How to Maximize a Stay at Marina Bay Sands
5-star, bay-front hotel featuring superlative defying views and the best urban pool in the world.
Hot Take: For those with plenty of budget, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a must-do experience in Singapore that will leave lasting memories for years (and super jealous Instagram followers)…for those on a tighter budget, you should still check out the laser show (free), the window shopping (free), and the SkyPark Observation Deck ($20 each).
Pro Tip: You will get the pool to yourself for about 1 minute after the end of the once pool daily cleaning break…that is the time for the perfect shot no matter how crowded it gets.
Do you ever see a picture and think to yourself, ‘if I ever have a chance, then I HAVE to go’?
Once we started getting serious about Southeast Asia, we started doing a lot of ‘inspirational’ searches about the cities we were considering. Over and over, an image from Singapore captured our attention and fired our wanderlust.
Ok, so we took that picture (we didn’t want to steal anyone else’s work for this blog), but a google image search will show that we are not the only ones to seek out this view. However, that picture is just the tip of the iceberg that was our magnificent 24 hours at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
As the highlight of our trip to Singapore, we threw out our usual mid-budget lodging guidelines and dropped an astronomical $450 on a room on the 33rd floor facing the ocean. We have NO regrets…just look at the view from our balcony.
Staying at the hotel also gave us access to the rooftop deck and pool. (note: you can buy daypasses and the cost is ~$20 each to access the SkyPark Observation Deck, but pool access is only available to hotel guests) The SkyPark Observation Deck provided outstanding views of the skyscrapers of downtown Singapore, the busy port and cargo ships, and all the way to Malaysia.
While it would be worth it for anyone in Singapore to enjoy the SkyPark Observation Deck before or after going to the Gardens by the Bay, which you can read more about here . The real treat was the pool deck. Separated from the general visitors by a fairly serious security setup with an electronic entry gate and guard, the pool area was a busy place where snagging a lounger wasn’t easy but your efforts were rewarded by perhaps the most stunning urban pool view in the world.
During our 24 hour stay, we went to the pool area three separate times and could have spent even more time there (but there is just so much to do and see in Singapore). At all times of day, the three separate pools of the pool area were on the crowded side, but a little patience was all it took to get those magic photos where you look like you are all alone as the king/queen of the world.
Eventually we left the pool area to see the other wonders of the Marina Bay Sands complex. There is a large casino and humongous high-end shopping mall (with wonderful Western restaurants) across the street. After a bit of window shopping and a fantastic valentines dinner, we made our way through the mall to the quay (waterfront) to see the spectacular fountain light show (performed twice a day). While it was not as large as the Bellagio display in Las Vegas, the addition of the most phenomenal 3D laser lights made the experience truly a special spectacle to behold. While the whole performance lasted just 15 minutes, the time lapse video below hardly captures the magic of seeing it live.
The next morning, we were saddened to be leaving such a lavish accommodation, but we were glad that we had been blessed enough to spend at least one night there. We have a few other ‘bucket list’ worth accommodations planned in the Maldives (over the water bungalow) and Europe (castle), but the Marina Bay Sands experience will surely one that we don’t forget any time soon.