Sentosa has always been the glittering getaway for many locals who can’t afford the time to go through the process of getting onboard a plane. It’s hardly the Maldives, but what we appreciate about our little island are the wide open spaces under a blanket of cerulean blue, clean beaches and stacks of attractions and activities which could keep you suitably entertained for days. Just bring along enough cash.
When days turn to nights and a place to stay is all you ask for (because returning to your flat would be a total anti-climax), Sentosa has several properties for you to select from. We bring you our two of our favourites – here’s Part One.
Capella feels like its own private island. Tucked away in a quiet enclave, the noise levels slowly dissipate and you start to hear chirping birds as you roll in the long driveway. The hotel stands at the top of a gentle hill, like a modern white colonial building topped with a rust-coloured roof.
It’s easy to see why Capella has an esteemed spot in the hearts of those who have gone before us. The very fact that it’s difficult to believe that this marvellous property is in Singapore is a good starting point.
Help yourself to a welcome drink and cold scented towels as you enter the reception area, which appears more like a well-furnished living room. Checking in will take less than five minutes, after which your Personal Assistant will escort you to your room and run through all the gadgets and amenities in your room with you. Yes, your Personal Assistant, whom you’re free to call 24/7 for any request at all. We were very tempted to ask for hawker food takeaways.
Capella easily offers one of the most spacious accommodations in Singapore. Distinctly set apart from the cookie-cutter mould of hotel rooms in the city, each room category is bigger than the average and adopts the maxi bar concept, which means that everything at the bar area (juices, chocolates, Nespresso capsules and tea) is complimentary.
With a total of 112 guest rooms including 61 premier guest rooms, 11 suites, 38 villas featuring private outdoor showers and bathtubs and two Colonial Manors, there’ll be one right up your alley. The premier guest rooms all boast an unparalleled panoramic view of the South China Sea, and there’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and being greeted by the stunning view from your bed with just the touch of a button.
Alternatively, stretch out on the long couch right by your window with a book or a steaming cup of coffee to start your day. Let’s be honest, it’s a battle between two bests.
However, if you prefer your own secret hideaway enshrouded in foliage, opt for the villa. These will transport you to dream about the house you never had – the high ceilings, modern art in your cavernous living room and a bathroom the size of your bedroom, coupled with an outdoor shower area – which is more than divinely ideal.
The best part about the villa? Your own pool and pair of deck chairs the moment you open the sliding doors. Get a bottle of wine and swim under the stars. Also, skinny-dipping is no longer offensive with a private pool like this one.
With two outdoor cascading pools, one lap pool and the beach at your disposal, there’s no way you’re not soaking up some sun and getting wet during your stay. Food-wise, choose from the smorgasbord of Chinese at Cassia; a fine-dining restaurant designed by Hong Kong’s famed Andre Fu, The Knolls for Mediterranean fare and Sunday brunch and Bob’s Bar for an evening martini.
Auriga Spa at Capella, countless times voted Best Spa in Singapore, offers 12,000 square feet of contemporary Asian space with nine experience rooms with private gardens for a distinct indoor/outdoor adventure. Take our word for it – don’t leave without booking yourself a treatment here.
The Little Things
The whole experience at Capella feels unreal and veritably out of this country. There are no elated, screaming kids running around, just sedate couples walking about hand in hand. There are no snaking lines to enter restaurants or to check in, and you float through each activity you choose to do like you’re the only one in the hotel. Point is, the grounds are so massive that you barely feel the presence of anyone else staying there.
Service was impeccable, from your buggy driver to your Personal Assistant to the random staff greeting you as you walk along the corridors. They never fail to greet you by name – how they remember such details is beyond me.
Needless to say, if I could pick somewhere for my next staycation, birthday party, wedding, anniversary, I’d ditch the other options for this one. Follow my example.
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island