How to Have a ‘Singapoliday’ in Sentosa: Universal Studios, Hotel Staycations and More
With Singaporeans unable to travel overseas, and tourists unable to visit Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and partnering agencies are launching a campaign to encourage local tourism. Dubbed ‘Singapoliday’, it “will offer unique and value-for-money experiences, packages and promotions for locals,” said the board in a media release.
The campaign comes as the local tourism industry plummets from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw hotels and tourist attractions closed during the circuit breaker and phase one of Singapore’s reopening.
“Singapore has a significant domestic market that is searching for new experiences ... if we're able to capture a slice of what we used to spend overseas for the domestic market, then I think it will be a significant boost to our local tourism industry,” Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing explained at the webcast of the Tourism Recovery Dialogue on July 22.
To encourage domestic tourism, the agencies have partnered with local communities and businesses, offering itineraries as well as exclusive experiences and packages.
Planning a Singapoliday of your own? We zoom in on everybody’s favourite beach getaway, Sentosa Island for a weekend of fun.
Dive into the mysterious and fascinating world of marine life at the S.E.A. Aquarium, which houses over 100,000 marine animals of 1,000 species across 50 natural habitats. From sharks to manta rays, you’ll be awed by the creatures that inhabit the deep blue. While all shows, events and public feeding sessions including up-close encounters and diving programmes are temporarily suspended, the aquarium’s highlight—the Open Ocean Habitat—sets the perfect backdrop to a romantic date, or an engaging field trip for families with its enchanting display.
10am to 5pm, Saturday to Tuesday
Find out more at S.E.A. Aquarium.
Madame Tussauds Singapore
We won’t be attending concerts and events for the near future, but you can still get your photo ops with your favourite personalities and stars from the past to the present, such as Marilyn Monroe, Taylor Swift, and homegrown singer JJ Lin at Madame Tussauds Singapore. The museum’s extensive collection of hyper-realistic wax figures also includes famous leaders like Queen Elizabeth and the late Lee Kuan Yew. Rediscover Singapore via immersive experiences at the Images of Singapore Live walk-through exhibit and the Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride, or take your shot at Bollywood stardom at The Ultimate Film Star Experience.
11am to 7pm, Thursday to Monday
Find out more at Madame Tussauds Singapore.
Trick Eye Museum
Get trigger-happy at Singapore’s first 3D and augmented reality (AR) museum, with fun photo opportunities at every corner. From hitching a ride on the Merlion to escaping from the jaws of a giant piranha, let your imagination run free. Forget Zoom backgrounds—the museum also offers an XR Museum app, which brings visual trickery to life at selected attractions through AR.
10am to 6pm, Thursday to Tuesday
Find out more at Trick Eye Museum.
As the only well-preserved coastal fort in Singapore that remains after World War II, Fort Siloso is now a military museum bearing a treasure trove of memorabilia from the war that will serve as an educational experience for young and old alike. From coastal guns to the remains of fortified military structures and tunnels, Singaporeans will be able immerse themselves in significant events they’ve read about in their textbooks and get a deeper understanding of the country’s history. Also not to be missed is the ‘Waves of the Straits’ mural by artist Yip Yew Chong that stretches over the 230-metre-long Fort Siloso Road—Yip’s largest physical artwork to date.
9am to 6pm, daily
Find out more at Fort Siloso.
(Related: How to Be a Tourist in Singapore: Universal Studios, Zoo, and More Re-Open This Week)
Universal Studios Singapore
Friends, couples, and families can all enjoy a day out at Universal Studios Singapore which offers a selection of family-friendly to adrenaline-pumping attractions. Kids will enjoy rides like the Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase and Enchanted Airways, while thrill-seekers should not miss the park’s iconic attractions, Battlestar Galactica: Human vs. Cylon and Revenge of the Mummy. While all shows and street entertainment including Waterworld and Shrek 4D Adventure have been suspended, theme park-goers can still catch their favourite characters for some socially-distant photo ops.
2 pm to 9 pm, Thursday to Sunday
Find out more at Universal Studios Singapore.
Beaches at Sentosa
Boasting three of the most photogenic beaches in Singapore, Sentosa offers a tropical getaway that can’t be found in our industrialised cities. More than just a place to lounge and tan, each of these beaches offers a unique charm. Siloso Beach is perfect for beach sports like volleyball, football or ultimate Frisbee and offers adrenaline-pumping attractions including bungee jumping and water-jetpacking; Palawan Beach packs some family-friendly fun with calm lagoons for swimming and water sports; while Tanjong Beach makes for a leisurely getaway, with Tanjong Beach Club offering an all-day menu, comfy daybeds, and an infinity pool for a day of relaxing and lounging.
Find out more at Sentosa.
We won’t be skydiving in Dubai or New Zealand anytime soon, but you can still experience the thrill of free-falling at iFly—the world’s largest themed wind tunnel spanning 16.5 feet wide and 56.6 feet tall. With an 18-feet tall acrylic glass wall, ‘flyers’ can enjoy incredible views of Siloso Beach and the South China Sea. The wind tunnel simulates falling through the air from from 12,000 to 3,000 feet and you don’t even have to be a professional to enjoy it—professional training, guidance and gear are provided as part of the exhilarating experience.
