Marina Bay Sands has been open for more than a decade. It was an ambitious attempt to rival Middle East’s grandiose tourism industry. The three towers, connected by a single roof oasis platform that is large enough to accommodate A380s (rather than in the desert of Alice Springs), were feared by superstitious Singaporeans.

However, the locals called the MBS experiment has succeeded in dispelling Singapore’s image of a destination that is worth only a night or two. At the same time, you travel to or from another more interesting place.


It is a pleasant 20-minute drive from Changi International Airport. If you don’t sleep en route, it’s impossible to miss MBS on the East Coast Parkway expressway. This was the whole point. This project, which cost $S5.25 Billion, is a huge statement about tourism. MBS constructed a decade ago from reclaimed land like much of the island state.


This is the place to be if you need space. Paradoxically, however, you are in Singapore, an area of the world where space can be scarce, but it is cleverly allocated by vertical means. There is a Las Vegas-cum-Macau room count of 2561 variously-proportioned digs spread across the triumvirate of towers that form the main part of this “integrated resort” (the word “casino” is rarely uttered). The three towers are connected by a light-filled atrium reminiscent of a shopping mall. Underground access is available to all three.


A commodious Premier King Sky View room overlooking Marina Bay has been assigned to me. It is much larger than the room I stayed in for the opening ceremony of the MBS in 2010. With the backdrop of Singapore’s skyline, the waterway incorporates the Singapore River. The Bay doubles up as a public reservoir to make the most of every square inch of real estate. Only electric vessels are allowed to use it.

With its light-toned color scheme, the room is large enough to host a living space with a sofa, armchair, and coffee table. A large desk frames the bay view at the end of the room. It seems an insult to draw the (automatically-operated, of course) curtains across it when sleep beckons.


MBS has more than 45 restaurants, including celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck or Tim Ho Wan. The biggest challenge is where to eat and what to eat.

Waku Ghin is one of Australia’s most important eateries. It is the Michelin-rated restaurant owned by Tetsuya Wakuda (a well-known, but not widely known, Japanese-Australian chef) and has been a popular choice for Australian tourists. MBS has the big news that Wakuda, the iconic Japanese-Australian chef, will open a second restaurant in the towers’ lobby in the new year.


MBS has many advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you look at it. You don’t have to leave the spacious air-conditioned area because there are many things to do inside. The complex is a game-changer for Singapore. It was built on gaming, but you can forget about that aspect and focus on all the other attractions.

Apart from the retail bliss, MBS’s main drawcard is its palm-shaped ArtScience Museum hosts regular exhibitions.

You can also leave MBS using the MRT station (Mass Rapid Transit). This connects to the rest of the city. Another option is the Gardens by the Bay. Another of Singapore’s transformational delights is the Gardens by the Bay. It features superjumbo hangar-sized conservatories and artificial Supertrees.


Marina Bay Sands continues to impress even ten years after its opening. After a long separation, a stay at Marina Bay Sands is a safe and exciting way to reconnect with Singapore and overseas travel.


Zimmer starts at $S419 (or $4434) per night at 10 Bayfront Ave., Singapore. Ph: +65 6688 8868.


Although the SkyPark roof’s famous infinity pool still amazes, houseguests must book limited time slots to enjoy it.


Singapore is a complex process and requires your time and attention. Stay focused and prepared throughout your visit to Singapore.

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