If you have a significant other, February can be a stressful time. Along with the occasional presence of Chinese New Year, the second month of the year also plays host to Valentine’s Day. According to popular legend, St. Valentine was a priest during the Roman era. When the emperor decided that single men made better soldiers, he outlawed marriage for all of them. Realising the injustice of the situation, St. Valentine continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret and was finally put to death when his actions were discovered.
This is but one of the many legends associated with the patron saint of love, but regardless of whether you choose to believe the story, Valentine’s Day has become an important way to celebrate romance. Some people take this opportunity to splurge on their significant other, while there are others who prefer a low-key celebration or something more affordable. Below are 4 different ways you can splurge on your partner or – if you are like most of us who can’t really afford them – their more frugal alternatives.
Being surrounded by water is sometimes the Little Red Dot’s biggest challenge, but it also means that residents have access to a whole range of water-related activities. One luxurious option that many don’t consider all that often is yachting. There are multiple yacht providers operating out of the country’s harbours who offer short or long excursions. For something a little more extravagant than usual, maybe a private trip to one of Singapore’s outlying islands for a day in the sun could be in order. One provider is Marina at Keppel Bay, which offers a large fleet with varying rates depending on the boat’s size as well as how long you book it for.
For the rest of us: Taking a cruise down the Singapore river is a popular way to see the sights, and can be extremely scenic depending on the time of day you choose to go. Singapore River Cruise and Duck & Hippo both offer cruises all along the river, and for a more impressive date, you can also charter the whole bumboat for your private usage.
Even though it’s a common choice, taking your date out to a meal never goes out of fashion. Singapore has a wide range of establishments that specialise in so many cuisines that it would be impossible to try them all. Furthermore, now that Michelin has made its mark on Singapore’s foodies, check out their yearly selections which include some of the country’s most up-and-coming restaurants that range from ultra fine dining to casual cafés.
For the rest of us: It doesn’t have to be expensive or ranked on a list, but you can still choose to up your game by being more adventurous in your food choices. Instead of our daily Asian fare, maybe try an affordable European bistro or a neighbourhood cafe. Or change it up with specialty Japanese cuisine at a restaurant that features either ramen, tonkatsu, or nabe. No matter where you decide to go, don’t forget to make reservations early!
If Hollywood movies are to be believed, there’s hardly anything more romantic than travelling with your partner (airport chase scene optional!). Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week this year, but it is also close to Chinese New Year. If you can manage to get a few extra days off, you could plan a quick getaway. Perhaps a regional frolic in the Japanese mountains, or shopping in the bustling heart of Hong Kong? For longer trips, you can even consider the currently chilly lands of the Swiss Alps for a ski trip or a relaxing beach frolic in the Maldives.
For the rest of us: If your finances don’t allow you to casually fly off, consider taking some leave and having a staycation at one of Singapore’s many amazing hotels. Glamping has also become quite popular now that Glamping City has thrown open its flaps, and could be a well-priced option for a couple looking to relax under the stars and enjoy the sea breeze at East Coast Park.
If you are the type of couple who loves bonding over a good massage, splurging on a high-end couple’s spa treatment would be the perfect way to wind down and relax on your romantic day. The occasional dreariness of city living cannot be overstated in our dense island nation, but some luxury spas have managed to find enclaves of greenery among the urban jungle. Depending on your preference, you may want to find a place that specialises in a certain style of massage or one that provides a high level of privacy. Some of Singapore’s most reputable spas include the spas at The Westin, the St. Regis Singapore, Mandarin Oriental, and ESPA at Sentosa.
For the rest of us: There are many independent spas that offer massages and other treatments at much lower price points as compared to the ones above. However, this doesn’t mean they are of poor quality. Another option is going to a more expensive spa but being more selective with your package. Instead of a half day couple’s retreat, you could just spend on a 2-hour massage if that’s what the both of you are really interested in getting.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a boring affair if you put a fresh spin on familiar things. The above are good excuses to spend on your loved one, but ultimately, the amount that you choose to spend is not as important as the time that you have with your significant other. Whether you decide to splurge on a Michelin star meal or cook together before enjoying a movie at home, your care for each other is what should take centre stage.