The location of Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa feels somewhat secluded from the hustle and bustle of the popular Sentosa Island. The hotel is located in central-eastern Sentosa, which tourists would not visit due to the absence of attractions around the hotel. However, those staying in Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa would find peace and tranquillity on the hotel premises, partly due to the beautiful gardens within the hotel. There are no convenient stores or restaurants nearby the hotel, and the nearest “civilisation” is located around 20 mins walk from the hotel, at Resorts World Sentosa. However, Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa does provide regular transport to the nearby shopping mall in mainland Singapore for guests to top up their supplies or dine.
Villa Du Jardin
I have stayed at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa on multiple occasions and stayed in almost every room configuration on the hotel premises. We checked into one of the three massive 300m2 2-bedroom Villa Du Jardin during this staycation. The villa has two parking lots right at the doorstep and a private pool. Although the villa from the entrance did not look luxurious, a simple single-storey building mainly in white, our impression changed when we opened the main door into the villa.
We were immediately wowed by the amount of space the Villa Du Jardin offers as we entered the villa. The living room open concept design looks very spacious, coupled with the high ceiling and the glass doors that gave us access to the private pool area that created an indoor-outdoor living concept, impressed us with a vast amount of space in the villa. The use of wood and dark red colour scheme in the living room with subtle hints of French-inspired decors makes this part of the villa feel cosy and classy at the same time. Our eyes were caught by the elaborate crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, giving the villa a luxurious feel. A couple of red fabric couches occupies the main bulk of real estate in the living room on top of a huge carpet. One of the couches faces one of the three 47″ LED TV in the villa, and the other faces the main entrance to the villa. The living room is where we gathered most of the time, getting entertained by the numerous local and international channels the TV offers. I like the large knee height marble top coffee table in the centre of the couches, which is functional and practical. This coffee table did not obstruct the view of the TV and gave us ample space to place our snacks on while watching movies on the TV. We can see the hotel’s efforts in creating a Christmas atmosphere in the villa with the Christmas decorations, from the real Christmas tree by the main entrance to the balloons to the Christmas Wreath at the front door.
The TV sits on an open wooden cabinet at perfect eye level when watching from the couches. On the back of the TV, we found a generous amount of 36 bottled water that the housekeeping staff at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa placed to keep us hydrated during our stay. The hotel did not skimp on topping up these bottles of water during housekeeping. A large work desk is perfectly placed in front of the powder room on the right side of the living room, which gave us space to do some work. As this is the festive period, we used this work desk to place some of our stuff instead of working. Sitting on one side of the work desk is an egg-shaped beer dispenser. The first capsule of the beer is provided complimentary to guests in the villa. Perhaps the most peculiar thing about the villa is that none of the villa’s telephones works. We called the reception and were told the staff would deliver a hotel iPhone to call them to communicate with the hotel.
Pantry & Dining Area
We have a small pantry in the villa, mainly houses a sink and a small fridge for us to chill our drinks. We find it peculiar that given the size and the number of people the villa can accommodate, it is only equipped with a standard mini-fridge found in their standard suite rooms. Even their Imperial Suite, which accommodates two, is furnished with a full-sized fridge. In addition, the villa is equipped with a top-of-the-range Nespresso Machine to make lattes and cappuccinos. However, we thought the lack of storage space for the cups and glasses in the pantry made it look messy, and it is a shame that the pantry does not offer us any utility for us to place the snacks we brought.
Behind the TV console is a dining table where we had our meals. I like the non-obstructive placement of this small round dining table in the villa. We also thought dining in this corner gives us a cosy feel, thanks to its placement and the small hanging lighting. However, it is a tad weird that Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa only furnished the dining table with three chairs when there is space for a fourth chair and that the villa can accommodate up to six guests.
There is a Powder Room next to the main entrance to the villa. The half bathroom houses a toilet and a sink. We like the convenience of this bathroom in the living room, as we do not have to walk to the bathrooms in the bedrooms during a movie from the TV.
Both bedrooms are located on opposite ends of the villa, far from each other. The master bedroom is at the end of the left corridor from the living room. I like the not-over-the-top French theme that extends into the master bedroom. The motifs on either side of the headboard bring some French chich into the cosy bedroom. However, I do find the master bedroom to be poorly maintained. From the missing aircon cover to what seems to be missing furnishings to the non-functioning power curtain buttons, the master bedroom seems to require some serious upkeeping. The bulk of the master bedroom is occupied by a large King bed which provides excellent sleep quality, but the standard pillows provided by Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa are too soft for my liking. Fortunately, the hotel provides a pillow menu that offers us firmer pillows. I find it weird that the master bedroom is furnished with only one bedside table near the entrance to the master bathroom. It seems that the purpose of the bedside table is for the hotel to install the phone that does not work. There seems to be sufficient space for another bedside table in the master bedroom next to the floor to ceiling glass panels. The only power outlet at the king bed is at the side without a bedside table, which we were unable to use these outlets to charge our lifestyle devices due to an absence of a bedside table. In place of a bedside table, we found a single armchair tucked awkwardly in this corner of the bedroom.
