We spent six nights in the Capella Hotel, attending a major corporate event. While the buildings and surroundings are very special, the overall experience was less satisfying than would have been expected, unless you know Singapore as well as we do. You see, we lived there for seven years, before the Capella was conceived. This made it hard for us to stay on Sentosa, knowing how far it is from the main Singapore attractions; shopping, shopping, shopping. Secondly, while the will is there to provide 5-star service, there is clearly a struggle getting the staff to actually execute on the promise.
First, the facility is truly special. The old English barracks have been refurbished to impeccable standards. They serve as a special core for a resort within a city. The meetings rooms were great and the common spaces served our event perfectly. We were luckily assigned to a villa. These are special rooms - large living room, bedroom and bathroom, with a dedicated swimming pool. The view is disappointing, mainly because the designer tried to fit in too many villas to allow each to look over those in front. The room itself was very well appointed with only minor issues. For example, it is a challenge to turn the knobs on the sink, particularly if your hands are wet. The lighting requires a Phd to operate so assume you will spend the first night with lights on until someone tells you how to operate the system. Finally, we needed some special help with the Internet, but this was handled professionally at 3am.
The biggest issue is internal transportation. The villas are too far to walk from the main lobby, so you are moved around by golf carts - when there are valets to drive them. The system is very unpredictable/unreliable. This requires guessing how long it will take for a cart to come, before you guess how long the taxi ride downtown will take (assume 30 minutes). Management clearly struggles with the cost of having permanent cart service versus using the front desk staff to come when they are available. At the price of these rooms, the guest should not be aware of this trade-off.
Little things make a difference when a resort is at this level. The workout facility is sadly under-designed and unmanned. The equipment is squeezed into a small room with TV's that worked intermittently. While we understand Asian guests may not find this an issue, foreigners will be disappointed if anyone comes thinking this is a "spa". Breakfast was expensive, and usually cold by the time it arrived. There is a gift shop that was never open when my wife tried to buy some things to bring home. Little things, but not up to a 5-star rating.
The highlight was the staff. Their attitude was positive and helpful. They saw our frustration with the little things and tried their best to smile and be pleasant.
The Capella is worth a visit - perhaps not six nights - but be prepared for some little challenges.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 18, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to leave this review for us on Tripadvisor. I am glad that you found our staff helpful and good hosts to you.
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While we are situated on Sentosa Island, we are still very conveniently located near the major shopping malls and central business district which is only about a 10 minute drive away. Our rooms and villas are designed to provide the ultimate luxury and convenience for our guests with the complimentary mini bar and wifi as well as touch scene panels by the bedside that control the lights, air conditioning and blinds so that our guests need not have to move around the room to find all the switches.
I am sad to hear that the buggy service, gym and breakfast were not up to your expectations and we are continuously finding ways to improve and create that perfect experience for all our guests. Nevertheless thank you for your kind recommendation, I hope that you will still consider Capella Singapore for your next holiday stay.
Director of Sales & Marketing
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.