Sumptuous Staycation at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa
Floyd and Farah Cowan Photos
Tuesday August 18, 2020 - Day 1
I have never really enjoyed going to Sentosa Island. When I arrived in Singapore 20 years ago it was not so easy to get to and get around the island. Over time it has become much easier but the challenges I first experienced remain in the forefront of my impressions of Sentosa.
Doing a staycation at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa the remoteness became an asset as it added to the feeling of getting away. The distance made it more special. Having been unable to travel since March, Farah and I were greatly looking forward to the two days we would spend at this sprawling facility that has all you need for a relaxing, indulgent escape.
“We are going to do everything we can to make you feel like you’ve travelled far from home,” promised Elsa Yue the effervescent Sofitel Marketing Communications Manager when we talked on the phone. Elsa set up all the reservations that we would need during our stay.
Making reservations for all that you do is not unusual for a large resort, but during Covid times there is more to be done. Of course we booked the room and reserved the Spa Time (tomorrow) and dinner, breakfast and lunch reservations. But we also had to reserve times for hanging out at the pool. Times are given in two-hour slots and we had to be there at 5:00pm on Day 1. Of course this is to keep the area from becoming too crowded and increasing the possibility of spreading the deadly disease.
Getting ready for the trip began to feel like times from days gone by, just digging out the passport (no mold on it yet – probably because I take it out now and then just to look at it) and packing was a fun activity. With the arrival of Gojek and putting the bags in the boot, we began our journey to the remote island. Well, not so remote, but the feeling of being somewhere else deepened as we arrived on the Island and glided past the tropical rainforest greenery that provides a green canopy, except when there’s a golf course creating broader vistas.
Antibacterial WetWipes - the new normal when checking into your hotel room.
Though it was mid-week there was activity, people coming and going and milling about, and people waiting to check in. The hotel lobby is spacious and populated with many things to distract you, such as the chandelier that takes your eyes up to the high ceilings.
We were greeted by Elsa and checked in at a desk that had a Plexiglas shield around it, as did all the check-in points. “This is what people can now expect,” Elsa stated. “It certainly isn’t how we would choose to enhance the guest experience.”
“Will it stay after Covid?”
One thing that Sofitel does for its guests that you wouldn’t see is that they delay putting people into a room after the previous occupants have left. “We started at 24 hours but it was deemed that so long wasn’t necessary and it created long queues. We reduced it to six hours, still too long, and now it is two hours.”
Our room is in the Peace Wing a bit of a walk down long glistening corridors with pillars, and passing statues on the lawns and fountains twisting spouts of water up and water coming down.
The locks whirred and we pushed open the door and entered the cool dark room. To be ensconced in a hotel room once again gave a little shiver of satisfaction that the world was coming back to normal.
Our 36sqm room with its many charming decorative touches such as flower-shaped knobs, small wildlife figurines, and a small gold man on a swing over the bathtub, are delightful. All the colours are soft and tend to blend together rather than contrast, such as the walnut closets and hardwood floors. Everything was brought together to create a feeling of comfort. The sumptuous MyBed™, would have to wait to be enjoyed until after dinner. We checked out the bathroom with its generous shower and knew that the Lanvin bath products would soon be appreciated.
Once we’d settled in, somewhat of an exercise for us as we have so many devices that need to be plugged in, we went to the pool. Every space you enter, except your room, have to scan in the QR code. Kids were enjoying the pool – it was a delight to see their delight. Peacocks, one symbol of the Resort, strut around the pool, when they aren’t being chased by little girls. One made a dash for some unattended chicken.
We were joined by Cynthia Dammerrer and husband Ross for dinner at The Cliff at 6:30pm when we could still enjoy the views of the Strait of Singapore. I had the house red, a very good Australian Shiraz, and Cynthia seemed to enjoy her glass(es) of chardonnay. We shared a variety of dishes from excellent Grilled Octopus and Caesar Salad for starters then passed around Linguini & Clams, Bra Pak Noodles, Prawn Salted Egg and Fish Head Curry so we could all enjoy some of the great variety of dishes available.
Cynthia, who does Public Relations for Accor and Ross stayed longer than they intended, but we had to have desert. We abandoned the plan to share as each of us got a favorite, and we weren't about to let any of it go.
The Cliff Restaurant
The MyBed™ lived up to its billing, giving a deep comfortable sleep that prepared us for a good start to Day 2.
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