Hidden amidst the fun-tastic Disneyland-like attractions of Sentosa Island in Singapore, lies Siloso Beach Resort (SBR), a resort unlike any other, eco refuge and sustainability oasis with what must be Singapore’s largest waterfall and landscaped pool.
The multi-award winning Siloso Beach Resort is special in many ways. Popular with families (most attractions on Sentosa island cater to kids), and getaway nature seekers from the booming metropolis that Singapore has become, SBR is charged with striking a balance between the city’s hunger for development, and the resort’s ambitions to create an experience at the very forefront of environmental best practice.
While its numerous green awards and the resort’s worldwide recognition as a leader in environmental and social best practice speak for themselves, what we experienced during our weekend stay at SBR in July 2014 exceeded our boldest expectations.
Siloso Beach Resort: Singapore’s sustainability champion
From an environmental sustainability perspective, SBR ticks all the boxes. In fact, its dedication to environmental best practice goes way beyond anything we have seen so far. Every inch, every corner, the green spirit is palpable.
As SBR director of sustainability, Sylvain Richer de Forges, tells us on our extensive walk around the property, twice did Singapore’s utility provider come to SBR because they didn’t believe just how little water the resort consumes.
Biodiversity, a matter especially near to his heart (Sylvain wrote The Diversity of Life on Earth: From Heritage to Extinction, a fascinating, if rightly alarming book about the topic that guests can buy at reception for a modest price), is taken into consideration as much as holistic, organic gardening is. The organic garden on the rooftop terrace not only caters the downstairs resort restaurant, but it is also used for educational purposes as SBR has several arrangements with both schools and universities around Singapore.
Lightning rods protect the largest trees against the frequent thunderstorms. Trees play a mayor role at SBR and hence receive special treatment. Not only were those cleared during construction compensated for by planting new ones in close vicinity, some of those purposefully left on-site now grow right through some of the Eco-villas!
There are numerous shelters around the property to hang out, each of them addressing a different issue related to sustainability. Many items within the hotel and around the lush forest resort have been rescued from landfill and recycled to high standard.
The landscaped pool – largest in Singapore and a likely all-time favorite – is run with natural spring water, cleaned not with chemicals but salt, giving the water a softer feel and no smells of chlorine.
We are particularly impressed by the way SBR communicates its sustainability efforts, both around the resort and on its Website. Signs especially tailored lead kids and families around the resort, explaining them anything from climate change to the importance of biodiversity.
Both adults and young guests should definitely try to get on one of the free green tours offered at the resort. SBR really is so much more than just a hotel.
While Siloso Beach Resort’s environmental initiatives are exceptional, other areas have been felt lagging, judging from some of the online reviews on sites like Tripadvisor. Did we experience the same things? Some yes, but mostly not.
For example, while our room (705) was quite clean, sheets showed a couple of stains. Not something we’d usually worry about too much in a family or eco resort, but we called housekeeping just the same. In no time did we have sparkling white new sheets, all delivered with a friendly attitude. Of course, a final check by a senior housekeeper would have been better, something easily fixable by SBR’s newly appointed quality manager.
With a popular beach and clubs within short distance, noise of course can be a problem. However, even those in the gym/dance hall – Singaporeans are sporty, active people – got tired at some stage, with not much to worry about after 11pm or midnight (chances are you’ll be out and about, exploring Sentosa’s water fountains, shows, and all the other attractions).
All in all, especially urban travellers with high expectations on the luxury end and little interest in the environmental and sustainability aspect, might find Siloso Beach Resort not the ideal place. Those, however, eager to enjoy Singapore’s largest landscaped pool with waterfall, looking for a relaxed place to stay on bustling Sentosa, and with a curiosity about sustainability, environmental issues – and solutions, will find it difficult to leave once they’ve settled in. We particularly recommend this place to families, as there is a lot to explore.
Visit the resort’s dedicated sustainability portal for more info about its environmental and social initiatives.
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