It took Sassy Mama’s Editor six years to get around to joining the American Club; now she’s wondering what took her so long
After six+ years in Singapore, and countless weekends mooching off friends by enjoying the facilities and delicious food at The American Club Singapore, my husband and I recently decided it was time to bite the bullet and become members ourselves. There seemed no better time than the present: our daughter is finally old enough to enjoy the awesome play facilities and camps, and there’s currently an offer on where new members can receive $6,000 in club credits during their first year of membership after joining.
We’ve been members for a little over a month and already I find myself swinging by “the club” on an almost daily basis – it’s that awesome, mamas. Here are my top 10 favorite things about The American Club (and why there’s no better time than now if you’ve been thinking about joining).
I don’t think a day has gone by where Maggie hasn’t asked to go to “the club”, and it’s mostly because she LOVES the drop-off play area fondly known as The Zone. For toddlers you’ve got a little play kitchen (Maggie’s favorite), LEGOs, train tracks, dress-up costumes, and lots of board books to read. And did we mention there are attendants so you can drop your kiddos off to play while you work, or go to the gym, or grab a drink with other grownups upstairs at the Union Bar?
Older kids flock to The Zone too for its ping-pong table, video games, birthday parties and martial arts classes. It’s also the meeting spot for the club’s popular holiday camps.
Maggie and I have both taken major advantage of this beautiful facility, one of the first new features to emerge from the club’s ongoing renovation. With over 20,000 books, not to mention 1,000 DVDs and a wide assortment of magazines, it’s truly got something for everyone, but once again it’s the children’s area that we love most. There are cute reading nooks and cushions for kids to curl up with a book (or listen to a story being read to them), not to mention a truly impressive selection of board books and popular children’s favorites. Maggie is going through a major Curious George and Arthur phase right now, and I so appreciate that we’re able to pick up a new book each visit rather than running back and forth to the bookstore (I’m not very good at saying no when it comes to books).
Adjacent to the library, the sparkling new business center (it opened in late 2016) is a quiet and comfortable place to get stuff done. There are Macs and PCs, and private rooms for meetings or phone calls, but above all I just appreciate the lightning-fast Wi-Fi, which makes it super easy to work on my laptop. There’s also a convenient self-service café counter with drinks and snacks. Needless to say, it’s quickly become part of my daily routine.
Step into this all-day dining restaurant and you might actually for a second think you’re back in the U.S.: the menu is HUGE and well-priced, with tasty American-style options ranging from hearty salads, to club sandwiches, to fish tacos and even chicken parm. As a mama I really appreciate that the vibe and staff are totally kid-friendly; I don’t know who loves the healthy kids’ menu more, Maggie or me — she swears by the grilled salmon! Pop by between 5-6pm any night of the week and you’re apt to see tables filled with families, while the kiddos happily scribble away with the provided coloring sheets and crayons.
The weekend and dinner buffets are also massively popular, so really we’re yet to scratch the surface of all the Eagle’s Nest has to offer. Let’s just say I have no worries about spending those $6,000 worth of club credits within a year.
I mean this in every sense of the word. For one thing, there’s a handy convenience store, Essentials, with basic groceries and sundries located just next to the parking garage. It also offers dry cleaning, photo-developing, UPS shipping services – even bag cleaning. And I’ve been surprised at how much I love the parking garage itself; there’s something really exciting about always being able to find a parking spot, being able to walk one minute from your car to the club entrance (no elevators required!), AND not getting charged upon exit (I know it’s part of the club fees, but the psychology of it is just amazing).
Since we live nearby, my husband loves swinging by the gym on his way to work in the morning or at the end of the day (when he may or may not be tempted by a beer at Union Bar, more on that below). It’s got a wide range of topnotch equipment and cardio machines, not to mention a full staff of personal trainers and fitness classes including spinning, yoga and Pilates. Racquet sports like tennis and squash are massively popular here, too; I can’t wait until Maggie’s old enough to start taking junior tennis classes in a couple years.
So I haven’t actually made it here yet, but you can bet I’ll be using some of those sweet, sweet credits on a massage, pedicure and/or haircut once I’ve given birth next month. I have friends who swear by the capable salon stylists here (we all know how tricky it can be finding good blonde highlights in Singapore).
Usually my first stop in the morning when I get to the club (they make an excellent ginger tea latte!), this place is like the beating heart of the club, always buzzing. You’ll see moms coming through after fitness classes, people in suits having business meetings, older couples reading newspapers, and high school kids (and me!) doing work on their laptops. They’ve even got pretty good bagels (for Singapore)! Props to the super-friendly staff for knowing my order within a week, too.
For those times when you can leave the kiddos at home, The Second Floor offers award-winning, adults-only fine dining with a mix of Asian and Western favorites (it wouldn’t be the American Club without steaks, after all!). Its also got a topnotch sommelier on staff, and the club is kind of legendary for its wine shop and popular wine tasting events.
With big-screen TVs lining the walls, American craft beers on order AND a free popcorn machine (I’m easy), Union Bar offers another transporting experience that is super fun for a divey night out with friends (or as a venue for watching big American events like the World Series or Super Bowl). I definitely look forward to enjoying a beer or two during the upcoming football season after giving birth in September!
I’ve always known the American Club touted its “home away from home” vibe, but I’ve been genuinely pleased with how warm and friendly it truly is, and how quickly our whole family has come to love visiting. And it’s only going to get way better when the brand new swimming pool opens in early 2018 (tentatively scheduled for February) along with other revamped facilities like the ever-popular bowling alley. Plus, you don’t need to be American to join — I’m actually quite impressed by how diverse the club membership is, and it’s quickly dispelled any concerns I had about disappearing into an expat bubble.
In other words, now is the time to join, mama! In order to earn those $6,000 worth of club credits, you must sign up for an Ordinary or Service membership anytime between now and December 31, 2017. What are you waiting for?!