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Capella Singapore – a corner of paradise on Sentosa Island

October 20, 2018

Hotels & SpasLifestyle | by Harry Seymour

Pulling up to the Capella hotel in Singapore, on Sentosa Island, the first thing you see is the cream-coloured façade of an 1880’s colonial British Officer’s barracks. But initial appearances can be deceiving, for behind the milky plaster and regal stucco, lies a huge, modernist structure built from sheet glass and ochre-metal cladding shaped like a giant kidney bean, that is more Bond villain layer than Victorian decorum.

This front piece, which is home to the reception, a library full of sweets and drinks, and the office for guest’s dedicated butler service, is of course elegant and refined, but doesn’t bely the majesty of what it hides. Behind, is a sweeping veranda with steps housing Bob’s Bar (a fantastic cocktail bar), a restaurant, three South China Sea-facing infinity pools, and then, Sentosa Island’s beach.

No matter which level you find yourself on, there are well-pressed staff on hand to provide refreshing drinks, or at the push of an ‘attention’ button, snacks and Aesop brand sun cream to your double-sized sun loungers. There is also an afternoon tea salon which dishes up the finest pastries and cakes for those wishing to duck out the afternoon sun.

The poolside restaurant The Knolls is run by Italian chefs who can prepare the finest Mediterranean cuisine, both on and off menu, using fresh fish and locally sourced fruit and vegetables. Back in the older building, there is one of the finest Cantonese restaurants; Cassia, which has intimate private dining rooms for the authentic experience. Both feature fine crockery, elegant views and verandas, and sublime interiors that err perfectly on the correct side of lux-touch.

Inside the 112 rooms (including a range of suites and manors), which are both sea and garden facing (the joys of providing the architect – in this case none other than Norman Foster – with free-reign); in the former huge glass walls face out across the expansive water. Despite it being notoriously full of oil tankers waiting to dock, and oil refineries, the view is incredible for its vastness. But that said, people don’t travel to Singapore for the sea-scapes. Huge beds, covered with the softest Pratesi linens, face out to the windows; as do the baths. Rooms are equally as Bond-esque with everything beong controlled from a touch-pad, from lights to room service. Everything feels slick and sleek. Nespresso coffee machines, more Aeosp products and a complimentary mini bar provide the perfect finishing touches.

Breakfast is also a dreamy affair; the buffet offers a freshly prepared selection of European and Asian options, with an extensive menu to order from should you want something a little heartier. While you sip your coffee, peacock’s stroll past, making their morning calls.

The hotel also features a 12,000 foot spa, Singapore’s finest ballroom, and a host of private on-site villas, for guests who want to stay on a more permanent basis. And, making it feel like a home-from-home for the discerning traveller, the hotel has an in-house art collection containing over 900 original works hung throughout the premises.

Since its opening almost a decade ago, the Capella has gained a reputation amongst visitors and locals for being the best of the best – in a city that certainly isn’t short of luxury hotels. During the weekdays, international guests wander around the hotel’s 30 acres of lush, tropical rainforest, in a jet-lagged haze. At the weekend, the hotel comes alive with well-heeled city visitors, who cross the bridge between the mainland and Sentosa, for staycations and the hotel’s famed brunches.