location with views over the harbour. Plus we love the in-house ‘pub’ for a nightcap before bed. If you’d rather spend your budget on roof top cocktails, then The Upper House is superb and has amazing panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. It’s right on top of Admiralty MRT station, so nice and easy for getting about from, and it offers free yoga sessions at the weekend!
What to do: Hop on the No.6 bus and wind your way through Wan Chai to the picturesque town of Stanley, and then come back and sail across the harbour on the Star Ferry. continue your adventures around the Mongkok area for markets galore.
Once night has fallen head up the hill to the Lan Kwai Fong area for buzzy vibes, funky music and cheap drinks. Or if it’s cocktails with a view you’re after, it’s got to be the Ozone Bar on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong: it’s the highest bar in the world! Don’t forget to check out our sister site, Honeycombers Hong Kong for all latest on all the cool happening in Hong Kong right now.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Easy to get to (the flight is around two hours) and with plenty for everyone, Koh Samui makes a gorgeous destination with or without the family in tow.
Where to stay: We have a big soft spot for Chaweng Regent Beach Resort along Chaweng Beach, which is perfectly located at the quieter end of the beach for sun-lazing and dipping off in the ocean. Rocky’s Boutique Resort in Lamai has great chilled-out vibes, and if it’s all-out decadence you’re after then it has to be the Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui. Think private beaches, a swim reef, outdoor massage pavilions and six restaurants!
What to do: Take it easy with massages, pool and beach time, great food and shopping or go on an adventure into the Ang Thong National Marine Park. And if you’re craving sunset moments complete with exceptional food and traditional entertainment, Big John’s Seafood Restaurant on secluded Lipa Beach ticks the boxes.
Bangkok: the city that never sleeps and offers so much fun for a weekend away with your mum-mates. A quick flight will have you there in time for sundowner drinks on a Friday evening. We tried, we tested and we didn’t want to leave.
Where to stay: Ariyasom Villa is a peaceful garden oasis at the start of Sukhumvit Road and hits the nail on the getaway head for a good location, lovely outdoor pool, retro Thai decor and a pampering spa. The onsite organic restaurant is a winner too. If there are a few of you
escaping travelling together, why not get an apartment to use as your base? We like the Ascott Sathorn Bangkok which has one to three bedroom apartments, spa, pool, wine bar and bistro.
What to do: Probably best to avoid a ‘Hangover’ type weekend, but as you’ll be there without the kids, why not give Patpong a whirl? Bangkok’s red light district is quite the experience! Not only will you pick up plenty of tacky t-shirts and essential souvenirs, you’ll also be mesmerised (and possibly appalled) at some of the more ‘colourful’ sights!
If you’re feeling cultured, spend a couple of peaceful hours at The Grand Palace and then move on to Wat Pho for more glittering gold temples and a really great massage.
Khao San Road is a must for pretending to be an extra in The Beach and testing your nerve trying deep-fried insects on a stick, and Sirocco Bar should be on your itinerary for pricy but delicious cocktails with a view.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Beaches, the prettiest of historical towns, culture aplenty and great food make Hoi An a perfect destination for a quick getaway. We’ve been with and without the kids, and never tire of its charm.
Where to stay: If it’s beach you’re after then Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa is divine. It’s a little out of Hoi An itself out on Cu Dai Beach, but is an easy bike ride (or taxi ride if you’re feeling lazy) away. For a lovely boutique pick a five-minute stroll from town, La Siesta Resort & Spa makes a great base.
What to do: Hoi An is THE place for tailoring so if your wardrobe needs some help, one of your first ports of call should be one of the dozens of tailor shops scattered throughout the old town. Cooking lessons, spa days, bike rides into the padi fields, shopping without nagging kids and rambling around the adorable town are also a must.
You’re all set, mum. Gather your friends, and start planning!
Top image: Wang Xi via Unsplash
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