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Hot List 2010

Capella Singapore 
$$$$

1 The Knolls

Sentosa Island
Singapore 098297

Tel: 65 6377 8888

Fax: 65 6337 3455

An exquisite Sentosa Island colonial/modern hybrid on 30 acres, the first Asian outpost of the nascent Capella brand is a poised yet easygoing hotel that's refreshing for straight-laced Singapore. The new architecture, by Foster & Partners, fuses gracefully with the 1880s main building, a former British military entertainment hall; guest rooms spread across contemporary wings at either end of it, and villas and manor houses fan out belowall perched above the South China Sea. The standard Premier rooms sprawl over 828 square feet and have big balconies. Designer Jaya Ibrahim, known for his meditative touches at several Amanresorts, brings his muted elegance to the interiors, with gray-linen walls, neutral-hued silk pillows, and clean-lined dark-wood furniture. The stellar service starts even before check-in, with a phone call and an e-mail from your multilingual "personal assistant," who arranges dinner reservations, excursions, local mobile phones, appointments at the hotel's sublime Auriga Spa, and the like. Our reviewer's keenly observant PA followed through on an offhand remark about needing to track down a Chinatown address and surprised the reviewer's five-year-old sidekick with a kid-size pink bathrobe at turndown. One caveat: Booking a private airport transfer through the hotel can cost up to ten times the local taxi fare. Inflation pervades the room service menu, too; instead, ask your PA to reserve a table at the hotel's Cassia, the Chinese restaurant designed by Hong Kong wunderkind Andre Fu, who filled the sunny dining room with hand-painted butterflies, dramatic arching lanterns, and soaring latticework screens.
Which room to book: With their generous dimensions and seaside views, even standard rooms feel like an upgrade compared with other Singapore properties.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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