Capella, named for the brightest star in Auriga constellation, is a luxury city escape, writes Teresa Ooi.
You don’t have to look too hard to be reminded why Capella Singapore was recently in the headlines.
Within the grounds is a giant brass plaque set into the floor where US President Donald Trump had his famous handshake with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at their summit last year.
But while that did indeed provide this excellent luxury resort with a moment’s notoriety, in truth, Capella Singapore is better known for its spa.
On arrival at Capella, we are immediately struck by the understated grandeur of the reception, located in a restored colonial building that used to serve as the officers’ mess of the British Royal Artillery.
Capella is a gorgeous blend of colonial and modern architecture.
At the heart of the hotel are two beautifully restored Tanah Merah bungalows dating back to the 1880s, and the rest of the building been designed to sit in harmony with the traditional architecture as it serpentines in an unbroken curve around the internal garden courtyard.
The hotel is perched on top of a knoll overlooking the South China Sea on Sentosa. A 20-minute drive from Singapore’s city centre, it is a genuine haven from the bustling metropolis, with graduated gardens and a gate to the public beach.
We are upgraded to a premier sea view suite on the second floor overlooking the lush greenery and sparkling sea. The beautifully appointed room is spacious, decorated in subdued earthy hues and dark wood. The study and sitting room give way to a large bedroom, complete with king-sized bed dressed in plush Pratesi bedlinen. The contemporary ensuite features double vanities, equipped with Aesop toiletries, there are ample wardrobes, a Nepresso machine, fluffy cotton bathrobes and beautiful orchid displays, and we have a balcony with a sun lounge.
All 112 rooms, suites and villas are immersed in 30 acres of luscious landscaped gardens and triple-tiered cascading pool. The 38 villas, usually occupied by families, are spread throughout the gardens and come with outdoor rain showers, private plunge pools and spacious verandas.
One of Capella’s main attractions is the award-winning Auriga spa, where we opt for the PS I Love You treatment for couples.
The two therapists are all in on the romantic implications of the treatment but it’s all very nicely done. The 165-minute experience start with a foot bath, a body massage and a facial and ends with a bath in water full of rose petals and lime. Products are organic and made by Auriga and therapists are trained in their use and seem well aware of their value for skin, muscle and mood.
There is also free use of a herbal steam room, vitality pool and ice fountain. The relaxation lounge serves one of the best ginger teas we have ever tasted.
Capella has a contemporary Cantonese restaurant, Cassia, located in the traditional wing close to reception. It also has a Chef’s Table, a bespoke home-style kitchen for 20 people that can be booked for private suppers and special occasions, or five-course afternoon tea on weekdays. There’s also Bob’s Bar for sunset drinks. Capella serves a good-looking breakfast buffet where you can order Singaporean specialties, dim sum or scrambled eggs and bacon.
We opt for a light dinner at The Knolls, the all-day restaurant overlooking the pool and South China Sea. The Mediterranean menu offers roasted seabass, baked Atlantic cod, Australian wagyu beef tenderloin and Moroccan spiced chicken confit.
You can easily hop on an electric bus to visit Sentosa’s attractions such as Universal Studios, Palawan Beach or the cable car. But with such divine facilities at Capella, why would you want to leave?