Marina Bay Sands Hotel And Casino – Singapore’s Cathedral Of Luxury
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is Singapore’s luxurious temple to the future. A stay at the Marina Bay Sands is a soul-stirring experience; it refreshes the mind and rejuvenates the body. The hotel’s architecture is awe–inspiring with three modernistic towers soaring skyward and connected at the top by a sky-park. This triumph of the human spirit is impeccably placed between the water and the heart of the city. When I first saw the , I understood why the developers were willing to invest $5.5 billion U.S. in this resort and entertainment complex. I’m sure it will become one of the most stellar tourist attractions of Southeast Asia.
When I landed at the Singapore Airport, I was already near my hotel, the Marina Bay Sands. I had a choice of a short taxi ride or an easy trip on the commuter train. Singapore’s Changi Airport has its own MRT station under the main international terminal, so I opted for the MTR. My 10-mile trip from the international airport terminal to the MTR terminal at the Marina Bay Sands was quick, comfortable, and scenic. The hotel itself is beautifully situated amongst the ArtScience Museum, the Bay Front Gardens, and the Mall. It is on the waterfront near parks and the heart of the most fashionable part of the city.
Entering the Lobby
After a long flight and the pleasant commute from the airport, I was tired and ready to check in; however, walking into the lobby was a delight to the senses. It is a huge atrium that towers overhead. There are living trees in the lobby that make the lobby cafes seem to be outdoors. Inside the hotel, I was immersed in the sights and sounds. The quartet performing traditional Chinese music and the cascade of falling water from the fountain combined to welcome the weary traveler. The staff were professional, friendly, and helpful.
The Sky Park
The hotel’s three bifurcated towers are all surmounted by the Sky Park, which seems to have been inspired by the floating islands in the movie Avatar. However, the Sky Park is reached by the comfort of stylish elevators rather than riding winged primordial beasts like the movie. The Sky Park provides wondrous views of the waterfront and city. But the landscaped park atop the hotel features more than breathtaking scenery. A long Infinity swimming pool runs the length of the park along its edge, and the pool is lined by living palm trees.
Up on the 57th level the Sky Park is a cheese and chocolate bar, the Ku Da Ta club with fine–dining and entertainment, the Infinity Alfreco Cafe that offers pasta, salads and sandwiches. For formal dining, there is the Sky on 57 that presents Chef Justin Querk’s fresh modern interpretation of Franco-Asian Cuisine. I was also quite impressed by the Banyan Tree spa, which offers massages that relax the body and bring peace of mind in a venue overlooking the Bay and the City of Singapore.
The Casino at the Marina Bay Sands seemed to me to be the set of a future James Bond adventure film. The simple numbers cannot convey the experience of excitement the casino offers. It is gigantic and occupies over 1.5 square kilometers, (15,000 sq. meters). There are about 1600 ‘Jackpot Machines’ (more commonly known as slot machines), 500 gaming tables, and over 30 private rooms for gaming. The casino brags that it offers a “vast selection” of gaming experiences. The casino even caters to non-smoking gamers. However, the feature that made the biggest impression on me was the chandelier—it is the biggest in the world and weighs over seven tones.
Personally, I am not a shopaholic, nonetheless I found that in the Shoppes at the Marina Bay View, there is something for every taste. I enjoyed taking the boat ride inside the hotel through the shopping section. For me, that was something of an adventure in itself.
Singapore’s transportation network makes almost anything easily accessible from the Marina Bay Sands. The following attractions are just a stone’s throw away from Marina Bay Sands –
- Gardens By The Bay
- Singapore Flyer – Asia’s answer to the London Eye
- Art & Science Museum
- Merlion – Singapore’s postcard landmark
- Esplanade – Theaters on the bay
In a hotel designed to overwhelm the senses of mere mortals, I found my accommodations to be surprisingly comfortable and relaxing, though the ceiling to floor windows did provide a view that was awe–inspiring. The room was a blend of old and new Singapore. The desk and table were crafted from rich red woods, while plumbing and bathroom fixtures were gleaming white porcelain in stylish avant-garde designs.
The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino is a destination in itself and not merely a place to stay while on a trip away from home. More than a hotel, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands is a cathedral to the 21st century, a Stonehenge of New Age Luxury. When I left this jewel of the Lion City, I felt like a new man.