The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Af­ter open­ing a de­sign-driven down­town ho­tel in Sin­ga­pore last year, Sof­i­tel has re­de­vel­oped the Beau­fort re­sort on Sen­tosa Is­land to fea­ture an enor­mous day spa and ur­bane interiors and land­scap­ing in­spired by the Lux­em­bourg Gar­dens in Paris.

The $40 mil­lion makeover be­gan 18 months ago and is all but com­plete, with the ho­tel’s fa­mous The Cliff restau­rant the fi­nal com­po­nent, sched­uled for com­ple­tion in Jan­uary in time for the of­fi­cial re­launch.

The Sof­i­tel Sin­ga­pore Sen­tosa Re­sort & Spa claims a prime po­si­tion, sprawl­ing across 11ha of for­est and gar­dens with pea­cocks on the prowl, over­look­ing the South China Sea with easy ac­cess to Tan­jong Beach.

Interiors by Beatrice Mar­tinet of Toinein­bangkok along­side Pierre Ma­ciag and Jor­dane Nguyen of M.A. X Stu­dio bring Sof­i­tel’s sig­na­ture French flair to the trop­i­cal sur­rounds, with open ve­ran­das, whirling ceil­ing fans and pots of orchids sit­ting along­side chic pub­lic ar­eas and 211 rooms and suites with tim­ber floors, pas­tel-hued rugs and res­i­den­tial vibe. There are also four lux­ury vil­las each with a gar­den ter­race and pri­vate pool and ac­cess to the spa gar­den.

The ho­tel’s SoSPA is housed in a her­itage build­ing on the grounds and is the largest Sof­i­tel spa in the world, with 14 in­door treat­ment rooms, six out­door spa pav­il­ions, and in­door and out­door gar­dens with float and mud pools, a fit­ness cen­tre, sauna and ham­mam.

DON’T MISS: A dip in the spa’s mud pool filled with New Zealand’s min­eral-rich finest.

DIN­ING IN: Ex­ec­u­tive chef Eric Cro­chetiere over­sees three restau­rants in­clud­ing the healthy eat­ing spa out­let The Gar­den and soon-to-de­but The Cliff. At Kwee Zeen, where al­fresco ta­bles are set amid lush green­ery over­look­ing the sea, a “Mag­nifique Sun­day Cham­pagne Brunch”, with French bub­bles and 16 “ate­liers’’ in­clud­ing live seafood, a foie gras “gallery” and hand­made choco­lates, costs from $57. Oth­er­wise try the corn-crusted salmon or in­dul­gent chocolate roy­al­tine, or have af­ter­noon tea in Le­Bar.

DIN­ING OUT: Drop by the Tan­jong Beach Club, perched on the sand, for a plate of bar­be­cued tiger prawns or pop over to Quay­side Isle at Sen­tosa Cove, where you’ll find sev­eral restau­rants over­look­ing the ma­rina.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: How about a morn­ing jog along Tan­jong Beach (di­rectly ac­ces­si­ble from the ho­tel) where bird song and ocean breezes will clear the cob­webs; or per­haps an af­ter­noon in the spa gar­dens, which fea­tures a women’s-only sec­tion.

CHECK­ING IN: Su­per ad­vance saver rates from SGD376++ ($370). More: sof­i­

ALSO TRY: Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Re­sort & Spa Gold Coast; Sof­i­tel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Re­sort.

CHRISTINE McCABE A “glamping’’ ho­tel will pop up at Adams Beach on Queens­land’s North Strad­broke Is­land from De­cem­ber 14 to Jan­uary 31; the fully fur­nished tents will fea­ture real beds, Ar­madillo rugs, deck chairs, so­lar light­ing and qual­ity linens; there will also be a pop-up cafe • Next June, the Art Se­ries Ho­tel Group makes its de­but in Queens­land with a $155 mil­lion, 85-room ho­tel ded­i­cated to mas­ter colourist Michael John­son in Brisbane’s in­ner-city Spring Hill • Sher­a­ton has an­nounced plans for a 160-room ho­tel for Ade­laide, par­ent com­pany Star­wood’s sec­ond sign­ing for the city in a year; the new ho­tel will form part of a mixed-use res­i­den­tial and re­tail com­plex on a long-va­cant site in af­flu­ent North Ade­laide • Man­darin Oriental adds Boca Ra­ton, Florida, to its stable in 2017 with the open­ing of a 158-room ho­tel, and ad­join­ing res­i­den­tial com­plex, with rooftop restau­rant and ter­race • Lon­don’s Dorch­ester decks its lobby as an or­nate gin­ger­bread house for Christ­mas; spe­cial fes­tive fam­ily pack­ages, from £480 ($1026), in­clude a free room (and gifts) for chil­dren, cham­pagne for par­ents and full English break­fast for the whole fam­ily (avail­able De­cem­ber 14 to Jan­uary 10).

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