Curious to know what it’s like to stay at one of the world’s most luxurious hotels?
This is my review of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore!
For those that have been following my travels, you’ll know that Emma and I went to Singapore on our return from Australia. Whilst we were there, we spent two nights in an Airbnb so we could concentrate fully on exploring before our final night staying at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
If you’ve ever seen photos of Singapore, it’s very likely that you’ll recognise Marina Bay Sands. With its three huge towers connected by an elevated platform, it looks oddly like a cruiseliner, but contains one of the most famous hotels in the world. Not only that, its home to the world’s largest infinity pool where you can swim up and gaze across Singapore. On wandering around Singapore, you’ll marvel at this architectural gem from every angle but it’s what’s inside that counts! I have to admit that staying at the Marina Bay Sands was on my bucket-list so there was no way I’d be visiting Singapore without staying there. As you can imagine, for a 5 star hotel of this calibre, that one night didn’t come cheap but it was honestly so worth it! Plus, you can only gain access to that famous infinity pool if you’re a guest.
MY REVIEW OF THE MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL IN SINGAPORE
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The hotel was opened in 2010 and cost a staggering $8billion to build. However, the whole complex does contain a shopping mall, a convention centre, museums, restaurants and the world’s largest atrium casino! There are over 2,500 rooms ranging from the ‘basic’ Garden view room all the way up to luxurious three-bedroomed suites. We opted for the Garden view room at a price of approximately £400. I have however seen the prices far lower than this; I guess we didn’t book that far in advance although we did book through the hotel directly.
Whilst in Singapore, we emailed the hotel just to see whether we could arrive and potentially check-in earlier than the 3pm time given. If you’re there for one night, 3pm seems rather late to be checking in! Luckily, the hotel were absolutely fine with it and, by the time we arrived in the lobby at 10:30am, there was a queue of others checking in. This isn’t like a normal hotel; the lobby is more like the departures area at an airport. Staff members helping you every step of the way; leave your bags there, check in over there, collect your rewards card two miles in the opposite direction. You get the jist.
Thanks to good planning we’d explored as much of Singapore as we wanted to see in the two days prior which left a full day to take advantage of staying at the Marina Bay Sands. Despite our room not being ready at 10:30am (who can blame them?), we were given keycards for immediate access to the infinity pool. Now we’re talking.
The Infinity Pool
No matter how many pictures you see, nothing can prepare you for the first time to set eyes upon the view atop the Marina Bay Sands. A swimming pool, like none you’ve ever seen before, appears to float in mid-air before simply merging with the tops of skyscrapers in the distance. I think a staff member even had to help stop my jaw from hitting the floor.
Then, as it always does, reality sinks in and you realise that actually it’s quite busy. As I said before, there’s over 2,500 rooms. If each had two guests, that’s 5,000 people wanting to have their own slice of picture-perfect infinity pool. So yes, it was difficult to get a sunbed and there are plenty of children (lucky buggers in their own pool!) but it never felt overbearing. Whilst waiting for our room, we realised we’d left the suncream in our luggage. There was no shade, apart from under a few palm trees, and I was burning quicker than you can say “hey why’s that man SO red?” so we decided to come back later. We managed a full walk around the marina and came back to an email stating our room was ready.
Our room was on the 39th floor in Tower 3. As soon as we opened the door and put our keycard in its slot, the curtains pulled themselves open revealing the ‘Garden View’ I’d be waiting to see. I though we might have been able to see the popular Gardens by the Bay but I didn’t realise we’d essentially be on top of it. I should have clicked that Garden View means you look onto the famous Supertree Grove, the two domed conservatories as well as the Singapore Strait. The sea was absolutely full of oil tankers and commercial ships which was a sight in itself; and not a bad one surprisingly.
Whilst the city view rooms are more expensive for obvious reasons, you’d have to be very lucky to get a room so high up that it blocks out the complex below. I’ve seen photos where you’re basically looking out onto a concrete roof. With a garden view room, it’s actually so peaceful and we even had a little balcony to stand out on.The room itself was quite traditionally decorated as far as hotel rooms go these days although it was very spacious and elegant. The bed was a good size and the bathroom was beautiful too. If you’ve paid this much for a hotel room, why would you ever want to leave?
Back to the Infinity Pool
Equipped with the suncream, we returned to the infinity pool for the rest of the day and practically stayed in the water until we were covered in wrinkles from head to toe. I could literally prop myself up at the edge of the pool and stare out over Singapore every day of my life if I could. I was glad too that my camera was weather resistant which I took to mean it was probably okay to take in the pool with us. You will need to bring your camera as there’s so much to take photos of, including the classic gazing out shot.
We stayed at the pool all day re-filling our water bottles up and not buying drinks as we couldn’t afford them! We even got to watch the sun set directly opposite the hotel. Make sure you come back for sunrise too as it’s very quiet. It’s also worth jumping in one of the Jacuzzi’s which face the opposite direction and look out over the Gardens by the Bay.
Where to Eat and Drink at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Whilst there are many restaurants in the hotel and the shopping mall, we opted for a walk through the Supertree Grove to Satay by the Bay. To get out of the hotel to the Gardens is a bit of mission and sometimes it’ll feel as though you’re in a maze but, once you’re out, it’s only a few minutes walk. It was our last night in Singapore and we wanted to experience more of its hawker market scene. We opted for fifteen skewers of marinated meat with a satay dip which is one of my top five things to eat in Singapore!
There are three rooftop bars at the Marina Bar Sands, all worthy of your time. As the Ce La Vie Sky bar was booked for a private event, we descended a few levels to the much quieter Club 55 which had floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the sparkling city lights. The view from the Marina Bay Sands is worth seeing at any time of the day but at night, with all of the lights, well there are few cities that look this good.
Last but not least is the SkyPark which lies at the northern end of the rooftop platform. This is accessible by anyone for a fee and is worth doing even if you’re not staying at the Marina Bay Sands. You get the same view as anyone else just without the hefty price tag and the pool. If you are a guest though, entry is often included for free. You can see more from here than you actually can from the pool so don’t miss this!
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
When staying at the Marina Bay Sands, you must visit the shopping complex that is entwined with the hotel; The Shoppes. No Metro Centre is this. Probably the dream of all shopping enthusiasts, this complex has everything for everyone especially those with deep pockets! There’s a food court too that is actually reasonably priced so you really don’t have to venture too far from your hotel room.
Would I Recommend Staying at the Marina Bay Sands?
In a word, yes. Definitely! I appreciate that it’s expensive and not everyone will be able to afford it. However, if you’re planning on visiting Singapore, you’d seriously be missing out. The way I would recommend doing it is just like I did. Singapore deserves more than a stopover so book yourselves into an Airbnb or a more reasonably priced hotel and explore for two or three days. Then, for your final day/night, stay at the Marina Bay Sands and you’ll feel like royalty. This is luxury and then some. I promise you that you will not regret it.
Have you stayed at the Marina Bay Sands before? Would you like some more tips? Drop me a comment below or send me a message!