After a few long months in lockdown, we were ready for a vacation, but with leisure travel still not allowed in Singapore, we find ourselves doing staycations to remember what it is to actually pack our luggage!
For that occasion, it was a good idea to go to Sentosa and “get away” from the city. We booked our Grab, 25 minutes later, we arrived at the Sofitel in Sentosa. As our car pulls in, we already noticed posts ushering guests to a step by step check-in journey. It wasn’t the regular 5-star stay it used to be. We were not ushered out of the car by a doorman who took our bags but to maximize our own safety, were required to roll your own bags for the first part into the reception, after a temperature check and check-in with the QR code (Singapore’s way to do contact tracing). We didn’t mind doing that at all as we only had carry-on luggage, so it was no worries for us, but we could see someone being annoyed if carrying a baby in hand or a few kids around with a load-full of luggage!
After the required health safety checks, we left our bags with the staff and turned into the regular check-in room, now all geared up with glass dividers between the staff and the guest, again to limit contact. We were greeted at reception with smiles, all staff wearing gloves and masks, with hand sanitation stations at every possible touchpoint for you. After check-in, you must pass on your room number details so your bags can be transported to your room.
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At the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa, you are welcomed by a huge lobby surrounded by ponds and a myriad of colours. The chandelier design above you is certainly worthy of a nice photo, which we did not hesitate to snap!
Where is Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa located
The Sofitel Sentosa is located on Sentosa Island, one of the resorts at the southernmost point of the island nation of Singapore. Once you access the islands’ main gate, it is a 3-minute drive and you will be at the Sofitel’s gates. There are walking paths all over there areas, so if you are an explorer, there are plenty of jungle and beach walkways for you to enjoy.
Facilities at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
The first thing you notice about the property is the greenery and space. With its open planning, everything is spacious with gardens pools and long walkways.
The second thing you notice when you enter is the extremely high chance of seeing peacocks scattered around the property. The males are chasing the females around all day and they are definitely worth following around just to gauge the guests’ reactions. They love the pool area too as they know guests do leave some of their food and snacks around! We were lucky enough to catch when the male had his feathers out.
The fitness centre is slightly larger than a shipping container, but they somehow found a way to condense and fit in all the equipment without making it feel squashy. Due to COVID-19, every second set of exercise equipment was taped off for spacing, but there are enough free weights and treadmills to get in a good workout for anyone’s taste. It is also limited to 5 people maximum, with staff constantly cleaning up and making sure that safety measures are respected.
One of the standout features of the resort is the big 50-meter pool virtually in the middle of everything, beside The Cliff restaurant and near Le Bar. There are cabanas and deckchairs (first come first serve) all around the pool, a bar and music when COVID is not around. They still play cool music but nothing too strong or annoying. The pool is open from 9AM-7PM.
Because of COVID-19 and the government regulations, the pool is limited to 50 people max and mandatory masks on the sunbeds unless you are consuming some food or drinks. We have heard some frustrations about the rules, but it is actually organized and not as bad as it sounds like. To go to the pool, you have to reserve your two-hour slot at the entrance of the pool via The Cliff. They will give you a colour band which they switch every two hours. That system is to be able to rotate groups, but if there are no more than 50 people, you don’t need to leave the pool and can stay beyond 2 hours.
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Spa Experience at So Spa at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
The spa is located at the back of the property, so you have the option to walk the 10 minutes through the hotel to get there, or, as we did, get the reception to arrange a buggy for you which takes only 3 minutes. We recommend taking the lift because it is actually much quicker!
Upon arrival, you are greeted by a customary safety and temperature check and then some tasty Ginger Tea to calm and relax you. While sipping tea, you will fill out your recommendation form, advising the team where your sore spots are and which areas to avoid. We are then individually ushered to our respective locker rooms to change. Both the men and women change rooms have a mini jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The facilities are very dated, with locks that are a little bit un-intuitive to use and could be ready for an upgrade.
Once in your therapy room, you get to choose your own essential oils and flavours for your massage. The signature scent is with bright notes of bergamot, white rose and jasmine de grasse.
We were booked into the couples room, which also comes with a relaxing area and a jacuzzi, which unfortunately with COVID-19, are not available at the moment. Usually, for massages, the ritual starts with a foot wash or scrub, which we wonder if usually is part of the ritual of the massage we booked, or simply had to be removed due to COVID-19. We had an hour massage, a very pleasing one which respected our exact wishes on focusing more on our backs. The level of service of the massage was great, but we wished we could’ve had a few minutes post-massage to relax and get out in the privacy of our room, but the one staff stayed behind waiting for our departure to already start cleaning up.
Although, we caught up on our relaxing time by going to the exclusive adults-only pools for those who have booked a spa experience. It was much less crowded and no kids around, it is quite nice to stay to relax or tan post-massage. Make sure you block off some time to stay there as it is really quiet and peaceful compared to the other main pool. Our favourite spot of the hotel must be at one of their pools with the waterfall.
The Spa is available for bookings from 11AM to 8PM, the last treatment being at 7PM. It is SG $180 for 1 hour and SG $240 for 1 and half hour.
Staycation Deals at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
There are currently great savings that can be done with the staycation deals at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa. There is a Retreat to Sanctuary package and Infinite Family Experiences.
The basic deal for 2 adults goes from SG $338++ per night, inclusive of a night stay and all meals provided (breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) with free flow of soft drinks, with options of an early check in OR late check out based on availability.
The Infinite Family Experiences package is for 2 adults and 2 children from SG $538++ per night in a Family Room (connecting room) and also all meals provided (breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) with free flow of soft drinks. The option of an early check in OR late check out is also available based on availability.
Finally, the Retreat to Sanctuary package is for 2 adults from SG $338++ per night, inclusive of a dinner for 2 on the night of check-in and a 1-hour Sofitel Spa Massage Voucher.
Rooms at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
We stayed in the Junior Suite, located at the Tranquility Wing of the resort on the first level. We are not usually on the ground floor, so we were initially not sure what it would be like, but it turned out to be great. We were able to watch all the peacocks coming by and managed to get some cracking photos of them as well. There was no issue with noise on the ground floor either, so two thumbs up.
The room itself is split into two sections, a massive living area with couch, coffee/fridge zone, working office and the master bedroom. The living area has a large couch, a swinging chair and is actually quite big. The bed is massive, and there is plenty of luggage storage space around the bed as well, so bring as much as you want! The layout of the room is quite unique and it was the first time we stayed in such type of setting.
The bathroom is not accessible directly from the bedroom but from the living area. The shower has tiles of vibrant shades of pink and purple with a rainforest shower set which was very spacey! It had a single vanity area but a large bathtub for a relaxing Epsom salt bath (salt is provided!)
The room design feels dated, but that furniture did give us the impression of being in a home rather than a hotel room, which could be in that perspective a positive thing. In Singapore, space is at a premium and this room has so much of it!