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Staycation: The Club at Capella Singapore

I’m not a huge fan of the word “staycation”, though it’s much better than this variation I heard: “holistay”. Is there a worse hybrid word? (Yes: “chillax”.)

Still, even if I’m lukewarm on the term, I’m more than happy to indulge in the concept. Why not have a holiday in the city where you live if you don’t have the time, money or inclination to board an international flight?

And a staycation on Sentosa probably makes the most sense, because at least you get to cross a bridge and leave the Singapore “mainland”. (Last stop, VivoCity!)

It makes even more sense when your destination is Capella. I’ve never been to this resort hotel before; it’s stunning. An intensely white, colonnaded colonial building – constructed in the 1880s as a recreation and entertainment centre for the British military – sits atop a hidden ridge that offers awesome views north towards the city and south towards Indonesia.

Once you’ve tiptoed around the family of feisty peacocks strutting along the outdoor passageways and checked in at the lobby, the heritage architecture gives way to an equally impressive contemporary building, curved in the shape of butterfly wings and housing Capella’s 112 hotel rooms.

But those will have to wait for another visit. This particular staycation is not to the hotel section of the resort, but to one of the serviced apartments at the adjoining cluster of residences, The Club at Capella Singapore.

Yes, you can live here. And for any family with a reasonably healthy rental budget, it’s well worth considering as a sea-change. (Length of stay can be as short as a month, through to any number of years; long-term guests can choose to bring in their own furniture.)

I mentioned the hotel was on a hidden hill; The Club is even more private. A golf cart whisks you away from the main lobby and meanders briefly down the forested slope towards Palawan Beach on Sentosa’s southern edge. One minute later, you’re at the front door of your suite.

Capella: Look out for peepers in the bush
Capella: Look out for peepers in the bush

 

There are 72 of these in total, ranging from one to four bedrooms, up to 3,821 square feet in size; something to suit everyone from couples to large families. All are sea-facing, with generous balconies for making the most of the sea breezes. Nearby, nine stand-alone manors (up to 5,640 square feet) come with private pools.

Our two-bedroom suite has an interior that is sleek and modern, with Miele appliances, Sony and Bose electronics, Lefroy Brooks bathroom fittings, Burmese teak flooring, and split-unit air-conditioning for varying the temperature in different rooms. (This is especially handy for us, since I like things relatively Arctic, while my wife starts to shiver when the mercury drops below about 23.) Floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room make the most of the ocean views.

The bedrooms are huge; in fact, all the rooms are big – even the bathroom near the front door – which my better half informs me is called a “powder room”.

Residents of The Club have access to their own Club lounge with a swimming pool, a fitness centre with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, private function room and more. All kinds of welcome extras are available in the lounge complex, from continental breakfasts served on weekdays, to complimentary yoga classes at particular times, and regular activities for families. It’s here, too, that you can arrange anything from babysitting services to a preferential tee time at nearby Sentosa Golf Club. Next to the lounge is a tennis court and a children’s playground.

All the hotel facilities are available for residents, too. Don’t miss Capella’s Auriga Spa, as good as it gets in Singapore – not just the treatments (we had great massages, though my wife could also be spotted perusing the menu of wraps, facials and exfoliations), but the facilities: herbal steam rooms, ice fountains, a “vitality” pool and more. There are discounts on multiple treatment packages, which makes complete sense if you’re living at The Club with Auriga Spa virtually in your backyard.

As a Club guest, you can even order 24-hour in-room dining courtesy of the hotel’s signature restaurant The Knolls. As tempting as it was to be completely indolent and phone-in a meal, or even whip something together ourselves using all the Miele stuff in the kitchen, I’d heard good things about the restaurant from a colleague, so we strolled up the slope and had breakfast there instead. The food didn’t disappoint, nor did the views across a three-tiered pool and towering trees. Sunday brunch enthusiasts who enjoy our dining round-up in this month’s issue should note that The Knolls has its own popular and decadent version of the institution that’s not to be missed.

If, like me, you happen to over-indulge at the brunch table, a brisk walk along the beach is recommended. A short path leads from The Club down to the dunes, via a discrete gate that can only be opened by residents; hotel guests have their own path on another part of the property. Before you know it, you’re sitting at one of the restaurants dotted along Palawan Beach. There’s a 7-Eleven here, too, which is handy for stocking the fridge. (There I go, talking about food again when my last meal was all of 30 minutes ago.)

Sentosa’s shoreline might have a slightly artificial air about it, but there’s still something to be said for the sight of coconut palms by the sea. And to actually be renting a suite here so you wake up to it every morning would surely be the height of relaxation. Or chillaxation, if such a word exists – and it probably does.

The Club at Capella Singapore
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island.
+65 6377 8888

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