Exploring The Secret Sentosa
Everyone visits Sentosa for Universal Studios, Siloso Beach, and Resorts World Sentosa, but there's so much more than meets the eye to the State of Fun.
Last week, we made the trip down to Sentosa to uncover the island's secrets, exploring every nook and cranny. And we came back with this list of 10 places off the beaten track to go to the next time you visit Sentosa!
1. Discover Sentosa's hidden caves
A secret even to Google Maps is Tanjong Rimau, a coast that lies at the back of Rasa Sentosa. Tread beyond the edge of the compounds of Rasa Sentosa from Siloso Beach and across a little rocky decline to get to this very natural coast, untouched by reclamation.
To find an entirely deserted beach in such a popular, frenetic tourist island such as Sentosa felt like a victory for us; as if this didn’t blow us away enough, hidden among the towering natural cliffs was a small cave - who knew!
Directions: Tanjung Rimau is on the Western tip of Sentosa, off Rasa Sentosa.
2. See Sentosa's natural reefs
During the low tides, venture further down the shore to explore the natural reefs and marine life that this hidden gem has to offer - expect to find corals, crabs, and even octopuses and eels! Unfortunately, our excitement upon discovering Tanjong Rimau was dampened by the quickly rising tide which prevented us from further discovering this hidden gem. So be sure to head down early!
Look out specifically for the beacon along the headland of Tanjong Rimau, the most accessible area where marine life flourishes - who knows what you’ll uncover! Be warned - the rocky terrain can be tricky to maneuver around.
3. Take a dip at W Hotel's magnificent pool
Tucked away in the exclusive Sentosa Cove area is the raved-about W Hotel, known to many but visited by few, given its proximity from most of Sentosa’s main attractions. Its secluded location means that few were here when we visited. Peek out to the marina just beyond the hotel, or enjoy the soothing music from the underwater speakers as you take a dip.
The pool area is lined with deck chairs, beanbags and even hammocks, where you can plop yourself down and just enjoy the breeze as you chill with your friends; order yourself a cocktail, a smoothie, or even a wagyu beef burger from the beach bar if you like. W Hotel's pool is available 24/7 for hotel guests, and outsiders can enter from 7am to 7pm on Monday to Thursday for $45++.
Address: 21 Ocean Way, Singapore 098374
4. Go yacht-watching along Quayside Isle
Sat just in front of W Hotel is Quayside Isle, offering a variety of dining options with a stunning view of the marina. We took a leisurely walk along the cobbled pavements, admiring the yachts neatly docked on the waters - a picturesque scene indeed. It certainly felt like we were on a holiday in an alluring coastal city away from Singapore.
I concluded, from a quick Google search, that I will never in my lifetime have a yacht to call my own, but I did find out that you can rent a yacht even off Airbnb!
Address: 31 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098375
5. Journey through a forest at Allanbrooke Road
The next time you visit Sentosa, forget the trams and buses - enjoy a leisurely stroll around the island and you'll find secret locations to call your own. Allanbrooke Road is a gem, a nondescript road lined by trees, making walking through it an enchanting experience.
I usually avoid the sun like a plague, but I was feeling a little more resolute that day as we ventured back to the central area of Sentosa on foot rather than by bus. The walk from Sentosa Cove back to the central part of the island was breezy and relaxing, made even more magical by the very fact that it was off the beaten track.
Directions: Allanbrooke Road is just off Artillery Avenue, in central Sentosa.
6. Wonder at the century-old Ficus Tree
Venturing forth, we found ourselves in front of the magnificent Ficus tree, which I learnt was a Heritage tree only after I tried climbing it. Oops! I hear that weddings ceremonies and events are held at this setting, and having seen it for myself, I understand why. It's a tranquil spot not only in front of a pleasant lotus pond, but also against the backdrop of Tanjong Golf Course - perfect for indulging in nature’s charm.
Much to our delight, there was also a bus stop across the road labelled “Ficus”, where we hopped onto a bus to get to our next landmark. Since there is a bus stop specifically serving the Ficus tree, you can imagine how majestic it must be!
Address: Allanbrooke Road (in front of Suburbia, 30 Allanbrooke Road)
7. Visit historic colonial buildings with a view of the South China Sea
Perched on a vast bucolic hillside amidst lush greenery, Capella Singapore is a luxury hotel that boasts a classy colonial facade that houses a stylish, contemporary interior, with a stunning view of the South China Sea to boot.
