I’ve finally made my way here as an actual paying AND staying guest.
I’ve stepped foot in this property multiple times for different reasons – side gigs, makans, work event, and family sponsored staycays. These occasions did not allow me to explore and appreciate the property in its entirety – now I finally get the chance!
Address – 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 63778888. Email: email@example.com.
Price – $736++ = $867nett for a Premier Garden Room booked via Hotlelux which accords some overlapping benefits with GHA Black: early check in, late check out, and room upgrade though Blacks are supposed to get 2-category upgrades. Instead of USD100 dining credit, the property offers a 3-course dinner for 2pax at Knolls or Cassia.
Location – Located on the not-so-remote Sentosa Island, this is as far as a luxury resort can be to us when travels are not possible. While the resort is meant to be a stand-alone staycay experience of sorts, you can choose to make use of the abundant delivery options if you want to have a “room only” experience.
Pre-arrival – there were 2 separate coordination prior to arrival: one from Hotelux for your dinner arrangement (with choice of menu attached in the email), early check in, late check out, and GHA membership linking if any. For the room upgrade, I was offered the Premier Sea View or Constellation Room (the One-bedroom Villa was previously offered for an earlier cancelled booking so it seems this category is now removed from the upgrade choices).
Then there is the Culturist service – where Capella’s version of a butler will reach out to you to make any arrangements for the stay itself – breakfast booking, signing up for any of their complimentary resort activities (some with limited capacity), and any other special arrangements. But unfortunately, my experience with them was not nearly as seamless for a Capella: I got my call one week prior to my stay but I was in the middle of something and asked for a call back that same evening. The call never did come, so I reached out 2 days later and was told that a Culturist would call me back shortly. When she did, she started the conversation by saying she understood they missed my call and how can she help. So I had to repeat myself.
The process is also a little inconsistent as my friend who had a stay scheduled on the same date received a pre-arrival email prior to the call but I never did. Nonetheless, after some planning, the below was my rather packed itenary for the stay:
Day 1 –
- 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Craft of Cocktail (Bob’s Bar)(waitlisted)
- 3:00pm – 4:00pm – Afternoon Tea @ Living Room
- 5:00pm – 6:00pm – Heritage & Art Tour (Lobby)
- 6:00pm – 7:00pm – Bosun’s Call (Bob’s Bar)
Day 2 –
- 8:00am – Breakfast seating
- 5:15pm – Auriga Massage(Black Local Experience redemption)
I do wish that there were other forms of making your booking(s) rather than sit and wait for that call from the Culturist – perhaps a booking system included in the pre-arrival email will probably make for a better guest experience.
Finally, I got another call one day prior to my arrival and was told my early check in of 10:00am and late check out of 6:00pm was confirmed, and that I have been upgrade to the 100SqM Capella Suite. Yays to 3-tier upgrade!
Check In – I arrived to an empty lobby at 10:30am on a weekday and offered assistance for my luggage when I stepped off. Already a great impression as this gesture was sorely missed in some similar class properties. I was invited to be seated while they took my ID and credit card and soon after, a staff brought me through my reservation details including the activities booked for – all complete in less than 10mins including the waiting time. My late checkout was further extended to 7:30pm due to my massage appointment timing. Then a very sweet culturist by the name of Min then brought me to my Suite and brought me through the room features. My barangs were brought in shortly too.
Room – My Capella Suite (100SqM) was a tremendous amount of space and awesome to experience in person! The floorplan hardly gives justice to the amount of space I feel as I stepped into my personal haven for the next 2 days.
At first glance, the change in color tones from the recent refurbishment was quite evident (the property’s official press release on the refurbishment available here). But what remains the same is it’s understated classy vibe which just feels right.
After stepping into a relatively simple entranceway, you’d seeing your living room in its full glory. A generous seating layout of a angular 3-seater + 1 single seater + 1 rocking chair sits surrounds the double tier coffee table adorned with cute balloons for my special occasion.
Along the full length of the window in this section is your mini bar, WFHotel spot, and TV + Bose system. The mini bar is quite complete with Ronnefeldt tea bags, Nespresso machine + capsules, coffee cups, and glassware. The fridge is stocked with still & sparkling water as well as soft drink and juices. Because I don’t take soft drinks or sugary juices, I requested for housekeeping to replace these with more sparkling water and they accommodated – super nice of them!
The work desk & chair is one of the best I’ve seen ever and completely comfortable for long hours. It is also equipped with tastefully hidden power points – their attention to details rocks. A hugeeeee swivel smart TV (yays to chromecast!) completes the atas living room vibe.
The magnificent bedroom area begins with a huge king bed (a little soft for me though) with 2 bedside tables each with charging ports and bedside lighting controls. The ipad controls for everything in your room sits on one side – super easy to use and worked very well for me although it took a while to figure out the difference between the lighting modes.
Facing the bed is your daybed with a high coffee table, more cupboard spaces, and another Bose system (you can bluetooth music to this one) and giant swivel TV in one corner. Do not miss lounging on the daybed while holding your cup of coffee / tea while looking out to the pools below – so strangely therapeutic.
