We love the hustle and bustle of city life, but we also crave peace and quiet. That's why Capella on Sentosa island is our new favorite destination in Singapore.
Singapore might not be the first place you think of when looking for a relaxing vacation. For many travelers, the tiny city state conjures up images of bustling city streets crammed into every inch of its small island. However, as we discovered on our last trip, this is not all this tiny southeast Asian country it has to offer. Over the past few years, Singapore has become one of our favorite cities, and with good reason! Between the food, the sights, and the culture, there’s a lot to do and see. But on this trip to Singapore we discovered another dimension to its charm - Sentosa Island.
The best way to describe Sentosa Island, is to imagine a private tropical retreat in the middle of the city. This small island is connected to the main inland of Singapore by a bridge – although there is also the option to arrive by cable car if you want to make a dramatic entrance. Singapore’s fourth largest island (not counting the main island) has been given over to tourism and is home to several resorts, casinos, an aquarium and two golf courses. It also has some of Singapore’s best beaches, and our destination - the Capella Singapore.
When we pulled up to Capella we weren’t greeted by doormen a standard doorman -- instead our welcome came from a flock of peacocks grazing outside the hotel entrance. It was certainly fun to see a dozen or so of these brightly colored creatures just cruising along minding their own business!
The next thing we noticed was the grand historic entrance. The hotel grounds are home to several historic colonial buildings dating back to the British era. These have been tastefully incorporated into the design, and give a sense of what life must have been like back in colonial times. This is not all the hotel has to offer in terms of design however, and its main body is housed in an interesting modern building, which curves between the old mansions and gives the place a distinct character. Scattered between these are tropical green gardens which add a peaceful atmosphere to the grounds.
During our visit to the Capella Singapore, we stayed in one of the small private villas tucked away on the spacious property. In a city as small and as crowded as Singapore -- having a private villa provided us privacy, and a tranquil place to call home amongst the greenery of Sentosa Island.
The size and style of the villas at Capella Sentosa are incredible! Our's was very spacious; with a private pool (too bad the weather wasn't on our side), a large living room, and a generous bathroom with closet. The thing which really stole my heart however, was the huge basket of tropical fruit and the stuffed peacocks (complete with personal note addressed to us) waiting in the room on arrival. What a welcome!
The hotel was scoring full marks so far, and this continued with the dining options. There are two main restaurants, as well as a bar serving light snacks and the option to hire a private space and personal chef for special occasions. Breakfast was served in ‘The Knolls’ - the Mediterranean restaurant which overlooked the hotel pools. It consisted of a beautiful buffet of fresh juices, (they even had fresh coconut water served in coconuts as you arrived), fruit, eggs, as well as all the other breakfast usuals.
For main meals though, we preferred Cassia. If you’re craving some good Cantonese food you must come here. The atmosphere is gorgeous and elegant (so it’s definitely a nice meal out), and the food is delicious! Singapore has long been home to a large Chinese community thanks to its strategic position on the world’s trading routes. This tradition shines through in Cassia’s food, and dishes such as the suckling pig and imperial bird's nest soup are as good as any served in China.
Another of our favorite spots was the bar. I’m a sucker for good cocktails, a good atmosphere and good company! At Bob’s Bar we had all three, and made even some new friends - the free roaming peacocks on property! Like clockwork, wild peacocks would appear at happy hour around Bob's Bar (knowing that this meant bar snacks in abundance) looking for some friends to share a meal with. Having cocktails with peacocks was a first for us! Even without this fun feature, the bar was already excellent. The cocktails are amazing, and our bartender Flora, knew how to make our favorite classics. She whipped up Old Fashioned's and Sazeracs for us, made with her own special twist.
When we weren’t in the bar, we were often relaxing at the pool. This was a well designed affair, set on a slope which allowed for an infinity effect with one pool dropping down onto the next. It was a very peaceful spot, and the water was shaded with lush greenery and exotic trees.
The hotel is also home to a spa which has been given a five star rating by Forbes. Among its many facilities, it has a herbal steam room, an ice fountain, a gym and an organic pharmacy which provides a range of products made from local ingredients. There is of course, an abundance of massages and other treatments available.
The island of Sentosa is all about relaxation, and this can largely be done within your resort. It is worth venturing out however, to visit the island’s beaches. The island is also home to an entertainment district where you can find the aquarium, several nice shops and restaurants and the Universal Studios theme park. Singapore’s city center is also easily accessible, with attractions like Marina Bay, Orchard Road and Little India all within twenty minutes of Capella. Should you choose to venture out of Sentosa Island the hotel also has a personal assistant service to help you make the most of your visit to Singapore.
This resort was a great way to switch gears during our time in Singapore. It was the perfect place to retreat to after staying in the busy center, and giving us the chance to “get away” from city life for a few days. It achieves this without leaving you stuck in the middle of nowhere which is always an added bonus. It is impressive that Singapore had managed to find space for such a peaceful place within its limited territory. Capella is a great hotel for travelers who want something a little different from the average Singapore experience without sacrificing access to all the usual attractions.
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