When IT consultant Alec Wing and his wife saw the show unit for The Berth by the Cove in 2004, it was love at first sight.
The Berth was the very first condominium development on Sentosa and Mr Wing has been the proud owner of a Sentosa Cove home ever since.
Originally from Mauritius, he has lived here for 28 years and is a Singapore
The father of two teenage children said: “When we first took a look at the display show-house, it was surrounded by bare land and we could see one yacht. Nothing was built yet.
“The big trees and greenery that lined the roads of Sentosa and the view made a great first impression. I thought to myself, ‘This is not a bad view to come home to’,” he added.
Mr Wing, who declined to reveal his age, added that he and his wife were sold on the idea of “resort living” on Sentosa almost immediately.
Barely a week after viewing the show-flat, they bought a first-floor apartment at the 99-year leasehold condo for about $900 to $1,000 per square foot.
The three-bedroom unit, which spans over 2,000 sq ft and sits on the waterfront, was completed in 2006.
The apartment is one of 200 units across six floors, in a complex that provides 25 berths for the residents’ yachts.
Over the years, Mr Wing has seen the once empty land turn into a tourist attraction and fill with residential developments.
“With more people visiting and settling there, it became sort of a little village,” he said.
However, he acknowledges this kind of island lifestyle is not for everyone and that the community is mostly made up of foreigners.
“Most locals think that Sentosa is too far away from things like the wet market or their in-laws’ place, so it takes a certain kind (of local) to appreciate it,” he said.
Currently, the unit is leased out as his wife and children are living overseas and it “makes more sense” to rent it out, said Mr Wing.
Over the years, units of similar size have fetched monthly rental incomes of about $7,000 to $9,000.
Mr Wing rents a smaller two-bedroom apartment on the east side of Singapore. He said: “I don’t need a big place because it’s just me. But I do miss living on Sentosa.”
He goes to the island about three times a week to visit former neighbours and is actively involved in clubs and sporting activities in the community there.
“Source:[Sold on the idea of ‘resort living’ when Sentosa was just bare land] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”