1pm to 9pm, Monday to Friday; 9am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday
Find out more at iFly Singapore.
Skyline Luge Sentosa
Originating from New Zealand, Skyline Luge Sentosa is the first luge ride in Southeast Asia. Choose from four different trails Dragon, Expedition, Kupu Kupu and Jungle—each with their unique twists and turns—and race your family and friends to the finish line. Every ride is a different experience, and you can enjoy different views in the day or night. Wind down after your ride by jumping aboard the Skyride, which offers a bird’s eye view of the Singapore skyline and Sentosa’s surrounding coastline.
11am to 7:30pm, Monday to Thursday
Find out more at Skyline Luge Sentosa.
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Osia Steak and Seafood Grill
Offering an eclectic Australian menu curated by celebrity chef and co-owner Scott Webster, Osia is well known for its premium meats and seafood, sustainably sourced from various regions in Australia and around the globe. Must-try dishes include the Mayura Station Signature Full Blood Wagyu Beef, Glacier 51 Toothfish, Roasted Tajima Wagyu Beef Tenderloin and Pan Fried Foie Gras.
Lunch: 12pm and 1.30pm; Dinner: 6pm and 8pm; Thursday to Monday
Find out more at Osia Steak and Seafood Grill.
Located along the beachfront of Sentosa’s Palawan Beach, FOC Sentosa exudes the free spirit of a Mediterranean beach shack. From a casual poolside brunch to a romantic beachside dinner for two, the restaurant’s location and ambience make it an extremely enjoyable dining spot. Of course, the contemporary Spanish/ Mediterranean menu, designed by chef Nandu Jubany, offers a good mix of hot and chilled tapas as well as barbecued selections.
11:30am to 10:30pm, Wednesday to Sunday
Find out more at FOC Sentosa.
Basked in the ethereal blue glow from a surreal scene of manta rays and other ocean life swimming by, a meal at Ocean Restaurant is undoubtedly a surreal experience—no wonder the venue is favoured for birthday, wedding, or anniversary celebrations. Portion sizes from the seafood-forward à la carte menu border on the small side, but the dishes make up for that in terms of taste and freshness. Ingredients are mindfully procured from sustainable sources, while the restaurant’s grilled options are exceptional.
Lunch: 11.30am and 1.30pm; Dinner: 6pm and 8pm, Monday to Tuesday, Friday to Sunday
(Closed on Wednesday and Thursday, except eve of and on Public Holidays)
Find out more at Ocean Restaurant.
The first restaurant outside of the Netherlands from chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot—famed for Amsterdam’s 212—table65 offers a fine-casual dining experience. The restaurant’s menu offers a creative take on modern European cuisine in the form of a dinner theatre. Diners are invited to interact with the chef’s at the communal chef’s table, and dishes are presented along with visual projects to invoke all your senses. Beyond the extravaganza, however, the dishes are firmly rooted in excellent European cooking techniques and a knowing way with good produce.
6pm and 8.30pm; Tuesday to Saturday
Find out more at table65.
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This five-star resort is nestled within Sentosa, residing on 30 acres of lush rainforest far away from the bustling city, making it an idyllic spot for a romantic staycation spot for couples. The property is made up of restored colonial bungalows with modern contemporary interiors, creating a stylish space that still evokes an intimate luxury. We love that all their rooms come with expansive balconies, with some that feature private jacuzzis. Want more serenity? Opt for one of their villas where you'll have access to a private plunge pool.
Find out more at Capella Singapore.
Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
Many couples in Singapore have turned to this hotel to hold their weddings, and it’s easy to see why. The luxurious resort is set atop a cliff and boasts panoramic views of the ocean, and it offers an array of rooms, suites and villas—all with Sofitel’s signature French styling. We love that each of their rooms draws visitors in with their intricate design touches that pay homage to nature—think flower-shaped knobs and small wildlife figurines.
Find out more at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.
Beach Villas at Resorts World Sentosa
For the ultimate resort experience, check into Beach Villas at Resorts World Sentosa. The property offers an idyllic retreat away from the bustle of the city, with the island's attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and Trick Eye Museum within reach. Choose from a selection of one- to three-bedroom villas as well as The Palace, which boasts four expansive bedrooms and a living room, each with their own private timber sundeck. The larger villas also offer a personal pool and mini garden, which are perfect for a lazy Sunday lounging in.
Find out more at Resorts World Sentosa.
W Singapore Sentosa Cove
Nestled at the eastern end of the island, W Singapore Sentosa Cove combines island dreams with modern luxuries just minutes from the bustling city. Evoking a magical rainforest inspired by Singapore icons like orchids, peacocks, and lalang fields, the hotel bustles with creativity and quirky design—you may even spot pieces from artists like Andy Warhol. Heading out? Let the W’s signature Whatever/Whenever service sort out everything from attraction tickets to dinner reservations. If you’re staying in, however, the hotel also offers one of Singapore’s largest resort outdoor pool areas, set amidst lush island landscapes.
FInd out more at W Singapore Sentosa Cove.