Set atop a cliff amongst 27 acres of tropical rainforest on Sentosa Island, the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is a tranquil hideaway boasting views out over the South China Sea.
The star of the show at this family friendly Singapore resort is the 33-metre midnight blue swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees and with the hotel’s 1930s colonial architecture as its backdrop. Tanjong Beach is just a short walk away via wooden steps through the rainforest, while the gorgeous So Spa is the ultimate retreat, with whirlpools, waterfalls and mud baths in tropical surroundings.
This luxurious family friendly hotel was in fact the first hotel to open on Sentosa Island, although it only recently rebranded as a Sofitel following the completion of a $40 million French-inspired refurbishment, which completed at the end of 2015.
As symbolized by the two intertwining rings of their logo, Sofitel pride themselves on drawing inspiration from the local culture of a hotel’s location, while celebrating French art de vivre, and this is evident throughout the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.
From the grand hand-blown chandelier that dominates the entrance lobby, to the purple mosaic tiles adorning the shower in the suites, the design touches give a magnifique Parisian flamboyance to an otherwise tropical colonial setting.
Bedtime at the Sofitel
There are 211 rooms and suites at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, plus four private Villas du Jardin, each with its own driveway, two elegant bedrooms, swimming pool and garden terrace.
Our home for our two-night stay at this luxury family hotel in Singapore was a beautifully decorated 55 square metre Junior Suite. We loved the plush furnishings of our suite – from the deep-pile rug in the living area, to the plump squishy pillows on our bed, everything felt very luxurious and indulgent.
The living area of their family hotel in Sentosa was spacious, and could easily accommodate a rollaway bed for my daughter, without having to rearrange the sofa and coffee table. The kids were most excited about the treats left in the room with their names on – chocolate-dipped marshmallows and choc-chip cookies adorned with M&Ms (I had my own plate of delicious chocolate truffles by the bed), but I was most impressed by the mini bar.
In true Sofitel style, the leather encased mini bar has been designed to reflect both French and local influences – this time portraying both a French hatbox and a dim sum basket. It cleverly conceals several drawers and cupboards housing a fridge, glasses, snacks etc – but best of all, an Illy coffee machine and a selection of TWG teabags. Fabulous!
Note there is no door between the living area and bedroom, which wasn’t an issue for us but may pose a problem if you are want to put noise-sensitive children to bed and continue to watch TV in the other room. The Prestige Family Suite however does have separate bedroom and living room, with a sofa bed in the living room for kids.
The partitioning wall between the bedroom and living room does allow for some separation between the rooms, and most importantly features a 47 inch LED Smart TV on either side, meaning you can watch cartoons in the living room (there are several kids channels), and sport in the bedroom if you want (this seems to work for my family!)
I also loved the stunning bathroom, adorned with sparkling mosaic tiles and with plenty of light and reflection. The deep bathtub is perfect for a long soak and the rain shower big enough for the kids to play in while they wash. I also appreciated the lovely-smelling Lanvin bath amenities.
Playtime at the Sofitel
The centerpiece of the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is its stunning 33-metre midnight blue swimming pool. Surrounded by palm trees and with the colonial architecture of the hotel as a backdrop, this is the perfect place to hang out with the kids and refresh from the heat and humidity of Singapore.
Although there is no separate kids’ pool, there is a large shallow area running the entire length of the pool, with steps for playing on, making it easily manageable with small kids. And where else can you hang out by the pool as peacocks roam around your sunlounger?
When you’re ready for some adult-only time, or the kids want to play in air-conditioned comfort, the Kids Club of this family friendly Singapore hotel is handily located right next door to the gym and spa. Although relatively small, my kids were happily entertained here for a few hours, playing on the climbing frame, and with the variety of games, puzzles and video games on offer.
The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa boasts the world’s largest SO Spa, featuring 14 indoor treatment rooms and 6 outdoor treatment pavilions. What really impresses here is the 6,000 square metres of tropical landscaped gardens, with waterfalls, mudbaths, swimming pools and secluded chill-out areas, making this one of the very best spas in Singapore.
I was luckily enough to indulge in a luxurious 60-minute massage and try out all the fabulous facilities, while my kids played happily at the Kids Club next door, and I can highly recommend it to travel-weary mums.
A fun feature at this family hotel in Sentosa is the Movie by the Pool nights, held every Friday and Saturday evenings at the SO Spa main pool. All movies are rated PG-13 or under, so suitable for the whole family, and tickets include gourmet popcorn, soft drinks and tapas. You can of course swim while you watch the movie too.
If you are looking for more energetic pursuits, then you will also find two tennis courts, mountain bikes to explore the island on, or head to the state-of-the-art SO FIT fully-equipped gym.
There are several restaurants to choose from at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. The main restaurant Kwee Zeen (see what they did there?!) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. We loved the outdoor terrace overlooking the South China Sea or swimming pool, where you can dine to the sound of the birds in the trees – and interact with the peacocks wandering past your table (I kid you not).
