Photo of the Week: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
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Photograph of the week: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

On the 27th of April 2010, after an expenditure of $8 billion (USD), the world’s most expensive standalone integrated resort property ever built opened its doors to the public. Inside the Marina Bay Sands, awed guests would discover Singapore splendour at its most glamorous: 7-star hotel accommodations, casino, luxury shopping mall, convention centre, theatre, art/science museum, celebrity-chef restaurants, endless views. And then there’s that pool. You know the one… 57 floors and 191 metres above ground, with a 146-metre infinity edge overlooking Singapore in all her flashing finery. Photo of the Week: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore The world’s longest, and highest, elevated swimming pool, the pool at Marina Bay Sands holds an astonishing 1.5 million litres of water. For reference, even if you drink 3.7 litres of water a day, you’d still be drinking water from this pool well into the 3000s. (But only guests are allowed a sip, er, dip, no exceptions. Those not staying at Marina Bay Sands can view, and photograph the pool from the SkyPark or CÉ LA VI sky bar.) Hard as it is to believe, Marina Bay Sands is about more than just that iconic, much-Instagrammed pool though. Designed by Moshe Safdie, who was inspired by a deck of cards, the three towers of Marina Bay Sands (pictured here), are an unmissable fixture of Singapore’s skyline, and have easily become one of the most photographed places in the world in the handful of years since. The three towers are connected by the 340-metre long boat-shaped SkyPark, itself large enough to fit four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets, where visitors can gaze all the way out to the Singapore Strait. This fantastical structure, looking for all the world as if it came straight out of a science fiction movie, can also boast of the world’s largest atrium casino, with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines; a convention centre which holds 45,000 people; and of being one of the top 40 largest hotels in the world, with 2561 rooms and suites, 6 expo halls, 250 meeting rooms and the largest ballroom in Southeast Asia. Other fun facts about Marina Bay Sands: they use enough key cards per month to cover the distance of seven full marathons. The in-house ArtScience Museum is shaped like a lotus flower and has a sustainability feature of harvesting rainwater for the building’s restrooms – indeed, this rain oculus recirculates 6,000 gallons (nearly 23,000 litres) of recycled water every minute. One hotel floor was built every four days during construction of Marina Bay Sands – the fastest for a project of such scale in Singapore. And, there is a fourth tower in the works – it was announced in April 2019 that the Marina Bay Sands would extend the hotel with a fourth standalone tower which will hold over 1,000 hotel rooms along with a 15,000 seater state-of-the-art auditorium to hold festivals and concerts, and a projected price tag of US$3.3 billion for the structure. Want to experience Marina Bay Sands for yourself? Rooms here start at around US$350 and top out with the Chairman Suite, which will set you back a cool US$12,500 (there or thereabouts). Alternatively, you can purchase a ticket for the Marina Sands SkyPark Observation Deck (S$29, Adult; S$23 Child, 2-12 years old). At 57 floors up, this gives you sweeping views of the spectacular Singapore skyline and beyond. Even better? For around the same price as the observation deck entry, you might rather want to indulge in a cocktail at the legendary CÉ LA VI rooftop bar. Exactly the same views (slightly better in fact), only with something refreshing in your hand. To get here, take the MRT and stop at Bayfront, from where you can walk via the luxury mall directly into the hotel lobby. If you have a really special photograph you would like to share with A Luxury Travel Blog‘s readers, please contact us.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Telegraph.

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  1. When I was growing up five star hotels were the gold standard. Then I can remember the Burj opening in Dubai and people talking of 6 stars. Now with Marina Bay Sands we seem to have got up to 7 stars. I would be interested to know what the criteria for 7 stars are.

    Are we suffering star inflation? I can’t remember seeing anything less than 3*s recently. Perhaps it is just that down at that level, hotels think it best to flaunt their lack of stars.

    1. Hi Freya… any hotel claiming 6 or 7 stars is self-accrediting themselves with those stars.

      Why? Because no national tourist board hotel classification scheme goes up to 6 or 7 stars.

      So, whenever you seem something like this, bear in mind that it’s not an official rating. It’s really just a marketing ploy on the part of the hotel or resort to say “we go beyond 5 stars”.

    2. You just spoke my heart out!!! The moment I read the resort being 7-star, I was like “wait…what?? what did I just read?’. My late grandma often used to share her travelling stories and expeditions with us. And they were soo simple times. Where travelling alone was a luxury. And staying in guest houses or rented apartments was the norm!!!
      I wonder what kind of tales would I would get to hear from my own grandchildren one day!

  2. $8 billion for a resort, that’s crazy! So it’s one humungous resort, a kind of ‘everything all in one’ and literally everything under one roof? I must admit, that’s pretty amazing! Quite the title to have as the world’s most expensive standalone resort too, I don’t imagine much can compare to this.It’s great to see it’s considerate of the environment in some ways too, like with the recycled rainwater. If you’re not a guest there, can you still pay the fee to check out the observation deck then? Can you make use of any other parts of the resort, or is it just for staying customers? I’d love to see what the inside of this place looks like. Bet you can get some decent exercise just walking from one end of the resort to the other!

    1. Yes, you can pay a fee to visit the observation deck if you are not a staying guest.

      I was very lucky when I visited becuase I got access to all of the top of the hotel just as dusk was falling, but this was an industry perk/contact rather than anything else.

      It’s definitely worth getting up there if you can!

  3. The management must be very confident of continuing and growing demand if they are committing to building a 4th tower. Another 1,000 rooms is a lot of capacity. I don’t doubt that they’ve done their research and believe that they are on to a winner.

  4. It has been a while since I visited Singapore and the feelings I have for this place hasn’t changed ever since. I always feel there’s something new to discover (most of the time there really is!). I remember walking out to the famous Marina Bay Sands infinity pool, I think I got dizzy for a while. It’s really just a treat to see this place and experience its services and accommodation. A perfect definition of a luxurious hotel but also one of the famous tourist spots in the country. I remember when I slept in one of the rooms and experienced their exceptional services, and I was this crazy person always asking questions and the staff happily answered, every time.

  5. I cannot believe this article is so late to be published… Probably posting this 5 years ago – yes, can. But for 2019 – it is late.
    I live in Singapore and I can exactly say that some rooms are already “old”. Swimming pool is cold and there is always a mess, crowds and noisy. You cannot take a photo of the pool if you visit SkyPark, as it is on the other part of the roof! From CeLaVi bar – yes, you can! And ah,a moment to notice – there is one more genius creation by Safdi, it is a giant copy of MBS but in CHINA, already opened in September 2019?

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