Over the Christmas weekend (3 days 2 nights), we booked two rooms at Capella, which was a former British military base built in 1880s.
In case you don’t know, Capella is known to be extremely exclusive and private; this is useful for the rich and famous. For instance, Sun Yanzi’s wedding was held at Capella. Many international A-listers, such as Madonna, stayed here.
There are 8 types of lodging at Capella. The most expensive, colonial manor, costs a whooping S$10K a night. My rich doctor had his birthday party at the villa ($1300 a night), which has a small private pool. The premier rooms ($950 a night) are the cheapest. So nice of Capella to call their cheapest room “premier rooms.”
The premier rooms themselves are split into seaview or garden view. We got the cheaper garden view–that is we got the cheaper option from the cheapest option *wails*–but fortunately, Capella gave us a room that overlooks greenery and the sea.
There are two check-in areas. This is one of them.
The check-in process was very smooth. They got our identification cards as we sat comfortably in a corner. They served us iced tea. A short while later, they came to us to inform us our rooms were ready.
A very polite boy with rectangular glasses led us to our rooms. When we walked into the room, we went “WOAAAHHHH.” I bet the boy must be thinking “Suaku.” haha. But he didn’t show it; instead he explained professionally that the control panel for lights and blinds is just beside the bed. Very high tech.
Here this is a video of our room:
By the way, in the video, we highlighted the previous occupant’s pubic hair in our bathtub. Yikes. No tips for housekeeping.
I noticed that there is no Room 404 (inauspicious). There are only Rooms 403 and 405. I wanted to tell the people who got Room 405, “Please don’t pretend this is room 405. We all know it’s 404.” haha.
Bed big enough for four!
Complimentary fruits. Not sure if it is supposed to be replenished daily. Mine didn’t, but Chiobu and Yandao’s room replenished theirs.
View from the room
Bathtub (with blinds) next to balcony
Two types of showers, including rain shower. With Aesop toiletries, my favorite.
Chiobu said, “This space is good enough for a home.” She’s right if the walk-in closet is converted into a kitchenette. Positive things about the room:
-It is more a home than a hotel room.
-It’s huge, comfortable, beautifully designed.
-When you walk into the room, the radio automatically plays classical music, not those snooze-fest classical music, but the soothing, upbeat sort.
-It feels like a setting for those Scandinavian art films of rich people’s houses in the suburbs.
-you don’t have to plug in your card to connect electricity to the room. I know those devices save electricity, environment, and costs for the hotel, but it’s just not classy or homely.
-Everything about the room is about class. I physically feel like a richer person by being in the room.
-the design makes it so that we could see the trees and sea anywhere in the room. Nature makes your heart grow bigger.
-drinks from the minibar are complimentary.
-When we returned from dinner on Christmas Eve, we found a Santa sock hanging on our door knob. (They gave it to every room). There were candies and a luggage tag in it. Heartwarming.
-Can see fireworks from our room!
Negative Things about the Room:
-the bed is too soft as if many people have slept on it before us. I feel like I’ve been cheated on. Haha.
-As we were cuddling, I told my partner, “You smell like a dog.” HAHAHA. That’s a terrible thing to say. I need to file it under “Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Partner.” My partner left for a shower, but the dog stench remained. So I buried my face in the pillows. When my partner returned, I told him to smell the pillows. He said pointedly, “SO I am not the one who smell like a dog.” Yikes, sorry.
When we were checking out, we saw a family checking in with their dog. (Basically, Capella lets rich people do anything.) That’s why pillows smelled like dogs. I don’t mind it so much but I am sure there is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
-the toilet is less than 5 metres from the bed and isn’t sound-proof. This was not great when I was suffering from diarrhea, waking up my partner 3 times in the night to the sounds of pooot poot pot. po. pot pooooooottttttt. It’s hilarious but it kills all sense of romance. All toilets should be soundproof!
-pubic hair from pervious occupant still in bathtub.
