During our recent visit to Singapore, Universal Studios and Sentosa were high on our list of things to do. I have already described our Universal Studios experiences in other posts so this one will be about Sentosa.
Sentosa is a small resort island just off the coast of Singapore which is just next to the cruise ship hub of Singapore. The island is linked to the mainland by a causeway, boardwalk, monorail and a cable car. This makes it very easy to get to from wherever you are staying in Singapore – the SMRT joins into the huge ViVo shopping mall on the mainland which is where you can catch the monorail or walk across to Sentosa itself.
A large part of the island is known as Resorts World Sentosa which includes a huge range of attractions. This area is quite new and is the result of a major redevelopment by Genting over recent years. Along with Universal Studios, there are a number of resort hotels/condos etc. Sentosa also has a lot of other attractions ranging from sandy beaches to golf courses, to family activities.
We stayed at the Festive Hotel (the L shaped building in the photo) which is located next to the Hard Rock Hotel (the circular building on the left in photo) and near the entrance to Universal Studios. This is a family-friendly hotel which we found was a rarity in Singapore when we were looking for a place to stay. The room style we had was a Family Room which had something that we had never seen in a hotel before.
Although the room wasn’t huge it was split into two zones. One for the parents with a king bed and the other for the kids with a cool bunk bed and flip out sofa. This was loved by our kids and the view out over the pools from our balcony was fantastic. Be sure to ask for a monorail pass if you stay there as it gives you free monorail transport for the length of your stay.
Food and Entertainment
Sentosa is full of food and entertainment choices, but with two kids who are less open to trying unfamiliar foods (ie. anything not western style) it was a bit difficult to find food that suited the fussy kids. But if you look hard enough around there are some places in the vicinity of the hotels that were suitable. (eg. Hard Rock Cafe, Palio, KFC).
In our time there we were only able to sample some of Sentosa’s attractions and we have plenty more to explore the next time we go back for a visit. There is so much to do on the island so be prepared to wear yourself out.
Resorts World Sentosa – The Lake of Dreams nightly fountain show is not the most exciting thing I’ve seen. It was disappointing.
We chose to buy a special ticket that gave us a lot of attractions for a discount price, rather than paying for them individually – it’s a great way to save a bit of your holiday budget. This ticket didn’t include Universal Studios – make sure you check what current offers are available.
Skyline Luge Sentosa
One of the attractions that we did was Skyline Luge Sentosa. At this attraction, we caught a chairlift up the side of the island to the start of the luge track. Now, this is no ice luge, it’s actually small carts that are quite easy enough to learn to use.
The track winds like a race track from the top of the island down through the trees to the beach at the bottom – the cart is controlled by shifting your weight so it has the knack of knowing when to stop if needed. It was a great family activity that was way out of the ordinary – we would recommend it for families.
Tiger Sky Tower
The Tiger Sky Tower was also a great experience. It is best described as a very tall needle with a rotating viewing room.
Passengers board at ground level and the whole room slowly rises up the needle to the very top (all the while it slowly rotates) and gives you a magnificent view of the island and surrounds across to the mainland – this is a ‘must do’. It really gives you a perspective of where everything in the resort fits into your surroundings.
Nearby there were also a couple large snakes that you could have draped over your shoulders for a photo – I chose not to do that one.
The Merlion is a huge statue of Singapore’s mythical symbol – half lion half mermaid. It has a central lift that takes you up to higher viewing levels. There are great photo opportunities from the top and inside its mouth – great views as well. It also looks great at night when it is bathed in colored lighting.
Another attraction that I wanted to do, but didn’t get the chance was iFly. This is indoor skydiving where you get dressed up in a weird flying suit and hover above a giant fan – giving the feeling that you are skydiving. It’s on my list for next visit. There are plenty of other attractions that we didn’t even get to look at so you can be sure that there is plenty to keep you occupied.
Singapore Cable Car
As we rode the Singapore Cable Car from Sentosa across to Mt Faber on the mainland and back we could see some construction was continuing on the island below. They were building some great looking new condos etc and an excellent looking water park (all open now).
Sentosa is a destination in itself. There were far too many things for us to do in the time that we were there. It’s definitely on my list for a repeat visit. If you do travel to Singapore, make sure that you set aside some time for Sentosa.