Happy Birthday, Marina Bay Sands! (It looks like we’re both celebrating birthdays in quarantine thanks to that damned coronavirus. We’ll celebrate for real once this all blows over.)
I’ve been lucky enough to stay at Marina Bay Sands several times. My first visit came four months after it opened in 2010. While this isn’t exactly my favorite hotel in Singapore, it is certainly one of the most memorable. Everyone should stay here at least once.
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation spent a whopping $5.9 billion (twice the original estimate) to build it. The 50-acre complex comprises three 55-story towers, which make up the hotel, all of which are topped with a three-acre SkyPark that includes restaurants, nightclubs and a 490-foot-long infinity pool. At the base, there’s a casino, convention center, more restaurants, a luxury shopping mall, an indoor hawker center, event plaza and museum. It’s a veritable city within a city.
The pool is everything it’s cracked up to be, although the crowding does get chaotic on weekends, which is not surprising given that those towers contain more than 2,500 hotel rooms. However, when I stayed here midweek, I managed to enjoy several surprisingly quiet moments poolside. The views are incredible from the top: downtown Singapore on one side, the sprawling Gardens by the Bay on the other.