| Everyday Luxury Travel Asia Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands, Singapore: A hotel on Top of the World

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When I first visited Singapore around seven years ago, The Marina Bays Sands Hotel complex didn’t exist. Fast forward to now and the triptych of towers dominates the Singapore skyline…looming high above the water with it’s futuristic facade and innovative design. Though not the tallest towers in Singapore, it is certainly the most conspicuous and imposing structure that you see as you enter the city centre from the airport. Not only that, the entire complex is reported to be the most expensive hotel and casino resort in the world, costing 5.7 billion dollars to build!

We’d stayed at the gorgeous The Fullerton Bay Hotel when we arrived in Singapore before heading off for eleven nights in Bali and on the way back to the UK we had another two day stopover. For the final stint we decided that The Marina Bay Sands would be where we’d stay – it was that famous pool…I couldn’t come to Singapore without trying it!

Now I must say that though the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a five-star hotel, it also has 2,561 rooms and you just don’t get the high levels of personal service that we experienced at The Fullerton Bay Hotel or the more boutique properties that we visited in Bali.Marina-Bay-Sands
For example, this was the check-in desk which reminded me more of checking into an airport, than a luxury hotel. As I’d booked us into a Club room we could avoid these long queues as there was a separate and smaller line to handle VIP check-in for Club room guests.DSC_9264

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Our Club room on the 42nd floor of Tower 3 was huge, just check out all that floor space! It would have been plenty of room for me to do an exercise DVD, were I so inclined. Actually despite my good intentions my gym gear and trainers remained firmly in my suitcase the whole holiday….but I digress…Though the size of the room was decent, I think you’ll agree the colour palette was a little drab and though everything was new I couldn’t help but be a little put off by the old fashioned design of the carpet and curtains. Having said that the bed was super comfortable…though there was no pillow menu 😉
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I loved the huge floor to ceiling windows which looked out on to Singapore’s stunning skyline and the lotus flower-like shape of the city’s ArtScience Museum which is one of the attractions at the Marina Bay Sands.
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The bathroom was sizeable with a cool free standing bath tub and there was also a separate vanity area.Marina-Bay-Sands
This won the room serious brownie points for me as my pet hate is hotel rooms where the mirror has no decent lighting and convenient plug socket. I had to tell Mr S off several times as he insists on walking around the room while I’m trying to take photos for my blog…I know, how dare he!!

I literally couldn’t contain myself any longer, I had to get a glimpse of THAT famous pool! If you don’t already know, located in the hotel’s Sands SkyPark on the 57th Floor of the hotel is the world’s largest infinity pool…
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It is also set on the world’s largest public cantilevered platform which overhangs the north tower by 67 metres…pretty cool isn’t? It’s easy to see why the pool has become absolutely iconic and frequently features in lists of the world’s best pools! I am a little sad that the pictures came out a bit dull owing to the very grey weather despite my efforts to edit them!

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Just a few things to note, you can only use the pool or come into the pool area if you’re staying at the hotel and we both had to present a room card. The pool was split into sections for adults only, mixed and then a small children’s section; despite this it was very crowded and so was the area around the pool making it was difficult to get a sun lounger despite the bad weather. Also while we were there, loud construction work was going on around the pool as they were building a new restaurant concept area for the hotel – I suppose there’s not much that can be done about that but it certainly wasn’t relaxing.

Now of course, there was lots of selfie taking and people risking expensive cameras and phones by wading into the pool with them…of course we had to get our selfies too!Marina-Bay-Sands
Here I am feeling on top of the world and not all nervous to be in the world’s highest infinity pool or that Mr S had waded into the pool with my iPhone…

 

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It has to be said that despite crowds, humidity and rain there really is something very cool about swimming on top of the world! Once again I do apologise for the photo quality as well as the grey skies our lenses kept on steaming up owing to the intense humidity. Marina-Bay-Sands
At the end of the pool is the fabulous Cé La Vi Bar which had amazing panoramic view across the city and all the huge skyscrapers housing international banks and hotels as well as views out on to the bay. There is currently just one restaurant on the SkyPark, though we didn’t get to try Sky on 57 which features Asian fusion food from Justin Quek. As I mentioned, a new restaurant concept is being constructed and it’s set to feature restaurants from celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck of Spago and CUT fame.

