One of the world’s finest garden cities, Singapore has a portentous reputation for safe and sanitised fun. This is especially true since authorities have put a premium on a slew of seemingly innocuous activities: feeding pigeons – S$500; being nude at home – S$2,000; same-sex relations – no fine thankfully, but then you get to visit Changi Prison. Still, she’s a city-state not without her charms.
Every fashion designer you can or cannot pronounce properly wants a stake here. So do posh restaurateurs from all over the globe. And besides Monaco, you’d be hard-pressed to find a greater supercar density per square kilometre of tarmac. It’s the model metropolis, invented out of sheer ingenuity and measured dictatorial sensibilities. And if you wanted to taste the Singaporean melting pot on a smörgåsbord, you could do no better than checking in at the Crockfords Tower at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore. A short while ago, that was what I did, with a crew of 15 people. But more on that story next month.
As the city-state’s premier island getaway (Batam is technically Indonesian, even though its sights and sounds might compel you to believe otherwise), the Resorts World Sentosa Singapore complex is an impressively hewn oasis offering something for everyone, and the Crockfords is an excellent locus from which to launch an expedition. Up until recently guests were admitted by invitation only, so exclusivity and discretion are still important components of the ambiance. Served by an unparalleled team of butlers whose life missions are to ensure you succeed in yours, guests will want for nothing.
Once you’re settled, there are several standout attractions that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The first is one of my favourites. Because of Singapore’s highly populated, impersonal façade, visitors might find some difficulty with making a genuine connection. So my first recommendation is a visit to the Dolphin Island. With over 20 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins gaily breaking the surface of 11 interconnected pools, you’ll get to interact with these deeply intelligent mammals one on one; touch them, kiss them, even rub their bellies. Trained handlers will be in the pool with you, teaching guests to fully appreciate these amazing creatures.
To marvel at more oceanic wonders, towel off and grab a buggy to the S.E.A. Aquarium. One of the world’s largest, this massive facility hosts 100,000 marine animals from across 800 species. Full of engrossing marine exhibits, their crowning jewel is the open ocean habitat; a gigantic aquarium, entrancing visitors from behind a viewing panel over 8m high and 36m long. You’ll see mesmerising rays gliding hypnotically across the entire glass surface. Or black-tip reef sharks skulking about the corals below. Just find yourself a comfortable nook and sit back to take in this magnificent show. There’s nothing like it.
Lunch should be just around the clock by the time you’re done here. And the eating, whether Michelin ranked or fuss-free street style, is spectacular. Splurge on immaculately grilled surf and turf at Osia, Steak and Seafood Grill, a one-starred experience that emphasises seasonal freshness. Thanks to the restaurant’s interactive open kitchen, wafts of freshly baked bread and sizzling produce will have you salivating before you’re even shown your seat.
If you’re not feeling too lethargic after lunch, then grab your swimming gear and head on down to the Adventure Cove Waterpark. An exhilarating experience with water slides like Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster, you can also grab a tube and float down Adventure River, a carousel of 14 grand scenes, including a tropical jungle garden and a grotto inhabited by fantastical marine creatures. As the region’s only waterpark with marine life elements, you can also opt to snorkel with thousands of fish over the Rainbow Reef or sign up for an ethereal encounter with their giant rays.
Already making for an incredibly packed day, you’ll be glad to know rejuvenation comes in the form of Singapore’s largest luxury spa, ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore. Nestled on the western tip of the resort, it’s a spectacular haven protected by jungle-covered hills, landscaped gardens and ocean views. Enjoy the leisure of time in private male and female gardens, both with their own vitality pools. And if it’s instant refreshment you’re after, just dip into the icy plunge pools or traditional Japanese-influenced onsen pools. But don’t miss out on the opulent hammam experience. Adorned with a dramatic silver-domed ceiling, this authentic Turkish bath washes off a long day in the most effective way.
Resorts World Sentosa Singapore is an indulgent affair, a bold combination of scrumptious eateries and evocative attractions. A place unlike any other in our region, you’ll literally want for nothing. There are spectacular shows, interactive museums even, and is my pick for family and group holidays that pack so much more value than most can offer anywhere in this part of the world.