If you need a break from life, Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore’s Rest & Recharge package is the one for you. I went for a stay there, and here are my thoughts…
What is ‘rest’ to you? Most people would probably say sleep. Others would say getting involved in creative projects or being in touch with nature. All these are good answers; you’ll experience them at Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore. The Rest & Recharge package is a two-night stay where you’ll recharge your batteries through interesting experiences. I’m sorely in need of rest, so I checked in over the weekend to check out the hotel and the package.
A hotel inspired by nature
Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore is a 10-minute stroll from Buona Vista MRT station. The hotel isn’t immediately noticeable as it’s located within Rochester Common, an integrated development. However, it’s easily accessible via the lift.
The first thing I noticed was the expansive reception area. There’s a lot of natural light coming through thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, which I appreciated. I spotted a giant teddy bear sitting on the sofa; I reckon it was placed there to welcome visitors, particularly children. There’s a refreshment area where you can grab snacks, coffee (though unavailable when I was there), and refreshing cold lemon water. After a quick check-in, I headed off to my room.
I wasn’t kidding when I said the hotel’s inspired by nature. Behind the check-in area, there’s an entire wall covered with greenery. Large leaf murals greet you when you emerge from the lift to go to your room. Even the carpets feature leaf motifs!
A standard room with sustainability in mind
For my stay, I checked into the Deluxe Room. I wasn’t immediately amazed by the room until I saw the view, which overlooks (mostly) lush greenery and clear skies. There’s an open wardrobe, which makes it easy to stash away your luggage and hang up your clothes. The room has a smart TV, allowing you to mirror cast from your phone or laptop.
In a bid for sustainability, the hotel implemented several measures. You won’t find any bottled water in the room – only a kettle and a glass jug, which you can fill up at water refilling stations along the room corridor. There’s only a standing shower in the bathroom to minimise water wastage. I like that the toiletries are eco-friendly and smell good. It’s also a smart room: if it detects zero presence in the room after 20 minutes, everything is automatically switched off.
As part of Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore’s Rest & Recharge package, guests will receive a welcome gift containing a steam eye mask, an aromatherapy roll-on, a massage ball, and a T-stick. I used the last two items on myself and felt relief in my neck and shoulders.
Rest #1: Get your creative juices flowing
The package also includes a couple of activities, the first being a flower printing workshop guided by Youmin Yap, founder of Xiu Nature Connections. You’re given a small piece of paper, some fresh blooms, a wooden hammer, and a couple of paper towels. Place the flowers on the paper, cover them with a paper towel, and knock knock! There’s no hard and fast rule to this activity.
I didn’t devise any game plan for this; instead, I just went with the flow. I was more taken in by the hammering. Initially, it felt like I was letting go of my stress and frustrations. The constant knocking was therapeutic, in a way. I became more enthusiastic about producing a lovely flower print piece as I progressed. The end result turned out pretty well. Colour me impressed! “Wow! It looks like Van Gogh!” someone commented. *pats myself on the back*
Rest #2: Reconnecting with nature
Have you heard of forest bathing? It’s a wellness practice that dates back to the 1980s in Japan (trust them to come up with this sort of thing, eh). That’s the second activity under the Rest & Recharge package, also guided by Youmin. When I heard that I’d be taking part in this experience, I quickly read my colleague’s experience to have an idea of what I was getting myself into.
On a typical Sunday, I’d be in bed till around noon, catching up on sleep. But on this particular weekend, I was already up and about by 8am, all because of the forest bathing. “This better be worth waking up early,” I thought.
The activity was conducted at One-North Park: Fusionopolis North (yes, it’s a mouthful), a 15-minute walk from the hotel. Youmin shared her natural insect repellent, which I liberally sprayed all over. That’s the only thing I smelled throughout the excursion. Youmin led us to a spot when we arrived, and the two-hour forest bathing activity swiftly commenced. Four exercises took place, which required us to slow down and experience nature through our senses.
Full disclosure: I’m not a nature kind of person. I can appreciate it, but I’m not for immersing myself in it. That said, I genuinely enjoyed my forest bathing experience. I felt calm, grounded, and centred afterwards. And shockingly, not wholly annoyed at the bugs. Without the package and Youmin’s guidance, I wouldn’t have bothered participating in a forest bath. Would I do it again? Depending on the location, maybe.
The other type of rest you’ll get
Besides creative and spiritual rest, there’s another type of rest you’ll experience here – I’m talking about physical rest, of course! The bed was comfortable, and I had a good sleep. I was told I didn’t snore, which I consider a good thing.
The other physical rest that I got was at the pool. Did you know that exercise counts as rest too? I managed to squeeze in a good few laps after forest bathing. There’s nothing much to rave about the pool, but it’s definitely needed – especially after a long day. If you prefer to go for a workout, there’s a 24-hour gym nearby. I had a quick peep, and everything looked so shiny.
Rest you didn’t ask for, but it’s what you need
I checked out of Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore feeling fully relaxed and ready to take on the world again, all thanks to the Rest & Recharge experience. Would I consider another stay at the hotel? Truthfully, there are a couple of caveats you should know. The walk from the train station is mostly unsheltered, and given our weather, that’s not cool. Also, the hotel has no restaurants, so you’ll have to venture out (Rochester Park’s the nearest) to grab a bite.
That said, I’d still consider going back for another stay. It’s a good break from the city, and you’ll feel rejuvenated after your visit. So yes, rest is best.
Rest & Recharge at Citadines Connect Rochester Singapore, offer ends 30 June 2023, $530 nett for a two-night stay (Fri-Sun), 1 Rochester Park, Singapore 139212