Recently, I had the privilege to enjoy a free 1 night staycation at Equarius Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), thanks to my friend. Both of us were glad that it was one of the rare times when we could go for an “overseas trip” (since Sentosa is an island south of mainland Singapore so we still had to cross the sea/ 过海 ya?) without bringing along our passports hehe.
Equarius Hotel is the latest hotel to be added to the RWS hotel chain on 16 February 2012. It is located along the fringe of a tropical rainforest in Sentosa, and very close to the world’s largest oceanarium, Marine Life Park. Probably because of the June school holidays, the hotel was fully booked for the whole month and we could only check in from 3pm. Throughout our stay, we could see that many of its guests were locals. Seems like this is a popular place for a staycation!
We checked in to a deluxe twin room on level 4 with the forest view. The room was spacious, approximately 51 square metres, comprising a large bathroom with double vanity areas, large bathtub and separate shower chamber, as well as a balcony with coffee table. In the bedroom, was a 42-inch plasma tv on a multi-directional tv rack, and a 22-inch LED tv in the bathroom, both subscribed to SingTel MIO TV. At the minibar were 4 complimentary bottles of water, in addition to the TWG tea selection and Nescafe instant coffee. It was a very comfortable room and we had to force ourselves to leave the room to check out the gym and swimming pool at the nearby Beach Villas. 😛
The swimming pool by the Beach Villas was quite big with just a handful of guests when we got there around 5pm. So if you yearn for some peace and quiet, using the pool here versus using it at the other 3 hotels that Equarius hotel guests have complimentary access to (Hotel Michael, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore and Festive Hotel) is a better choice. You would also be able to enjoy watching the cable cars go by as you look up in the sky. 🙂
We also worked out in the Gym@ESPA in the evening and there was no one except us! It was a decent gym with all the exercise equipment you can think of. The shower facility in the gym was spacious and clean, loaded with ESPA toiletries, as well as hair dryers and plenty of clean towels for guests’ use.
Dinner was at Palio, an authentic Italian restaurant located at Hotel Michael lobby. The restaurant was brightly lit, giving guests a welcoming feel with its hospitable service and eclectic interior.
Both of us ordered our food and desserts based on chef’s recommendations listed on the menu:
We shared a big bowl of Tuscan Porcini Mushroom and Thyme Cream Soup (top right) which was flavourful with little bits of mushrooms. My friend had the Pici con Aragostelle e Zucchine allo Zafferano (second row left) which was homemade eggless pasta with baby crayfish meat in cream sauce – tasty with generous meat portion, and the pasta tasted a bit like “meepok” (big fat noodles). I had the Maccheroni Al Coniglio E Olive Taggiasche – Italian “Maccheroni” pasta served with slow cooked rabbit meat in aged balsamic vinegar liguria sauce (second row right). I had never tasted rabbit meat before this and was a bit apprehensive on its taste, but was glad I made the order. The meat was tender and tasted like chicken and the unique sauce blended well to make the pasta a delicious meal. The portion was so big that I could not finish the pasta, only managed to finish the generous portion of rabbit meat.
We also had 2 desserts – Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis (bottom left) and Warm Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream (bottom right). I thought the Panna Cotta was better than the Warm Chocolate Tart, because the former was a combination of sweet (due to the milk pudding below) and sour (due to the berries on top) taste, but the tart was a bit hard, as if it just came out from the fridge not too long ago. The presentation of the tart was quite nice though, they used a half-sliced peach and some syrup to create the sunny-side-up effect.
Overall it was a good dinner we had, and a great bargain for the amount of food we had, with the $50 dining credit and 20% discount given to Equarius Hotel guests. Woohoo!~
The staycation package included a complimentary breakfast buffet for 2 at Forest森 at Equarius Hotel lobby – a contemporary Chinese fine dining restaurant by famous local celebrity chef Sam Leong. There was a wide variety at the breakfast buffet selection, but not everything was great. I remembered the Chinese dim sum and pastries were better compared to the other varieties. Nonetheless, the open concept and the forest canopy-inspired ceiling in the restaurant are great ideas.
Before the staycation, we had plans to visit the newly opened Trick Eye Museum too, but there was such a long queue of people waiting to enter the museum (staff told us it would take about 2.5 to 3 hrs before we could enter) when we bought the 50% discount tickets (promotion ended on 22 June 2014) that afternoon that we decided to return the following week early in the morning. Glad we came back another day in the morning because we could enter the museum the minute it opened at 10am, instead of queuing for a long time!
Check out some of the exhibits at this museum comprising 6 family-based zones that turns 2-dimensional paintings into 3-dimensional images through the use of optical illusions.
I shall not reveal too much here else it spoils the fun of visiting this museum. But it was a great 3 hours spent in the museum, queuing and posing for the “trick for the eye” photos! Do dress comfortably for the visit, and be prepared to lie on the floor or do some climbing here and there to get that perfect shot! It may be better for ladies to ditch your dress / skirt just for once. 😛
This was written after a staycation at Resorts World Sentosa in mid-June 2014.