REVIEW: The Barracks Hotel Sentosa, from artillery outpost to luxurious escape
It's easy to miss The Barracks Hotel Sentosa in Singapore. With its swaying palm tress, verdant surrounds and neatly manicured lawn, the white colonial building can be easily mistaken for a museum, a highly exclusive event space or simply an administrative building.
Turns out, this WWII British army outpost has been converted into an intimate and luxurious 40-room hotel, providing some of the most intimate and peaceful retreat one can experience in Sentosa. Take a look!
The nearest route to The Barracks Hotel via public transport is to take the monorail from VivoCity to Imbiah Station in Sentosa, followed by a short 3-minute walk. You can also take a car, which should rightly drop you off in a basement carpark. The "grand entrance" to the hotel is concealed within the carpark, where a friendly doorman will greet you.
Stepping through the entranceway feels akin to stepping back in time. The space is resplendent, albeit small, with warm-coloured furnishings, a gigantic flower arrangement being gently misted by an elegant lady staff, and historical black and white photos lining the walls. The doorman, a delightful gentleman, regaled us with the background stories behind the photos. For a moment I felt like I've stepped into a scene from The Grand Budapest Hotel. The service felt personable and warm from the get-go.
However, the reception is not located there. Instead, take the lift up to the first level, turn right, and step through the doors that are located at the side of the building. The hole-in-the-wall reception can be easy to miss for first-timers. Luckily, staff are very inclined to make polite conversations and point you to the right place.
We were served cold towels and Barrack's specialty mocktail, a welcome gesture to beat the heat outside. A short while later, we were whisked to our room on the second floor.
From a listed S$906 a night for a regular Premier room – it's borderline eye-watering – so for that price point, service and quality are what differ. Service has already proven itself to be attentive and most importantly, preemptive, so we turn our attention to the room, facilities and food.
Room & Facilities
The designer of this hotel has worked around the long rectangular layout of the room, and has essentially split it into two: the sleeping quarters and the washroom. As you enter the room, the roof opens up to a tall ceiling above the bed. The sleeping area is a cosy space, which explains the strict max two adults and one child per room rule, except for the suite, which allows for one more pax.
My only grievance is the full length mirror positioned unfortunately right beside the bed, facing the sleeper. Superstitions aside, it's really hard to stand in front of the mirror without navigating awkwardly around the bedside table, standing lamp and knee pit knocking against the bed.
Pantry comes as a vintage trunk repurposed with smart compartments to house the fridge, cups, glasses, snacks and a prep area. Brass lamps, dried flowers on a vintage desk, and a Marshall speaker complete the look. The room is decidedly masculine with all the wood, leather and dark colours, but I'm all for the lewk that references Barrack's military past.
The washroom is where the price of the room is entirely justified. A luxurious granite bathtub, Axor fittings, Toto toilet (heated seat; bidet function for a rear AND frontal cleanse; airing system to dry your bottom after the wash; air-purifying system that deodorises during use; I can go on and on) and Atkinsons products all come together to create a space you'll want to spend more time in than the bedroom.
Beyond the bathtub is another door that leads to a balcony overlooking the swimming pool. For those on the lower floor, you get a patio, plus the pool and jacuzzi at your doorstep.
There's also a gym somewhere in the compound, though admittedly this felt like the sort of retreat where you don't go to the gym.
For the majority of the time, we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves. With just 40 rooms and plenty of space, the tranquil vibes of the place is well worth the cost.
Psst: we're seeing rooms going for less than S$600++ on Klook. Check the dates for late June. You're welcome! 😉
Food is served in the Living Room, right in front of the lift and flanked by two pools that serve each side of the main hotel duplex. While they don't serve lunch or dinner, one can enjoy breakfast, tea, evening canapés and all day refreshment in the same space.
Breakfast is selected a day before by scanning a QR code. There's a limited selection, but portions are generous and taste is better-than-average, especially the Nasi Lemak.
The evening canapés and free-flow drinks with a daily selection of snacks starts from 5 to 8 pm daily and it's the perfect way to wind down for the day. For the entire two days we were there, we've experienced warm services and staff who were always happy to slow down and chat with you for a bit.
Guests looking for more filling meals can march over to the Mess Hall, located right opposite the hotel wing across the lawn. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, such as Hidemasa by Hide Yamamoto, Royal Taj, Quentin and more. There's also a 7-Eleven for those feeling peckish in the middle of the night.
The Barracks Heritage Safari
At the moment, the hotel is offering a special package "The Barracks Heritage Safari" from now till 31 December for a two night stay, along with plenty of perks, from a bespoke tailoring session to a tour experience of choice.
Now, the tailoring experience and the tour experiences (we went for the colonial architecture and tea appreciation session at Chinatown) deserve entire articles on their own, because both were excellent in terms of service and experience. It's clear that The Barracks Hotel Sentosa has taken great care to choose the partners they work with.
Full deets of the "The Barracks Heritage Safari" below.
2 nights stay in the Premier Room/Suite Room for 2 pax (3rd pax inclusion is available in Suite only at an additional $688 nett per stay)
Daily breakfast for 2 persons
Access to The Living Room with all-day refreshments and evening cocktails with canapés
Tour experience in the Barracks Jeep
Choice of cultural trail to Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Tiong Bahru or Katong District
Personal bespoke tailoring experience at Joe’s Tailoring with personalised safari shirt complete with barracks embroidery, customisable name, mono, thread colour and buttons.
Chocolate truffles and Prosecco upon arrival
As I was winding down for the last night in the hotel, my plus one asked if I would pay out of my own pocket to stay here next time (a question I often get). It's not often I say yes, but with my preference for The Barracks Hotel Sentosa's utterly tranquil and exclusive vibes, the answer is a strong yes.
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The Baracks Hotel Sentosa
2 Gunner Ln, 099567
Phone: 6722 0802
We were invited to a hosted stay in The Barracks Hotel Sentosa, but the opinions expressed here are entirely ours.