We enjoyed breakfast here every morning – a generous buffet of Asian and Western specialties, including scrumptious French pastries and cheeses, fresh fruit, egg station, noodle soups, curries, sushi, dumplings and more. There is also a small kids counter, plied with dried fruits, mini muffins, cereals and other kid-friendly offerings.
An international buffet is also available at lunch and dinner, or choose to go a la carte for a range of Pan-Asian specialties or classic French cuisine.
Most exciting is the Magnifique Sunday Champagne Brunch held every Sunday from 12.30 – 3.30pm, featuring a lavish buffet of 16 different ateliers, ranging from live seafood and foie gras a la minute, to the crepe station and selection of 32 French cheeses – all washed down with free-flow Taittinger champagne! There is even a kids’ room set up with games and a TV to keep the little ones entertained while mum and dad get stuck into the buffet and champagne.
We also love the idea of their Saturday Pink Brunch – a selection of pink delicacies (think beet-cured salmon with pink grapefruit and prawn penne with pink vodka sauce) all served with free-flow rose wine.
The other restaurant located in the main section of the hotel is Il Lido at the Cliff. Il Lido has long enjoyed the reputation as one of Singapore’s best Italian restaurants, and relocated to the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa in May 2016.
Famed for its classic Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist, Il Lido boasts a romantic, breezy setting on its outdoor terrace, and a more formal, elegant dining room dressed in crisp white, dark turquoise and mahogany hues. Despite its reputation as a fine-dining restaurant, we found the staff at Il Lido hugely accommodating to families, and they happily created a ‘bed’ out of dining chairs for us when we turned up with a sleeping 3-year old.
Not to be outdone by Kwee Zeen, il Lido also hosts its own free-flow brunch. Currently held on the first Saturday of every month, here you can indulge in an array of homemade Italian staples, along with freshly barbecued gourmet meat and fish, and Italian desserts – all washed down with free-flow Prosseco.
A good thing to note for Singapore residents is that all Saturday and Sunday brunches at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa are open to non-resident guests, and include complimentary pool access until 7pm.
The hotel bar, Le Bar, enjoys a breezy outdoor position, overlooking both the swimming pool and the hotel’s signature fountain. Inspired by colonial era pavilions, the plush designer furniture and flowing drapes invite you in to sip on a cocktail or two, or indulge in the Afternoon Tea a la Francaise. There’s even a fish spa at one end so you can let the fish nibble on your toes as you nibble on a scone.
A promotion worth checking out for Le Club AccorHotels Members (you can join when you check into the hotel) is the MyResorts privileges – MyGlass and MyKids. For $40 a day, you can indulge in all-day free-flow soft drinks, and free-flow draft beer, house wine and cocktails from 7pm-9pm every evening. For kids, $34 gets you all-day free-flow soft drinks and snacks, and set menus at lunch and dinner times.
More healthy dining options can be found at The Garden restaurant, appropriately located next to the gym and spa. The focus here is on minimally processed, calorie-conscious fare, with the signature item being a Salad Construction, where you can create your own salad from a selection of healthy ingredients.
In the ‘hood
Tanjong Beach (my favourite beach in Singpaore) is easily reached from the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa, via wooden steps through the rainforest. Note that there are 132 steps, which may prove a challenge for little legs on the way back up.
From here, you can jump aboard one of the free beach trams that run the length of Sentosa Island to reach all of Sentosa’s family friendly attractions such as Port of Lost Wonder, KidZania, the Skyline Luge and MegaZip Adventure Park.
Resorts World Sentosa is just a short (free) bus ride away, where you will find even more of Singapore’s best family attractions, such as Universal Studios, the SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark. Read more about visiting Sentosa with Kids in our Ultimate Guide to Sentosa Island with Kids.
If you want to explore beyond Sentosa, the hotel provides a shuttle bus to Vivocity shopping mall, every 30 minutes. This is one of Singapore’s biggest shopping malls and has an MRT station underneath for easy access to the rest of Singapore. Another hotel shuttle bus runs to Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping thoroughfare, every 2 hours.
Read more about all the family friendly activities in Singapore in our article 50 Things to Do in Singapore with Kids.
The Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is a truly fabulous hotel and definitely one of the best family friendly hotels in Singapore. While it features plenty of family-friendly facilities, such as a Kids Club, babysitting and swimming pool, it is not overrun with families, and manages to maintain a relaxed and tranquil vibe.
The design makeover by Sofitel has really stepped this Singapore hotel up a notch in terms of style and luxury – I have visited the resort many times in the past for brunch, and noticed the difference as soon as I entered the hotel. The resort feels opulent, and yet the beautiful natural surroundings lend a relaxed tropical holiday feel.
The kids loved the swimming pool and the kids club – and befriending the peacocks at breakfast. And the highlight for me? The SO SPA or course!
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Mum on the Move were guests of the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort and Spa for the purposes of writing this review. This did not influence my review in any way, and all opinions expressed are honest, and my own.