Experience: The Marina Bay Sands

April 15 - 2017


I used to work in the travel industry for quite some time, prior to moving to Manila.  I’m thankful that I was given those opportunities, because it familiarized me with the many different properties all over the world. One of those properties was the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.  After sending countless newlyweds on their honeymoon here, and even those en - route to Australia. This inevitably made itself on my bucket list.  Many of you may recognize it for the sexy rooftop pool on Instagram #travelgoals #lifegoals posts, that overlooks the city.

**But what you may not know are the following:

- It is the world’s most expensive stand– alone resort property, at US$8 million dollars.

- It has a convention center that can accommodate up to 45,000 people.

- It houses the world’s largest atrium casino with 600 table games, 2500 slot machines and electronic game tables and 35 private gaming rooms.

- The infinity pool is the world’s largest rooftop pool.

- The MBS Grand Theatre and Sands Theatre seats 2,155 and 1680.  The Lion King and Wicked have played here.

- The light and water show is the largest in SE Asia.

- MBS is the largest hotel in Singapore, 6th largest in Asia, and 34th largest in the world.

- MBS casino is lit up by a chandelier that weighs 7.1 tonnes, and made up of 132,000 Swarovski crystals.  One of the largest in the world.

- The MBS Skypark has 250 trees and 650 plants.

- The design of the MBS was inspired by a deck of cards, according to the designer of the resort – Moshie Safdie.

What does the MBS consist of? 

- 2,561 rooms, spread across 3 towers.
- A convention / exhibition centre.
- A 800,000 sq ft mall (The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands).  Home to 300 retail stores and food  and beverage stands.
- An Artscience museum
- 2 Large theatres
- 7 Celebrity chef restaurants
- 2 Floating Crystal Pavilions
- 1 ice skating rink
- The largest atrium casino (as mentioned above).
My Experience
Now, remember that I was coming from the Raffles.  So heading straight to the Marina Bay Sands was a complete change in hotel culture.  Don’t get me wrong, both as just as fantastic – in their own way.  But I really had to get my feelings together during the transition.  Does that make sense?  From the quiet, and legendary to the bustling and sexy.  It was like coming from a lavish wedding reception to a fabulous after party.

Now what took me by surprise was the diversity of guests at the Marina Bay Sands.  Families, babies, toddlers, young couples, retired couples, mixed groups of young adults, groups of couples, and me of course, who was the solo traveler. It was funny because you could predict who was going to be where at a particular time of the day.  I’m an early riser, and I like my quiet time. Naturally, I would head over to the pool to get some of that morning sun and skyline, to my surprise, along with the seniors who were there in groups talking selfies by the pool. An hour later, came the families with young children.  Then give it three more hours, and out came the 20’s-30’s who were out late last night, ready for their poolside hair of the dog.  Funnily enough, that same cycle would repeat later in the evening.

My first step into the resort was a little overwhelming.  Although it was bustling, I did not have to wait in line to check in.  I was very efficiently directed with where to go, and my luggage soon followed me.  My first thought?  VEGAS, and I thought the roof deck pool would be the only savior of my stay (I’m not a big fan of Vegas).  I was wrong.  What sets the Marina Bay Sands out is the variation of activities and things to do and see, within the resort and its immediate vicinity.  It’s not all about celebrity restaurants.  Neither is there any shame in heading over to the food court, as the selection and the quality is top notch!  Not feeling the gambling?  Then head over to the stores, or the Gardens by the Bay, the Skypark, the pool deck, grab a snack or a meal at Wolfgang Puck on the pool deck, or take a stroll to the Makansutra (the famous food night market).

My room did not come with breakfast, so I opted for some to be served to me by the pool.  I tried the breakfast bento box, which fueled me off for the day.  What was in it?  A chicken sausage and egg muffin, quinoa salad, hash browns with chilli mayo, a tropical fruit salad and an Americano.  See my snap shot of it below. All this for SG$20 (about US$14).  Lovely jubbly.

I was pretty much left to my own devices to explore the resort.  They do encourage you to download the MBS app, which is quite nifty. So, if you’re looking for a particular place to eat, or have bad bearings like me and need a map of the resort, or want info on Singapore itself, then it’s worth getting.  Plus, it features offers and promos for future stays, which comes in handy if you’re keen to return (which I don’t know anyone in their right mind who wouldn’t want to). Bob’s your Uncle!

More on my room.  I stayed in a Deluxe King Skyview room on the 40th floor, which gave me a fantastic floor to ceiling view of the city.  No bathtub, but shower instead.  I figured that people are not necessarily here for pampering and relaxation as per say, the Ritz Carlton.  Additionally, there’s so many things to see and do outside, that there really is not a dire need.

What are the things that you look for in a hotel? For me, I subconsciously realized that I look for are: 1. A Nespresso machine, or coffee maker of some sort, 2. Fantastic switches by the bed to control the blackout blinds and the lights. Movement should be swift and smooth, and switches must be easy to find.  Sadly, my room did not come with the Nespresso.  Again, I figured they really want you to GET OUT THERE.  But the switches, oh my, were they swift! Eco note-  I loved that the bins were separated for recycling.

** Here’s what the Deluxe King Skyview consists of:
-39 square meters
-1 King or 2 Single beds
-Fully stocked minibar
-Bathroom with glass-enclosed shower
-Luxury bathroom amenities
-Microfiber and terry bathrobes
-42" interactive flatscreen TV
-Cable channels and movies on demand
-Executive work desk
-In-room safe
-Iron and ironing board
-Shoe brush and shoe horn
-A balcony is featured with some Deluxe Rooms (allocated based on availability)

** And what’s included:
-24 hour in-room dining service
-Complimentary Wi-Fi and wired Internet access
-Access to the stunning Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool
-Entry to award-winning Banyan Tree Fitness Club

My two nights there flew by, and then I found myself packing my bags.  Check out was at 11am, and as busy as it was downstairs I still did not have to wait to check out for longer than two minutes.  I headed to the desk, and there was a lovely member of staff who was checking people out as they were standing in line.  All done with his ipad.  That was it.  Bags were kept in the storage room while I took a last wander around the resort and for some wanton noodle soup at the food court.  Simple, efficient, no frills. Just how I like it.  Have you been to the Marina Bay Sands?  What did you like most about it? Any dislikes?  Insider Tips?  Please share below!

Thanks for Reading!
Do come here if:  

  • You’re looking for a bit of glam.
  • You want a good skyline view.
  • You want to be surrounded by an Instagram – worthy, photogenic environment 24/7. 
  • You like to pose.
  • You’re a foodie who suffers from F.O.M.O
  • You are looking to stay somewhere knowing that your holiday won’t be completely ruined if it rains.
  • You are not looking for a quiet holiday or planning to hibernate in your room.