We lounged in the quaint lobby dotted with artwork, its spaciness granting us a certain sense of liberation. Strolling past the dome of hotel rooms, we were treated to the view of the three-tiered swimming pool overlooking a large expanse of green, with the glimmering sea lying only beyond.
We spotted personal assistants bringing their hotel guests around and introducing them to each of the facilities in the area (all hotel guests have their own personal assistants), and could only imagine what a luxury it would be to stay at Capella.
By the time we were done exploring the compounds, including their in-house Auriga Spa amongst other facilities, we headed to Cassis, one of Capella’s restaurants, for their much raved-about afternoon tea; unfortunately, this is only served on weekends and public holidays, but I would gladly come back for it. Even if you’re not staying in a room at Capella, treat yourself to a visit here and feel like royalty!
Address: 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297
8. Pamper yourself with 10,000 square metres of spa goodness
Most people know Equarius Hotel for its stunning ocean suites, leaving ESPA just across the road to be the lesser known dark horse. Priding itself as a “Destination Spa”, ESPA boasts Singapore’s first authentic Turkish Hammam and outdoor Onsen-style pools amongst other facilities as well as Tangerine, an in-house restaurant serving healthy food bursting with delicate, innovative flavours.
We didn’t get the chance to visit the spa, but having heard great things about it, I imagine it to be nothing short of a spectacularly enchanting and tranquil sanctuary. One of my colleagues who had been to ESPA - trust him to know of the best spots in Singapore to pamper oneself - commented that the air almost felt lighter simply upon entering the spa sanctuary. ESPA can be a little pricey, with day retreat packages starting at $380++, but guests can enjoy complimentary use of their rock saunas, crystal steam rooms, outdoor vitality pools and more with 60-minute treatments that start at $50++.
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
9. Spend an afternoon on the Golfers' Terrace
The Golfers’ Terrace at Sentosa Golf Club offers various cuisines as well as light bites in an al fresco setting, offering repose bettered by the panoramic view of Tanjong Golf Course and South China Sea - every element makes it an oasis of tranquility.
While we were there, the weather was not on our side, which explained why the golf course was next to empty; but the expanse of grass and sea stretching out boundlessly would nonetheless please golfers and non-golfers alike.
Address: Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, Singapore 099892
10. Get to Sentosa by foot
How do you get to Sentosa? Most of us take the monorail from the 3rd floor of VivoCity or drive in, but the Sentosa Boardwalk that links VivoCity and Sentosa boasts among the most beautiful views in Singapore. The Boardwalk starts from the side of Tung Lok Signatures in VivoCity, leading all the way to the RWS Waterfront in Sentosa itself. Take in the sights of the waterfront at your own leisurely pace, with plenty of picturesque scenes for photo opportunities to boot.
Even if you’re as much of a bum as I am, fret not - the two-way travelators make the walk an easy one should you get tired. When night falls, the entire path is lined with lights, making for a spectacular sight. Entrance to Sentosa is free through the Boardwalk from now till the end of the year.
Directions: Sentosa Boardwalk is accessible from VivoCity's waterfront promenade.
Sentosa made different
Update: This event is now over but look out for it when it comes again!
One other secret you would absolutely want to know is about the upcoming Sentosa FunFest! Come September, Siloso Beach at Sentosa is set to host a Mega Inflatable Beach Festival. Yes, that giant 12 metre tall inflatable slide is not just random poster artwork. It is real. With bubbling foam pools, beach mega balls and more, you can unleash your inner child in a day of action-packed entertainment. The first of its kind of such a scale, you can also expect DJs pumping you up with electrifying beats, photopoints, a wide variety of food and beverages, and more.
If you’re craving more than simply building sandcastles and dipping in the shallow waters of the sea, join this beachfront party that promises to go on, whether rain or shine. Brought to you by the organisers of Siloso Beach Party, Sentosa Buskers Festival and more, FunFest will be running from 5 to 13 September this year and promises to be an event to remember.
What: Sentosa FunFest 2015
When: 5-13 September 2015, 10am-7pm daily (last entry at 4pm)
Where: Siloso Beach, Sentosa
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This post was brought to you by Sentosa.