We love our kids, but sometimes we need a teeny tiny break away from it all. Here's our list of easy-to-get-to destinations we love for a weekend away with the girls!
Mum-ing can be tough. It’s both the best and the hardest job in the world all rolled into one fun-packed, heart-wrenching, proud-as-punch package. Of course, 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 kind!), 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! Yes, please.
Living in Singapore, we are close to loads of lovely holiday spots that aren’t too far away. So we say, gather up your like-minded mum-mates and take yourselves off for a weekend away from Singapore with the girls. Here are some of our favourite tried, tested and oh-so-heavenly spots to get you started…
1. Desaru Coast
If you’re short on time and don’t want to be a flight away, you can’t go past Desaru Coast for a sure-fire fun-filled girls’ getaway. From luxurious resorts such as the Anantara and One and Only, complete with beautiful spas, the hotels are in close proximity to Els Golf Course if you fancy a round! Check out our HoneyKids Guide to Desaru Coast for more inspo.
2. Batam, Indonesia
A short ferry ride away for two days of pampering? Sounds like heaven to us! Tempat Senang is a favourite among the expat crowd of Singapore, with spa packages starting from $230. Best of all, you can choose to stay overnight or do a day trip – home in time to kiss the kids goodnight, but with a full day of relaxation, good food and bubbles under your belt!
3. Bintan, Indonesia
Our big sis Honeycombers has a list of the best luxury hotels in Bintan, and we want to try every one of them! With our girlfriends, we’d pick the Sanchaya. We can also highly recommend Nikoi Island and their sister hotel, adults-only Cempadek, for rustic luxury and time out from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.
3. Bali, Indonesia
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. If you’re an active bunch, check out Goddess Retreats Bali for surfing, yoga and spa opps galore. Head to Ubud or Seminyak for shopping, traditional Indonesian cooking lessons and afternoons at the exceptionally relaxing spas.
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 are often great little craft markets that pop up to add to the fun. Make sure you swing by Ku De Ta in Seminyak for a sunset cocktail, and while you’re in the area, why not grab a board and ride some waves? Probably best to put your cocktail down first, but not before enjoying a gorgeous meal at one of the trendy restaurants and cafes in Canggu. Finish the day with sunset cocktails at one of Bali’s many beach bars.
For details on everything Bali with your mates and where to eat, stay and spa, take a look at Honeycombers Bali. Our team there really know their stuff when it comes to the hidden gems around the island!
4. Seoul, South Korea
We highly recommend a three-night trip with your Seoul sisters to check out this sprawling metropolis of beauty products, weird pet cafes (raccoon or sheep cafe, anyone?) and bibimbap. So. Much. Fun. Stay at the Hamilton Hotel, Itaewon, which is bang, smack in party central if nightlife is the name of your game. It’s comfy, clean and cheap as chips, so definitely ticks all the boxes. If it’s a bit of luxury you’re after, then you can’t go wrong with the Swiss Grand Hotel, Seoul.
If you have time, we think it’s definitely worth trying the DMZ tour with Koridoor Tours. The tours are hugely interesting and act as 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 they will be impossible to resist. And K-Beauty is world-renowned! 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.
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…
5. Hong Kong
With a flight time of less than four hours and super speedy connections into the city, Hong Kong is a girls’ weekend destination we highly recommend. 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 rooftop 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!
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 one of the highest bars 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.
6. 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. We have a big soft spot for Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort, located on a tranquil stretch of sand near a fisherman’s village, and is a five-star luxury all the way. Try a Thai cooking course, then work off the amazing cuisine at the tennis courts. There’s also a library, spa, infinity pool, restaurants, bars and plenty more for a relaxing girls’ getaway!
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.
7. Bangkok, Thailand
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. 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.
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 by trying deep-fried insects on a stick, and Sirocco Bar should be on your itinerary for pricy but delicious cocktails with a view. Check out the Honeycombers Guide to Bangkok for more inspo!
8. Hoi An, Vietnam
Beaches, the prettiest of historical towns, culture aplenty and great food make Hoi An a perfect destination for a quick getaway with your girlfriends. We’ve been with and without the kids and never tire of its charm. 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. If you really want to splash out, check out the Intercontinental Danang Sun Peninsula.
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. Make sure you pay a visit to Morning Glory for a Vietnamese feast – it’s an institution and a must-visit!
You’re all set, gals! Gather your friends, and start planning!
Top image: Koh Samui Chaweng Beach