Getting to Fregate Island is an adventure in itself – cut through the...
The Rasa Sentosa Resort on Sentosa has been around for as long as I can remember – that whitewashed building with the blue lettering overlooking Siloso Beach. You’d be traipsing along the sand minding your own business, before you see a slice of what you’d imagine a family resort in Miami to look like in front of you. By that, I mean a massive pool with jet streams and fountains surrounding the area, kids skirting around the wet play area and careening down slides and swimwear-clad men and women sipping on cocktails at the poolside bar.
This immaculate picture happens under endless skies and brighter-than-marigold sunshine. I kid you not. It always drew daggers of envy from those stuck on the beach unable to cross that invisible barrier to paradise.
Last January, Rasa Sentosa Resort re-branded itself as Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort after a complete S$80 million makeover and a 10-month facelift. One year on and the hotel still has the sharp, distinct smell from fresh coats of paint and the polished wood panels.
Paradise just got even better. With Valentine’s Day coming up, this should be putting fresh ideas in your head.
Stride in to an open-air (i.e. breezy) reception area on the 5th floor once your vehicle drops you off at the driveway. Checking in was surprisingly quick and easy, and if you were already feeling like you were on a cloud while heading to the hotel, it’ll get even better upon checking in because the receptionists are incredibly friendly. (Believe us, this is worth mentioning because I’ve many a time met many grouchy faces.)
There are 454 rooms at the resort, ten room categories to select from and you’ll be spoilt for choice – the Superior Hill View,Family Garden, Family Pool View, Deluxe Sea View, Panorama, Terrace Pool View, Terrace Sea View and the Deluxe Sea View, Panorama and Sentosa suites. My corner Terrace Pool View room is perfect for romantic getaways or even a small gathering as it comes with an amazing balcony almost the same size as the room, and we can’t think of a better way to spend the night than to get in a bottle of wine, play some soft jazz and dance or lie on your personal deck chairs under the stars.
If you prefer staying indoors, the open concept bathroom allows you to soak in the tub with the option of looking out to sea. What’s best, the tub area is in a separate room from the showers and sinks so you won’t have to hop out even if someone else needs to use the bathroom.
We particularly liked the warm, homely feel of the room as well as the relaxing choice of colours – soothing accents of green and beige paint the walls with wood as the predominant material as it nicely compliments the natural environment outside. The high and firm bed also scored extra points with us.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa is a mad funhouse for adults and children alike. Other than the natural water swimming pool (meaning a minimum statutory amount of chlorine is added) and the beautiful poolside bar, there’s also The Flying Trapeze, the Sea Sports Centre and outdoor Jacuzzis – heaven for most sports enthusiasts and water lovers.
The little one would have a ball of a time here. Spanning 100 square metres over two storeys is the Cool Zone, the largest children’s club provided by a hotel locally. Free for in-house guests for children aged five to 12, Cool Zone offers children’s meals and three activity centres (Toots Club, Craft Zone and Game Zone) that are fully supervised by an experienced recreational team.
When starvation kicks in, choose from one of the seven dining and entertainment options at the resort so you’ll never have to endure the hassle of going anywhere. Dine on 3, a destination-dining concept featuring three restaurants (Casserole, Silver Shell Café and 8 Noodles) and The Bubble Bar offers a wide selection from Western, Indian, Moroccan and South East Asian casserole dishes (at Casserole) to international a la carte and buffet spreads (at Silver Shell) and Chinese noodles and roast meats (8 Noodles).
Groups of friends will also have a blast of a time at the Siloso Beach Bar or Trapizza, located a short distance away on the beach. Must-haves? The fried calamari and the Inferno crispy, thin-crust pizza.
Lastly, if you're looking for something a tad fancier, head for the Barnacles Restaurant which serves seafood and grill by the waterfront, a favourite among couples. Go early and soak in the last of the sun’s rays dipping beneath the horizon.
The main building façade might have been there for almost two decades but the entire place feels brand-new after the refurbishment. We loved that you can see and smell the sea no matter which part of the resort you might be at and the fact that there are open spaces and foliage at every turn.
Breakfast is also a highlight of the stay. This is something that the hotel is obviously not stingy about – and at 9 in the morning and as your body rouses to the colourful spread in front of you (Western, Asian, Indian and Halal) – even if you’re not a morning person, this will assure you that you made the right decision getting out of bed early. Do the egg station, nasi lemak, congee and waffles if you don’t have space for anything else.
Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa looks to exceed expectations for the next two decades, it seems. We'd definitely return, for the balcony, bed and buffet breakfast.
Couples Menu at the Barnacles, $298++ for two, inclusive of two glasses of Champagne Rose
Salmon Gravlax with Quail Egg and Grain Mustard Cream
Seared Foie Gras Bedded on Brioche Toasted Raspberry Dressing
Yin & Yang
Crispy Honey Baby Squids and Succulent Prawns Coated in Mayonnaise Sauce
Mushroom Soup Veloute
Saute Mushroom, Candied Walnut, Olive and Porcini Dust
Prawn Dumpling Soup
Double Boiled with Sakura Chicken and Fish Cartilage
Strawberry and Lemongrass Champagne Jello
Barnacles Eternal Love Combination
Grilled Beef Medallion and Lamb Cutlet, Celeriac Puree, Eggplant Caviar, Red Wine Sauce
Grilled Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Vegetables Brochette, Garlic Crush Potato, Chilli Oil and Butter Sauce
Barnacles Sweet Temptations
Signature Couples Dessert
Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort
101 Siloso Road