10 JUNE 2015:
Ever since I decided to go to Singapore I have been excited about visiting Marina Bay Sands (MBS). It’s considered an architectural masterpiece, towering in front of the city with 3 great towers and a huge infinity pool / rooftop park that spans across them. MBS is one of Singapore’s few iconic sights, alongside the Flyer, Merlion and Gardens by the Bay.
My excitement was mainly driven by the desire to experience the infinity pool which only hotel guests can access, however at around £300 per night for a standard room, I obviously couldn’t afford to stay there for my whole time in Singapore so we opted for one night so we could complete the Singapore experience in full! I suspect many people do the same, considering on check in we were asked “here for the pool?”. Let me tell you though, the infinity pool didn’t disappoint. It’s the world’s largest rooftop pool at its height and it offers the best city skyline view in Singapore. You might be asking yourself, why is it called an infinity pool? Because my friends, this pool was designed to look like it has no edge, like you could swim off the rooftop into infinity (and beyond!)
The deck area was a little too busy for my liking; the way it was laid out was more like a cheap beach holiday rather than the exclusive resort that I was expecting. Especially considering that even our previous hotel had a more luxurious feel to the deck area. But, I suppose we weren’t there for the deck! We were there for the pool. MBS also has a great fitness centre which has amazing views of the city. Most of their aerobic machines (treadmills, spinning bikes, elliptical trainers) of which they had many, overlooked the city through great glass walls. So running on the treadmill felt like running off the building itself. The fitness center also boasted some of the finer touches that one would expect from such a fine establishment – bottles of water already set out on the machines, towels handed to you by the reception staff on sign in, and even a fruitbowl full of green apples on the reception desk for guests to help themselves. It’s not a surprise that MBS is where the athletes for SEA games opted to stay.
CHEESE & CHOCOLATE BUFFET
Yes, that’s right…cheese and chocolate! The hotel has many, many, many restaurants but this one definitely caught my eye. I have never heard of anything like it before. This was probably my favourite part of my stay at MBS. They had a beautiful selection of cheeses from around the globe followed by (or following if you fancy a bit of sweet before your savoury) chocolate in all shapes and forms; cakes, desserts, and confectionary. Cheese and chocolate are two of my very guilty pleasures so I was a happy (and very heavy) girl at the end of that “dinner”.
You can enjoy late night shopping any day of the week at The Shoppes in Marina Bay Sands which is a large shopping mall linked to the hotel. As one of Singapore’s largest luxury shopping malls there is a mix of international luxury brands and emerging labels in runway and street style.
Quite a few of the shops also offered discounts for hotel guests. We also managed to score a free box of macarons from the TWG Tea Salon and Boutique for filling in a small survey that was in a magazine in our room.
Oh, and there are even boats that you can ride in on the lower level of the mall. A little bit of Venice in Singapore!
Inside ‘The Shoppes’ mall is a large casino which spans three floors and contains 2,300 slot machines as well as many gaming tables. I attempted a few rounds at the Roulette table but lost my money pretty quickly. I had my boyfriend pick a number for me (26 as it happens) so that I could place the blame squarely at his feet if I didn’t win. You know who you are and you owe me £50!
We then moved on to some slot machines and lost even more money. On the upside, if you play penny slots you get to push the button and watch the pretty pictures spin quite a few times before you lose everything. When we decided to cut our losses, we collected our prize of what ended up being very expensive orange juice and headed to find something yet unexplored….so we went to Gardens by the Bay.
GARDENS BY THE BAY
Gardens by the Bay is a park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. You can access the outdoor garden area for free and it is open until 2am. However if you want to visit the observatories then you have to pay admission. We decided to go after the casino at around 1am, because what the hell! Why do they keep it open so late if it’s not meant to be used?!
It is easily accessible from the casino area of the mall via a bridge through the hotel. Although that late in the evening it is a slightly eerie journey. From “The Shoppes”, you head up an escalator seemingly to nowhere, and across a few rooftop balconies that are adorned with foliage and lights which cast almost human-likeshadows. One shadow of which we were convinced was a hobo. The bridge also affords you a great view of the Singapore Flyer before you arrive at the gardens. The gardens themselves are beautiful at night. The artisan trees which are arguably the centrepiece for the large gardens, are fully lit with bright blue and white lights. It is stunning and awe inspiring, and definitely a must-see.
WONDERFULL – LIGHT & WATER SHOW
Wonder Full is an amazing tale told through the convergence of light, music and sound – extremely beautiful as they use electric light and laser effects and all of the skyscraper buildings are in the background.
However, the light show is far more impressive, and is truly best witnessed from across the bay where the powerful laser lights used can be seen in full force dancing across the evening sky in great beams like an outdoor disco… or Batsignal… for Batman’s retro cousin.