A dressing table next to the bathroom entrance is great for guests to wear make-up or stow their belongings. However, the lack of a dressing chair makes me feel the dressing table does not serve the purpose it is meant to serve. In the master bedroom, mounted on the wall opposite the king bed, is another 42″ LED TV with the same entertainment options as the TV in the living room, which we could enjoy while lying on the comfortable king bed. I like adding a table under the TV that provides additional storage space.
Through a couple of wooden doors in the master bedroom, we found ourselves landing in the master bathroom. The contemporary master bathroom feels larger compared to the master bedroom, which I think is attributed to the open space concept employed in the bathroom. The first thing that caught my eyes as I entered the master bathroom was the dual sinks on either side of the bathroom. I like how Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa placed the sinks as it means we can both use the sinks without fighting over them, and the separate sinks also meant we do not have to fight over real estate space while using the sinks. However, I find the countertop space a tad too tight, leaving us not much space to place our toiletries. I particularly like the fountain the tap design, very befitting of the resort theme of the hotel. At the sink area, we find a couple of wardrobes by each side of the sink area that doubles up as a walk-in closet. The placement of wardrobes makes sense as we can have access to clothing after showering. Having two wardrobes here also means we can have a wardrobe each. There is also space to place our baggage on the ledge between the wardrobe and the sink.
The walk-in shower and toilet cubicles are located further into the master bathroom after the sink areas. The walk-in shower has both rain and regular showerheads, with sufficient space for us to place the bath amenities and even two glasses with our toothbrushes. However, perhaps due to ageing or poorly maintained shower heads, I found water leaking from the regular shower head despite switching to the rain shower head. There is a bidet in the toilet, but we could not find any controls for the bidet. It seems like the hotel did not maintain the bidet function in the toilet.
Sitting at the far end of the bathroom is a large jacuzzi tub. The standalone bathtub provided us with a good soak, and the water jet massage function in the tub is strong. I had a good soak in the jacuzzi tub. Covered by one of the wooden blinds is a door that leads to the outdoor walk-in shower. Unfortunately, the power blind control buttons do not work in the master bathroom, so we discovered this outdoor shower area until the second day.
Turning right from the living room, past the work desk, we found ourselves strolling into the second bedroom at the other end of the corridor. The layout in the second bedroom differs from the master bedroom very slightly. The second bedroom is originally furnished with twin beds, and we had requested the hotel to configure it into a king bed with a mattress topper. The bed is still comfortable, thanks to the thick mattress topper the hotel has installed. The second bedroom has a simpler décor coupled with the earthy colour scheme, making it feel cosy. The second bedroom is furnished with two bedside tables provided us with space to put our lifestyle devices. I like the cosy armchair at the corner of the bedroom, with the ottoman, it makes sitting here feel relaxing. The second bedroom also has a small dressing table. Like the master bedroom, there seems to be a missing one at the dressing table. The 42″ LED TV mounted onto the wall opposite the bed provided entertainment while lying on the bed. A glass top table is placed under the TV, giving us more space to stow our stuff.
The second bedroom has an ensuite bathroom but feels smaller than that in the master bedroom. There are a couple of his and her sinks on either sink of the wall to the bathroom, which means we did not have to fight to use the sink in the mornings. Like the master bathroom, the countertop space at the sink is a tad tight here. The wardrobes in the second bedroom are also found in the bathroom, which gave us the convenience of accessing our clothing after a shower. There are also two wardrobes in the second bathroom, providing us ample space to hang our clothing. Like the master bathroom, there are also ledges to stow our baggage next to the wardrobes.
The walk-in shower and the toilet cubicles are situated beyond the sinks. The walk-in shower is equipped with both rain and regular showerheads. The toilet is a regular toilet and does not come with a bidet. In the centre of the two cubicles sits the bathtub, which is not equipped with a jacuzzi function. However, we had problems turning on the tap in the bathtub initially. The maintenance staff told us that the tap would leak, and the hotel was procuring a tap to fix the issue. We were advised to wrap the tap with a towel to prevent more water from flowing into the bathroom when filling the tub with water.
