A few years back, I had written about how I did not exactly find Marina Bay Sands appealing as a luxury hotel. Because it does not satisfy the criteria as such. In addition, it is totally a waste of money for people to spend S$400 (~$280) or more for a room here as I do not value it as much. But for my parents who get their lodging with compliments from the casino, they are really nice. On this particular one night layover in Singapore, my parents were staying in the resort and I was able to sleep in their room as they gambled in the casino. Being relatively frequent visitors to the Marina Bay Sands resort, they get additional perks when staying there including a pick-up and drop off service at Changi Airport. I was thus a beneficiary of such a service, with a member of the staff holding a placard to greet me outside the arrival hall.
The staff picking guests up have always been very friendly and they would also gladly wait for you should you need to do some currency exchange outside the security area. Once you are ready, they would contact the driver who will drive over a Toyota Alphard which is one very comfortable car. Onboard, there are newspapers and magazines to read. The car will seat up to 5 passengers with one driver, and there are bottled water for all passengers by the door along with a packet of wet towel. Certainly makes for a very relaxing ride to the hotel which took a really short time since the roads are clear of traffic with the Lunar New Year holidays still in effect.
Marina Bay Sands is perhaps one of Singapore’s hottest lodging option since it features the infinity pool on its rooftop deck, and is also part of the integrated resort right in the middle of the city. Since my parents were already staying in the hotel, there was no need for me to check in again. Passengers using the Paiza chauffeur service are dropped off at the Paiza reception counter at the basement. A small lounge area awaits beside the reception area with an espresso machine where guests waiting to check in could grab a coffee or two. It certainly adds value as checking into this hotel can be a nightmare at busy peak periods due to the large number of rooms. The Paiza reception area makes it feel more like checking into a boutique hotel.
I obtained an additional key card from the reception and head straight to the room to meet up with my parents. The room was not that much different from the one I have stayed in countless times before. There was 2 double beds in the room and 2 guests could perhaps share one bed to create room for 4 people even though it might be a squeeze.
The rooms are certainly well appointed and there are lots of power points to charge your electronic devices. Curtains are electronically controlled and no matter which side, there is usually a nice view. While the city and bay view might be coveted, the ocean and garden view are not bad either! And like always guests get to visit the SkyPark and the infinity swimming pool. Though I was just there for a night and did not spend time at the pool.
What I liked about the room is the spacious bathroom with 2 vanity counters. There is a huge bathtub in the middle along with enclosed chambers for showering and the toilet. Though the shower room could do with more features like a true rainshower or a handheld shower. Instead it feels absolutely spartan with just a shower head not unlike those in North American Sheraton hotels. Not a true luxury standard in this aspect, and neither is the Paiza branded amenities which feels like a generic brand.
As a hotel, there is not much I like since the room service is still quite slow. My parents have been there for a few days and I arrived past 1pm where housekeeping have not even cleaned the room. It is common for some rooms to be cleaned around 3pm so service is also lacking for sure. In addition rooms are now restricted to just 2 bottles of water per day. I understand tap water is clean enough to drink in Singapore but it still feels weird drinking from the tap. Furthermore I tend to bring a bottle of water while travelling, thus I always appreciate hotels that makes investment in supplying water for guests’ convenience. For those gambling in the casino or are Paiza members, there are plenty of bottled water for free in the casino floor and the Paiza reception area.
For a tourist destination, Marina Bay Sands fits the bill being an all-in-one resort with a lot of dining choices in the hotel grounds, shopping in the mall connected to the hotel, gaming at the casino, and there is even a nice greenery space for a jog across the hotel. A note though that getting to the Gardens by the Bay while staying at the hotel involves exiting the hotel and is a bit of a hassle. Unfortunately, being a tourist magnet also has its drawbacks since it means the hotel gets noisy in the day. This hotel is certainly not for those seeking a relaxing getaway.