If you’re seeking a true beachfront hotel in Singapore, there’s really only one choice.. the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa. Readers will know I have frequented Sentosa’s W Hotel on numerous occasions but had yet to make a proper comparison with the Shangri-La. Spurred by an upcoming public holiday, I booked a minibreak for two nights and we had a splendid time. Fortuitous timing as a secondary ‘lockdown lite’ was announced during our stay. Which made the hotel stay even sweeter as we savored every last drop.
Note that this review is based off the back of a stay in mid May ’21. New government regulations are in place and dining rules etc may be different.
Shangri La Rasa Sentosa Location
You can’t beat the location. The 454 room property is perched on Siloso Beach, overlooking the South China Sea. The property is situated on Sentosa, Singapore’s self-proclaimed ‘State Of Fun’. There’s lots to do nearby from Fort Siloso to the Mega Adventure Park. In addition there are some lovely trails close by, including Imbiah and the Coastal Trail.
Booking the Rasa Sentosa
I booked direct with the hotel. There are many different room types but as we (2 adults plus 2 kids) were sharing a room, I wanted something slightly bigger than standard. I plumped for the Terrace Pool View Room King. This was a flexible rate including breakfast. I then requested a sofabed for the girls.
A few days in advance of our stay, we were sent a link to book pool and beach slots. You are entitled to one pool slot and one beach slot per day. However, we were able to add additional slots on the day, as they hadn’t reached full capacity.
It’s worth joining the Shangri-La’s Golden Circle programme. I received fresh fruit on arrival!
The hotel has an 80s Hawaii resort vibe with its open staircases and a tropical pool area. I had completed an ‘arrival questionnaire’ in advance although we still had to complete the various health questionnaires at reception.
Hard not to laugh at our room number (Orwell and British TV fans note).. room 101. This was the Terrace Pool View Room King at the farthest part of the western end of the resort. The room was large but felt very empty and sterile. But let’s face it (unlike the guests previously serving SHN here), you’re not here for the room. You’re here for the pool and the beach.
The room had a King Bed and they had set up the rollaway for Jetlag & Mayhem. Unfortunately the rollaway was extremely uncomfortable. If you’re traveling with young kids, they offer plenty of extras from kids toothbrushes to kids toilet seats and non slip bath mats. There was a decent size terrace with table and chairs. Best of all, we could walk straight out to the pool area.
The pool is fabulous, with a main swimming pool, kids pool and adults only section. Note that for the pool and the beach, you will have to arrive at your allocate slot.
There’s also a couple of water slides for the kids to hurl themselves down.
We loved hanging out at the beach. The hotel provides complimentary kayaks, sups and pedalos. There’s also a badminton net, tabletennis set, football goals and volleyball court. In the old days, you could go for a wander down the beach but there are currently restrictions as to where you can go.
There is a gym which was closed during my stay but I’ve heard the Chi Spa is very good.
In addition to the beach, another big draw for the family traveller is the Kids Club. The ‘Cool Zone’ houses the Toots Club (ages 5-12) and Mini Toots Club (age 4 and under). Our kids loved the giant treehouse slide. For the Mini Toots Club, parental supervision is required. There are also Arts & Crafts activities available (subject to extra cost).
Located just by Trapizza, a short walk from the hotel is Nestopia. This is an open-air space with 17 play sections fitted out with challenging obstacle courses made up of three giant nests situated 7.5 meters off the ground. Hotel guests receive a discount.
Trapizza, Silver Shell Café and Siloso Beach Bar are open, while 8 Noodles, Casserole and The Bubble Bar closed till further notice.
The breakfast buffet is at the Silver Shell Café. Gone is the traditional breakfast buffet. Now you can order the buffet direct from an app on your phone. It does work suprisingly well. The food is of decent quality and arrives very quickly!
Located by the pool, Siloso Beach Bar serves up decent grub for lunch. I must admit I do have a weakness for their mozzarella sticks. You can also get alcoholic beverages from the bar, including a delicious frozen margarita.
My favourite place to eat is Trapizza. This is a part of the hotel but a 5 minute walk away. Book in advance as Trapizza is very popular at the weekend.
If you’re looking for decent coffee, about 20 minutes walk towards Palawan is Baristart.
I was a W devotee until I stayed at the Rasa Sentosa. There’s something about having access to the beach and the tropical vibe of the hotel that makes you feel as if you have escaped to Thailand. In addition, having both beach and pool access per day means that even during busy periods you aren’t stressing about not having it. The rooms are a bit tired and dated. The food onsite isn’t quite 5* standard. Although the pizzas and salads at Trapizza are very good quality.
If I wasn’t departing the fair shores of Singapore this summer, I would definitely return. Who knows, perhaps I’ll find myself here as a tourist again one day….