Hotel Review // Marina Bay Sands Hotel

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Today, I am truly honored to be sharing with you my review of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore! There are only a few hotels in the world that can be recognized by it’s architecture alone. Hotels like the Burj al Arab (Dubai) and the Bellagio (Las Vegas) are some to name a few. Though today, no hotel is probably more famous than the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. Not only is it characterized by it’s three soaring towers, but probably it’s most famous feature is the infinity pool located on the 57th floor of the hotel looking out to all of Singapore and beyond.

MARINA BAY SANDS (MBS)

This hotel was the one I was most excited about. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental and JW Marriott for one night each the previous days before. For this hotel, we decided that we would stay two nights to really get the experience of the hotel and it’s surroundings.

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HOTEL
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LOCATION

The hotel is located in the center of the bay which faces directly towards the Downtown Core of Singapore. This makes for some very impressive city views during morning and dusk. Directly in front of the hotel are The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands if you are in the mood for some luxury shopping. Right in front of The Shoppes is where the nightly Spectra show is shown.

PREMISES

When you first walk-in, your head will automatically tilt back.  The building is something to be truly admired not just for the decor, but for the really amazing engineering that went into this hotel. Everything is so modern and brand new that you just can’t help but stare once you enter.

Another thing I really notice is that this hotel is HUGE! Unlike the other two hotels we stayed at, this was far cry from an intimate hotel. It would be more along the lines of the type of hotels you would see in Vegas.

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The check-in was located in Tower One. The Uber driver asked us what tower we wanted to go to and we were at a loss. The architecture inside was just as grand as the architecture outside. The hotel truly felt like a mini city with various bars, restaurants, shops, casino, spa, etc.

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Behind the hotel is the famous Gardens by the Bay. It is easily accessible by a pedestrian bridge that leads you out to the back of the hotel. The only inconvenient part is that to get to this pedestrian bridge, you have to walk outside through a set of special doors in Tower One, then take an elevator up to get to the pedestrian walkway, then you re-enter the hotel to walk on the indoor bridge, and then you finally pop outside in the back.

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Can we talk for one minute about how I was most excited to go to the casino and we didn’t even make it! Both nights, we tried so hard to get up and go but the jet lag really kept us from staying awake. Actually, the whole trip was like this. We always planned on going out, but one of us would say, “I’m just going to close my eyes for a little bit.” Well, a “little bit” always turned into the next morning.

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ROOM

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TYPE OF ROOMS

There are four types of views and you should be ready to know which one you want before you book!

  • Garden View: 10th to 39th Floors (facing Gardens by the Bay)
  • Harbor View: 40th Floor and Above (facing the sea)
  • City View: 10th to 39th Floors (facing the city)
  • Sky View: 40th Floor and Above (facing the city)

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Originally we had booked the Premier Room with a Harbor View since that was the only option available at the time. We decided at check-in to see if we could change it to the City View since it would be amazing to see the sunset and city lights turn on at night. Luckily, they had one available located on the 36th or 37th floor (can’t remember). The view of the city was absolutely stunning.

The room itself was definitely large for the average hotel room. I felt like I could to cartwheels in there. Again, I wish there was more color or contrast to the room’s decor, but I’m definitely not complaining. My favorite part of the room was the little seating area by the window. I could just sit there, drink coffee, and work all day on my laptop.

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AMENITIES

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POOL

The moment we’ve all been waiting for… the INFINITY POOL! Is it as amazing as all the pictures make it out to look? I would definitely say yes, if not even more. I thought for being such a big hotel, the pool was going to be be super crowded and it would be unpleasant. But to my surprise, it never felt like it was too crowded and we even got to snag those lounge chairs that are right next to the pool both days.

You do need to have a hotel key card up get up to the pool. There are gates that you have to swipe your card to get through. Not only that, each person has to hold on to their own room key to swipe and get in.

