THE Marina Bay Sands hotel and entertainment complex is an impressively-designed project rising above the Marina Bay district of Singapore – the result of over $5 billion in planning and execution that transformed the city-state and its formerly stodgy reputation for the better.
The three towers contain 2,561 rooms and suites with a single three-acre Skypark crowning the complex at the 57th level. At ground level, a sprawling shopping mall connects the hotel to theaters, a casino, and celebrity restaurants.
What makes it special?
By combining entertainment, gambling, dining, and wellness under a single roofdeck, the Marina Bay Sands positions itself as a one-stop shop for travelers breezing through Singapore, and the attempt largely succeeds.
The Sands is composed of three curving 55-storey towers, crowned at the top by the Sands Skypark. The award-winning building design conceals massive amounts of accommodations, retail space, a casino, two theaters, a lagoon with actual boats, and millions of dollars in public art.
The Marina Bay Sands is directly connected to Singapore’s efficient public transport system, via the Bayfront MRT Station at the Sands’ basement.
What to expect?
Accommodations range from relatively compact deluxe rooms to gigantic suites near the top – all boast of cutting-edge design and amenities, with incomparable views of Singapore for rooms at the higher floors.
Even the 39 sq. m. deluxe rooms cram as much style and luxury into the limited space as they can: the least expensive rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and 42″ interactive flat-screen TVs, among others, although many are located on the 3rd floor where there isn’t much of a view. All hotel guests get free access to the hotel’s Banyan Tree fitness center.
Because of the high turn-over of guests, though, service at the Marina Bay Sands verges on the impersonal. Walking through the massive structure that is the Marina Bay Sands – whether you’re walking under the gigantic central atrium, or rubbing shoulders with the crowds gawping at the view from the Skypark observation deck – it’s easy to feel dwarfed by the hotel and its megastructure.
What’s there to do?
The Skypark is stop number one for most guests: located at the 57th level, this single deck holds three acres of real estate – enough room for a viewing deck, the Ku De Ta nightclub, the Sky on 57 Restaurant, and an infinity-edge swimming pool.
Just below the Skypark, the 55th-floor Banyan Tree Spa offers traditional Asian therapies with a modern twist in their Spa Suites.
Go to the Shoppes in Marina Bay Sands adjoining the hotel, and you’ll find yourself in the thick of over 800,000 square feet of retail and dining space. The Shoppes connects directly to the Sands Casino, which features over 161,000 square feet of gaming space; and two world-class theaters, a favorite stop for Broadway acts like Wicked and the Lion King.
Dining at the Sands covers an immense range of cuisines and budgets, including restaurants run by celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, and Guy Savoy.
What’s the damage?
Staying at the Sands may cost about $341 for a deluxe room, higher depending on the room type preferred. The accommodations at the Sands are more luxurious, befitting a hotel adjoining a casino; inquire about early bird specials or discounts.
10 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay, Singapore 018956