The Marina Bay Sands Singapore, locally referred to as the MBS, opened in 2011 and is now an iconic landmark on the skyline of this bustling city state in South East Asia. The hotel boasts over 2,500 luxury guestrooms set in three, 55-storey glass & metal towers. There are over 60 restaurants & bars in the hotel including the two Michelin starred Waku Ghin and one star CUT from the Wolfgang Puck stable. With a mall featuring 270 shops, a casino, a museum, and a host of sports facilities on offer – all set under one, enormous, roof – Marina Bay Sands is a veritable city within a city.
Long a stop-over point for international travellers, hotels like Marina Bay Sands and a plethora of tourist attractions have turned Singapore into a destination in itself.
Three giant mirrored towers soar 200 metres (650 feet) up in the sky and are crowned with a spaceship-like structure, the Sands Skypark, which is as long as Paris’s Eiffel tower is tall. Skypark (on the 57th floor) is the world’s largest cantilever viewing deck also featuring the longest elevated infinity pool in the world – the stuff of Instagram dreams and a major drawcard of this ‘mega hotel’.
Nicknamed ‘the surfboard in the sky’ by locals – the incredible 150-metre-long (500 feet) infinity pool stretches along its centre, surrounded by a deck with day beds and sun loungers and fringed by landscaped gardens of lush palms and shrubs.
With an unrivalled position in Singapore’s most glamourous Marina Bay area, the 57-storey hotel has magnificent waterfront, garden, or city vistas across the skyscrapers of the financial district. A skybridge in the lobby connects with the shopping mall and other local not-to-be missed attractions like Gardens by the Bay.
Just a 20-minute taxi ride from Changi Airport, Marina Bay Sands has two main drop-off and pick-up points. The three towers share one lobby at the base of the hotel with check-in counters bookending the lobby at buildings One and Three.
By taxi, the Central Business District (CBD) is a 10-minute drive away and if you have still space in your suitcase, after browsing some 270 retail stores and boutiques at The Shoppes, the city’s main shopping street - Orchard Road - can be reached in a 20-minute taxi ride.
Six elevators per tower whisk guests to the 2,561 guestrooms. There are 18 classes of rooms and suites. Minimalist in style with a soft colour palette of earthy tones, rooms are modern and spacious - enjoying views that get more spectacular the higher up you get. Following a renovation in 2020, much of the technology was upgraded and now each room boasts large super-HD televisions and state of the art communication systems.
Deluxe Rooms overlook the stunning Gardens by The Bay, the Harbour, or the CBD. Beds with classic crisp white sheets have Simmons Beautyrest mattresses and pillows customised exclusively for the hotel. Desks have leather chairs. Mini bars contain the usual suspects though ordering an expertly mixed cocktail via the Private Bar Menu - a Singapore Sling for instance - is highly recommended. Bathrooms – some with bathtubs and rain showers are slick, blending marble, glass, mirrors, and chrome.
Snacks and tea & coffee making facilities are complimentary. Special touches may include towel art in the shape of elephants and beautiful arranged local orchids.
All rooms include complimentary access to Sands SkyPark Observation deck and the infinity pool; entry to Banyan Tree fitness club; free high-speed wi-fi and a 24-hour in-room dining service.
Family rooms located on the lower floors, comprise of a king bed and twin beds and a spacious balcony. Designed to suit a family of four and with the ArtScience Museum, an ice rink and a kids club there is plenty to keep younger guests busy.
Club Room, Grand Club Room and Suite guests are pampered with extras like Roberto Cavalli bath products and access to the exclusive Club55 Lounge (on level 55 of Tower 2) included in the room-rate which offers breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, all-day beverages, and evening canapés – perfect for drinks and a nibble while watching the daily Spectra Light and Water show on the waterfront.
On higher floors, some of the superior suites offer a dedicated 24-hour butler.
The 52nd floor hosts two of the largest suites in Singapore – the Presidential and Chairman, respectively. At 509 square metres, the Presidential Suite offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three furnished balconies. In addition, there is a massage room, sauna and gym, a media room, a baby grand piano in one of the two living rooms and fresh flowers & chocolates delivered daily. The Chairman Suite boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms and is an eye-watering 600 square metres in area. Guests can expect all the facilities afforded to the Presidential Suite but with the added boast of your address – which is priceless.
