Gardenasia is a delightfully rustic pet-friendly farmstay villa located in the rural surrounds of Singapore’s Kranji farmlands.
Finding a place in Singapore to have a staycation with a dog is difficult. Finding a place in Singapore to have a staycation with a dog heavier than 10kg is ascending-Mount-Everest-without-a-sherpa level of difficulty. We can literally count on one hand the number of hotels that allow bigger-sized dogs without ridiculously onerous terms and conditions.
So when we were looking to do a staycation with our approximately 17kg Singapore Special – she fluctuates between 15-19kg – we expanded our search beyond hotels.
We chanced upon on Farmstay Villas at Gardenasia, located in Kranji.
There was a lot of hesitation over Gardenasia. After all, I prefer pampered luxury – full-on all-day air-conditioning, easy access to good food – over rural adventures.
We took a chance.
Our first impression of Gardenasia was of exclusivity. There are three villas available for booking, each accommodating a maximum of four people. Only one – Camellia Villa – is dog-friendly. At 100% occupancy, there are just 12 guests in the compound. And your dog(s) are the only ones. Which is, of course, very good if you have a reactive dog.
We ended up as the only guests on the second night of our weekday staycation so the entire villa became a private resort for us. Win.
The 50sqm villa itself is spacious and clean. It’s designed in a loft style, so there is a queen bed on the ground floor, and two single beds on the second floor in the attic space. The aircon is strong enough to fully cool the ground floor but note that the aircon flow doesn’t go all the way up so it is a little warmer to sleep in the attic. It’s mitigated by a wall fan.
Basic amenities are provided. Standard hotel-sized mini fridge, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo and towels. All for humans only though. No dog-specific amenities. Gardenasia also doesn’t provide daily housekeeping, but they will deliver extra amenities to the room if and when needed. We asked for ice to keep the dog’s food – and the wine we brought along – cool. They were happy to send ice buckets over daily.
There’s a very decent sized and well-maintained swimming pool on the villa premises (for humans only, alas, not dogs). We loved getting some laps in while enjoying the sunset. The quietness of the countryside made it feel like we were on some ulu island getaway. And while it might seem like a great idea to hang by the poolside after dark, we’d highly recommend you return to your mosquito-free villa as soon as the sun goes down. Those blood suckers really come out in full force after dark. A five-minute dash out for Juju’s last pee before bedtime earned us some serious bites.
Which is part of the reason why we ended up dining in both nights. If you don’t drive, or feel lazy to drive out for food, you can place a dinner order with Gardenasia Bistro to be delivered to your villa. We did that for the first night and the food was so good we ordered in again for our second night. This is coming from someone who would rather eat cup noodles than order room service, so that’s saying a lot.
Our top picks go to Traditional Fish & Chips and Assam Fish Chowder. If you want something lighter, go for the salad options. Gardenasia Bistro sources all their greens from the surrounding farms – so they are super fresh. And you get to support local! You can also dine at the Gardenasia Bistro itself as well. With your dog in tow. Staff are extremely tolerant of dogs, and part of the eatery is sectioned off properly – with latched gates – for your canine pet’s safety.
A good alternative if you want to eat something other than food from the bistro is Bollywood Veggies, just a five-minute drive away. Definitely plan for a meal there, and let your dog go crazy in their vast garden which is open to dogs to roam – owner Ivy Singh is a dog lover and has a Singapore Special herself.
Some things to note. Gardenasia is still a working nursery so there are noises as the staff work in the gardens. You will get occasional noise from planes taking off at the nearby Tengah airbase. Also, Gardenasia is home to 25 cats and two dogs. The dogs are with staff at all times, but you will encounter a few cats roaming in the compound, so be aware if your dog has a high prey drive.
Verdict: Gardenasia Farmstay Villas offer an excellent staycation opportunity for those looking for a rural getaway, but is also priceless for those who want to bring their dogs along.
You can find out more about Gardenasia Farmstay Villas here.