There’s a place in the far south of Singapore where, perched on a knoll and overlooking the South China Sea, I feel like I’m in heaven on earth. Possibly my favourite hotel on the island — and on Sentosa Island — Capella Hotel is where I go when I want to get away.
Surrounded by 30 acres of lush rainforest, the six-star property features contemporary architectural buildings with curved designs sitting adjacent to white-painted bungalows that conjure up memories of Singapore’s colonial heritage. Combining the best of the old and new, everything from the amenities to the art on the expansive walls are what you’d expect of a luxury hotel; while the charm of the place is old world.
The elegant resort has 112 villas and suites, including 57 Premier guestrooms, 15 suites, 38 villas and two colonial manors. There’s also a luxury spa, a business centre, two restaurants and a bar, a reading room, meeting facilities, three cascading outdoor pools and a sculpture garden. But what I love most about the resort is the quiet ambience and sense of serenity I feel whenever I’m there.
One weekend in April, I went for a much-needed overnight break at the hotel. After being received in one of the historic Tanah Merah — the Malay word for “red earth” — buildings and spending all of five minutes checking-in, I was led to my room along an unbroken walkway that extended from the colonial house to the modern, curved annex. On the way, I studied the verdant garden courtyard, an area enclosed by the buildings, and couldn’t help but think of the similarities of the surroundings to Singapore itself. Like a tropical destination and concrete jungle all in one.
“What I love most about the resort is the quiet ambience and sense of serenity I feel whenever I’m there.”
There are some hotels I’ve stayed at where, no matter how grand and luxurious, I never really feel that comfortable in. But Capella always feels somewhat like a home away from home. After unpacking and reading a few welcome cards — including one from my dedicated Personal Assistant, Yoshie, as well as one from Daniel, the Front of House Manager — I did what I always do on a Saturday afternoon: relax.
Thanks to the warm and inviting palettes of the room — made so with wooden accents, floor to ceiling windows, comfortable furnishings and sumptuous materials — it was quick and easy to settle in. While running a bath, I looked out from the en-suite bathroom window to the vista of bougainvillea trees and foliage, so vibrant and eye-catching; it almost distracted me from the sea view beyond. This silent appreciation for the natural setting continued as I immersed in the deep soaking tub, indulging in a bubble bath to soothe the last of my cares away.
Following a nap — another regular Saturday afternoon activity for me — I went for dinner at Cassia, the hotel’s fine Cantonese restaurant (I talk about my dining experience there in another review). Though I contemplated dropping by Bob’s Bar, the Cuban-inspired hotel bar with the best al fresco area to lounge at on daybeds under huge fan blisks, I thought I’d head back to enjoy my room a little more.
The Premier Room, where I was billeted at, is the hotel’s standard guest accommodation. But Capella is known for having the most spacious rooms in the city, which meant that there was more than enough room for myself, plus one. Along with the wide bedroom area, the bathroom and wardrobe space takes up a substantial amount in the 77-square metre sanctuary.
There’s also nothing ‘basic’ about the accommodation option. Besides complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments in the mini fridge, a working table, a 46-inch flat screen LCD TV and a state-of-the-art bedside touch panel control for lighting, air condition and curtains/blinds, all Premier Rooms also feature a balcony and sofa that comfortably sits up to four. It’s also where I spent most of my time post-dinner, looking out at the twinkling lights of the ships sailing past.
Apart from the aforementioned bathtub, there is also an open concept black stone rainforest shower, complete with Aesop amenities; and a toilet in another enclosure separated by a heavy swinging door. His and her sinks are positioned directly behind the head of the king-size bed, and complimentary toiletries are offered up in a box that sit between the sinks.
Finally, when it was time for bed, I nestled in the soft Pratesi linens and sent up a silent ‘thank you’ to whoever thought to include the beside touchscreen control so I could close the curtains and blinds without having to get out of my cocoon. I got a solid night’s sleep that night.
“I sent up a silent ‘thank you’ to whoever thought to include the beside touchscreen control so I could close the curtains and blinds without having to get out of the bed.”
The next morning, as I made way to breakfast, I was halfway there when I noticed a peacock just a way ahead. With no one around, I followed it as it slowly made its way down the stairs and around the corner to the restaurant, as if it knew where to go to get some food too. It was surprising as I felt like I was being accompanied by this exotic animal, and wondered for a moment how the hotel had been convinced to let it roam around so freely. But then I thought, perhaps it also feels like Capella is a home away from home.
Where: Capella Singapore, Member of leading hotels of the world.
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island
Phone: +65 6377 8888
Note– The critic was invited by the Capella Singapore. But all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.