Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore Staycation

I am not a fan of staycation in Singapore. Paying a small fortune to an expensive Singapore hotel when home is sitting empty 20 minutes away is not for a stingy person like me. But this is not the only reason I do not like staycation here. I just do not feel I had a holiday (1) if I am not out of a crowded city like Singapore and (2) there is no sea and beach somewhere in my holiday. But I have done staycation in Singapore several times in the past few years for several reasons. And the most recent one was in a very unlikely hotel for staycation: Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

I prefer small, boutique, resort like facilities for staycation which has potential to make me feel like I have left a very crowded city for the nature. So a giant 2,561-room hotel sitting in a skyscraper structure would not be my choice for staycation.  And Marina Bay Sands Hotel is almost in the middle of Singapore's business district. But women rules the man, wife wanted it so we did it.

It was a 2 day 1 night stay in Marina Bay Sands hotel and also my first time as a guest there (although I have been in Marina Bay Sands hotel to visit a friend several times). Here is a short review of the hotel as a staycation location.


Marina Bay Sands hotel may be very expensive but it is hugely popular. As I have mentioned before, the hotel is huge. In fact, Marina Bay Sands Hotel is the largest hotel in Singapore in terms of room size. It has twice the room the second largest hotel in Singapore, Swissotel The Stamford Hotel, has. And I think it is almost always 100% full. As a result, check-in is crowded and there are long queues to check-in. And I am not sure why don’t they increase the capacity in check-in because in my opinion the long queues in check-in is a norm in the hotel lobby.

The room

We have stayed in a Deluxe room with a Queen size bed on 37th floor of Tower 2, looking towards the Gardens By The Bay and the sea. For a tourist in Singapore, the rooms looking to the city skyline would have a better view, but I intentionally did not want that side (I did not want a tiring busy city center as a holiday view). Until recently, view towards south, Gardens By The Bay, was a complete mass due to the construction and a sea view littered with commercial ships but the gardens are open now and the view is lovely. Besides, unlike the rooms looking towards the city, these rooms have a nice small balcony which is a nice place to spend some time in the night.

The rooms are, for Singapore standards, large in Marina Bay Sands Hotel. The room comes with a very comfortable queen size bed, a large LCD TV, internet, a puffy chair to lie down completely – a must have for every hotel -, internet and other blab la in a luxury setting (this is a 5 star hotel). I actually did not want to leave the room. The TV set has a decent collection of movies but they charge $20 per movie which is ridiculously expensive in my opinion. So I have sticked to HBO (TV channels are free). The bar is full of everything but they were also expensive.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel Club Room
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Club Room (I will put the photos I have taken later)
IMPORTANT TIP : Be careful with the bar. It automatically charges you if you remove an item from the machine. I did not recognize this first and removed a bottle to look at its brand and put it back. Later when I read the message on the machine telling about this auto-charging and then checking the bottles price (220 SGD!) I was quite shocked but luckily a quick check with lobby revealed that I was not auto charged. Do not touch anything in the bar before checking its price. There is a Cold Storage Speciality branch and a 7-11 in the casino – shopping mall complex and as a commoner in a 5 star hotel, I have bought my poisons from them.

This is a 5 Star hotel and its rooms are 5 star. I am very satisfied with the rooms provided by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

The facilities and attractions

You know the main attraction of all Marina Bay Sands casino complex is its casino. And the hotel is basically a gambler’s inn. But I cannot review this attraction because I have never been to casino and had no intention to visit it this time also.

The main attraction of the hotel for me was the SkyPark and the infinity pool on the sky park. SkyPark itself is very beautiful. It has one of the best rooftop views of Singapore and is a great leisure chill out place!  The infinity pool is one of the best hotel rooftop pools in the world and is definitely one of the most unique. In theory, the pool is open only to hotel guests and their guests. But I have been to this pool before and until recent the entrance check was lousy and I am sure there were many people who were sneaking into the pool although they were not guests. But since November 1st, the pool entrance is very strict and is done through pool access card. As a result, the pool was much less crowded than I have seen before.

The infinity pool is 1.2 meters deep and I could find nothing in it except watching Singapore from above the sky while immersed into pool water.  The pool is quite an experience and although I found it tiring to watch a busy city during a holiday, it is a must do in the hotel. It worth to visit the pool in the early morning when it is empty, in the evening when sun is setting and in the night.

There are 2 fine dining restaurants on the SkyPark: KU DÉ TA Restaurant and Sky on 57. I cannot review this because as a guest who has spended all his budget for the room, I have headed to the food court. Marina Bay Sands hotel restaurants are expensive but if you want to save money there is a food court in the shopping mall (near ice skating). It is also expensive in Singapore standards and as for all tourist places the food is not that good. But a lot cheaper compared to the restaurants and the food is not that bad.

Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool
Marina Bay Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool

As a Singapore staycation hotel

Marina Bay Sands hotel is a 5-star hotel and if you have the money, it is worth to stay here. As a staycation destination, it can be tried for once for the sake of its SkyPark, Infinity Pool and the lovely view towards Gardens By The Bay. I am satisfied with it as a hotel and one time staycation hotel in Singapore but I will choose a more resort like hotel, maybe one on Sentosa Island, for the next time.

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