You don’t have to be hotel guest to visit the bars and restaurants and there is also an Observation Deck which gives a fabulous panoramic view of Singapore including a view over the Gardens at the Bay and the futuristic Supertree Grove
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Next stop on our hotel snooping tour and we headed to The Club at Marina Bay Sands, the hotel’s premier lounge located on the 55th Floor. Having booked into a Club Room we had special privileges in the lounge including complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and from 5pm – 7pm they served drinks and canapés. We made it down there for the latter service which featured a fab buffet of treats…
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There was a really delicious selection of fresh food though we had to hold back as we had dinner booked for that night, we did however indulge in a few complimentary beverages…The general public can also pay to use the Club Room and enjoy a cheese and chocolate buffet – how awesome does that sound? We didn’t visit though as both nights in Singapore we went to restaurants with tasting menus and after that neither cheese nor chocolate was on my mind!Marina-Bay-Sands
As with most rooms in the hotel there was incredible view out to Singapore’s iconic landmarks including the Singapore Flyer, the world’s largest observation wheel.Marina-Bay-Sands
I have to say that once again I found the decor rather uninspiring and to use the same analogy, it reminded me a little of an airport lounge. However, The Marina Bay Sands is so much more than just a hotel: the complex was developed by the Las Vegas Sands Corps, who also own The Venetian and The Palazzo in the Las Vegas, sister properties that make up the world’s largest hotel. As such, the Singapore property really reminds of the epic resorts that I experienced in Sin City; the hotel’s entertainment complex also encompasses The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, a museum, two theatres, lots of restaurants including seven by celebrity chefs, an ice skating rink and a vast three level casino. Here’s a pic of the casino that we took the next day so you can see what I mean.Marina-Bay-Sands
Before dinner there was just time to investigate the shops and the great technology which aided my quest to find the Jimmy Choo shop.Marina-Bay-Sands
There’s around 300 shops in the complex which are mainly luxury designer stores but there are also high street offerings such as Zara and Banana Republic.DSC_9365DSC_9359 DSC_9369
Like the Venetian in Las Vegas, a canal runs through the shopping centre and you can take gondola rides through the precinct, romantic eh? Most of the celebrity chefs restaurants are located on the upper floors and include Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and a Bistro by Daniel Boulud among others. The only celebrity restaurant that we tried was Long Chim by David Thompson, famous for his Thai restaurant Nahm, but we weren’t overly impressed with it. However, I’m assured by my Singapore food guru, Honey who writes the blog The Girl Next Shore, that Osteria Mozza and Waku Chin (both are featured in the 50 Best restaurants in Asia list) are the best restaurants in the complex, though sadly we didn’t have the time to try either.DSC_9386
You can come out through the shops to take a walk through the bayside and we went to take a quick peek outside and spotted the Fullerton Bay Hotel. It’s the little diamond shaped one opposite, it really put into perspective how large the Marina Bay Sands was compared to our first hotel. Also out of the main shopping mall are the two Crystal Pavilions which are like floating islands, one includes two nightclubs and the other a flagship Louis Vuitton store. Behind the pavilion is the ArtScience museum which houses both permanent exhibitions and pop up ones, while we were there the DreamWorks Animation Exhibition was the star of the show; actually it really struck me how child-friendly the Marina Bay Sands was. Children would definitely not be bored here, in fact no one would be bored here
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After our little tour we headed back up to the room to get ready for our dinner at Tippling Club, which was an epic experience that I’ll blog about later. Of course we had to return to Cé La Vi afterwards to see what it was like at night and to admire the glittering city lights from on high…DSC_9622 DSC_9644Marina-Bay-Sands Marina-Bay-Sands Marina-Bay-Sands Marina-Bay-Sands Marina-Bay-Sands
Even on a Monday night the bar was full of people, also there to admire the shimmering lights of the Singapore skyline sparkling off the sea.DSC_9658 Marina-Bay-Sands Marina-Bay-Sands
The next morning we headed back to the Club for our complimentary breakfast which once again I thought was excellent and then headed to The Gardens by the Bay to check out the Supertrees…but I’ll tell you more about that in another post.

In conclusion, I’m aware some people might be surprised that this review was a little mixed but would I recommend the hotel to my best friend? Well actually I would, if you want a hotel that’s good fun with loads to do, with fantastic shopping and plenty of choice for places to eat and an epic swimming pool, then stay at The Marina Bay Sands. However, if you want to stay somewhere luxurious with beautiful accommodation and excellent service, stay at The Fullerton Bay Hotel.

