Recently, we spent an incredible weekend in Sentosa. It was fun for kids and grown-ups. As well us Singaporeans and tourists.
It is this little fairy island, just off the larger coast of Singapore. Since I am from India, It was interesting to learn that the root of the name is “Santusht” or being content, from the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit.
A previous name “Belakang Mati” which in Malay means “Death from Behind” seems strangely apt. The British built huge guns facing south towards the sea to protect Singapore’s harbour. But the Japanese came from behind, across the Straits of Johore in the north, and captured “Fortress Singapore” in a matter of days. Remnants of the military base are everywhere, with many of the hotels centred around old barracks and army clubs.
Attractions for All Ages
Today, Sentosa doesn’t bristle with guns, but with amazing things to do for fun. Its a must visit for kids and you can even spend your entire time in Singapore here. The shopping thats missing here could be done in a day trip to Singapore, instead of staying in Singapore and making a day trip to Sentosa.
Siloso beach has the most attractions and you can spend all your time there.
You go up in the ski lift, come down by go kart, for USD 15. Their tag line is “Once is Never Enough” and they are right. Everyone goes for repeats. On Siloso beach.
Zipping down 450m from a height of 75m at great speed, your heart and stomach are in your mouth. Its quick but a lot fun. Costs USD 35. Also on Siloso beach.
Everyone is taught how to use it before starting, and are young kids are accompanied by an instructor all the way. Waiting time varies. The actual instruction and ride takes up to 20 minutes and costs apprx USD 15 each.
On Siloso beach, you can spend the day at Coastes a restaurant, located at the start of the stretch of sand. Good food, service, nice layout.
If you are looking for a hipper place, go to TBC (Tanjong Beach Club). Besides being on the beach, it has an outdoor pool. Superb (but pricy) food. In the evenings it morphed into “club” with music and the appropriate crowd!
Ports of Lost Wonder
This water park, also off Siloso is wonderful place for kids. Sometimes I think the grown-ups have more fun!
Indoor skydiving for USD90 where you get 2 go’s. Just off Siloso beach.
Moving slightly away from Siloso is the main amusement park. It welcomes all kids, but some rides are too much for young ones. Tickets are USD50 for adults and USD 30 for kids below 12. It can get crowed, so the express pass is useful, though costs USD 20 extra each. It has the usual host of rides – Transformers, Jurassic, Mummies. Food is disappointing. No gourmet choices and even the fast food isn’t great.
Tickets are available from many sites, but I normally end up buying from the main website as they include all the extras. For example recently when shopping for Universal Studios, other sites were cheaper, but did not sell express passes.
This is the symbol of Singapore, the mythical sea-lion. A 5 minute walk from Siloso, it was right opposite the Meridien hotel we were staying in and looks awesome. We enjoyed a close look at it while eating outdoors in the hotel.
Discovered this while writing this blog. I am a history buff and can’t believe I haven’t been here yet. For next time. Shows the history of Sentosa as a military base and seems very well done.
Its one of the largest in the world and has huge viewing galleries. You will find marine life in front of you, behind you, above you and even below you. Tickets are USD 22 for adults and USD 17 for kids.
Places to Stay
A superb hotel built around an old British army club and includes colonial villas. Most of the rooms are in the modern wing built around the complex. Spent many memorable weekends here. Great food and pool. Fantastic breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch. Served in front of this lovely pool with peacocks strolling around you. Best claypot chicken I have ever had.
Very hip hotel though of course pricey as expected. Have spent many daycations next to the pool. Great food. Have heard rooms are super.
There are many other hotels. I have liked the Sofitel, but not the Meridien. I have not tried the upscale Amara sanctuary and Shangri-La yet.
Sentosa Golf Club
Am not a golfer, but have heard this world class. It costs USD200-400 depending on when you play, and you must have your handicap card with you.
Resorts World Sentosa Casino
Again, not my thing, but if you want to have a go, Sentosa is one of the few places outside Vegas and Macau where you will find a world class casino. Entry costs USD 75 per person.
Annual Yacht Show
This is quite a spectacular event and the next one is April 6-9, 2017. Just as its rare to find a casino like this in a tourist destination, I can say the same for a fancy yacht show. So again, a unique opportunity if this interests you.
Help in Sentosa
Though the island is small, Sentosa is equipped with buses and a monorail to take you around. The website and My Sentosa app will give you the latest on attractions and discounts.
It is quite amazing how many activities are packed into such a small place. Despite this and the 20 million visitors, it never seems crowded. Whether we have visited for the day, or spent 1, 2 or 3 nights here, we have enjoyed it each time. Can’t wait to go back to see Fort Siloso.
Let me know what your experience was like and if there is something special I can check out for you as I live here.