W Singapore has opened its doors at Sentosa Cove. Narelle Yabuka explores the 240-room hotel and finds plenty of substance behind the shimmering surface.
23 October, 2012
As you emerge from the draped foliage and boom gates of Sentosa Cove’s closely monitored streets and step into the stone clad, LED-shimmering lobby of the W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, there is the feeling that you have entered another dimension.
The lack of a reception counter at the front door allows you to forget the transactional nature of one’s typical hotel arrival sequence. Instead, a red carpet awaits to transport you up a set of stairs (ideal for promenading) past LED light installations mimicking foliage and waterfalls. The rhythm of the curated ambient music contributes to the sense that you have ’arrived’ and that good times await.
At the top of the stairs, guests have two choices: either pass by sofas with glistening sequined cushions and go directly to the check-in counter on the left, or saunter to the lounge and bar on the right. The nightly presence of a DJ at a faceted marble console in the lounge might influence the decision of those who’ve come in search of the W Hotels brand’s self-professed mix of “cutting-edge design and passions around fashion, music and entertainment”.
Others might head straight for the marina to admire the yachting lifestyle of those who’ve booked a private berthing station.
There’s no shortage of glamour to savour – in the lounge areas, the rooms, the restaurants, the waterscapes, and even in the plush corridors. It’s fitting that the names of the guest room types make use of evocative adjectives: Wonderful, Spectacular, Fabulous, AWAY, WOW, and Extreme WOW.
Even the pool, which contains 24 underwater speakers playing curated music, does its best to maximise the ’destination’ atmosphere.
The hotel was designed by London-based architects WATG and design firm Rockwell Group to combine the buzzing energy of the city with the natural surroundings of Sentosa. And while plenty of applied natural motifs cast your thoughts to Sentosa’s jungle-like surrounds, there’s also a deeper environmental conception at work here.
W Singapore – Sentosa Cove is the first new hotel in Singapore to attain Green Mark Platinum status, says its owner and developer City Development Limited (CDL). CDL also reveals that the establishment, as well as CDL properties The Residences at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove, Quayside Isle, and The Oceanfront @ Sentosa – are the only Green Mark Platinum developments in Sentosa Cove.
The hotel incorporates both active and passive design elements for energy and water efficiency. CDL says it is estimated that energy savings of over 3,300,000kWh or S$930,000 per year will be achieved.
Skirt horn chandelier
Energy-efficient equipment includes the extensively used LED lighting and the high-efficiency air-conditioning system. A sensor feature automatically switches the air conditioning to fan mode if the doors to the guest-room balconies are left open for more than 30 seconds. A rainwater harvesting system supplies garden irrigation, while water-efficient fittings are installed throughout.
Daylighting of corridors, thick external walls for temperature control, naturally ventilated and sky-lit poolside bathrooms, and sustainably sourced materials (such as the timber used for the pool deck) also count among the hotel’s sustainable hardware features.
The establishment is operated by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. The sustainability-oriented operational features include recycling, the provision of rental bicycles, and a low-impact approach to meeting and event hosting.
None of this detracts from the glamorous atmosphere. Indeed, as night falls and the hotel is cast in the purple glow of its numerous LEDs (think Vanda ’Miss Joaquim’), it seems all the more enticing. And if exclusive Sentosa Cove can be made a little more inclusive as a result, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Come November, look out for the opening of retail/F&B venue Quayside Isle adjacent to the hotel.
W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
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