Hotels News

First look: The Barracks Hotel Sentosa

We took a sneak preview around Singapore's newest hotel, three weeks prior to opening. What does The Barracks Hotel Sentosa have to offer?

roPool Access Rooms

Yesterday afternoon we were invited to have a sneak preview of The Barracks Hotel Sentosa, Singapore’s latest hotel opening which will see it welcoming guests from 1st December 2019.

Once a British artillery outpost, the final two of six heritage buildings in the development have been restored to establish the 40-room property.

The development

Far East Hospitality, a subsidiary of the giant Far East Organisation, is already known for a number of hotels in Singapore such as the Oasia Downtown and the Village Hotel Bugis.

The Barracks Hotel Sentosa is the final instalment of a three-property development by the group on the island.

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(Image: Far East Hospitality)

The first hotel in the series is Village Hotel Sentosa, a 606-room family-oriented property with a big focus on kids, including their own check-in area, in-room age appropriate amenities, family swimming pools and movie screenings at the pool deck.

Next door The Outpost Hotel Sentosa is the adults-only option, aligning its strategy around romantic stays, with customised minibars in the 193 guest rooms.

A new concept opens at The Outpost Hotel Sentosa during the first quarter of 2020, including a restaurant and day club alongside a rooftop pool, the only such example on Sentosa. Guests staying at The Barracks Hotel Sentosa will also have access to this pool.

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The Barracks Hotel Sentosa. (Image: Far East Hospitality)

That leaves the final property of the trio, the much more intimate and secluded The Barracks Hotel Sentosa, with just 40 rooms in two redeveloped 115-year-old heritage buildings, tucked behind the two larger properties.

The concept here is a high-end finish and more personalised service in a private, quieter section of the development.

Location and access

Unlike the other two properties in the project, The Barracks Hotel Sentosa has a completely separate entrance on Gunner Lane.

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You’ll take an early left turn up Gunner Lane to reach The Barracks Hotel Sentosa. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

At the top of the road you’ll reach the hotel driveway, which leads you straight to the reception area between the two buildings which comprise the property.

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The Barracks Hotel Sentosa entrance. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

If you’re arriving by car, there is onsite complimentary parking available for hotel guests.

Public transport is easily accessible, with Imbiah Monorail Station, connecting to VivoCity and the Singapore MRT network, just a 3-minute walk away from the hotel.

There’s quite a bit of history in this part of the development, and as such each guest staying at the hotel will be offered a complimentary 45-minute heritage tour during their stay.

This takes a look at the history of the buildings, their design and some of the more fun and quirky facts about their former usage over the years prior to this project.

Guests are also entitled to a complimentary welcome drink, free Wi-Fi and local telephone calls.

The Barracks Pool

Two pools in fact, each 47m long, are located behind each of the two converted former barracks buildings.

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One of the two pools at The Barracks Hotel Sentosa. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Guest rooms all overlook the pool, either with a spacious balcony or a terrace with direct pool access in the case of the ground floor rooms.

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Ground floor rooms have direct pool access. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The swimming pools in front of both buildings are certainly the focal centrepiece of the property, in a peaceful and well finished setting.

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Swimming pool. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Accommodation

The 40 rooms and suites in The Barracks Hotel Sentosa are distributed as follows.

Category Size No.
Premier King 29 sq m 27
Premier Twin 29 sq m 6
Suite 59 sq m 6
Accessible Queen 29 sq m 1
Total > 40

Premier Rooms

There are 34 Premier Rooms in total, available with one king bed, twin beds or a queen bed in the single accessible room.

These rooms all measure approximately 29 sq m in total, not the biggest hotel rooms in Singapore, but that is largely constrained by the building’s original layout.

Room Overview.jpg
(Photo: MainlyMiles)

Large double doors open into the bedroom and the king size bed, opposite a 55-inch wall-mounted Smart TV, which allows connectivity to your own personal devices.

Flooring is in dark wood, with some wood panelling on the walls and ornamental lighting in colonial style. There’s a small writing desk in the corner and ample power outlets, including USB charging sockets.

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Writing desk and TV. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Note some plug sockets we saw in the rooms were Singapore Type G 3-pin style, while others were the more useful multi-standard types.

A minibar and tea and coffee making facilities are also provided, with complimentary Nespresso capsules and Singapore Collection heritage teas.

Air conditioning and lighting controls are all within bedside reach.

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(Photo: MainlyMiles)

The room is open into the bathroom, which gives a feeling of space. Here the flooring and walls transition to white marble tiles.

All bathrooms have a freestanding bath, in a starkly contrasting black colour, and a separate shower.

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Freestanding bath in each bathroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Again the finish of the fixtures and fittings appears to be to a very high standard, based on the rooms we were shown.

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High-end finish in the bathrooms. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Toiletries in all rooms and suites are by Appelles Apothecary.

Premier Rooms – Pool Access

Commanding a slight premium, approximately an extra S$50 per night compared to the Premier Rooms for dates we checked in 2020, are the pool access rooms on the ground floor.