-We opted for New York Times but they gave us a local newspaper and I don’t read propaganda. The next day, Boxing Day, there was no newspaper.
One thing we really love about Capella is that although there was a high occupancy, we didn’t run into many hotelgoers (except when food was involved).
For example, we visited the gym twice and both times, it was empty. There were complimentary apples and isotonic drinks at the gym.
2 out of the 3 pools were mostly empty too. There are 3 pools: an adult pool on the first floor nearest to the restaurant, a children’s pool on a lower floor, and another adult pool on the lowest.
FIRST POOL: The preceding two photos show the adult pool on the first floor beside the restaurant. It’s shaped irregularly but has the advantage of a beautiful view.
SECOND POOL: It’s awesome to have a children’s pool because all the families were there, leaving the other two pools serene and peaceful.
DEADPOOL: This is the 3rd pool, the only lap pool. It doesn’t have a view but it is good for serious swimmers. It was so isolated, surrounded by trees, that we called it our private pool. Once a male guest intruded, and Mr Fitness dagger-stared him away. HAHA. So territorial. Maybe Mr Fitness peed in the pool to mark his territory. JKJK!
One major disadvantage is that there are sooooooo many mosquitoes at this 3rd pool. Capella provides mosquito repellent, but they should also consider putting mosquito incense around the area. I was bitten 5 times from the time I took to disrobe and jump into the pool. Zika, URGH.
We also wished the swimming pool hours were longer. Currently, the pools are open only from 7am-7pm.
The pool service provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and we saw many parents chugging. Hey if these screaming kids belong to them, then bottoms up and good luck. #nojudgement.
The pool boy gave us a few bottles of Acqua Panna, which is listed on their pool menu as $11 a bottle. I asked the poolboy, “The water is complimentary, right?”
“Yes,” he said. “What is your room number?”
After the poolboy left, Mr Fitness asked, “If the water is free, why did the poolboy ask for our room number?”
“I dunno,” I replied.
“What is so special about this water that it costs $11 a bottle anyway?”
“It’s not the water that is special. It’s Capella that is special. If you pay a single digit for water here, the water is suspect.”
“Are you sure the water is complimentary? I don’t want to pay $11 for a bottle of water.”
“Like many things in Capella, everything is complimentary but you have to pay for them in your room fees.” The relaxing Capella brought out the Wildean epigrams in me.
Talking about complimentary things, The Library has a complimentary tea (3pm-5pm) for its guests. (You can also borrow DVDs here to watch in your room.)
I guess the only way libraries can lure people to visit is to provide free food. And this was the only time that we saw Capella crowded that we had no seat.
Chiobu approached a staff, “There are no seats.”
The staff shot back, “Then there are no seats.” We were taken aback by the rudeness of the staff. I guess she must be stressed handing so many people on Christmas eve.
Anyway, all was well in the end. And we got our tea.
There are few dining options: Bob’s Bar, The Knolls (Mediterranean dining), and Cassia (Chinese restaurant). We settled most of our meals outside of Capella since parking is complimentary for hotel guests (valet parking is a one-time flat rate of $18), and re-entry to Sentosa is also complimentary. Which means you can get out and about Sentosa or to the nearby Seah Im Hawker Centre as many times as you wish.
Here are two suggestions that Capella could work on:
-When checking in, the receptionist could inform us a list of services and facilities that Capella provides. We had to discover ourselves and might have missed out on some. For example, we heard that Madonna played tennis at Capella, but we didn’t see a tennis court.
-the bus shuttle goes only to vivocity/harborfront mrt, and to Resorts World Sentosa. Maybe they can extend bus routes to all over Sentosa.
On the whole, this is an amazing staycation. It really feels like home more than a hotel. Even though we had a room, not a villa, there was so much privacy that we often felt like we were the only ones in the hotel. Highly recommended, must stay for 2 nights at least. Possibly my favoritest staycation in Singapore.
1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297
T: +65 6377 8888
We paid for our own stay. Like most of our reviews, this review is done anonymously.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.