Staycation, Capella Singapore
Have you ever felt like one of those burnt-out souls, living and working in the city, longing for a weekend break? Staycations are the new buzzword, a decadent weekend away without going anywhere.
Driving up the sweeping drive to Capella Singapore, your eye is drawn to the old-world charm and splendour of the original 1880’s colonial buildings that now house the hotel’s reception, library and its fine dining restaurant. Capella has caringly crafted the old with the new and created a unique resort set in 30 acres of lush tropical rainforest.
Staycation, Capella Singapore
From the reception area within the colonial buildings that were once home to the British officers of the Royal Artillery, we are transported by buggy to our villa. Each villa comes with its own private pool. Capella has an eclectic mix of accommodation from contemporary villas with outdoor plunge pools and alfresco bathrooms, premium rooms and suites, and two luxurious Colonial manors. Long-stay options at the elegant Club Residences at Capella Singapore consists of one – to four-bedrooms suites, three-bedroom duplexes and modern manors. Residents can enjoy their own Club Lounge and pool as well as the facilities at the hotel.
My villa is decorated in soft taupes, stone, and natural colours, with soaring ceilings and windows opening out onto a balcony. The in-room amenities are state of art, my husband immediately notices the large flat screen television and Nespresso coffee machine. Our villa looked out onto lush greenery; and an abundance of wildlife. We lounged on our day bed and took advantage of the plunge pool, before dressing for dinner and cocktails.
“There aren’t enough days in the weekend!”
In the lacquered night air, high above the South China Sea, we laze on day beds drinking wine, watching the amazing Sentosa sunset. A peacock came to join us, before flying off to a magnificent tree by the pool. The terrace, in the evening, is romantically lit with flickering votives, reflected in the strategically aligned mirrors.
Adjacent to the terrace is Bob’s Bar, not quite sure who Bob is or was, but he seems like he may have been a fun-loving, self-indulgent sort of fellow. His bar is sultry, plush, and slightly mysterious, with a touch of the exotic 1950’s Caribbean. You can indulge in full-bodied spirits, Cuban cigars, and tapas.
A tropical storm blew in over the ocean, and we adjourned to The Knolls for dinner. The Knolls is reminiscent of a fine tea room of Asia serving Ronnefeldt premium. On that evening, we had a craving for local specialities, and I had one of the best Tom Yum Soups outside of Thailand.
After a peaceful night’s sleep, we were woken by the plaintive cry of a peacock and drew the blinds to watch the birds in the trees outside. We decided we would reacquaint ourselves with the island of Sentosa, having spent a great deal of time there when our children were small. Sentosa has undergone a major redevelopment in recent times and offers a cornucopia of leisure activities.
Along the beach, there are many bars and restaurants that are also available for breakfast. We walked for quite a while watching families at play, before taking a chairlift to the top of the island and the museum. Many of the original attractions remain, but now with Universal Studios and the Casino open at Resorts World Sentosa, the Island has become far more sophisticated. With Luxury shopping malls, world renowned golf courses, and many attractions only a free train ride away, Sentosa is a true island of leisure.
Back at the Oasis that is Capella, you can indulge in complimentary afternoon tea in the Library and reading room, housed in one of the colonial building. I discovered many beautiful and carefully chosen, illustrated coffee table tomes, throughout the resort.
The luxurious gardens in Capella have been skilfully landscaped; the three infinity pools are terraced down the slope and surrounded by abundant trees and flowers.
Auriga spa has nine treatment suites, with private gardens luxuriantly planted with bamboo. The spa also offers a popular wellness program, vitality pool, and steam bath. Didn’t I say there weren’t enough days in a weekend!
Cassia, Capella’s renowned fine dining restaurant serving haute Cantonese cuisine, is also housed in the Colonial building. The restaurant has a lovely view over the South China Sea and is elaborately and elegantly, decorated in lacquer box splendour. Reminiscent of the Spice Route of China, full of collected Orientalia.
We found ourselves drawn to watch another magnificent sunset, while indulging in cocktails on the terrace. It was a lovely evening so we and our guests, walked down to the beach. We stopped by the appropriately named, Bikini Bar for drinks and listened to the live music while people danced, and children played. After a delicious dinner at Wave House, we walked back along the boardwalk to our luxurious island retreat.
Sundays are very popular at Capella; the brunch at The Knolls, is fast becoming the trendy place to be on a Sunday. The interesting thing about The Knolls is that each room is almost like a private dining room, with views out over the pool and ocean.
The Sunday brunch is one of the best I have indulged in, and I am guilty in saying that over the years I have had many! The food is fresh, creative and artfully presented, seafood, grills, salads, shaved Serrano ham and desserts to die for; a wealth of the best in Mediterranean fare, with a free flow of wine and beer inclusive. A four-piece Caribbean-style band, played throughout the restaurant delighting the children, so much that instead of eating, they followed the band around like the pied piper. Afterward, you are invited up onto the terrace for cocktails and more music. A most tantalising way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon!
As Logan P. Smith so eloquently put it; “If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.”
So, if you are in danger of losing your soul, pack a small bag and head out for a Staycation, I can highly recommend it!
There may not be enough days in a weekend but imagine what you could do at Capella if you had a week or more! For overseas visitors, the variety is endless, and all on the doorstep of the dynamic island of Singapore.