Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa just launched its inaugural heritage and history trail

Benita Lee

To take you back in time to explore Sentosa’s past, one of the island’s hotels is launching a tour across its grounds. The Amara Heritage Trail — put together by Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa — brings visitors on a discovery of nature, conservation, and history of the area, which is home to former British soldier quarters and the island’s last remaining World War II air raid shelters.

For a quick background on the resort, it was built on 10 acres of land, after restoring and upgrading the old British military barracks and air raid shelters — which were built between 1897 and 1905 — in the 1920s.

Resorted colonial building. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
Resorted colonial building. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa

Over the course of an hour, you’ll traipse around the resort’s tropical garden and bask in scenic views of the South China Sea while spotting artefacts, identifying herbs and spices used in local cuisine, learning the origins of the word Sentosa and other road names, and reliving the experience of hiding out in the air raid shelter.

The island's last air raid shelter. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
The island’s last air raid shelter. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa

When your journey comes to an end, you can clink glasses filled with a cocktail called The Gunner, so named after Gunner Road (and the British Royal Artillery), concocted with ginger beer, ginger ale, lemon/lime, and angostura bitters. Apparently, it used to be popular among British gunners to keep ’em awake and alert in our tropical, humid climate.

For those keen on taking up the guided trail, it officially debuts on Sept 8 and will be conducted every Saturday and Sunday at 10am. It’s priced at S$18 for the public, S$12 for in-house guests, and complimentary for Amara Sanctuary Suite and Villa guests. Otherwise, you can do it for free by picking up a copy of the self-guided trail brochure at the concierge to explore at your own leisure (see if you can spot the peacocks of the island).

One of the peacocks on Sentosa. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
One of the peacocks on Sentosa. Photo: Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa

If you find yourself ravenous after an hour in the sun, head back to the hotel for its three-course “colonial set menu” ($38/two) that includes dishes like mulligatawny soup made with chicken, veggies, and a dash of curry powder, fish and chips, oxtail stew, Hainanese fried pork chop, and kaya bread pudding.

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