Known as one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, I was excited to see the Marina Bay Sands hotel up close. I have seen it countless times on the TV and several blog recommendations, I was worried it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. Sadly, the Rough Guides book I’m using to navigate Singapore slates the Marina Bay Sands hotel (I don’t understand why).
A slightly more expensive taxi ride took me from my hotel to the Marina Bay Sands. The driver dropped me off at tower 1, which turned out to be the opposite side to the SkyPark entrance. I hadn’t thought the hotel would be so big, when in actual fact it’s more of a resort including; a hotel, the SkyPark, shopping centre and museum. There’s also a huge casino but I didn’t go in!
One of the most iconic buildings on Singapore’s skyline, it’s hard to visit Singapore and miss this landmark. Three gigantic 55 story towers provide a base for the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool, which is 200 metres in the sky (and only for hotel guests). I was surprised to find I could walk through the hotel lobby, which is well worth visiting just to walk through. It is a vast space with huge artistic chandeliers hanging down from a seemingly never ending ceiling. It is a big hotel, yet the lobby didn’t feel busy. Even with the numerous check in desks, restaurants and designer shops. Many people staying in the hotel were wearing national dress, it was lovely to see this. I particularly liked the colourful Japanese kimonos.
I am totally in awe of this building. However, I don’t think I would like to stay in the hotel because it is just so big! I would never get anywhere because of the sheer size and distance between things. It was such a long walk from the entrance of Tower 1 to the SkyPark, I needed a rest. I managed to find a seat in Sweetspot cafe in the lobby, where I filled up on coffee and cake to set me up for the next part of this adventure.
To go up, first I had to go down … Into the basement to buy my ticket. S$23 later, I was off to find the elevator to take me to the 57th floor (not before the staged and annoying photographs). The lift was spacious and cool, with interesting things to watch on the screen. Even though the elevator ride is not long enough to get bored. Being in Singapore has given me a real sense of appreciation for the small things in life such as air conditioning and boiled sweets to stop my ears popping when in lifts going to and from high floors. The area on the top of the hotel is called a SkyPark, but only hotel guests have access everywhere. I was only able to go to the Observation Deck which was more than big enough for me to explore. Stepping outside I was greeted with a view of Singapore’s harbour. Feeling incredibly grateful I was lucky enough to have a clear morning, I was able to see hundreds of boats bobbing about in the Singapore Strait. One bonus of my early visit (apart from the clear skies) was the lack of crowds. At one point I had the whole observation deck to myself.
Looking down over the side gave a beautiful bird’s eye view of Gardens by the Bay and the Supertree Grove (which I’m extremely excited to visit!). Humans with vertigo beware, the view goes a long way down. There are only a few wires and a sheet of glass separating you from the view (very scary!). Waving at the Singapore Flyer as I walked past, I doubted I would see much of the city as I was surrounded by skyscrapers. Oh My Godzilla?!?! Was I wrong or what.
I was really lucky to get such a clear day, miles and miles of skyscrapers were visible. I think it was even clear enough to wave at Malaysia!
ArtScience Museum and Helix Bridge
Looking from the top of the Marina Bay Sands, there was a strange shaped white building, floating football pitch and a swirly bridge. Of course I decided that I had to go for a closer inspection of these. Turns out it was the Helix Bridge, which provided a wonderful view of the area and infamous skyline.
Heading back towards the strange white building was a pond with a giant round mirror (perfect for silly photos!). I had made it to the ArtScience Museum, just in time to hide from a huge thunderstorm. I chose to miss out the museum on this visit, instead opting to drink ice ginger tea and enjoy the views of the area. The weather changed faster than I could drink my tea, I don’t think I will ever get used to such unpredictable weather.
Back outside it was time for a closer look at the ponds. Lots of fishies were swimming amidst the water lilies, which were covered in beautiful purple flowers. It was the perfect time to get out my camera! I would have happily stayed here for hours soaking up the view, but unfortunately I had a list of too many things I wanted to see in a day.
The Shoppes @ MBS
FIlled with designer shops and restauruants, I found it a great place to wander to escape from the humidity and locate a well earned coffee. The Shoppes has a link which goes up and over the road, through the Marina Bay Sands hotel to the Gardens by the Bay. Much to my surprise there was a canal on B2 level, with boats! We ate next to this and timed it perfectly with the fountain. I’m planning a separate post on restaurants so stay tuned for that.
I visited all of these places and Gardens by the Bay in the same day. However, looking back on this I did way too much at once. Resulting in missing out part of Gardens by the Bay as I was too tired to walk anymore (instead I had to ride in the handbag of doom). I didn’t listen to my own travel advice and feel like I really missed out on this wonderful place. This does make me sad, although its a really great excuse to come back in the future.
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