Can you blame her? I wanted another excuse to dip our toes in the South China Sea so we spent one night at the Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa. In hindsight, that wasn’t nearly enough time because I couldn’t get my 4-year-old daughter to leave the resort to experience the attractions on Sentosa Island.
As a result, I won’t be a great tour guide outside of the resort, but I hope I can still convince you to make Sentosa Island a part of your Singapore itinerary because we definitely enjoyed our time there.
Family-Friendly Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa Resort
The Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa is the only beachfront resort in Singapore and off the hook for kids. I was tailing my daughter around in the water play areas. The humidity was tough on my camera lenses, so I regret not taking more pictures to show how truly awesome it was.
The kids’ pool has a water slide and all sorts of really cool water toys, while the main pool was massive too. I will say that having just come from the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, the rooms here were a little less appointed in comparison. But there were monkeys on our balcony and it was just a different experience altogether.
There are all sorts of activities available on the beautiful sandy beach, including trapeze. It felt a little bit like a Caribbean resort with some touristy stuff mixed in with nature. You can tell you are in Singapore though by the massive container ships docked in the distance. It made me wonder about the cleanliness of the water, but it looked clear and there were little fish swimming around our legs. I can’t find reference to anyone complaining about it.
Stepping on to the beach for the first time was a definite “wow” moment. I couldn’t believe that we were standing on a beach in Singapore.
We ate our lunch by the pool, which was a struggle because my daughter didn’t want to leave the water play area AT ALL, but the Singapore Sling and burgers really hit the spot.
We dined at the Shell Cafe for dinner and sat on the patio. All of a sudden it started pouring rain–the dining area where we were seated was protected–but it was so cool to be outside and eating during a brief tropical downpour. Singapore is a rainforest territory, after all!
We didn’t take advantage of it but plenty of kids were having a blast in the kids’ club area either doing crafts or climbing all over this indoor tree house structure.
Getting to Sentosa Island
If you’re in Singapore, you can definitely just make Sentosa Island a day trip but why not stay overnight? It took us about 20 minutes to get there from our location on Orchard Road. You can taxi on to the island, though you’ll pay a small toll unless you can prove you’re staying on the island. Have your hotel itinerary ready, if you’re checking in. You may also take the cable car in.
Main Attractions on Sentosa Island
There is a lot to do, but here is what we’ll see next time. That is, if I can get my daughter off the beach and out of the resort.
Underwater World: Staff at the Four Seasons Singapore raved about this aquarium. I regret that we did not go. They have 2500 marine animals here and there’s a journey to the bottom of the sea that’s supposed to be amazing, but not for the claustrophobic.
Universal Studios Singapore: This new park has helped revive family travel to Singapore. In Singaporean style, they limit ticket sales in order to avoid it getting crowded. As soon as you know which day you’d like to go, contact your concierge and have them get tickets for you. It’s the only Universal Studios in Southeast Asia and a big deal. There are 7 themed zones surrounding a lagoon, the world’s tallest dueling roller coasters, 30 restaurants, shops, rides and more. I regret we didn’t plan to see it – next time though.
As I already mentioned, we spent our entire time on the beach and enjoying the hotel. It was still worth the stay as Sentosa Island is a nice break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Also, the food and drinks in our hotel here were significantly less expensive than in Singapore proper, as was our transfer to the Changi airport. Two nights is probably enough, though we met families that had been there for a week or more. All were content to stay put and enjoy the beach.
Would we stay there again? You bet.
Photos (with the exception of kids water play area) are courtesy of Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa