When attendees gathered at last week’s ITB Asia in Singapore, there was a pair of integrated resort projects that came up in conversation time and again— one was Marina Bay Sands and the other was Resorts World at Sentosa. Singapore’s Sentosa Island is only minutes away from the city and is seamlessly accessed via a causeway. The new Resorts World Sentosa project will cover 49 hectares of the 500 hectare CONVERT Sentosa Island. When it opens in early 2010, Resorts World at Sentosa will dominate Singapore’s leisure offerings, and will be especially appealing for families, offering a combination of theme parks, hotels, casino gaming, a spa and an assortment of shops and dining venues.
An artist's rendering of Resorts World at Sentosa
“Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World at Sentosa are both integrated resorts,” said Robin Goh, assistant vice president of communications, Resorts World at Sentosa. “The difference between them is Marina Bay Sands is a MICE hotel while Resorts World at Sentosa is a family destination and attraction that is without parallel in this part of the world.”
Half of Resorts World at Sentosa will be taken up by Universal Studios Singapore, which will have 24 rides and attractions, with 18 of these being either brand new or newly designed for Singapore. The big news is the Transformers attraction, which is debuting at Universals Studio Singapore.
The resort will also have Marine Life Park, the largest oceanarium in the world, according to Goh. The park will have 700,000 marine creatures and 20 million gallons of water. There will also be a “wet experience” feature which allows guest to have an up-close experience feeding tiger sharks.
“We’re a casino resort with family attractions,” said Goh. “Our goal is 15 million visitors in the first year— 8 to 9 million of these will be tourists.”
The resort will have six hotels with a combined room count of 1,800 rooms and suites.
The two major hotels are Hotel Michael, which is designed by celebrated architect Michael Graves, and Maxims Residences, where the resort’s casino will be located. Both hotels will be very high-end. Rounding out the hotel offerings are the Equarius Hotel, a good recommendation for nature lovers, the Festive Hotel, a good match for families, and ESPA Villas, where the resort’s spa will be located.
An artist's rendering of Hotel Michael and Maxim's Residences at Resort World at Sentosa
“Resorts World at Sentosa is not a phased opening, although the spa villas and Equarius will probably open for business three months after the official opening,” said Goh.
The casino will be one of two legalized casinos in Singapore. A government bill was passed that requires Singapore citizens to pay $100 to enter the casinos, a bid to discourage problem gambling among locals. “It may sound Draconian, but it’s a safeguard,” said Goh.
Additional attractions at the resort include the interactive maritime Xperiential Museum, which chronicles the history of the maritime Silk Route; ESPA, a destination spa and wellness retreat that will be the first ESPA destination spa on its own and not part of a hotel; the Festive Walk, a promenade lined with shops and restaurants; and La Vie— the Magic of Life, a theatrical production created by Mark Fisher (stage designer of the Las Vegas production "Ka") that can only be seen at Resorts World at Sentosa and the Equarius Water Park.
The resort can host 35,000 delegates for meetings at any one time, and 7,300 can be seated in the largest ballroom. Since 20 percent of business travelers bring their families with them to Singapore, the new resort should have tremendous appeal.