SINGAPORE, March 29 — Sentosa’s nightlife scene is not much to rave about now, but that may soon change with the launch of a new container park, an offshoot of a popular Bali beach bar and three hotels.
The Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) announced today that the first of these, Bali beach bar Rumours Bar & Grill, will open at Siloso beach in the middle of this year, and could include busking space for local and international street performers.
Next will be a container park called Siloso Green, to be completed at the end of 2019.
Standing where Underwater World used to be, the 24,500 sqm park will have eateries, food trucks, retail spaces, ‘live’ music and waterfront accommodation for staycations. It will also include event and concert spaces.
These developments will complement the opening of three new mid-tier hotels by Far East Hospitality on Sentosa. Two of them, The Outpost Hotel and Village Hotel, are opening on Monday.
The third, Barrack Hotel, which is built on a conservation site, will open eight months to a year from now, SDC said.
When completed, there will be 17 hotels across Sentosa, with over 4,100 rooms available for visitors.
“(The new hotels) will encourage a longer dwell time on the island and add a whole new dimension to appreciating the island from day into the night,” said Far East Hospitality chief executive officer Arthur Kiong.
Today, only around 30 per cent of Sentosa’s existing facilities remain open past 9pm, including Universal Studios Singapore, which reintroduced extended operating hours until 10pm on weekends from January this year.
SDC did not share its projections for future visitor numbers following the opening of the new hotels, but said Sentosa had over 19 million visitors last year and expects this to rise.
Island ‘takes effort’ to visit
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat said: “We need to differentiate Sentosa from the rest of Singapore, to make it interesting for people to want to make that extra effort to come and visit.”
TODAY asked whether SDC would lower or waive the vehicle entry fees into Sentosa to attract more visitors, but SDC noted that it had just lowered these last year.
Visitors who enter Sentosa by car or taxi have to pay S$6 (RM18) per entry during peak hours — 7am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm. At all other times, the fee is S$2.
A spokesperson from SDC noted that when it offered free entry into Sentosa in 2015 to commemorate SG50, it “did not increase visitor numbers much”.
And so, rather than attracting visitors with free entry, SDC will build an experience that makes it worthwhile for its visitors, she added.
Aside from the new nightlife venues, Sentosa has begun hosting more events that stretch into the night. This year, it included two such events to its calendar:
Skechers Sundown Festival
The three-day music festival in April will feature over 50 music artistes across three stages at Siloso Beach, and includes curated art installations, film screening, market bazaar and glamping experience.
AIA GLOW Festival
The inaugural wellness and music festival in May features a fun run, mass yoga sessions and a music festival featuring international artists like Rudimental and local band The Sam Willows.
Existing night events in Sentosa that will continue this year include the Siloso Beach Party and Peroni Sunset Cinema. — TODAY