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The moment we got to the SkyPark, I knew this was going to be more of a fend-for-yourself kind of situation. I’m not sure if you would call the pool area “relaxing,” but it was at least fun to hang out at and great for people-watching. Be aware though that there will be no pool attendants helping you find an empty seat. Also, servers are sparse so if you see one, make sure you flag them down or you’ll be out of luck for the next 30 mins.

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You maybe wondering how can you get a good picture in the pool with no one in it. Well, luckily for you, there is a way! Everyday, pool cleaners come out around 4:00pm to come clean each section of the pool. Now, you might think why on earth would you have someone clean the pool right in the middle of the day? This might be annoying for some people but to me, it makes for great photo opportunities.

You can either try to be the first one in the pool once the lifeguard lets you back in or you can be one of the last people out when they are trying to kick you out of the pool. I’ve seen this both happen.

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Since the pool is taking up most of the real estate in the front of the Sky Park, you may be wondering what’s in the back. The back has a bunch of lounge chairs for you to relax and look out into the gardens and the sea. There’s even a super small jacuzzi, but it was already taken up. Again, not sure why Singapore has a lack of jacuzzis.

RESTAURANTS

There are three main restaurants atop the SkyPark: Lavo, Spago, and Ce La Vi. Lavo and Ce La Vi flanks the pool on both ends with Lavo being over Tower One (to the left if facing out to the city) and Ce La Vi over Tower Three. Spago is neatly placed right behind the pool area as you can see in the picture on the right.

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One of the nights, we did end up eating at Ce La Vi. Unfortunately, both my boyfriend and I thought the menu was uninspiring. We ended up get a sushi roll and the slow roasted black cod just to get something in our stomachs (also because we felt bad). One thing I really didn’t like about the restaurant was that it was so cold! I literally wanted to eat my food as soon as possible and leave. I feel like the restaurant would have been better in the day so you can see everything than at night where it was cold and dark. The one upside was that the restaurant had an outdoor bar where everyone could hang out to have a drink.

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TIPS

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Type of Room: I can only talk about the City View room since that’s all we stayed in, but I tell you, the view from our window was breathtaking. Especially, when you see the sun start to set over the city skyline. I did notice though, while we were walking back from the Gardens of the Bay, that the garden side of the hotel has recessed balconies. The city side is definitely a glass facade all the way up. Not sure why they don’t really state that on their website, but if you like fresh air, maybe the Garden View room is a better choice for you.

When to Go to the Pool: There are actually three sections to the pool and everyday, each section gets cleaned. If you are facing the city, it starts from the left side of the pool at 4:00pm and then goes in 30 minute increments. There is also an adults only section which is on the side of Tower 3. Now, I’ve seen some other reviews stating that the pool cleaning starts around 3:00pm or 3:30pm. I cannot vouch for that, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they change the cleaning times depending on the time of year/season.

Pool Chairs: First, there are no pool cabanas so make sure you’re prepared to be in the sun. Shade is very limited! Second, if you want those cool chairs that are actually in the pool or right next to it, your best bet is to just sit, wait and run! I think you probably have a better chance during pool cleaning times since a lot of people might just get up and leave for the night. That’s what happened to us on our first day. We didn’t even notice that there was no one in the pool, but what we did notice was that there were two beautiful empty lounge chairs right underneath a palm tree. The second day, we went earlier in the day and didn’t have the same luck. We decided to sit at some lounge chairs in the back and watch to see if anyone would get up. To our surprise, two chairs opened up within 10 minutes! Unfortunately, to our disappointment, we didn’t run fast enough to grab them and some other people snagged it right in front of us. If I were to really give you a true pro tip, if you see a chair open, I would roll up your towel and throw it like a football onto the chair to claim it!

If anyone does this tactic, please tell me about it and if it worked. I would absolutely love to hear stories. Well, that’s my review of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel! Hope everyone enjoyed reading and can’t wait to hear your stories about the hotel too!

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