Every detail is taken care of by the slick “service team”. Their mission is to look after a myriad of guests from VIPs and high rollers, to business and leisure travellers and of course, local visitors enjoying a staycation. As Marina Bay Sands is the size of a small city, over 9,500 people work here, all smartly turned out in in freshly pressed suited uniforms. Despite the size, service is friendly and efficient. A whole team or army of butlers – some ex-military having completed national service – are adept at anticipating guest’s every need.
The swimming pool is sublime, the length of three Olympic pools, it contains over 1,000 tonnes of water. Blue and white striped towels are available from a towel bar. The pool and jacuzzi pool are strictly guest-only.
The Banyan Tree Spa offers tranquillity “in the sky”, on par with the city skyline where you can bathe in a rose-petal egg bath before choosing from a long list of treatments.
The Banyan Tree fitness club (complimentary access to all guests) has onsite personal training sessions and daily dawn yoga classes.
The hotel is full accessible for disabled guests. Marina Bay is not pet-friendly, but service dogs are welcome by prior arrangement.
Everything about Marina Bay Sands is as ambitious, futuristic, modern and large, as designed by Moshe Safdie (he of Singapore’s Changi Airport fame).
As you walk into the hotel you cannot help but look up at the seemingly never-ending floors of the soaring atrium, 23 storeys high, which is flooded with light. This bright white space is filled with large scale art installations, like the sculptures of renowned British artist - Antony Gormley. A 3-D steel art installation, Drift hangs from the roof. The Rising Forest is a series of huge ceramic vessels containing trees line the walkway like a canopy.
Throngs of guests visiting the hotel, restaurants or museum mill about the vast reception lobby, creating a constant buzz. This place is for those who like to be in the thick of things.
Rooms are modern and chic, teaming with wood, marble, and muted colour schemes, with tiled walls, gold wallpaper, carpeted floors, and heavy drapes on standby to pull across the floor to ceiling windows. Of course, all rooms and suites foster the flow of positive feng shui, with expert masters consulted as rooms are fitted out or refurbished.
Perched on the top floor at the hotel’s pinnacle Skypark is CÉ LA VI, one of the city’s hottest rooftop cocktail bars. With spectacular 360-degree views of the bay and city, the open-air pavilion bar with red sunshades is a perfect early evening destination for a sundowner.
To cater to the tastes of global travellers there are plentiful options at the Marina Bay Sands, from European cuisine to Asian hawker-style street food. Executive Chef Chris Christie (ex-illustrious hotels like The Langham in Hong Kong and The Portman Ritz Carlton in Shanghai) oversees the whole operation – which includes 400 chefs.
A must-order for breakfast is the local Singaporean speciality; freshly steamed dim sum (rice noodle parcels filled with pork or chicken). The hotel has a whole team of dim sum chefs.
The Marina Sands boasts over 60 dining outlets.
For Japanese cuisine, celebrity Sydney chef Tetsuya Wakuda heads up Waku Ghin which has earned itself two Michelin stars. Expect superb and innovative dishes and an extensive saké list.
The Los Angeles-based super chef Wolfgang Puck has earned a single Michelin star for his steak house CUT. Steak connoisseurs will appreciate his Singaporean outpost that offers the best cuts grilled over hardwood & charcoal and specials of American wagyu and bone marrow flan.
Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen serves up a mean classic British fish & chips and Beef Wellington.
Chinoiserie Modern Asian by Justin Quek is a sleek dining room option for Chinese and local dishes.
DB Bistro and Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud offers sensational seafood platters piled high with lobster oysters & crustaceans and unpretentious French fare with light-as-air soufflés.
KOMA Singapore offers fabulous Japanese dishes with a stellar saké list.
Yardbird Southern Table and Bar by John Kunkel is the place to head to for fried chicken and other tasty American fare.
For night owls Marquee at Marina Bay Sands is the inhouse nightclub, a hot spot for international DJs – complete with caged disco balls, double-twisting slides, and a towering Ferris wheel.
As the city state is careful to preserve its natural resources, the hotel has also been designed to recycle rainwater and has made huge investments in water reuse with eco-friendly facilities for towels and bed linen.
As seafood is an integral part of the hotel’s menus, the chefs work with fisherman on sustainable fishing practices.
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