Peering out of The Greenhouse at Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, I’m mildly disoriented.
Planes whizz by above the lush green fairways and dunes that roll in and out in a succession of endless curves. With no tall buildings, skyscrapers or housing blocks nearby, it’s easy to feel displaced but deliciously so after nearly a year of being home-bound.
Through the toroidal glass-and-steel façade reminiscent of Changi Airport’s Jewel, the skylight shines upon each table, instantly lifting the mood of diners. While I wish I was being carted off in that plane, I happily return to the Thai-style steamed barramundi on my plate that’s equally nourishing and nostalgic of past vacations in the Land of Smiles.
Much rides on the Singapore arm of this famed Thai hospitality chain. Nestled on the grounds of Laguna National Golf & Resort, it is the first hotel in the country to offer access to a duo of sprawling championship golf courses.
Golfing legend Tiger Woods has teed off at Laguna Golf Club and I bear this in mind as I’m taken on a tour of the swanky premises. The checking-in process is swift and smooth, with high-tech features that include a conveyor belt for your clubs, leading you to golf buggies that each come equipped with its own GPS system. Luxurious changing rooms and locker areas are, naturally, par for the course.
For golfers, membership comes with perks – that’s where the hotel comes in. But for staycationers in dire need of a holiday, the property has now thankfully cast its eye on wellness.
Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore is a sprawling destination in itself. Unlike properties in Sentosa, where the island’s activities are the main draw for stays, the hotel invites you to spend time within it and nowhere else. Its surrounds are in the thick of construction but in case you worry about the noise, you’re entirely insulated from the chaos, and even the low throttle of the airplane’s engine despite the hotel’s close proximity to the airport.
Viewed from outside, the property makes a spectacular sight. Like the golf courses it’s surrounded by, it resembles an undulating mound with its curvilinear roof. A facade of floor-to-ceiling glass windows peer out to the resort’s centerpiece: its three swimming pools that face eight pavilions, each equipped with their own plunge pools.
Elsewhere, design elements are kept in a contrast; a curved, spiralling concrete staircase juxtaposes the warm wood and cane elements of the restaurant, that’s dressed with hanging foliage and indoor plants to mirror the abundance of green outside.
Like the landscape beyond it, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore is kept as a deliberately low-rise building, with only four floors of rooms that are spread across trailing corridors. These are available across several categories, that range from the 36 square meter deluxe rooms with pool views or an adjoining patio with pool access, to suites that include an outdoor bathtub, rain shower and outdoor kitchen. Primarily furnished in beige and neutral tones, the rooms ensure a comfortable night’s sleep with duckdown pillows and duvet and even a Dream Bed Menu that offers a pillow and topper on request.
Other room amenities are perfect for a weekend respite – sizeable bathrooms included. If you’re working from home, an in-room Lavazza roasted ground coffee coffee machine and an ample-sized desk area, with USB and power points, next to a pool view, is all you need to break the monotony of your everyday routine.
Staying in on a rainy day? A yoga mat, board games and a Nintendo Switch are items you can ask for to fill up your time.
The hotel houses two main restaurants. Aforementioned The Greenhouse is a forest-themed space that serves an array of multi-ethnic cuisine, served from show kitchens that include Thai, Nikkei cuisine, Indian Tandoor, Mediterranean and Chinese. As a Thai-brand hotel, one comes to expects the best of the latter here but won’t be disappointed. Order the Pla Kapong Nueng, the steamed barramundi with green chilli; the Nam Tok Neua, the wagyu thai beef salad; and classics like the Tom Kha Gai and Phad Thai. Each boast the piquant, and sweet-sour notes that will hit the spot.
Mornings offer an ala-carte breakfast with picks ranging from local favourites to Western classics. Adjacent to the restaurant is the intimately spaced Legends Bar & Lounge, set to open this year, with cocktails, premium wines and bar bites aplenty for all to accompany live music. Over at the Tee Deck, the poolside restaurant is an alfresco terrace that serves up burgers and grilled food.
Where wellness takes the stage is the hotel’s spa, Deverana Wellness. The high-ceilinged space is inspired by a concept of a garden in heaven. I experienced the 90-minute Signature Massage, which begun with a selection from four oils, each targeting different moods. The rubdown involved the therapist targeting my pressure points using her forearms and elbows in a combination that the spa describes as a combination of Thai, Ayurveda and Shiatsu techniques. Minutes in, I drifted away to soothing music and the scent of oranges and kaffir limes as my muscle tension melted away.
For those who want more out of a spa day can select from various treatments such as a rose and milk bath, facials and even massages for children between six to 14 years old. But if lugging the kids along to the spa is the last thing on your mind, the hotel also offers an in-room nanny service.
For the fitness-focused, the 24-hour gym, at 369 square metres, is one of the largest offered in a local hotel. It’s surrounded by greenery, and offers an array of free weights, gym equipment and machines for a diversity of workouts. Stations are widely spaced out to ensure social distancing. If swimming is your speed, the pool area comes with a lap pool for serious swimmers, a relaxation pool with jacuzzis and a children’s pool.
For intense relaxation and recuperation, Devarana Wellness has recently launched a three-pronged programme that hinges on Pause for mindfulness and mental awareness; Focus for physical vitality (Focus); and Growth for sustaining a healthy lifestyle through establishing a community. These will be cultivated through a lineup of meditation and yoga sessions, workshops, educational classes on personal stress management, nutrition and empowerment.
But if doing absolutely nothing is your idea of bliss, spend the long afternoons basking in the sunshine by the pool. That’s our version of wellness, at least.
Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore, 11 Laguna Golf Green, Singapore 488047