The rooms at Capella Singapore have a new look – here’s what to expect
Celebrated Hong Kong designer Andre Fu has completed a year-long refurbishment of Capella Singapore’s suites and villas. CNA Luxury discovers what has changed.
At this point in the pandemic, staycations have become our only form of escape. Like many others, I used to scoff at the idea of a staycation. What’s the point of splashing out just to stay in Singapore?
Well, that all changed after I embarked on a staycation in Sentosa – at Capella. After undergoing a year-long refurbishment, the suites and villas at Capella Singapore now have a new look.
The resort's 112 suites and villas were originally designed by the late Jaya Ibrahim, a celebrated Indonesian designer and one of the most respected in the design and hospitality world.
With dark wood and plush fabrics, Ibrahim’s design of the interiors has withstood the test of time. The use of warm, earthy tones was befitting of its tropical location.
Considering Capella's status as a Singapore icon, how would a refurbishment change the experience? Will the resort lose its original charm? And importantly, how will Ibrahim's legacy be retained?
Well, after a recent one-night stay at the resort, I’m pleased to report that the refurbishment is not a 180-degree turnaround as one might imagine. In fact, the design updates are rather subtle, to the point that they may not even be obvious to the everyday guest.
This was the intention of award-winning Hong Kong designer, Andre Fu, who, when planning the refurbishment, saw it important to respect Ibrahim’s original design. “You feel the presence of the new in the rooms, but it’s not overdone,” Fu said in a press release.
Instead, the goal was to simply update the design for the modern traveller. The original design was “based on a balanced symmetry and pared down luxury”, said Fu. “With this refurbishment, I have tried to respect that original intent, whilst infusing an evolved level of luxury that the modern hotel guest has come to expect. The design needed to reflect the fact that people use spaces differently today.”
It was Fu’s very own furniture collection – Andre Fu Living – that inspired the new interiors. Fu’s furniture collection had caught the eye of Evan Kwee, the vice chairman of Capella Hotel Group, who then roped in the designer for the refurbishment.
Fu, however, is no stranger to Capella Singapore, having designed the resort’s contemporary Chinese restaurant, Cassia.
After a smooth check-in process, I was whisked away via buggy to the one-bedroom garden villa, my accommodation for the night. The villa features a spacious living room, an outdoor terrace as well as a private plunge pool.
Upon entering my villa, what struck me was that the room now has an overall lighter feel, with softer colours used. Fu’s chosen colour palette is earthy sand, sage and mineral grey, with plenty of green accents. Green was especially chosen to reflect the natural botanicals surrounding the resort, and to bring the outdoors in.
Despite a refurbishment, the original layout and structure of the villa has been left unchanged (the same goes for all suites). Instead, standing at the entrance is a new oversized screen made of interlocking panels of rattan and oak, which gave the design of the room an Asian touch. By the side sits an oak drink cabinet with sliding rattan door panels reminiscent of antique kitchen armoires.
The living room features new bespoke furnishings, including a comfortable deep-set sofa ideal for lounging, and a two-tiered timber table capped by a slab of light grey marble, which doubles up as both an informal dining table and desk. I particularly enjoyed the rocking chair, a great spot for reading.
The centrepiece of the villa’s living area is an abstract, nature-inspired artwork hanging on the wall. All the art pieces for the villas and suites were sourced by local art gallery The Artling.
Meanwhile, outdoor teak furniture in light grey features on the terrace, blending nicely with the natural surroundings without stealing the show.
Fu displays a meticulous attention to detail. For example, the glass panel of the bedside lighting boasts a ripple effect, reminiscent of the nearby sea. In the bathroom, thoughtful vanity trays made from leather hold the necessities one may need.
Refurbishment aside, a stay at Capella is always a welcome respite from the daily grind. The sprawling grounds and relatively small number of villas and suites ensures intimacy and privacy, as the resort never feels too overcrowded.
Plus, Capella is a destination in itself, with activities such as a cocktail making workshop (or mocktail, in my case) at Bob’s Bar, guided by a charming bartender. There’s also the resort’s beautiful cascading pools (no pre-booking necessary) as well as Auriga, the hotel’s spa, where a masseuse skilfully kneaded away all the tension in my muscles developed from long days sitting hunched over a laptop.
If you’re a pawrent, you’d be glad to know that pets are welcome at the resort. While I chose not to bring my cat for the stay, those who do can book the resort’s newly-launched Pet Spacation package that includes an “Ayurveda spa session” for your furkid – essentially a pampering grooming session at Petpawroni, an upscale pet salon located at the nearby Sentosa Cove.
Amenities such as a pet bed, drinking water, toys and premium treats by Addiction Pet Foods will also be provided in your room so you don’t have to lug all your pet’s necessities with you.
As I pulled out of Capella’s driveway upon check-out, I made a mental note to return. The opportunity to wake up to (almost) tranquil silence is a rarity in a city like Singapore, and after all, my next out-of-the-country resort getaway still seems far away. Next time, maybe, I’ll take my furbaby along.