In Singapore, the staycation has been thoroughly embraced. It’s seen as your “economic duty” if you can afford it. While Ryan and I took a staycation 6 weeks ago to the Capella, the kids had yet to go anywhere. For them, the holy grail of hotels in Singapore is Marina Bay Sands and the infinity pool on the 57th floor. Since we moved here last January, Avery’s been asking to go. It doesn’t help that we stare at MBS out our condo windows.
This week was October break for our school, so it looked like a great time to go. For us with a “large” family, MBS gives us the best bang for our buck. So off we went on the 2 mile journey to MBS for our 2 night family staycation!
We arrived and this was the first experience 😳. This was the checkin line. Upon reflection, we should have been prepared for it as everyone’s trying to check in early to a hotel the size of a small city. But it was a Monday! It took about 30 minutes to get checked in. Full disclosure, both Ryan and I were on the fence about the “value” of this staycation. A lot of money for 3 hours of pool time… this line wasn’t helping….
While I stood in line, Ryan and the kids patiently waited and enjoyed the lobby view. This is only 1 of 3 lobbies!
View of marina bay by the elevator The view from our room Yes, there always are that many ships. Second busiest port in the world! Kids room Kids balcony Their staycation looks a little like regular life…. Finally we headed to our room. I always assume we are going to get a total crap room, but I was pleasantly surprised! 30th floor, adjoining rooms each with a lovely balcony overlooking gardens by the bay and the Singapore straights. In the distance you can see Indonesia (Batam & Bintan). So close and yet, so far away…
So what is Marina Bay Sands? It’s a hotel, casino and LUXURY Mall. The house of Sands always wins at MBS. MBS is the largest hotel in Singapore. it cost an estimated S$8billion ($5.5B USD) to build (including the land reclamation). It was built in conjunction with a larger plan to protect Singapore from flooding and to add additional reservoir capacity to the growing city. The project was started 20 years ago. MBS opened 10 years ago. There’s a ton of additional land that’s yet to be developed. I can’t wait to see what Singapore’s skyline looks like in 10-20 years.
If you’re a geek like me and are interested in the project, here’s a good article on the marina barrage which holds the whole thing together:
Back to the pictures…
Good girl with her falafel burger There were 2 brownies… Ella was actually totally grossed out by this whole glutinous extravaganza But Liam was not… Averys looking a little full… Back to the room to get ready for our swim So besides shopping and gambling, the main thing to do at MBS is eat. So we started off the trip with an early dinner at Black Tap craft burgers and beer. Also known for the crazy shake. VERY full bellies after this food bomb of a meal.
Not to bad! The only place to hang out! Happy little swimmers Even Ryan swam! Some chat time with a view Just hanging out Happy little girl That night we had our first pool “slot”. Singapore is very rules based, so with social distancing reducing capacity, most hotels have a reservation system for their pools. On the advice of friends, I had booked our pool slots over a month ago (which I was so happy I did as by checkin there were no slots left). For each day of your stay, you get 1 hour of pool time (and no, I could not book 2 hours because we have 2 rooms because it is tied to the person registered to the room, you have to scan in and out of the pool with your room card, each person has a card). our first slot was a night slot, 8-9pm. This was our favorite. The night skyline was beautiful and it felt otherworldly to be swimming so high up at night.
Sunrise view A coffee and a book Wondering what will be built on the remaining land.. and looking at the covid tents. Security robot. A little creepy View from underneath Tuesday morning, I as usual woke up early, which meant I got to enjoy the beautiful sunrise (right on time at 7am as it is everyday, all year round!), a cup of coffee and my book on the balcony. Later we headed out for our day. After a quick Starbucks breakfast, we wandered around the mall. This mall has the most high end stores of any in the world. It’s a fashion Mecca, which is totally lost on us… though Ella thinks she might be partial to Prada. we did enjoy the “rain oculus”. Ella’s always wanted to see it in action, but since it only runs once every 3 hours, you have to time it right. Today was the day. It was very cool and we discovered the hole the water comes out is off center which makes the whirlpool shift, thereby changing the flow of the water exiting the hole. Super cool.
More views! Looking back at MBS My lunch, which Avery ate half of! This restaurant posted this after the first debate… maybe we’ll get another after this week. My free beer for being an American. Much needed! More food! For lunch we headed around the bend to the Marina bay financial center and up to the 33rd floor to level 33, the highest brewery (on a man made structure) in the world.
The new apple store I love this museum… The “island” Louis Vuitton store with the art science museum in the background. Nat Geo exhibit Impactful art Watching the light river move around then Setting their fish art free After lunch we walked back around the bay to the art science museum. On the way, we ogled the new apple store (the only “floating” store in the world, though I’m not sure how much it floats…) and discovered their palm trees planted along the way are all for Olympic nations. Not sure why as Singapore’s never hosted the Olympics, but cool. The kids and I love the art science museum and were excited to take Ryan for his first time. There was a new exhibit by National Geographic that was very powerful. And as always, the kids LOVE the light exhibit.
Bathing beauty Play time Practicing her “insta posing” 1 person limit on the hot tub Almost sunset Next up was our second pool slot from 5-6pm. The hour went quickly for us all.
The 1lb meatball. Happy boy! Cold air con = snuggles Sausage cavatelli, pizza and chicken Parmesan The 20 layer cake. Family pic. Can we remove masks? Cannot lah! Lovely view We returned to our room to find this lovely surprise from our friend who works for MBS. Our kids are officially ruined for life and think this is how all people staycation. Lavo for dinner. On the top of the “ boat” at MBS are 3 restaurants in addition to the pool. CeLaVe in the front (which we’ve been to) Spago in the middle (still need to go) and Lavo in the stern. Lavo is Italian. It was a huge hit!
Working on her strokes Small girl in a hot tub The next morning was our last pool slot before checkout. Again the time flew by. While the 3 hours were enough, a little more would have been amazing. Hopefully soon….