Capella Sentosa: inside the Singapore hotel hosting the Trump-Kim summit

The Capella resort is located on a former colonial outpost whose name means peace and tranquility

Capella hotel Singapore
(Image credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

Tomorrow, the Capella hotel on Sentosa Island, off the coast of Singapore, will play host to a historic meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

Why Sentosa?

After speculation about locations from Mongolia to the DMZ, earlier this month it was announced that the milestone summit will take place on Sentosa, a small resort island off the southern tip of Singapore, connected to the mainland by a road bridge.

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Sentosa’s geography is likely to have played a part in its selection as the meeting point for the two leaders, providing isolation from the outside world and a natural barrier to any unwanted interlopers.

The choice of location also has a symbolic significance - Sentosa means “peace and tranquility” in the Malay language, CNN reports.

Where will they meet?

Tomorrow morning, Trump and Kim will leave their respective hotels - Sentosa’s Shangri La resort for Trump, the five-star St. Regis hotel on the mainland for Kim - to meet at the Capella hotel resort, on the southern coast of the island.

The hotel, designed by London architects Foster + Partners, opened in 2009 on a 30-acre site which was formerly part of a colonial-era coastal defence station.

The decor of the resort is a fusion of Asian and Western influences, an apt background for Trump and Kim’s historic meeting.

Two red-roofed bungalows once used to house British army officers stationed at the lookout still remain on the hotel grounds, where they are used as a reception.

The sprawling resort is home to a variety of meeting venues, from a Grand Ballroom to more ordinary conference rooms.

“Each meeting venue features spacious pre-function areas for entertaining activities such as a cocktail reception before dinner or tea breaks between meetings,” according to the hotel.

If Trump and Kim fancy unwinding further between talks, there is also direct access to a private beach. The pair, both keen golfers, could also continue their discussions over a round at one of Sentosa’s two golf courses.

What are the security arrangements?

Given the air of mistrust between the participants and the high stakes on the table, security will be naturally be a top priority at the summit.

The safety of the two leaders and their entourages has been entrusted to the Singapore police force’s elite Gurkha Contingent.

Drawn from the top performers at the British Army’s Gurkha recruitment camp in Nepal, the Gurkha Contingent protect high-ranking officials, guard strategic sites and lead counter-terrorism operations.

Meanwhile, the area around the Capella has gone into near lockdown ahead of the arrival of Trump and Kim - an incongruous sight amid the luxury resorts and tourists attractions, says Time.

“Police officers at security gates sweep incoming vehicles for bombs, as the tangled curls of the next-door Universal Studio’s rollercoaster loom overhead,” says the magazine, while high metal fences have been erected along pavements near the hotel.

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