I’m walking through the enormous buffet breakfast at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa when something stops me in my tracks.
One whole wall is dedicated to baby food and bottles.
My kids aren’t babies anymore. They are 8 and 10. But this section of the buffet is just more confirmation that this hotel understands families.
The Shangri-La’s attention to detail extends to the rooms too.
The bathrooms come complete with toilet training seats for toddlers and a step stool for the basin. The baths have a non-slip mat in the shape of a crocodile. The kids have their own gentle bath gel and shampoo and on the side of the bath sits a green toy frog.
At the desk, the Shangri-La Rasa has provided colouring-in paper and pencils with a sharpener lid because every parent knows the hell of pencils going blunt mid-colouring.
“Mum, you HAVE to see this,” my daughter yells as she opens the curtain to our pool room patio.
On the patio are two baby peacocks. My daughter is pulling her “it’s so cute” face. The same one she does every time she spies a puppy. Her eyes widen in wonder as she spots the mother peacock watching her young from a perch above.
“Oh this place is amazing,” my daughter gushes.
But it gets even better. Once the luggage arrives, we quickly change and head to the pool.
My 10-year-old is obsessed with soccer and the swimming pool is full of floating soccer balls. We spend the next 40 minutes doing “goalie practice” in the water. Up the other end of the pool (it’s huge) the Shangri-La has set up a basketball post. We join my daughter and my husband in taking turns to shoot.
The Shangri-La Rasa has three waterslides and a water play park. As soon as the kids spot it, they are off. We’ve planned to go to Adventure Cove Waterpark, but the kids are having so much fun. I wonder if we could just stay in this hotel instead.
As the sun sets, many of the kids migrate to the lounges to watch the poolside movie and the adults grab a drink (and a little bit of me-time) from the pool bar.
Relaxing on a lounge chair, I finally get the idea of a stop and flop resort holiday. The kids are happy. We are happy. It’s warm and we have cocktails. This is awesome.
In the morning we hit Siloso Beach. The Shangri-La has direct beach access and the hotel has set up soccer goals, croquet and watersports for families to play. Tall coconut palms are dotted around the resort and the beach. My daughter spies a coconut up a leaning palm and tries her best to climb up to grab it. They sell them at the bar, we tell her. You can have one later.
If you are planning a trip to Singapore with kids of any age – this hotel should be on top of your list.
The Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa is on Siloso beach Sentosa. The Sentosa Cable car and the Sentosa A bus stop outside the hotel, giving guests direct access to the mainland and Sentosa’s attractions. The A bus is free. Siloso Beach has pizza restaurants, bungy jumping, the end of the Sentosa zip line and the Sentosa trolley cars. The hotel provides Sentosa Island passes which allow free access for guests to Sentosa Island.
Why we stayed here
We planned to spend most of our time in Singapore on Sentosa Island, visiting Universal Studios, Adventure Cove Waterpark and the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World. We wanted a family hotel on Sentosa Island with large rooms, enough beds for everyone and the biggest pool we could find. Shangri-La Rasa ticked all those boxes.
We stayed in a family garden villa room with a patio and easy access to the pool. The room was down the quieter end of the pool (near the adults-only section) so it was nice and quiet. The rooms are generous in size and come with everything you can think of – non-slip bath mats, toilet training seats, a desk and huge beds. They also have loads of power points – which is a must when travelling with tweens.
You could spend a week at the Shangri-La Rasa and still not do everything. This hotel has three waterslides, a water play park, a fish pond, a massive pool with floating balls and basketball hoop. Families can hire watersports equipment such as kayaks to paddle around the islands off Sentosa. You can play croquet, beach soccer, climb coconut trees or just relax by the pool. The hotel also has a games room and air hockey tables. Younger kids may like to go to the kids club. Older tweens will probably be happy to occupy themselves.
Food and beverage
The breakfast buffet at the Shangri-La Rasa is out of this world. They have one whole section dedicated to Indian food, with an Indian chef. Curry and naan for breakfast is a must-do. Seriously.
The buffet has a huge kids section with fresh fruit, pancakes and cereal. They have Asian food, European food, fresh-made omelettes. You name it, this buffet has it.
The kids also loved Trapizza on Siloso Beach. My daughter loved the bento box, served in a car plate with sections for different foods – one for spaghetti bolognaise, another for corn, one for a mini pizza. The colouring-in sheets and pencils were also a huge hit with our youngest.
If you love noodles, head to 8 noodles bar for dinner. You can order wonton noodles, char kway teow, hor fun noodles and fish udon herbal soup. Too tired? Order it to your room.
The Siloso Beach bar serves cocktails, beer and light refreshments by the pool. And the Bubble Bar on Level 3 has wine, cocktails and beer for a little bit of time away from the kids.
Sentosa with tweens is epic. We only had three days here. We needed more. Universal Studios Singapore has the Transformers and Jurrasic Park rides and it’s about to expand to include Minion Park and Mario World. Adventure Cove Waterpark is one of the best waterparks in the world. The lazy river goes through the fish tank, past stingrays, under bridges and floats to every attraction in the park. Read our full review of Adventure Cove here. You can easily do SEA Aquarium in half a day. My kids loved the jellyfish section, the sharks and the giant fish tank. For a sugar hit, check out the Candilicious store at Resorts World. It’s huge and packed with sugary treats.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore
101 Siloso Road, Sentosa, Singapore.
* The writer stayed at this hotel at her own expense.