Trump North Korea summit: Sentosa Island is just one of the 63 islands that make up Singapore
Sentosa Island is just one of the 63 islands that make up Singapore, an island city-state off southern Malaysia.
It’s 500-hectares and only a short distance from the main island. It’s accessible by cable car, a monorail, a pedestrian causeway and vehicle tunnel. This means access can be controlled, making it a secure venue for the North Korea summit.
Sentosa Island is today marketed as the State of Fun. It’s home to a Universal Studios theme park, a new water park and the Resorts World casino.
It also boasts beaches, an award-winning golf club with two courses, some of Singapore’s most luxurious hotels, spa retreats, a deep-water yachting marina, lush rainforests and a selection of Michelin-starred restaurants.
However it wasn’t always such a ‘fun’ place, with the island having seen its fair share of horror over the years.
Sentosa Island is just one of the 63 islands that make up Singapore
Before British rule, the island was an important trade hub, attracting merchants and traders as well as pirates.
Its name at that time – Pulau Blakang Mati – translates to ‘island behind death’ which shows just how violent and bloody this period of piracy was.
In the 19th century, it became a British trading post thanks to its prime location on the major sea route between India and China.
However, in 1942 Britain lost control of the island after colonial forces surrendered to the Japanese during WWII.
Sentosa was then given the Japanese name Syonan, meaning ‘Light of the South.’
Trump North Korea summit: Sentosa Island boasts beaches, lush rainforests, spa retreats and more
The name sadly didn’t reflect the island’s goings-on and thousands were massacred in the following years under an operation to purge anti-Japanese elements from the ethnic Chinese community. It also hosted a prisoner-of-war camp.
In the 1970’s the Singaporean government sought a fresh start and named the island Sentosa, which means ‘peace and tranquility’ and first began developing it as a tourism site.
These days, thousands of Singaporeans and tourists are drawn to the State of Fun every year.
While Trump and Kim Jong Un may not be availing themselves of the water park attractions, they will be spending the summit at the 30-acre, 112-room luxury Capella Hotel.
It was designed by acclaimed Brit architect Norman Foster, who was the creative force behind the Gherkin in London and Apple’s HQ in California.
Trump North Korea summit: Sentosa Island is today marketed as the State of Fun and has a water park
The Capella hotel features several grand colonial-era buildings and is nestled among tropical rainforest. It describes itself as a place “where old and new fuse together in luxury”.
The secluded resort has attracted such big names as Madonna and Lady Gaga in the past.
Rooms are available from about $500 a night (£370) for a Premier Garden King Room to $7,500 a night (£5,600) for the Colonial Manor with three bedrooms and a private pool.
It is thought the two leaders will not stay at the Capella hotel, however. It’s probable Trump will be at the Shangri-La Hotel – the usual accommodation choice of visiting US presidents – while Kim will likely stay at the St Regis Singapore, according to the Straits Times newspaper.
In addition to Sentosa, some of the main Singaporean island that can be visited are just a short ferry ride away. This series of tranquil quieter islands are well worth a visit for wildlife and beaches including Pulau Ubin, Lazarus Island, Coney Island, Kusu Island and Sisters’ Island.