Waterfront Living In Sentosa Cove Is Considered Second To None

A few yachts in a row with a view looking out into the ocean.
Yachts rest in waiting near high-rises in Sentosa Cove, Singapore. (Shutterstock)

Sentosa, which means peace and tranquility in Malay, is a former British military base and fishing village south of mainland Singapore. The Singapore government has transformed the 1,236-acre island into a tourist destination popular among foreigners and locals, with about 9.4 million visitors in 2021. Singaporeans and international visitors hang out on the pristine beaches, zip line at Mega Adventure Park, shop at the massive luxury galleria and more. Golf is a big deal here too—the Sentosa Golf Club has two award-winning courses. 

Sentosa Cove, on the east side of the island, was launched in 2003 and is home to some of Singapore’s wealthiest. The gated community, with 2,600 oceanfront villas, waterway bungalows, hillside mansions and upscale condominiums, is the only place in Singapore where a non-resident can purchase land. Most have swimming pools, rooftop gardens, multi-car garages and other upscale luxuries.

Housing at Sentosa Cove Singapore

An aerial view of Sentosa Cove in Singapore. (Shutterstock)

The Vibe on Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island offers vacation-style living, scenic views and plenty of entertainment and dining options. You’ll see Bentleys, Porsches and Jaguars motoring down Ocean Drive, one of the Cove’s main thoroughfares. But don’t worry–bicycles also predominate here and there’s no need to lock them up. Sentosa Island is as clean and safe as mainland Singapore. About 60% of Sentosa Cove buyers are foreigners, and those from Asian countries predominate. The heat, humidity and tourists are ever-present.

SINGAPORE - 20 FEBRUARY, 2020: Panoramic view of Sentosa Island in Singapore, a popular tourist destination

High-rises stand tall in a popular are of Sentosa Island (Shutterstock)

How the Locals Live on Sentosa Island


The Sentosa Heritage Trail, a self-guided walking tour, takes about two hours and includes Fort Siloso, Fort Serapong and the Imbiah Battery. The fortifications were built by the British and used in defense of colonial Singapore and during World War II. Fort Siloso is the most intact and is an outdoor military museum.   

Resorts World Sentosa opened in 2010 and includes a casino, a convention center, Universal Studios Singapore, the S.E.A. Aquarium and eight luxury hotels spread over 120 acres. 

Dining and Shopping

Cassia: Savor the homemade dim sum–for lunch only–at this Cantonese restaurant in the Capella Hotel. Open daily from noon to 2 p.m. for lunch and 6:30-10 p.m. for dinner.

The Cliff: The Italian restaurant combines authentic dishes with a panoramic sea view from the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort. Try their burrata caprese, pan-seared barramundi and the Cliff tiramisu. 

The Kitchen Table: This restaurant, in the W Hotel, bases its menu on “local comfort food, plant-based products, and wood fire specialties.” Open daily 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. 

Malaysian Food Street in Resorts World Sentosa sells dishes reminiscent of Malaysia’s colonial past. Open daily 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Cold Storage: Sentosa Cove residents shop for groceries at this supermarket on Cove Avenue. Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Singapore- 28 Oct, 2018: Condominium in Sentosa Cove with modern residence in Singapore

Waterfront property is top-tier on Sentosa Island. (Shutterstock)

Need to Know

Visitors can access Sentosa Island by tram, bus, cable car (the option with the best views), taxi,  private car and on foot via the Sentosa Boardwalk. Travel on the island is free on the beach shuttle, bus and the Sentosa Express tram service. Singapore’s Changi Airport is a 30- to 40-minute drive from Sentosa Island. 

Education options are limited on Sentosa Island because of its focus on tourism. EtonHouse International School Sentosa accepts students from 18 months to 10 years. Older students can enroll at Eton’s Orchard campus on mainland Singapore. MindChamps PreSchool @ Sentosa, in Resorts World Sentosa, features indoor and outdoor learning areas. Quayside Isle Preparatory School (QuIPS), in Sentosa Cove, follows a British curriculum for young students.


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