We had a short staycation at Rasa Sentosa recently and it was such a good break from city life! We had heard so much about how kid-friendly it was, and our experience attests to it.
One of the first hotels in Sentosa, Shangri-la’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa was established in 1993. It underwent an extensive 10-month makeover in 2010, which cost a cool $80 million. Thus it was a very much refreshed Rasa Sentosa which reopened in January 2011, and still looks every bit as splendid.
This was the first view of the hotel pools that we had – what a gorgeous sight! Lush tall palm trees circling the sunlit pool in a refreshing green embrace.
Spacious, luxurious rooms
We checked in to the Deluxe Pool View Room, which we found really spacious. The sofa beds for the kids were ready made, and the quality of the mattresses there were the best we had ever come across on a sofa bed. That ensured that the girls had a wonderful night’s rest, and there was no mention of squeezing into our bed at all, hooray.
The restroom was well equipped with a shower as well as a bathtub. The girls had a really good time soaking in the tub – an additional treat was the fact that they could watch TV at the same time, when we raised the blinds next to the bathtub.
This is how six year old B felt about the room.
Before long, she immediately settled herself down by doing what she loves best – aiming the remote at the cartoon channel. Thumbs up, for this is the life!
Lovely warm welcome
What took my breath away when I opened the door was that the hotel had thoughtfully arranged for wine, cake, macarons and chocolate truffles for our stay, since we had mentioned that we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this month.
Actually, we held our wedding banquet at the Orchard Road Shangri-la Hotel, and were considering a staycation there, but we thought it’d be more enjoyable for the kids to stay at the Rasa Sentosa instead, given its legendary family-friendly facilities and the plethora of activities available in Sentosa. The warm hospitality we received from the moment we arrived certainly made us feel very much at home.
Another nice touch was the fact that the minibar in every room comes with a complimentary box of local kueh, and a set of complimentary packet drinks and can drinks (in the bottom shelf)!
Every room, whether the Standard Hill View ones, or the Pool Facing Deluxe Rooms, all come with a balcony.
I captured this shot in the morning light, and this angle makes it look a tad Gaudi-esque!
The Rasa Sentosa covers a large part of the north-west tip of Sentosa, making for sprawling grounds and superb sunset views.
Here the kids are, lounging in the morning sunlight. I heard that these spots are a hit with guests who just want to have a quiet time. In our busy city, time taken out for solitude is often under-rated, yet so necessary for our souls to be refreshed.
There is even a small fruit and herb garden at a corner of the grounds, where kids are brought as part of the Kids Club programme to learn about nature. Always wonderful to see fruits growing from a tree, and the flowers that they fruit from.
Sentosa has a large resident population of peacocks, peahens and peachicks, so it wasn’t surprising to see a majestic male peacock perch regally outside a hotel room.
Closer to the ground, monitor lizards are a common sight too.
Direct beach front access
I hadn’t realised that the Rasa Sentosa is the only beach front resort in the whole of Singapore, but that was certainly a big plus since the kids love the sand and the sea.
Beautiful, fun pools
We were impressed by the fact that all the swimming pools are filled with natural water, which means that only the minimum statutory amount of chlorine is added, as opposed to four to five chemicals used in a commercial pool. This is great news for kids or adults who may have sensitive skin or eczema, since such pool water minimises the risk of allergic reaction and respiratory problems triggered by chlorine, eliminates eye irritation and is gentle to the skin and hair.
There is one large children’s pool under a canopy (extra sun protection!) with two slides.
And another kid’s pool with a slide through a cave and waterfall, on the other side of the bridge. This slide was more slippery and the kids loved the additional speed here!
There’s also a splash pad, which toddlers who are less water-confident will enjoy.
At the main pool, the kids had fun at the shallow end, and also swimming across the breadth of the pool. All kids who can’t swim confidently have to wear a life-jacket, which is provided near the pool towel station.
An adjoining ankle-deep shallow pool (with frogs spewing out a thin fountain) is perfect for little kids to wade in.
What’s the point of having siblings if you can’t aim water guns at them?
The girls had such a wonderful time exploring all the various pools and swimming back and forth. As usual, I’m so glad they have each other – the chuckling, the little spats, and the reconciliatory hugs – all part and parcel of bonding as siblings for life.
And all that is only half of all we wanted to share about our holiday here! Stay tuned for part 2, coming up soon……