Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel is an instantly recognizable building, a well-respected experience, and a much talked about place to stay. During our time in South East Asia, it was one of the most expensive places my partner and I visited, but we didn’t regret the expense. Singapore’s small but perfectly formed hub of history and business was on our Singapore itinerary only for one weekend. We wanted to make the most of our visit, and that’s why we stayed in Marina Bay Sands for two nights.
We’ll talk about that pool later, but first, let me tell you how Marina Bay Sands Hotel is different from any other hotel I have ever stayed in. As soon as you arrive, you realize this is not your typical hotel stay. At one of the two pick-up and drop-off entrances, our taxi joined a train of taxis dropping off people. The space was the size of an airport terminal, and the flow of people inside the space was the equivalent of an airport terminal. After being approached by a staff member, bottles of water were given to us, and we made our way to the reception desk – a bank of terminals and smartly dressed people stretching for meters.
We then experienced two things that are typical of our hotel stay. Despite it being after 2 pm, our room wasn’t ready yet. Also, our credit card didn’t work for the deposit, so we had to pay in cash, wasting all our Singapore dollars. We grumbled a little, but it paid off as two hours later, we were upgraded to a club room on the 45th floor. When I asked which way we were facing – towards the city or across its skyline – I was informed that a city view would cost an extra 50 Singapore dollars per night and wouldn’t be a club room. As a result, we declined, choosing to stick with what our limited good luck had delivered, which in fact, was a sea view that did not disappoint. As high as possible is the only way to get a good look at the hundreds of ships dotted across the Straits of Singapore, especially at night as you watch their lights come on one by one. We were amazed by the size and comfort of our hotel room when we arrived. But it was time, and we’d waited long enough. There is a ridiculous, extravagant, and OTT swimming pool on the 57th floor. You’ve got to see it to believe it. It’s not as scary as you think, and it isn’t as glamorous as you expect, thanks to the crowds of gob-smacked and overexcited tourists taking photos against one of the best backdrops in Singapore.
Having dipped our toes in, had our obligatory photo taken, and sipped a quick cocktail by the pool, we were exhausted. It was exhausting watching everyone else get swept away by the view and the extravagance; I hadn’t even swum a stroke. A rare moment of inspiration struck me when I suggested to my partner that we return to the scene at sunrise the following morning – let’s see how many people and cameras were there then!? The photos speak for themselves… It might have been the best idea I ever had…
Marina Bay Sands Hotel is more than just a pool. If you have the money to spend, it is a luxurious hotel and a wonderful experience. The hotel is conveniently located – away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s grid system and within walking distance of Chinatown, the CBD, and the impressive ArtScience Museum. Your Singapore vacation will be complete with this hotel.