Marina Bay Sands,
10 Bay Front Avenue
Singapore
018956

  • ninegrandstudent

    I can only hope to experience some of the things you have – all your blog posts make me insanely jealous! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    • This is definitely something to experience, even if you just visit the bar!!

  • I can see what you mean about the décor in the rooms and the lounge but that pool just looks incredible! Although I’m not sure I like the idea of going in it myself knowing that it’s so high up and there’s nothing holding it up in parts! That might freak me out a little bit! At least you had the majority of your stay somewhere more luxurious but still got to experience a couple of nights here. The best of both worlds 🙂

    • The pool is super cool! Tbh once you’re in it and you look over the edge you actually feel quite safe. Exactly! Staying there was something that we felt just had to be done!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I’d be simultaneously delighted and terrified to swim in that pool! x

    • It looks really precarious but I wasn’t particularly scared despite my huge fear of heights!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Oh my word that pool looks fantastic!

    Victoria x

    FlorenceandMary.com

  • That pool! Amazing, I’d definitely want to save my pennies for a go in the pool! Does look very busy though, and you’re so right that the hotel reception looked like an airport desk! The rooms looked huge which is always a nice surprise! x

    • Even if you just stay one night for a dip in the pool, the Instagram pics alone are worth it 🙂
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Excellent review! I love how balanced it is…I feel like I really know what to expect, not a rose tinted specs look at it. It’s def on my list to visit now.

    Ally xx
    http://www.digital-diva.co.uk

    • Thanks Ally. The rooms are expensive and I don’t people to go along thinking this is a dream hotel where they’ll experience all out luxury. That being said it’s 100% worth a visit!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Catherine Lux

    Oh no, I’m really sad about the interior of the room 🙁 it definitely looks very drab and old-fashioned, and it’s such a shame the pool was so busy. I’m not great with busy hotels :/

    That view is incredible though!!! A great review as always Angie!

    C x | Lux Life

    • It’s so weird, cos it’s not like its actually old, I just don’t know why they chose that colour palette. Thanks for you compliments lovely 🙂
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I need to go here when im in Singapore, looks Fab

    Leonie ♥ Lo On The Go

  • I had a tour of Marina Bay Sands on a press trip to Singapore and it’s certainly impressive, particularly the epic pool. I think I’d prefer to stay at Fullerton Bay for a more personal luxury experience. I loved The Lantern Bar there.

    • The Lantern is just gorgeous! We’re definitely on the same page with this one 🙂

  • Loved the inside peek as we didn’t make it to Marina Bay Sands! It’s a shame that it was so crowded (that check-in is crazy!) but it looked like you still had a great time exploring and experiencing all that it had to offer!

    • I think you definitely have to visit even if you’re not staying there. In fact you could stay for a week and do something different everyday!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • okay, this is incredible and my DREAM. I want to visit Singapore and this hotel so badly!

  • Jenn Sie

    I have been wanting to go to this hotel for awhile. Is it safe by the pool edge? I’m terrified of heights! It just looks like you could almost fall off it where the water meets the edge, or is it just an illusion and not that scary?
    http://www.jenikya.com/blog

    • It’s super safe, there’s a double layer of safety which you don’t see in the pictures. I’m terrified of heights too and I felt fine, there’s literally no way you’d fall off.
      Lots of love,

      Angie

  • bryony

    Okay, I have just added this on my top places to go list! It looks incredible! Making me even more excited for my holiday! http://coffeeatmidnight13.blogspot.co.uk/

  • I read this with interest! It really reminds me of some of the larger hotels in Dubai, which while they are ‘iconic’ and huge and popular, don’t really float my boat. I definitely prefer the sound of the Fullerton Bay Hotel – service and luxury definitely come first! It sounds like it was an excellent experience nevertheless, and must have been worth it to say you have been in that pool alone!!

    Polly xx | Follow Your Sunshine

    • I’m glad we’re on the same page with this, bigger isn’t always better. I love intimate places where you really feel at home! It’s shame you can’t use the pool if you’re not staying there, the selfies are literally necessary!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • HOLY S***T!! I’m getting vertigo just looking at your photos of that pool! THAT is something else. Honesty, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to even go up there!!
    Suzy x
    http://www.suzyturner.com

    • I know what you mean to look at it but once you’re in it you feel quite safe!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • You’re much, much braver than me in that infinity pool…!