Behind this block of space is your entire bathroom – I love this layout for some reason.
The linear but spacious space contains double sinks with more than plenty countertop space and neatly organized toiletries (decorated with flower petals!). Opposite this space is a full-on dressing table with 3 mirror panels to put on your face.
The toilet space is big and does what it does. Spread out on the corners are 2 open-concept wardrobes with plenty of hangers, luggage space and more cupboard spaces. This is also where you can find your bedroom slippers, insect repellents, and laundry bags.
In one end of this is the huge shower space decked out in classy dark grey marbling, with a classy (and very clean) bathtub nestled on one side. Toiletries are of course Aseop branded which is certain to make some swoon. Bath salts are not included by default but they give you a whole pot once you request.
There is also an little alfresco area with sofa right outside – was not of much use to me as the weather was just mad hot. I did manage to sit on it for a while a few mins before I checked out just because I wanted to have sat on every available chair in the Suite.
My room faces the pools so I had a great pool view and its surroundings. What a great option to space out staring at waters without having to step into the sun. If you look further, there’s even a view of sorts of the sea itself (which can look rather ominous when its cloudy).
Lastly, a Capella care kit is included in the room (also adding here on 2 more random pics of the smorgasbord of little cards presented at check in, as well as their very classy woody key cards).
While I was busy collecting my dropped jaw, a kind staff came by with a very generous set of welcome amenities (I think its a combination of Hotelux, GHA Black, and my special occasion).
Lastly, every guest at the property has access to the complimentary guest benefits listed here (changes from time to time). Some activities have limited capacity so I’d recommend pro-actively reaching out to book your desired ones instead of waiting for the Culturist to call – the benefits are publicly available on their website anyways.
Living Room / The Library
Opened from 9:00am – 9:00pm, The Library / Living Room is the hotel’s concept of an executive lounge, but just no alcohol involved. Coffee and teas are available from opening til closing. the space is really pretty with it’s rich colors and velvety trimmings – indeed a living room-esque fweel. There are also cosy outdoor seatings available but when the weather is mad hot, the ceiling fans does nothing to mitigate the heat. I never got my waitlist for the Craft of Cocktail cleared so this became my alternative to while the afternoon away.
[3:00pm – 5:00pm] Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea hours of 3:00pm – 5:00pm sees some (very carbful) tea time snacks served as a set per pax (where’s the scones?). I tried sessions over the 2 days paired with peppermint tea and a superb honey. For those who plans to enjoy your own snacks paired with coffee / tea from the living room outside of afternoon tea hours, you can only do so in the outdoor area.
[5:00pm – 6:00pm] Heritage & Art Tour – “Learn about Singapore’s colonial past and discover the history behind our majestic heritage bungalows built in the 1880s for the British officers of the Royal Artillery. You will also be acquainted with over 900 commissioned art pieces that are displayed throughout the resort as well as the five heritage trees within the resort’s compound that are over a hundred years old” .
I just realized I didn’t take any pics but it was hard to take any decent ones without showing any faces. Led by a friendly culturist, the 45-min session was a really enjoyable stroll within the property learning interesting nuggets along the way.
[6:00pm – 7:00pm] Bosun’s Call @ Bob’s Bar – “Join us in our daily Bosun’s Call ceremony, reminiscent of Capella Singapore’s history as the home of the British officers of the Royal Artillery and their families. Bosun’s Call is a ceremony practised onboard naval ships whereby commands were passed down to the crew through blowing the Bosun’s whistle when voices were not audible over the sounds of the sea. The whistle blowing signifies one of the Navy’s commands for “all hands on deck” to receive their daily rationing of rum. Head bartender of Bob’s Bar, and his team, will wheel out a barrel every evening to serve tasting shots of
homemade Grog, the Bosun’s Call drink.”
But first, some shots of the hotel’s only bar in the property.
This was quite fun except the weather was mad hot that evening. A friendly staff (starring out his face as I don’t have permission to post his face) will go around with a tray of tasting portions of a rum-based cocktail – the cocktail was not my cup of tea unfortunately. A selection of nibbles are also given to each table so that worked well for a pre-dinner snack. And please please pick the seats under the fans with no view instead of the sunbeds with a view – otherwise wilting under the heat is inevitable.
Hotelux Dinner at Knolls – my Hotelux 3-course dinner was super nice! The place transforms into quite a lomantic spot for dates at night – it was cute that they bothered to decorate my table with rose petals for my special occasion. Everything on the menu was of high quality, with the crab cake being the star of the evening. SERIOUSLY NICE. Coffee was included in the affair, and chef even comped us a tiramsu for the occasion. Portions were generous and we were absolutely stuffed at the end of the evening. No less than 3 staff also came to wish us for our special occasion which was overwhelming (in a good way!).
When we returned to the room after dinner, turndown has been done and it was cute of them to leave a pouch of five stones (an old-school children’s game – which I suck at).
