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Shangri La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa, Singapore

By:
Guest Writer: Zoe Taylor
 

Singaporean’s know all about living in a vibrant, exciting city that’s clean, efficient and easy to navigate. They know how to shop like it’s a national sport, and their city has in recent years gained a reputation for fine dining and hip boutiques. 

Little surprise then, that they also know how to kick back and play. And where do they go when they need a break from the hustle and bustle, want to embrace their inner child and enjoy a romantic getaway? Why to an island dedicated to satisfying their every whim, of course.

Sentosa Island is just 15 minutes from the city, and is a giant playground for adults as well as kids. Alongside big name attractions, like Universal Studios and Underwater World, you’ll find Ibiza-inspired beachside bars and restaurants, golf courses, extreme adventure experiences, luxury hotels and spas and even a bit of history in Fort Siloso, a preserved British coastal fort.

You can even enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes. Like the majority of Sentosa, the beaches are man-made, but it’s still quite a boast that the island offers over three kilometres of white sandy beaches framed by palms and flowering trees. Set along one of them is the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa - Singapore’s only beachfront hotel. 

Stylish without being ostentatious, the hotel reopened following a 10-month renovation in January 2011, and has worked hard to cater to the needs of a variety of travellers, from people on business, to Singapore locals and ex pats on vacation, and families breaking up long haul travel with a stopover. They also welcome couples seeking solace and a little romance.

The Rooms

Just over 450 rooms offer views of the pool, hill, gardens, or the ocean, with some views incorporating several of these aspects and ranging in size from the 31 square meter Superior Hill View rooms, to an impressive 150 square metres in the Presidential Sentosa Suite. There are 10 different room types in all, each type with balconies or gardens. Families can be catered for in larger Deluxe Garden or Pool rooms, while the Panoramic Sea View Room is popular with honeymooners or anyone on seeking a romantic getaway, and has an open concept bathroom with view over the ocean and its own hot tub.

The décor in the bedrooms has been designed to compliment the natural surroundings; another antidote from the high-rise, fast paced environment of the city. The wooden features, beige and green colour scheme and floral carvings and motifs are all beautifully finished. Our Pool View room was cool and quiet, with a jet lag busting, super comfortable bed.

The Dining

Several dining venues with a theme are conveniently located together as Dine on 3. Don’t be fooled by the modestly named Casserole restaurant; here you can enjoy an intimate atmosphere and watch chefs in action. But it’s literally hard to go past the Silver Shell Café buffet for breakfast or dinner, with its vast array of specialty dishes from across Southeast Asia, Morocco, India and the West. We’re talking authentic Indian curry dishes, freshly cooked noodles, fresh fruits and salads and exquisite, cakes and pastries that are just over a bite-size ensuring that one will never be enough.  With themed nights, live music and such a range of delicious food, we could happily have dined here for a week without tiring of the experience; which is a rare achievement from a hotel buffet. 

Nearby the Bubble Bar, like Silver Shell, offers inside and outside seating options for a pre or post dinner tipple. The more casual 8 Noodles Cafe is a popular option for some simple but tasty noodles and Chinese roast meat dishes. And the dining options don’t stop there. The Siloso Beach Bar offers simple poolside snacks and a short stroll across the sand is Trapizza - a popular option for families where you can enjoy pizzas from the wood-fired oven and dine alfresco while kids play on the sand or the small playground.

Or on a Sunday you can enjoy afternoon tea at the Atmosphere by the Sea Garden Party a waterfront venue that can also be hired for private functions, including weddings.

Other Facilities

The Rasa has a gym and boasts one of the largest freeform swimming pools in Singapore, with two outdoor Jacuzzis, which are kid-free zones. While there’s a pool with slides and small water park to keep the kids entertained – if they can tear themselves away from the Cool Zone kids club, complete with two-story indoor treehouse.

A few footsteps away from the pool is the CHI, the Spa, offering an extensive range of treatments, including the signature Singapore massage, which incorporates Chinese, Malay and Indian techniques for a tension-relieving and extremely relaxing experience.

At the beach, you’ll find a Sea Sport Centre with a variety of equipment including kayaks, pedal boats and bicycles for hire.

Just a short stroll along Siloso Beach is the MegaZip Adventure Park, where you can whiz down a 450 metre long flying fox above tree canopies, the beach and water – not for the fainthearted!

Free buses make easy work of getting to all the attractions on the island, while a shuttle bus from the hotel does a regular round trip to VivoCity mall, where you’ll find many European and US designer and High Street shops including GAP, Zara, ESPIRIT, Levis, Marks and Spencer, Ted Baker and Warehouse. From Vivo, it’s also easy to take MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) trains to explore other parts of the city, including Chinatown, Little India and the shopping district Orchard Road.

The Verdict

It might sound like, and indeed sometimes feel like, one big theme park, but it’s worth seeing past the artificiality and finding out what Sentosa has to offer. It’s hard not to be impressed, whether you’re just stopping over, or you’ve picked the resort for a romantic getaway. In fact, there’s so much to do, my best tip would be to plan in advance, and don’t forget to factor in some relaxation or you might need another holiday to recover! If you don’t, you might not make the most of the service, setting and ambience of the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, which is a deserving destination in its own right.

Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort is located at 101 Siloso Road, Sentosa, Singapore, 098970, www.shangri-la.com/singapore/rasasentosaresort/.

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