In October 2021, I checked into the Junior Suite at Oasia Resort Sentosa. Formerly the Le Meridien Singapore, Sentosa and before that, the Movenpick Heritage Hotel, the 191-room property recently relaunched in September 2021 as Far East Hospitality’s 4th Sentosa hotel as well as Singapore’s 4th Oasia-branded property.
The resort is steps away from Imbiah Monorail & Cable Car Station, Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Palawan Beach and Silosa Beach. By car, Vivocity is 5 minutes away, Orchard Road and the Central Business District are about 15 minutes away and Changi Airport a 22-minute drive away.
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Restorative sanctuary with curated wellness activities in central Sentosa.
Must Dos: Enjoy the serenity of the Junior Suite, go for a Sunrise Qi Gong class, attend a class on how to make your own balm or body scrub at the Wellness Lounge, have breakfast at Bedrock Origin.
OASIA RESORT SENTOSA
Like fellow Sentosa resort Capella Singapore (as well as Far East Hospitality sister properties The Outpost Hotel Sentosa and The Barracks Hotel Sentosa), the resort has certain military origins. Comprising two former barracks buildings built in 1940 which housed the First Malay Artillery Regiment of Singapore, the colonial Imbiah Wing serves as the reception area and offers access to the hotel’s signature restaurant Bedrock Origin, the Oasia Spa as well as the Premier Rooms (40sqm) and Junior Suites (48sqm). Past the triple-volume linkway galleria space framed by rice grain-inspired lattice patterns and a verdant plant wall is the newer and contemporary Palawan Wing, which is currently under renovation and scheduled to be unveiled in November 2021. The Palawan Wing will house the resort’s Deluxe Rooms (30sqm), Suites (61sqm), Spa Suites with private jacuzzis (63sqm) and penthouse-esque Duplex Suites with private pools (170sqm).
The resort showcases three signature ingredient profiles – ‘The Recharge’, ‘The Refresh’ and ‘The Rejuvenate’ – across its various wellness experiences. ‘The Recharge’ – comprising essences of orange peel, lemongrass and ginger – features in both the resort’s signature scent as well as the sparkling cold brew which is served as a welcome drink upon your arrival. Unique tea blends based on these elements which were created in partnership with Pryce Tea are presented as Oasia Signature Teas stocked in guest rooms and served at Oasia Spa before and after your treatment. The three blend profiles also form the basis of the massage oil options available for use during your spa treatment as well as the different formulations you can select for your Oasia Balm turndown amenity.
The property prides itself as a wellness retreat. During their stay, guests have access to a variety of complimentary wellness activities, from Oasia balm and body scrub-making classes conducted at the ground level Wellness Lounge to educational workshops such as Food Waste Management by UglyFood, Farm to Table by Grobrix and Food Myths, Nutrition, & Herbalism by Asmara. During my stay, I attended a remarkably educational balm-making session conducted by Oasia Spa’s Spa Director, and learnt not just how simple the process of balm-making is but also where to source for the relevant materials as well as the significance of using different essential oils for your balm (my lavender and eucalyptus-based creation is effective against mosquitos).
Fitness experiences are also offered, from restorative and introspective activities such as sunrise qi gong and sunset yoga sessions to more high-intensity programmes such as Aqua Zumba sessions and fitness classes conducted by UFIT. Guests who prefer to work out in their rooms can access a variety of on-demand workout videos via the in-room Wellness Channel (think yoga sessions as well as Les Mills® Body Balance and Core exercise classes), with Lululemon mats available for rental during their stay. I attended my first ever qi gong class and learnt, among other things, how to breathe with my mouth on the roof of my tongue; hold giant balls; conjure energy orbs; balance my internal energy levels using self massage; and release unused air from my small intestines.
The resort’s Oasia Spa has the distinction of being the first Far East Hospitality spa concept, the first spa in Southeast Asia to carry products from Japanese organic skin care brand KOTOSHINA as well as the first local hotel spa to offer cryotherapy facial treatments at their Grooming Lounge. During my stay, I booked an appointment for the Oasia Signature Massage which features a unique style of massage that combines aspects of traditional Thai, Japanese and Indian massage techniques. (I would like to take a moment to compliment my spa therapist Ailina who, aside from her masterful ability to lull me into a state of tension-dissipated calm despite the vigorous nature of the Oasia Signature Massage, noticed my discomfort from having to keep my mask while lying face-down during the treatment and thoughtfully offered me a pillow for a more comfortable elevation.) After my treatment, I was guided to the Meditation Lounge and served hot tea and homemade dehydrated fruits before being given a blanket to snuggle under as I relaxed and reclined on a zero-gravity lounger to enjoy the benefits of PhytonAir, a specialised device which diffuses forest essence said to replicate the benefits of Shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’ therapy.
Other wellness facilities at the resort include the Gym equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes, free weights and cross trainers as well as the 22.5m Swimming Pool situated in the heart of the resort between the Imbiah Wing and Palawan Wing.
