Sunday, January 10, 2021

Toddler Staycay: Marina Bay Sands Club City View Room!

👍 Check-in and pool/gym booking very efficient, huge rooms with amazing views.
👎 Pricey, size of the hotel means (almost) everywhere is a zoo, weak air-conditioning.

We wrapped up our Year of the Covid* 🦠 Staycay tour hotel at the iconic Marina Bay Sands! To many people (ourselves included), the view of the hotel's three towers are synonymous with Marina Bay, so we're really interested to stay a few nights to see what it's like from the building.

* Technically it does seem like 2021 will also be year of the Covid, doesn't it? Ah well, fingers crossed that the vaccine does its job and we can start travelling again in the later part of the year!

Hotels in the Staycay tour:
Raffles Hotel | Capella Singapore | Marriott Tang Plaza | The St.Regis Singapore | Grand Hyatt | The Fullerton Bay Hotel | Parkroyal Collection, Marina Bay | Marina Bay Sands.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Lobby

Marina Bay Sands has more than 2,500 rooms spread across its three towers, so "intimate," "quiet," and "cozy" are understandeably not words that one would expect to use to describe it, in particular the hotel lobby and other publicly-accessible areas. The hotel has done a pretty admirable job of spreading out the crowd though, by way of staggering check in (in hourly slots) througout the day.

We turned up at our check-in slot (12-1pm, pre-booked via automated sms) just before noon, and were settled in the room at 12.45pm, so it really was a surprisingly efficient and painless experience (considering our lack of any status with Sands Rewards).

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Lobby Marina Bay Sands Singapore Lobby

Our original room - Premier Room Garden View - was upgraded to a Club Room Harbour View (but without Club benefits, so ... meh). Looking online, Club rooms from other blogs and websites seem to be a little different (and a tad bit more atas perhaps?) than this room, but we'll take the receptionists word for it. Do let us know in the comments if this isn't really a club room!

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Club or no club, we don't have any complaints about the size of the room, which is pretty massive for non-suite standards. Aside from the King bed there's sofa space for three, a coffee table large enough to comfortably eat dabao'ed food on (one of our meals was char siu and dimsum from Mott32 as they were full for dine-ins), a desk and chair, and loads of space for a toddler to run around and burn up energy.

We'll admit that the decor isn't the most modern, luxurious, or even cohesive (compared to other similarly-priced hotels in the city), but it's not too outdated, and the room still is a pleasant place to spend a lot of time in.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Half the room's lights are controlled by switches on the bedside ... but for the other half (floor light, bedside lamps, and desk lamp) you need to get up and flick a switch on the lamp, which is quite a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless the room does get really bright with all the lights on, which I like. The air-conditioning, on the other hand, takes forever to cool the room down.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

The television is small and old by today's standards, and as you can imagine, has no way to play 20th century content (read: Youtube, Netflix, and other streaming media). No brownie points for entertainment, then, but many brownie points for 'free of charge' minibar items (snacks, soft drinks and juices). Most of which I didn't end up consuming anyway: Throughout the three days I only drank 1 bottle each of the apple and orange juice).

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Marina Bay Sands markets their rooms with 4 different views. The city-facing side is sold as City View (40th floor and below) and Sky View (41st floor and above). Similarly, the sea-facing side is sold as Garden View and Harbour View. Our 38th-floor, City View (Club) room's view is breathtaking, especially at night when all the other buildings lights come on.

The floor to ceiling windows are great for soaking in the view as long as you're not afraid of heights.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Just to check boxes off the checklist: Slippers, ironing board and iron, and in-room safe are provided in the wardrobe in the corridor.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

The Marina Bay Sands Club room has a pretty large bathroom with a nice, free-standing bathtub plenty large enough to bathe a toddler in. One minor annoyance with this layout is fishing out the bath toys when the little one throws them behind the tub, but of course this is in no way the fault of the hotel.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Bathroom amenities (by Roberto Cavalli) are complete, and are ... fine? Personally I don't really get excited with any particular brand of bathroom body wash, really. As long as they can clean my hair and body satisfactorily, they're fine.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Tpwels, hand towels, and bathrobes are plastic wrapped to give you an extra sense of (cleanliness) security. This is undoubtedly prudent given the current virus situation, but I can't shake the sensation of just how cheap it somehow feels. That, and the linen itself is of below par plushness / fluffiness compared to other similar-priced hotels.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

The one major shortcoming of the room, though, was the shower stall. The shower itself was fine, with good water pressure and temperature, but the floor - for whatever reason - is angled away from the drain and therefore you spend the entire 15 minutes (or ... an hour, depending on your personal hygiene habits) standing in a puddle.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Executive Room City View

Of course you definitely know this by now, but one major (perhaps the major) selling point of Marina Bay Sands is its infinity pool that spans the length of the entire hotel. For these covid times, reservations are required (via SMS / automated website). You are allowed to book 1 hour per room per day, and because there are fewer slots available than there are rooms, you need to book as early as possible (I made my bookings the day after confirming the hotel room reservation).

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool

A slight word of advice: Make sure you go up to the pool well fed, because food prices are pretty amazing. This tea & pot sticker combo cost us 30 bucks!

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool

Other than exorbitant f&b pricing though, the pool (for adults, at least) is really quite gorgeous. The view overlooking Marina Bay and the Central Business District is unparalleled, and each of the three pool sections does seem long enough that you could even do some semi-serious laps (which is more than can be said about the vast majority of pools in other hotels in town).

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool

For toddlers, though, the situation is a little crappy because the kids pool is closed, for whatever reason. Toddlers therefore need to make do with a miserable 6 foot wide strip of wading area at the edges of the pools.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool

Weather also plays a big part in pool enjoyment: If it's cloudy and windy, the water can be really cold, so you might perhaps try your luck at one of the jacuzzis overlooking the gardens by the bay. The water is heated so it's crazy shiok on cold days, but due to covid limitations as only one person / family can use each jacuzzi at once, there's a big element of luck / being up there first thing in the morning.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore Infinity Pool

If you noticed the lack of breakfast photos, that's because our room rate didn't have it included. Breakfast is normally served at Spago, 'behind' the infinity pool on level 57, so you'll at least have good views regardless of the breakfast quality.

But otherwise, giving Marina Bay Sands a score is a little tricky. Room rates are a little on the high side, perhaps, given the 'mass market' nature of the hotel, but the entire operation runs like a well-oiled machine, and other than the mishap with the shower stall I found little to criticize during my stay. The views from the room and the infinity pool are really unique, and words really can't express how shiok that heated jacuzzi is on a cold, windy day.

I guess I will conclude that if I didn't have any hotel chain status at all, Marina Bay Sands would be the among the top few hotels on my 'will come back for staycaytion' list, but all the extra perks from HHonors Diamond and Discovery Black make it very hard to justify a return visit.

1 comment:

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