If you like huge, crowded, glitzy, to be seen – then the Marina Bay Sands is for you. It has an enormous entrance hall resembling an airport terminal with high ceilings, three different places to check in, and tons of shops and cafes. You will get quite a bit of exercise walking form one place to the next while dodging the crowds. Getting to the observation deck on top involves taking two different elevators and the whole place feels like there is a constant coming and going. If you’ve come for world class shopping, this is the place to be, as the adjacent shopping centre (there is also a casino) offer pretty much everything you could wish for, and more.
However, I can’t whole-heartedly recommend it. For the kind of service you’re getting, it is overpriced. We are from Africa and spoiled by stays at warm, cozy, luxury game lodges in the bush, where a total of sixteen guests at any one time guarantees lots of individual attention and personalized service. Granted, you can’t compare the two, but the service at the Marina Bay Sands was nothing more than average. You didn’t get any turn-down service, for instance, and we also didn’t like the way we were nickled-and-dimed in such an exclusive place. Like having to pay for the water taxi to take you across the bay, or an early check-in. Or the fact that they still found a way to wring more money out of you by cordoning off a section at the Sky Bar, where the nice comfortable sofas were, and only allowing you in if you purchased two entire bottles of spirits (standing room only for the “regular folk”). We had club level rooms and I have to say the club level breakfast wasn't all that great. Not bad but just not good enough for all the hype and the price tag.
The most striking two features of the Marina Bay Sands hotel are the look of it from across the bay and the view from the top looking at the magnificent Singapore skyline. Both can be had for free or a very modest fee, so why not go there for the view and stay somewhere else? Get a day pass to the observation deck on the 57th floor for S$19 to take in the view, or have lunch at Ku De Ta or the Sky Bar. Or you could come up specifically for the nightly chocolate bar in the club lounge. All this can be had without paying what I consider to be a ghastly overpriced room rate. You won’t get to lounge by the (admittedly spectacular) infinity pool as part of that, but still it will be very worthwhile.
Whether you end up staying at the Marina Bay Sands or just visit the Skypark for the day, one thing is true: You won’t get such a nice breeze anywhere else in Singapore!
Longer article and pictures can be viewed on Joburg Expat http://www.joburgexpat.com/2012/04/hotel-with-view.html.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located along Marina Bay waterfront with 3 cascading hotel towers, 2,560 rooms, extraordinary Sands Sky Park, floating crystal pavilions, lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum, The Shoppes, Celebrity Chef Restaurants, Theatres and hottest nightclubs. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
- Marina Bay Sands Singapore