Marina Bay Sands Hotel – Is it worth it?
Hotel: Marina Bay Sands (MBS)
Room: Premier Room
Perfect for: Couples / friends
Category: 5 star luxury
Are you tossing up whether or not a room at Marina Bay Sands is worth the exorbitant price they ask per night? This article will go in-depth with our personal experience.
Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It is most famous for the infinity pool that overlooks all of Singapore and those of you who have stayed there, or have looked at staying there knows the price per night is pretty extreme. Rooms starting at S$365 per night (which I might add is on a low-level, no view, no breakfast, just the room) and then you have taxes on top of that… you quickly question yourself if it is worth it?
This post is our personal experience and our opinion. The room we booked, at the time, was the cheapest one available, cost us over S$500… for one night.
Location of Marina Bay Sands
MBS is located at Marina Bay and overlooks the Gardens by the Bay and the city. It has a large shopping centre connected with plenty of restaurants with access to the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
It is in a perfect location for the Gardens by the Bay, but that’s about it. For everything else, you will need to take a taxi or public transport but maybe that’s not a bad thing given how hot it is in Singapore?
The Central Business District is 10 minutes by taxi but if you prefer to catch the MRT, the Raffles Place MRT stop is just 2 stops from Bayfront MRT. For Shopping, Orchard Road is accessed by taxi in around 18 minutes or by MRT, which is around 6 stops from MBS.
Our Welcome Experience
We had just landed from Ho Chi Minh City, so thankfully the flight wasn’t too long. We were told by hotel staff that the MRT is conveniently located at the hotel so we decided to take the MRT. It is important to note that you need to get off at Bay Front, not Marina Bay (which seems like the obvious choice!). So after changing trains a few times, we finally made it to Bay Front station, walked towards the exit and attempted to follow the signs to the hotel.
We made it to the foyer and let me tell you now, it is massive. There is nothing personal about this hotel! We arrived in the middle of the towers, not knowing which tower we needed to check into, so we walked towards tower 1. We were pretty exhausted dragging our luggage around and were a little frustrated that there weren’t staff there to help us with our luggage. I would have thought this would have been pretty standard for a 5-star luxury hotel?
Anyways, so we continued over to the check in counter for tower 1. It was so busy it actually felt more like checking in at an international airport rather than a 5-star hotel. We waited in the line and were offered a small ice cream which was a nice touch given how hot it was outside. Having waited for a while, the staff noticed the length of the line and ushered a few of us over to another counter. Again, we dragged our own luggage over the second counter, even after asking for assistance (we had a bit as we just finished a 2 week trip through Vietnam as well). Baggage assistance is only offered AFTER you have checked in…
We started the check in process, which at any other hotel takes around 5 – 10 minutes. Our entire check in process took an hour… AN HOUR!
We booked a double room (obviously) but they had none available for us, so we were going to have to wait for one to be made up for us. Instead, we were offered an upgrade so we could have a king bed. I am glad we got an upgrade because if we didn’t, I think this review could have actually been worse. Our upgrade was only to the 7th floor and overlooking the gardens, not the bay. What on earth do the cheap (S$500 per night) rooms get you??? We asked if we can use the facilities (i.e the pool) after check out and the answer was no as you need a room key to access the pool. They did give us a late check out so we could spend time at the pool.
So we continued the check in process. We had pre-registered all of our details prior to arrival as per their email and signed up for their loyalty card which provides you with the free high-speed internet – we just needed to collect the card at check in. You think this would have been simple? It wasn’t. We had to go to yet another counter.. that would be the third counter during check-in to pick up the loyalty card. We had to wait around 15 minutes before we could see someone to ask about this card. She then had to take down all of our details again, even though we pre registered everything online prior to checking in.
The entire process was extremely poor and not what you would expect from a 5-star luxury hotel. We asked for our bags to be taken to the room, at this point they were taken up for us.
The room they upgraded us to was very spacious. Although, I think it was a little outdated with the carpet and curtains. There were some positives to the room.. the bed was comfortable (but there was no pillow menu), the bathroom was massive and had a separate bath although we didn’t have time to use it.
The balcony was oversized and looked over the Gardens by the Bay. The blinds were automatic so there were a few good features to the room.
The infinity pool
The first thing to note about the pool. You MUST be staying at the hotel to get access to the pool. Each guest must present a room key to get through the gates. You cannot get in as a guest, nor can you pay a fee to use the pool.
After becoming very frustrated with our entire check in process, we needed to de-stress and go for a swim in this infinity pool. Afterall, that is why we decided to spend over S$500 for one night, right? May as well make the most of it?
We got up there, found some sun lounges and ordered some lunch. Which, I must admit was pretty good.
The view is amazing and although it was overcast and cloudy, it did end up clearing for quite a nice sunset.
Here is a short video of the pool area.
We spent a few hours the next morning at the pool and left after lunch.
Where else to stay in Singapore?
For customer service and location, we highly recommend the Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre. Click here to find out why!
The verdict – was it worth over S$500 for one night?
As lovely as the pool is, and regardless of the views and relaxing time we had, I am just not convinced it is worth over $500. When you think that it is more than double the price of our room at the Holiday Inn, and that included breakfast, Executive Club Lounge access which included afternoon tea, alcoholic beverages, cocktails and dinner… I’ll let you decide what you would prefer. It is obviously a personal choice and very much depends on your budget.
Do you have travel insurance?
Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.
If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.
Here are a few more pics from the pool area, which let’s be honest is the only reason people stay at this hotel.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous