Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapore’s two major integrated developments (the other being Resorts World Sentosa). Last year the hotel underwent a complete renovation of its 2,561 rooms and suites.
WHERE IS IT?
Adjacent to Gardens by the Bay in the south of the city. A car ride from Changi Airport takes about 20 minutes.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Marina Bay Sands is a behemoth of a hotel. With three towers offering over 2,500 rooms and an enormous lobby area comprising everything from shops to dining outlets, it has a bustling atmosphere that can sometimes feel more like a train station than a hotel.
My newly renovated Club room had new surfaces and table tops with white marble, refreshed bed linens and carpets, and ergonomic touches such as USB docks by the bed (a welcome addition).
At around 60 sqm the room is very spacious, despite being one of the property’s smaller room categories (Marina Bay Sands has 12 types overall, more than half of which are suites, going all the way up to the 629 sqm Chairman Suite).
The brown-and-white colour scheme gives a professional and also quite homey appearance, with plenty of facilities from a coffee machine to a radio/alarm smartphone docking station. The bed is vast (at nearly two metres tall, I slept comfortably without hanging off the end) and the bathroom is also a large affair, with a separate glass-enclosed shower and sizeable bathtub.
The TV was very easy to operate and the desk offers plenty of workspace (alongside power and USB ports), though on the flip side the lights were tricky to master – no master switch by the door and lots of individual lamps. I found the complimentary wifi service got sluggish at times, requiring me to reconnect manually when transitioning between areas in the hotel, and you have to re-register every 24 hours.
Guests in this room category do enjoy a more private check-in in a separate room off the main lobby, allowing you to bypass the crowds, and express checkout boxes are available on the ground floor by the lifts.
Club55 takes its name from its location on the 55th floor of Tower 2 with fantastic city views. It’s a large space with a lot of seating but it can get busy if you pick the wrong time. Arriving at 9am, I had a ten-minute wait to be seated. The food selection, comprising Asian and Western buffet cuisine, plus eggs made to order, was very good. Also, from 8pm to midnight, the lounge becomes a public cocktail bar. Staff were very impressive, referring to each guest by name.
FOOD AND BEVERAGES
Marina Bay Sands has no shortage of F&B outlets – there are 46 in total both in the hotel itself and the wider Marina Bay Sands complex.
On my second morning I headed to the rooftop to visit Spago Dining Room by Wolfgang Puck. I was fortunate to get a seat overlooking the pool and the urban landscape. The menu selection is reasonable and the quality was good. Another notable offering is Adrift by David Myers (Business Traveller reviewed the restaurant in 2015) which offers a contemporary izakaya menu and signature cocktails – the bartender makes a mean Penicillin cocktail if you like your smoky whiskies.
Being attached to the Marina Bay Sands convention centre gives the hotel access to a 30,000 sqm exhibition space and a 7,672 sqm ballroom – one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
Marina Bay Sands’ infinity pool on the 57th floor rooftop is arguably its most impressive attraction – a great location to snap a picture with the city backdrop. The pool is one of the hotel’s “Skypark” features, alongside two restaurants (Spago and Ce La Vi), Skybar and the Observation Deck. Elsewhere in the Marina Bay Sands complex is the Art Science Museum, casino, theatre and two luxury retail pavilions.
Great facilities, personalised service despite the huge number of guests, and a polished product make Marina Bay Sands a pleasure to stay in. But its greatest strength – its size – may also be a negative for those who prefer a quieter, calmer and more intimate environment.
Plenty of choice.
The rooftop pool and variety of F&B.
Internet rates for a Club King room midweek stay in mid-February start from S$811 (US$602) including tax and surcharges.
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956; +65 6688 8888; marinabaysands.com