According to Chinese feng shui principles, peacocks — with a “thousand eyes” embellishing their magnificent tails — not only symbolize beauty and attraction, but also promote luck and fame. And so, catching sight of these elegant birds strolling Capella Singapore’s meticulous grounds felt like kismet.
I had grasped my good fortune long before actually arriving at Capella Singapore’s flora-lined private road that leads to 40 acres of rainforest, gardens, pools, accommodations and shared spaces. A Changi Airport employee had greeted me at my gate, rather than the baggage claim, and personally guided me throughout Singapore’s arrival process. Not long after, I rolled up to the luxury resort in a Range Rover equipped with refreshments including San Pellegrino and cold towels.
When Capella Singapore’s parent company, Capella Hotels & Resorts, decided on the location of the 112-room property, it looked beyond Singapore’s pulsating, metropolitan center in favor of neighboring Sentosa Island. On the isle, biodiversity prospers in a rainforest ecosystem, and tranquility is on demand. As I shopped around for an accommodation in Singapore, I found these considerations in line with my own goal of rejuvenation. (Moneyed locals, too, often flock to the hotel on weekends for a sumptuous staycation.)
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Singapore’s architecture is known for its duplicity: that of the traditional Malay dwellings and shophouses, alongside the more contemporary art deco and Brutalist-style edifices. Capella Singapore references this dichotomy by also marrying the city-state’s colonial past with modern flair.
Restored military buildings from the 1880s — called Tanah Merah, or “red earth” in Malay — contain many of the resort’s communal areas, including several restaurants and The Living Room. Formerly the setting for extravagant merrymaking by British officers of the Royal Artillery, The Living Room now gathers guests for daily complimentary afternoon tea, as well as workshops led by on-staff Capella Culturists, who delight guests with the resort’s storied past.
Bookending the two Tanah Merah buildings are modern extensions of the resort, whose curving structures frame a garden courtyard and encompass guestrooms and suites. Rows of three idyllic swimming pools, rainforest foliage and one- or two-bedroom villas (each with an outdoor terrace and private plunge pool) are artfully positioned on the resort’s sloping site — as if cascading down to the public beach below.
I stayed in a Premier Seaview Room that, at first, appeared deceivingly simple: natural materials, a muted color palette and the like (though definitely equipped with premium-quality materials and accoutrements). But within minutes, I realized the guestroom’s full potential, from a bedside iPad that served as a control panel for room functionalities, including lighting, air-conditioning, curtains and blinds, to a state-of-the-art Bose surround-sound system. Indeed, luxury was available at every touch point, including Aesop toiletries and gorgeous views (the shower and separate tub looked out toward a spacious balcony and the island’s seascape).
Clients who place a premium on exclusivity will appreciate The Manor Experience, a recently launched package that features a stay in one of the resort’s spacious Capella Manors. Like luxurious private residences, each Manor can host up to six adults and one child, and amenities include large outdoor terraces with a private lap pool, in-manor kids’ activities, a dedicated villa host, a personal chef and more.
No matter where guests choose to stay, however, most will make at least one stop to Auriga Spa. Appointed Five-Star status by Forbes Travel Guide, the on-site retreat offers signature treatments in accordance with the moon’s lunar phases. Waxing Moon, for example, focuses on healing and nourishment, while Waning Moon aims to detoxify. Thinking again of my intent for a refresh, I chose the New Moon treatment, which focuses on renewal and introspection. And regardless of whether clients actually give credence to such “celestial rhythms,” it was the best massage that I have ever experienced — and made me a believer.
(Editor’s note: Traveling to and from Sentosa Island requires access through a security gate, as well as proof of an overnight stay at Capella Singapore, which is provided for hotel guests. Capella Singapore also offers guests a complimentary shuttle service, available every 30 minutes, to VivoCity, Singapore’s largest shopping mall.)