Breakfast – served at The Knolls from 7am-11am, booking of your desired arrival timeslot is required (eg 7:00-7:30am, 8:00am-8:30am) but note that it is only for arrival time and you can definitely stay beyond the 30mins (they didn’t chase me out when I sat from 8am to 9:15am). The restaurant is billed as a Mediterranean restaurant but in actual fact is the property’s main restaurant and serves an international repertoire. The space is a curve layout so it was impossible to get a proper picture that accurately portrays the space but here goes:
Breakfast is an ala carte buffet affair (sorry for the crappy menu pic) so feel free to go crazy. I wasn’t feeling particularly egg-ish that morning so I picked Laksa kosong, Siew Mai, and Lobster Dumplings all of which were not bad. The Bircher Muesli and Coconut Chia Seed Pudding unfortunately did not pass – too sweet. Good strong coffee though. Great service too.
Fitness Centre – located on level 1 and much smaller than I anticipated (is it because no one comes to Capella to work out?). And in my attempt to take a quick look, I forgot to ask if my keycard gets access into the fitness centre so my pictures are taken through it’s glass doors.
But of course, people come to Capella for the poolS (yes, plural). And I can completely see why (not liking the sun is a personal preference). There are a total of 3 pools in a tier arrangement for guest’s picking and no bookings are required which is quite a departure from the norm these days. The top 2 tiers are free form, come with a view of the cascading lanscape due to its height, and dotted with plenty of sunbeds around them. The 3rd tier is a lap pool of sorts with no view but very private due to its “hidden” location. Attentive pool attendants are always around to make sure that guests are comfy and tidy up the space if need be.
Auriga Spa (website) – I redeemed one of my Black Local Experience for the Senja Sunyi Massage (90 min) at Auriga Spa (also located on level 1) on my day of checkout and was given an email confirmation including the need to fill up a separate spa consultation form.
The massage itself is marketed as:
Combining traditional Asian therapies and massage techniques, this treatment uses a combination of warm Moon stones, long flowing strokes, stretches and pressure points with hydrating Argan Oil Shea Butter balm to ease any muscle kinks and knots.
I was also invited to arrive 45mins-1hour earlier to use the wet facilities – Herbal Steam Room, Experience Showers, Vitality Pool, Ice Fountain, and Relaxation Lounge. I received a warm welcome when I stepped in, and was brought around the facilities when they found out it was my first visit. Everything was immaculate and in great shape including the thoughtful inclusions in each of the lockers.
The wet facilities were really enjoyable! For those who likes your jacuzzi waters hot, the vitality pool will boil you just fine – you’ll step out quite medium well.
The steam room in particular smells really nice (I forgot what were the herbs), and the experience showers were fun and dousing myself with crushed ice was also a first for me.
I was advised to be prepped and ready in the waiting room 3-5mins prior to the appointment time, and was collected by my masseur right on time. Upon stepping into my treatment room, I was surprised by yet another Happy Anniversary gesture comprising a towel cake topped with a hilarious paper cut-out champagne plus a personalised note with skincare samples laid out in one corner – how very sweet of them! Kudos to the masseur for playing along with her enthusiastic wishes too.
On a more proper note, the masseur was very thorough in bringing me through what to expect, including asking if I would mind the tummy area to be included in the massage and if the head massage with oil at the end will be okay with me. The massage itself was VERY good and whatever moonstones are, they are good stones! I walked out looking like a bird which just got out from an olive oil spill but it’s all worth it hehe. There is also a little post-treatment snack of dried fruits and protein balls – so thoughtful.
Hotel Grounds – more random shots of the hotel grounds but I couldn’t get a really proper picture showing the beauty of the architecture so make do with these taken with my iPhone XR. Nothing beats seeing it in person!
Service – I’ll come out and say outright that Capella service is phenomenal. There is something about their stealthy way of using their comms to inform each other of your last name so you are almost always addressed by your last name. Every single staff you pass by greets you. Every staff I’ve interacted longer with are effortlessly polite and seems really genuine to want to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Housekeeping staff brings requested items in a basket and places them personally instead of just handing them over at the door. And every single staff takes off their shoes before entering your room – this alone will make me come back. I am also super duper impressed that the special occasion theme made its way throughout the entire stay – I mean, honestly, it made me feel really special and shows the volume of effort and harmonized coordination across the various departments. Capella, YOU WIN.
If you are feeling anti-social, you can also make use of their digital concierge (link) to make your request.
Just for a truly honest review, there were two little hits & misses but of course barely made a blimp in the grand scheme of things. We were too stuffed to finish the fruit platter during dinner at Knolls and the staff offered to have room service deliver to the room instead – but it never came. I asked housekeeping for an extra paper bag for packing but that never came too.
Check Out – A seated process painlessly completed at 7:30pm after getting assistance with my barang from my room. The team also asked for the vehicle number of my grab so they can keep a lookout and come get me when its time (so I don’t have to stand and wait outside). This is such an important gesture and in my opinion, is a show of effort to take care of you right up to your departure.
I’m actually quite blown away by my first proper Capella experience. The experience was of course elevated with snagging the Capella Suite but everything else is not room specific: from the excellent service from each and every staff to the over-the-top anniversary gestures – I loved every hour of my 32.5 hours (!). One night indeed feels too short for a property of this calibre and I’ll be back for two nights once I sort out the state of my financial ruins.