Capella Singapore whispers luxury in many tasteful ways, from the understated style of Lord Norman Foster's architecture to the 30-plus varieties of tea served at the Knolls restaurant to the minimum $520 price tag for one of the contemporary Jaya Ibrahim-designed rooms. But there's one respect in which Capella screams its opulence from the rooftops: the space it occupies. The hotel sits on 30 acres (12 hectares) of land on Sentosa island, of which only 37% has been built on. In compact Singapore, that's as ostentatious a gesture as you'll ever see.
There's room to spare in this outsized resort, which comprises two 129-year-old colonial buildings, plus a modern but beautifully complementary extension. Standard rooms are 710 sq. ft. (66 sq m). The smallest suites are 926 sq. ft. (86 sq m). And if neither of those will do, you can try a 2,000-sq.-ft. (186 sq m) villa or one of the sprawling 4,690-sq.-ft. (436 sq m) "manors." All accommodation comes appointed in the neutral shades so beloved of fashionable properties, and features every high-tech gizmo that the urbane traveler could require. Most rooms offer views of the South China Sea. Villas and manors come with private pools and some with an eye on long-staying guests or party planners feature roomy kitchens.
In these vastly expensive quarters you can expect to be waited on by staff who have mastered the art of exceeding expectations. Check in with a cough and you won't be sent a pack of lozenges but an array of Chinese medicinal soups from chef Ooi Soon Lok (although it turns out that his favorite panacea is actually hot Coca-Cola with ginger and lemon).
Chef Ooi presides over Cassia, a modern Chinese affair that offers dressy lunches and dinners to complement the all-day dining at the Knolls. Sybaritic pleasures can also be enjoyed at the Auriga spa, where treatments are timed according to the phases of the moon. Yes, that does sound rather silly, but the quality of the massages speaks for itself. See www.capellasingapore.com for more.