One of the Villa Du Jardin highlights is the private pool in the villa in the outdoor area, with the deepest part in the centre of the pool measuring 1.7m. Looking out into the private pool area from the villa’s living room makes us feel like we are holidaying in a forest oasis, thanks to the thick vegetation that provided us with privacy. My 5-year old nephew was thrilled when he saw the pool and wanted to jump in immediately when we entered the villa. He loves the pool so much that he would swim a few times in the day and hang out by the poolside even if he is not swimming in it. The pool is sizeable enough for us to do a few decent laps and, at the same time, large enough for all of us to have a great time in the pool. The poolside is furnished with two sun deck chairs to suntan by the pool, a sofa and day beds to chill by the pool. We also spent time at night around the small table and five chairs by the poolside, which kind of reminded us of our trip to Bali when we stayed in a private pool villa. We spent most of our time in the pool, and we did not need to visit the main pool or the pool at Sofitel Spa.
The service at Sofitel Sentosa Resorts & Spa is nothing short of impeccable. We felt that the hotel went all out to ensure we were comfortable during our stay. Our experience started with the warm welcome by the staff at reception during check-in. Check-in took longer than usual due to the numerous questions we posed, which the staff patiently answered. Samantha, the duty manager we interacted with during our previous stays, recognised us and welcomed us back to the hotel. The One-Touch team promptly answered all our calls, seeing to our numerous requests from plates to room amenities. We called One-Touch several times as we found some defects in the villa, who promptly sent staff to rectify these issues.
During breakfast, the service we received was good, although most staff seem to be youngsters working during their vacation break. Our orders were delivered promptly, and the attentive restaurant staff immediately cleared empty plates.
The housekeeping staff were amazing. Not only did they tidy the massive villa in a relatively short amount of time, but all amenities were also being topped up without us asking. During turndown service timing, upon knowing we did not need to turn down, a housekeeping staff took the initiative to ask if there was anything that we needed to top up. The cleanliness of the pool and the outdoor area was being kept by another housekeeping staff, who diligently cleared the fallen leaves in the pool and the poolside and ensured we had a clean environment to enjoy our stay.
During check-out, I highlighted some of the defects in the villa that I observed to the staff processing our check-out. Instead of being defensive and cooking up a slew of excuses, the staff listened attentively, and she was seen taking down notes to have their maintenance staff look into the defects brought up.
Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa has a huge free form swimming pool next to the hotel’s lobby. We did not need to use this pool as we used the private pool in the villa throughout our stay. The main pool is one of the deepest pools I have seen so far in the hotels I stayed in Singapore, with the deepest end of the pool measuring 2.5m deep. We were made to feel safe in our previous stays due to the well-demarcated lanes and the ever-vigilant lifeguard on duty keeping watch of all guests using the pool. The shallower end, where the lifeguard is stationed, is marked off for children to use. Due to the pandemic, the hotel has a strict pool usage policy. Guests wanting to use the main pool would have to make prior bookings, and each room is entitled to a 2-hour use each day.
There is a small gym next to the main pool in Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, which felt a little make-shift. The gym in the hotel used to be bigger but in a more isolated location, next to Sofitel Spa. The old location of the gym has made way for the construction of the Raffles Resort Hotel. I like the current location, accessible to guests wanting to workout in the gym. The gym is fully equipped with machines to do a full-body workout despite the small size. Like the main pool, guests would have to make bookings before heading to the gym.
We had breakfast in two different locations on both days during our stay. Due to the high occupancy rate over the Christmas period, breakfast was served at the nearby ballroom where weddings are usually held. I like the buffet breakfast setup at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa, which the hotel tries to restore some sense of normalcy of the pre-pandemic days. Despite being a buffet, we were not allowed to handle the food directly; staff will prepare the food behind plastic screens according to our requests. I wish more hotels followed what Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa is doing, instead of going the cost-cutting measure of limiting to one breakfast set per pax. Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa serves up local and international delights during breakfast. Breakfast on the second day is served at the resident restaurant- Kwee Zeen, offering similar options with just very minor changes to the menu. The breakfast served at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa is delicious and certainly kept us full till the evening.
We had an enjoyable stay at the Villa Du Jardin over this Christmas period. The villa is spacious and feels very self-contained. The bed is comfortable, and I like the jacuzzi tub in the master bathroom. We particularly enjoyed our time at the private pool, which meant we could choose to swim whenever we wanted and not have to book and limit ourselves to one 2-hour slot per day. However, we did find the villa to be a little poorly maintained, which did not deter us from enjoying the villa. We also thought the staff at Sofitel Sentosa Resort & Spa was very eager to ensure that we enjoyed our stay at the hotel with the service that we received. We understood from the staff that the Villa Du Jardin are due for renovation soon and look forward to returning to the Villa Du Jardin after the renovation.