A fun and complex complex!!….Marina Bay Sands, that is! We used to always call it a hotel, but it just goes by Marina Bay Sands, as it is more than a hotel, and includes a designer shopping mall, casino, convention center, museum, two performing arts theaters, several (very) high-priced restaurants, a skating rink, and entrance to the Gardens by the Bay. It costs more to stay there than most other hotels in the city, from US $400-600, but a stay includes free entrance to the observation deck and the infinity pool/bar on the cantilevered top “surfboard.” We returned today to ride up to the top observation deck….US $17. The views were great!
Opened in 2011, the complex quickly became the de facto symbol of Singapore, with its iconic three towers topped by a surfboard! Actually, the top is called SkyPark, and it can hold 3,900 people. It is the world’s largest public cantilevered platform. Marina Bay Sands was developed and is owned by Las Vegas Sands. The cost? About US $6 billion. Year opened? 2010, partial opening; full opening in 2011. Number of rooms in the hotel? 2,561. First photo? It looks like an Escher drawing, but it was taken from the lobby of one of the towers and just shows floors of the hotel. A different side, but the same ceiling shot, is shown in the second photo. Yes, the mall inside has a boat ride down the center! If you don’t feel like walking, you can be rowed down to the other end!
In the photos you can see some of the views from the observation deck, including the Singapore Flyer (every large city now has its required Ferris wheel, doncha know?); the non-busy freeways (can you ever imagine so few cars on any street in Manhattan?); the domed conservatories; the ships just waiting in the harbor; and the skyscrapers that look like they are standing guard over Marina Bay. The hotel is sleek glass on one side, as you can see, but on the other side, they are growing a garden! Flowers and shrubs are planted on each balcony, reaching up, up to the sky.
We included some photos the other day of the supertrees in the Gardens by the Bay, and one from today. There are 18 of them, 75 to 150 feet tall, that act as vertical gardens, generating solar power, and collecting rainwater. To generate electricity, 11 of them are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into energy. Each supertree features vines and tropical flowers (orchids and bromeliads among them) that grow inside and around the structure.
The last photo? We loved the name of the store, even though it was just selling designer eyeglasses. And no, we have no idea what the display in the front depicts or means…we just like the name! Can you imagine answering the phone if you worked there? “Hello, thank you for calling___________!”