  • That check in line is a bit much, lucky you had a VIP check in! Wonder if the pool is quieter early in the morning?

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • That’s true it might be, I should have snuck there with my camera first thing :/
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Wow! The pool looks out of this world, definitely worth the iPhone risk!

  • We stayed at the Fullerton Bay Hotel a few months ago in Singapore too. And WOW! It blew us away. Service was so right on. And as it’s a boutique hotel, we had the rooftop pool pretty much to ourselves. The Marina Bay Sands is definitely an achievement in terms of its architecture though…

    • I loved the Fullerton Bay, one of my favourite city hotels now. Yes! the pool was empty there :). The Marina Bays Sands is a must visit but I would stay elsewhere.
      Lots of love,

      Angie

  • Grackle .

    WOW, jealousy doesn’t even cut it! Please check out my new lifestyle blog at : http://snapgracklepop.blogspot.co.uk it would mean a lot!

  • Lucy

    The pool is amazing and a highlight for sure (pardon the pun). I do sometimes wonder when hotels become so big do they loose something over smaller counterparts. But the room, food and amenities look wonderful. Many hotels now are going for more monotone colours possibly so that it doesn’t date who knows. How was the jet lag? Lucy x

    • It’s definitely an amazing feat of engineering and super impressive. I’ve stayed in huge hotels before that offer better service to be honest. :/ Thanks for asking lovely, I’m over the jet lag now.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Love and Limoncello

    The pool looks fab, the hotel checking looks like an airport queue like you say. I think based on your two reviews I think boutique luxury hotels have the upper hand on this occasion. xx

    Zoe | Love and Limoncello

    • Definitely, you would love the Fullerton Bay, I don’t think the Marina Bay Sands is really your sort of thing 🙂
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • I think that pool is literally #lifegoals!!

    Tahira | http://ramblingsofafoodaddict.com/

  • The pool is incredible but features one of my pet hates for luxury hotels….kids learning to swim ahhh! I’ve given up on relaxing abroad many a time when kids start splashing about haha. I haven’t been to Singapore since the hotel was open either, I can definitely see the appeal although imagine I’d only go for the sake of having stayed there!

    http://www.wearedannah.com

  • That pool is obviously epic but I am personally into intimate service and cute décor – a little too mass corp for me but absolutely awesome all the same! Looks like you had an amazing overall trip!! 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • I am too. I like Boutique hotels that have something individual and special about them. Little interesting things around every corner. To me this place is quite bland…but the pool is totally awesome just to look at!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Michelle Louise Love

    Wow that swimming pool looks surreal! How amazing, this looks like my dream holiday. Such fabulous looking hotels and buildings.

    http://www.michellelouiselove.com

  • I couldn’t agree with you more – the pool is a must do, but it definitely does not look relaxing! On another note… a 5* hotel with NO pillow menu?! I’m crying into my down pillow right now… just after I re-adjust the memory foam one…

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  • We wandered through when we were there, staying in a little boutique place called Naumi next to Raffles. I had wanted to stay so we went to the bar for drinks instead, it was so busy in the reception and pool – they could change the check in entirely by splitting the 3 towers to make it feel like 3 different hotels in 3 different styles. A funny one, as most of the benefit from luxury is space and being able to relax. Good honest write up
    xx

    • I much prefer boutique hotels! That’s true, or like in Vegas where there’s a separate more plush room for club check ins. Thanks lovely, I hope it was helpful for people.
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • Caroline Schurman-Grenier

    THAT POOL LOOKS AMAZING

    http://www.mademoiselleaventure.com

  • That pool is insane! It certainly sounds like it’s worth staying here for the experience though the sight of that check in queue is horrendous!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

    • Yup! I’d stay one night for the pool selfie!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

  • CB

    Cé La Vi is on my to do list next week in Singapore! Given I loved Ku De Ta so much before it changed names I’m sure it won’t disappoint! Is the only way to go for a swim to stay in the hotel? Or do they let you use it if you’ve eaten in the restaurant?

    CB x

    thecblife.blogspot.com

    • Hmmm…I’m pretty sure you have to be staying. We both had to present our key cards and they had to be swiped to even get into the pool area. Have an amazing time, lovely!
      Lots of love,
      Angie

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