Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands (62)

Some say it looks like a boat, others say it's shaped like a house of cards... 

What is not in doubt, however, is the fact that this luxurious hotel-casino has been a veritable icon since its inauguration on the 23rd of June, 2010; and not just of the city, but of the country as a whole, in addition to being an exceptional example of world architecture. 

The Marina Bay Sands has redefined the Singapore skyline. Twenty hectares of luxury and distinction designed by the architectural firm of Moshe Safdie and the engineering firms of Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff. 

The core of the complex consists of three towers over 200 metres high housing  2560 luxury hotel rooms spread over 55 floors. The roofs of the three towers are linked by a 340-metre long structure known as the Skypark. If you look at the structure closely you will see that the platform overhangs the north tower by 67 metres, making it the largest public cantilevered platform in the world.

The Skypark occupies the 57th floor of Marina Bay Sands and is home to several bars and restaurants, a garden, a small shop and a 150-metre pool, the longest in the world at this height (approximately 3 times the length of an Olympic length swimming pool though significantly narrower) and recognized worldwide for the incredible views it offers and the feeling of infinity that it transmits. The views are simply breath-taking. The protruding edges give one a feeling of floating in the air. A unique sensation for a unique and exclusive building.

This area is reserved for guests of the hotel, though if your budget allows it you can reserve a table at any of the restaurants, such as the Sky on 57, and enjoy cuisine that is on a par with the exclusivity of the building and, who knows, maybe end the night dancing in the moonlight to the beat of a DJ session.

What can be accessed, on prior purchase of ticket, is the impressive Observation Deck, which offers spectacular views of the city of Singapore. We recommend it 100%.

The hotel complex has been developed by Las Vegas Sands, the corporation owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson. The total cost of the complex was 5700 million dollars, making it the most expensive standalone casino in the world to date. 

However, the creation of thousands of jobs (more than 10,000 in Singapore) and the increase in tourism and foreign investment have also made Marina Bay Sands one of the city's most profitable businesses. For this reason the Singapore government, which has granted the complex the license to offer gaming activities for a period of 30 years, has also shown some flexibility with regard to some of its stricter laws, such as allowing smoking indoors or paying lower taxes. 

With this level trade and business it is hardly surprising that, since its inauguration, the Marina Bay Sands complex has increased the GDP of Singapore by 0.8%.

But the Marina Bay Sands is far more than just a luxury hotel-casino, it is also a framework for tourism, retail shopping and commerce.

In addition to the hotel and casino, the complex also houses a 120,000 m² convention and exhibition centre, an extensive shopping centre, a Museum of Art and Science, two huge theatres hosting concerts, ballets, musicals and performances by premiere artists, countless restaurants, bars and cafes as well as "celebrity chefs", i.e. restaurants owned by chefs the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Tetsuya Wakuda, Justin Quek, Wolfgang Puck and Mario Batali.

Luxury and ostentation are found on every corner, for instance a water canal that allows shoppers to navigate the interior of the shopping centre by gondola, huge sculptures, a 600 m2 skate track... There is even a floating football pitch!

The combination of concepts and styles is as entertaining as it is striking. Under the same roof you can buy a Louis Vuitton handbag and, right next door, pick up some take-away noodles in cardboard box.

And speaking of mixes, the light, water, sound and music show that takes place every evening opposite the hotel shopping centre is not to be missed. It is both free and truly amazing, whether you see it from the Marina Bay Sands Resort or from the other side of the bay. The show features a series of images projected onto giant water-based screens while rainbows of colours flood the area. The spectacular, sensorial display of light and colour lasts about 13 minutes.

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