“Staycation” is the buzz word in Singapore right now. I must admit, our family has always been a huge fan of this travel trend, escaping reality at every opportunity to explore every corner of the island. But one major attraction that looms over the city’s central bay has eluded us until now: the Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands!
Excited for a staycation at MBS!
Having lived in Singapore for nearly 16 years now, we watched, like a millions of others, as the impressive hotel and the Shoppes were built 10 years ago. Since then, every time we pass this iconic building, we dream of staying there. This week, we did just that!
There was so much excitement in our household in the lead up to our stay. What activities can we do during the weekend? What restaurants should we eat in? Where can we eat breakfast? And, more importantly, what time shall we book our pool slots! That’s right; as with all of the hotels in Singapore at the moment, slots must be booked – and booked well in advance to make sure there are no disappointed faces on the day. (Damned COVID!)
Check-in & Swims at MBS
Our check-in was seamless; the hotel has this all completely under control. Social distancing officers are dotted around the huge reception area, making sure everyone behaves themselves – and they do. Once we’d received our check-in keys and a guide to the hotel and facilities, we were escorted to the lift to make our way up to our room.
Our lovely family suite consisted of a double bed and two single beds complete with a separate lounge area with a huge TV. There was also a small pantry area with coffee-and-tea-making facilities and mini bar, plus a separate powder room and a huge balcony looking over Gardens by the Bay. As part of the hotel’s “SGClean” obligations, the towels, gowns, crockery and glasses all come wrapped. It gives further peace of mind for guests.
We tried to vary our pool slot timings, with day one being a sunset swim, day two an afternoon swim, and day three a morning swim just before check-out. Again, the pool entrance procedure worked smoothly; lots of staff were there, checking and directing to make sure not a minute of our time was lost. It’s strictly a one-hour session in the pool area, with only a few people allowed in the pool at a time. There are plenty of sunbeds. Everyone wants to take that selfie – and why not? It’s a beautiful backdrop, after all.
Eats & Drinks for our staycation
Dinner options at MBS are plentiful. There are so many restaurants to choose from but booking early is definitely a must as they’re all really busy. LAVO, the Italian-American diner on the 57th floor – again with spectacular views of the city – got our vote the first night. It must have been their 20-layer signature Chocolate Cake, stacked with alternating layers of salty-sweet peanut butter mascarpone! This treat is best shared, even if you’re a hardened sugar addict.
Breakfast options include an à la carte buffet, where you get to order unlimited buffet servings from the menu and have them served at your table. RISE is located in the lobby of the towers, or, for a different view, Spago is located in the hotel’s SkyPark on Level 57. You can choose either. We stayed two nights and tried both.
Exploring & Shopping at MBS
We also did some exploring, including activities that we actually never get around to organising in Singapore!
Saturday morning was spent at the amazing Art Science Museum. “Future World: Where Art Meets Science” is an exhibition full of fun interactive displays – the kids had a ball. We also took some time at the “Planet or Plastic” exhibition, which features amazing photography and videos. It definitely made us rethink our habits! Did you know that in Singapore about 700 million kilograms of plastic waste is discarded every year? By 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than marine life by weight. It drummed home to us that we all have to change our ways.
The finale of the museum involved several trips through “Space”, an interactive 4D vision of over 170,000 LED lights that respond to your movement. For our family, this included several takes of TikTok dances – with dad even getting in on the act. The Digital Light Display is also great fun, but more to tire out smaller kids who can spend hours setting off virtual fireworks and painting artwork using the lights.
No visit to Marina Bay Sands would be complete without a visit to the new Apple store on the bay for some special retail therapy and some fun selfies.
Here are some cool bits of trivia about MBS that you may or may not know!
- The Sands SkyPark, which sits atop Marina Bay Sands at 57 stories and offers panoramic views of the skyline and Singapore Strait, is large enough to fit four-and-a-half A380 jumbo jets! For a better perspective, it measures longer than a certain iconic attraction in Paris, France, from end to end.
- The Infinity Pool has – unsurprisingly – attracted plenty of celebrities to take a dip in its sky-high waters. They include the likes of David Beckham and Katy Perry, and, of course, the cast of 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians in the film’s over-the-top, synchronised swimming scene.
- There’s more to the elevated pool than looks: at 150 metres long, it’s also the world’s largest rooftop pool. It holds around 1.5 million litres of water, which no human would be able to consume in a lifetime!
- The 250 trees and 650 plants in the Sands SkyPark were specially selected for their ability to withstand constant breezes. They sit in approximately 3.3 million kilograms of soil.
- If you order The Meatball at LAVO Italian Restaurant and Rooftop Bar at MBS, you won’t just get any old meatball, but rather one that weighs a pound! (That’s getting close to half a kilo!) The dish features ground imperial wagyu, veal and Italian sausage, and is finished with a generous dollop of freshly whipped ricotta. Mmmm …
There are some amazing package deals on offer at the moment, including the Stay Longer, Save More deal – it starts from $299 a night and comes with $60 Destination Dollars credit per night for Sands Rewards Lifestyle (SRL) members for a minimum two-night stay.
There’s also the Sands Staycation package (from $339 a night) which includes $50 Destination Dollars credit per night for SRL members. Both packages come with guaranteed early check-in and room upgrade, complimentary valet or self-parking. You’ll also get to enjoy discounts at the ArtScience Museum and Banyan Tree Spa.
The deals are valid for stays until 23 December 2020.