Weekly Travel Q&A: Marina Bay Sands Singapore Hotel
I have one of those travel problems that is good to have but a bit of a predicament nonetheless. I travel extensively to Singapore for my job – I work in finance for a big multinational – and recently got a promotion, which, beyond the extra work, responsibility and pressure, includes perks like executive class travel and a bump up in hotels. I stay in decent hotels now, no complaints, but now our executive admin assistant wants to book me at the Marina Bay Sands when I jet off to Singapore next month. A little reward for a job well done.
This is where my problem seems a little ridiculous. No sane person would nix two weeks at Marina Bay, correct? Fact is, the resort arouses my curiosity. How could it not? The problem is that it seems a little too Disney-meets-Dubai for my taste, if you catch my drift. I have half a mind to ask the company to save some cash and book me in another hotel. A classic business hotel preferably. Please, help me solve my “quandary” and give me your take on the Marina Bay Sands, versus other top hotels in Singapore.
Thank you in advance,
Mitchell M., Sydney
SkyPark pool at Marina Bay Sands Singapore – Photo credit
Honestly Mitchell, your “problem” is perfectly legit and not altogether uncommon. We understand the gist of it. As a business traveller with two weeks in front of you, do you want a flashy pleasure resort or a smart, comfortable luxury hotel?
Maybe the Marina Bay Sands Singapore can be both. Yes, the Sheldon Adelson mega-project – the billionaire developer behind the original Sands in Las Vegas and the Venetian Las Vegas and Macao – is the most expensive casino resort property on the planet, which, quite naturally, infers “theme park for adults”. And that it is. Above and beyond the three conspicuous 55-floor hotel towers, Marina Bay Sands offers up the massive SkyPark pool, ArtScience Museum, Hong Kong-like Wonder Full spectacle, Moshe Safdie Art Path, “high-octane” shows, Shoppes mall and restaurants by Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud and Guy Savoy. Oh yes, and a casino.
Quite a lot of distractions for a lone business traveller. Wonderful for a holiday mind you. Our advice? If you do choose the Marina Bay Sands, get a Club suite. Private and made for business executives with taste, the Club buffers you from the chaos and lets you slip away in peace. Exclusive access to the Club rooftop lounge by day (which transforms into the all-access Chocolate Bar by night) is a major plus.
If the cost of a Club suite proves prohibitive, as you well know as a Singapore regular, other options abound. We like the Raffles Hotel, for one. Classic, elegant, the icon still has mojo. Ask for the Golden Chersonese Suite.
The Marina Mandarin Singapore is tough to beat. The Meritus Club Rooms on floors 20-21 hit all the requisite sweet spots for weary business travellers on busy schedules.
Over on Orchard Boulevard, the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is about as good as it gets. Food-wise no hotel compares, from the high-tea buffet (oxymoron aside) to the Cantonese fare at Jiang-Nan Chun.