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Ground floor rooms have direct pool access. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Access is through the bathroom with a small outdoor seating area available. Each pool access room also has a small semi-private jacuzzi area at the entrance to the main swimming pool.

Suites

Not for sale at this stage, the hotel’s suites are still having some finishing touches applied.  Each suite measures a generous 59 sq m.

Two of the suites have a corner aspect, with the other four in the middle of each building. The layout of the corner suites is slightly different with the living room and bathroom having terrace and pool access, whereas for the other suites the bedroom leads out to the pool deck.

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Suite bedroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)
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Looking into the suite bathroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The spacious bathrooms feature an oversized circular bath tub in the suites.

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Large bath tub. (Photo: MainlyMiles)
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Looking into the suite bedroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We viewed a corner suite, which has a generous seating area at the end of the building and a semi-private jacuzzi pool, which links to the main pool.

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Private outdoor seating area. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Indeed all suites in the hotel are on the ground floor and therefore benefit from direct pool access.

The living room and bathroom of the suite lead onto a smaller more intimate terrace with a sofa and dining table.

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Sofa and dining table outside the suite. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

You can see from the photo below how most other guests are unlikely to swim into your ‘private’ pool and jacuzzi area if you stay in one of these corner suites.

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Semi-private pool section. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The Living Room

Between the two buildings and the two swimming pools is ‘The Living Room’. This is effectively the hotel’s club lounge, open to all guests and serving à la carte breakfast, all day refreshments including canapés.

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The Living Room. (Image: Far East Hospitality)

There is also an afternoon high tea served, plus complimentary cocktails each evening from 6pm to 8pm.

Guests who prefer to indulge in a larger buffet breakfast can do so at Village Hotel Sentosa’s Native Kitchen, a short walk from The Barracks Hotel Sentosa.

Royal Taj Restaurant

Aside from The Living Room, there is no dedicated restaurant in the hotel itself. Guests can alternatively try one of the options in the ‘Mess Hall’ next door, another converted heritage building, including the Royal Taj restaurant – open for both lunch and dinner.

There is also 24-hour room service available.

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Royal Taj is one of the restaurants at the ‘Mess Hall’ next door, with other options coming soon. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Other facilities

The hotel has use of a 24-hour gym located at the Village Hotel Sentosa complex next door. Guests can also use the swimming pools in the adjacent hotels, including the adults-only pool with swim-up bar.

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Adults-only pool and bar. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

We think most people will enjoy the seclusion of The Barracks Hotel Sentosa swimming pools, but it’s nice to have this additional option.

Meeting rooms and event space

The events centre is adjacent to the hotel in another of the restored heritage buildings and houses meeting space and the ballroom.

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Events centre. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Meeting rooms have retractable end walls allowing them to be expanded if more space is required.

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Meeting room. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

The ballroom can accommodate up to 160 people and is primarily focused on hosting wedding banquets.

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Ballroom. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

It has natural light at both sides and two external balcony areas, which can be used to set up catering or a cocktail bar, for example.

Future wedding banquet packages will include a night in one of The Barracks Hotel Sentosa suites.

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(Photo: MainlyMiles)

The hotel is also able to host events on the large ‘barracks lawn’ directly in front of the property.

Opening offer

The Barracks Hotel Sentosa has an opening offer with up to 20% off regular room rates when you book between now and 29th February 2020 for stays between 1st December 2019 and 29th February 2020.

All bookings for stays during this period will come with the following complimentary entitlements:

  • Daily breakfast for 2 guests
  • Late-check out at 3pm
  • 1-way airport transfer
  • Barracks Heritage Walking Tour for 2 guests
  • Daily Evening Cocktails at The Living Room for 2 guests

Small Luxury Hotels

The Barracks Hotel Sentosa is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), a portfolio of over 500 independent hotels in more than 80 countries.

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Guests can join SLH’s loyalty programme, INVITED, to receive Small Luxuries from their very first visit.

Review coming soon

We’ve already got an upcoming stay at The Barracks Hotel Sentosa locked in next year, unbeknown to the hotel as always with our fully paid (and therefore impartial) review policy.

This will allow us to appreciate the quality, service and amenities once the hotel has had some time to ‘bed in’ following the opening, Christmas and New Year periods.

Look out for our full review.

Summary

The last of three hotels in the Sentosa project by Far East Hospitality was the one we were looking forward to the most. With just 40 keys and a boutique hotel design concept in a restored heritage building, this is just the kind of property that interests us.

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(Photo: MainlyMiles)

Now that we’ve seen it in the flesh, we’re certainly impressed with what Far East Hospitality has achieved here. The sympathetic restoration retains all the key features of these 115-year-old buildings, while the decor and finish is not only fitting to their heritage but from what we saw is also to a high standard.

We’re looking forward to coming back next year for a weekend stay, to see if the service element, not to mention the food and beverages in the club lounge, match up to expectations.

Premier Rooms start at S$434 per night, plus taxes. Book Here.

(Cover Photo: MainlyMiles)

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