Decked in earthy colours and facing where the iconic Merlion used to be, the spacious 48sqm Junior Suite boasts a soothing airiness by virtue of its soaring ceilings. The expanse of space and height is further emphasised by the ceiling fan, overhead rafters as well as aesthetic ventilation grilles above the conservation doors which separate the bedroom from the living room and the walk-in wardrobe/bathroom respectively. Floor-to-ceiling windows and external balustrades along the length of the suite windows help preserve the bedroom’s former colonial verandah origins, and if you switch on the ceiling fan and let your gaze drift far into the distance, you may just feel like you have been transported back. On that note, the activities within your suite are clearly visible by pedestrians and vehicles on the road passing the Imbiah Wing – even more so at night – so the automated curtains and blinds will come in handy for privacy.
The living room features a convertible sofa bed and a pantry equipped with Lavazza machine and Oasia Signature Tea-making facilities. Both the living room and bedroom are fitted with a 43” LED Smart TV with access to a wellness TV channel which offers access to on-demand virtual workouts. Bottles of still and sparkling Nordaq water are stocked in the minibar fridge, and guests are able to get refills at the Wellness Lounge on the ground level. Prior to their arrival, guests are usually given the option via email to customise their choice of 5 items to be stocked in their Wellness Minibar. I was given the default set-up comprising cartons of coconut water as well as healthy products from Asmara, The Whole Kitchen and Amazin’ Graze.
The bathroom features double vanities, an enclosed toilet, a rainfall shower area as well as a deep-soaking bathtub, with bathroom amenities from Australian skincare brand Biology. As the largely decorative conservation doors are unable to be closed, only a semi-opaque sliding door separates the bathroom from the walk-in wardrobe and bedroom, and the vantage point from the bedroom is able to glimpse more than just the silhouettes of those inside the bathroom, which may prove awkward or titillating depending on your inclinations.
Breakfast is served at Bedrock Origin, the newly-launched sister concept to the popular 313@Somerset steakhouse Bedrock Bar & Grill which, in contrast to the latter’s steak focus, showcases seafood selections to reflect elements of the venue’s idyllic coastal locale. Guests can choose to either sit indoors in the contemporary and elegant dining space or outside at the outdoor terrace.
Guests have their choice of one breakfast selection from either the Continental menu (options include Housemade Level-Up Granola, Tropical Breeze Bircher Muesli, Chia Yoghurt Power Bowl); Western menu (options include the big breakfast-style Hearty set, the gravlax smoked salmon and smashed avocado on sourdough-based Morning Booster set and the egg white frittata-based Vitality set); or the Local Comforts menu (options include the Bedrock Origin’s Nasi Lemak and the Five Dim Sum ‘Warriors’ which comprise chicken and prawn siew mai, palm-sized red bean bao, vegetable dumpling, prawn dumpling and chicken & mushroom glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf). In addition to their breakfast set, guests can enjoy a Morning Fruit Bowl with berries, papaya, kiwi, watermelon and dragonfruit, a glass of Juice Rejuvenator (choose from power greens, refreshing orange or pink grapefruit) as well as their choice of either coffee from sister coffee bar Oriole or tea from either Pryce Tea or Tisane.
My favourite breakfast item was the Barramundi Mixed Oat Congee, which was made from low GI whole grain oats and sustainably locally-farmed Kühlbarra barramundi belly. The congee was presented in a claypot and tasted remarkably expensive and luxurious for a hotel breakfast dish.
Past breakfast hours, the restaurant’s a la carte menu features both steakhouse selections as well as signature seafood dishes. From the starter side of things, the Kingfish Sashimi (brown rice puffs, chopped wasabi, ceviche soy dressing) was refreshing and appetite-whetting while the King Crab Cake (apple tartare sauce) was crispy and oceanically juicy within. From their seafood mains, highlights include the buttery and indulgent Turbot on the Bone (tomato salsa and kombu butter) and the nicely grilled Aged Kühlbarra Barramundi Tail (chill, herbs, lemon). Those in the mood for moo have plenty of applewood fire grill steak selections to choose from, from Japanese Wagyu and USDA Prime/Dry-Aged USDA Prime picks to Australian Grass Fed and Dry-Aged Australian Barley Fed options. Non-steak eaters can go for other meat dishes such as Brick Pressed Chicken, Line Caught Tuna Collar and Whole Rack of Lamb.
Hearty sides such as the Beef Fat Fried Rice (brown rice, barley), Char-grilled Spicy Brussels Sprouts (toasted quinoa, chilli oil), the reliable Creamed Spinach & Poached Egg as well as crowd-pleasing Bedrock Mac ‘N’ Cheese are on hand to round up your meal experience. In keeping with the resort’s wellness angle, the restaurant menu also offers a plant-based section, with choices such as the mushroom-based “Steak” Diane, Plant-based Beef Wellington and Truffle Aglio E Olio.
Those who are parched will be pleased to know that the restaurant has a dedicated bar and cellar offering cocktails, fine wines as well as an extensive whisky menu (including a significant Woodford Reserve Bourbon/Rye selection).
While the resort is not positioned as a luxury offering, I was fairly impressed by the execution of the property’s various wellness aspects, from the very positive experience at the spa to the enjoyable qi qong and balm-making sessions. Bedrock Origin’s breakfast – in particular the Barramundi Mixed Oat Congee – was exceptional, and my meals during lunch and dinner service were also memorable. I would be back to try their Spa Suites.
Oasia Resort Sentosa
23 Beach View Palawan Ridge