Google Singapore images, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a photo of Marina Bay Sands Hotel among the first few results.
First opened in 2011, it’s one of the most iconic buildings in the country. It cost around S$8 billion, making it the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built.
It’s design, which is said to have been inspired by a pack of playing cards, incorporates three 55-storey towers, topped by a one-hectare roof terrace.
Its location affords it unrivalled views of the city, bay and futuristic Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay nextdoor. The piece de resistance, though, is the 150 m infinity pool (the largest rooftop infinity pool in the world), which stretches the length of the SkyPark over 200 m above the city.
MARINA BAY SANDS INFINITY POOL
A visit to the pool has become a popular bucket list item and, as a result, there are countless articles online about how to sneak in. Unfortunately, though, it’s virtually impossible. You’ll need a room card to get past the many electronic barriers and security guards, so if you can’t leave Singapore without enjoying this view, you’ll need to stay at least one night at the hotel.
STAYING AT THE HOTEL
Marina Bay Sands is a 5* luxury hotel. Its 2500+ rooms and suites have floor to ceiling windows with unrivalled views of either the city skyscrapers or the South China Sea and Gardens by the Bay. They include amenities such as bathrobes, a 42″ flatscreen TV and a fully stocked minibar. Deluxe rooms start from around S$370 per night, depending on the time of year, while the plushest suites in the hotel will set you back thousands. The Chairman’s Suite is the epitome of luxury, including – among other perks – four bedrooms, a powder room and adjoining salon, three furnished balconies, two living rooms, one baby grand piano, a ten-person dining table, four bathrooms (each with a jacuzzi), a billiards room with pool table, a media room with karaoke, a private gym with exercise equipment, a massage room, and steam and sauna facilities!
While, without a room card, your chances of getting a photo of yourself gazing over the cityscape from the edge of the pool are slim to none, you can always visit the Observation Deck for similar panoramic views of the city. The Observation Deck and pool make up the SkyPark – the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 m.
Situated on level 57, tickets cost S$23 per person and you can visit any time between 9:30 am and 10:00 pm (or 11:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).
Another option is to book a dinner reservation at one of the SkyPark’s award-winning restaurants. Cé La Vi has innovative modern Asian cuisine, indoor and al fresco dining, a la carte and tasting menus, and a skybar with classic and signature cocktails. The menus don’t show prices, which is international code for ‘expensive’, but the views might just make an extravagant martini worthwhile.
Marina Bay Sands is far more than just a hotel. There’s a 120,000 square metre convention/exhibition centre, a mall containing over 300 designer stores, a museum, two theatres showing hit musicals like The Lion King and Wicked, eight ‘celebrity chef’ restaurants, an ice skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino.
There are also two night clubs floating in Marina Bay that play host to star-studded parties, exclusive events and concerts. Pangaea is accessible through an underwater tunnel, and Avalon combines performances from the world’s leading DJs with live music.
In front of the hotel is the ArtScience Museum, which is designed in the shape of a lotus. Its retractable roof allows collected rainwater to produce an indoor waterfall during the day and, at night, it joins powerful laser beams on the top of the SkyPark in a laser, light, water and graphics show called Wonder Full.
Wonder Full is free to observe and it takes place at 8:00 pm and 9:30 pm every day, with additional performances at 11:00 pm on weekends. It lasts just under 15 minutes and is set to an original orchestral soundtrack to complement the display. A plethora of special effects, such as fog, strobe lights, bubble machines and environmentally friendly fire effects, is used.