The Marina Bay Sands hotel experience can be summarised with a terrible metaphor I thought of while looking at my suite’s room service menu and spotted mi goreng on there priced at S$28. It’s probably pretty good mi goreng, and I’m sure the presentation would be exquisite — but it is really worth it? Probably not. Same with the Marina Bay Sands (MBS).
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Experience Summary
I stayed in the Orchid Suite at the MBS for three nights while I was on a quick vacation in Singapore, and while I was definitely amazed with the incredible architecture of the building, that’s about as far as my amazement went. If you want a high society personalised experience, or you are used to boutique hotels, regardless of how much you pay the MBS will *not* deliver. You most definitely feel like a sheep in the pack at the Marina Bay Sands hotel with its over 2000 rooms and swarm of tourists and businesspeople coming and going every day.
Let’s break it down:
Nice. I guess. Definitely worth a look at, and you really need to stay in the MBS in order to view the infinity pool and have a little swim. The top floors can get ridiculously windy though, so make sure you’re wearing a tight hat or have your hair tied up. The pool is usually freezing, and you have to get up there pretty early in order to reserve some seats.
Sadly, it became obvious to me that hotel management realize the extent of their exceptional pool and are using this as their money making foundation: the pool is all the hotel really has going for it, and the rest of the hotel is pretty disappointing in most other respects.
Also, I’m not sure what other reviewers are talking about with regards to a special “pool card” or “wristband” for the pool. I visited in January 2014 and there was nothing like this — just scan your room key and you will be granted entry.
The Orchid Suite was of a high quality as you would expect. The master bedroom is set apart from the living room in the spacious 97m² area, automated curtains, multiple air conditioners, in-room coffee maker and tea facilities, lovely lounge suite. The only significant downside was that there was no separate check in area for this suite, and the queue in the lobby can be quite significant at peak times.
If you decide to stay here, be careful of the minibar — it is weight sensitive and NOT complimentary, so if you live a drink out of its holder, even for a second, you will be charged for the beverage. This also means that you can’t really store your own beverages or food in the mini bar refrigerator.
Note that I have read people complaining about noise on the lower levels. The MBS is essentially surrounded by freeways, and even though the glass is double glazed, you can hear the noise of cars at night time. If you’re a light sleeper and you get a low level room, request to be moved higher.
Terrible for the price. I don’t recommend you get the buffer breakfast unless it is included as a part of your room.
The suite featured complimentary breakfast at “Sky on 57”, the restaurant next to the infinity pool on the top level of the MBS towers. How was it? Disappointing. A few days later I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental a short walk fro the MBS, and the breakfast there was incomparably better. Like, not even close to what the MBS offered.
The buffet selection was smaller, not replenished frequently enough, the staff were too “buzzy” around you and simultaneously always looking the other way whenever you wanted another coffee, and the tables were situated FAR too close to each other, to the extent that I was almost dreading going up to breakfast because I knew that whoever was sitting next to me would be listening to my entire conversation.
The Shoppes at MBS were incredible. High fashion, high prices, gondolas floating along the river down the middle — incredible! I recommend you pause your shopping spree briefly in order to stopp of at TWG situated over the water and enjoy a nice cup of tea and a delicious cake. The food court down the end near the ice rink has a diverse selection of cheaper food, too.
Marina Bay Sands hotel overall experience
Overall, the MBS is a world known establishment due to its incredible pool and unique design. If you’re in Singapore and you have the means, it is probably worth staying here for one night in order to try it out and at least be able to say that you’ve stayed there. Any time longer and you’re probably wasting your money — check out the Mandarin Oriental a few doors down for absolutely incredible service and facilities at around the same price. Just remember that the Marina Bay Sands is a tourist attraction first and foremost, and a hotel secondary.