MARINA BAY SANDS
Marina Bay Sands (at Marina Bay) is an integrated resort owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. When its opened in 2010, it was touted as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at US$5.87 billion, including the land cost. Covering 20 hectares resort was designed by Moshe Safdie architects, the resort includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-meter (1,300,000 square foot) convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000-square-meter (800,000 square foot) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, "celebrity chef" restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, art-science exhibits, and the world's largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. The complex is topped by a 340-meter-long (1,120 foot) SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150 meter (490 foot) infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world's largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67 meters (220 ft). [Source: Wikipedia]
Marina Bay Sands is a magnificent destination for entertainment, business and shopping, delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With its sloping towers (angled as steep as 26 degrees) and connecting legs at Level 23 to form a single building, the resort is one of the most complex establishments ever built. One of the largest art commissions ever completed as part of an integrated architectural process, the hotel will also be home to the Marina Bay Sands Art Path. The Art Path features seven large-scale art installations by five internationally renowned artists, creating shapes, moods and interior spaces that invite guests to visually and physically experience the artworks firsthand. Moshe Safdie designed the Art Path within the resort to highlight environmental influences such as light, water and wind, integrating architecture with the art of five artists including Zheng Chongbin, Antony Gormley and Sol LeWitt.
Marina Bay Sands was originally set to open in 2009, but its construction faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the outset. The global financial crisis also pressured the owners, Las Vegas Sands, to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort. Its owner decided to open the integrated resort in stages, and it was approved by the Singapore authorities. The resort and SkyPark were officially opened in June 2010 as part of a two-day celebration, following the casino's opening on April that year. The opening of Marina Bay Sands was held in February 2011.
The main attractions are the Sands SkyPark, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, The Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Bay Floral, Marina Bay Club, Marina Bay Sands Art Path, ArtScience Museum, Wonder Full, Notable restaurantsBread Street Kitchen, CUT, DB Bistro Moderne, Waku Ghin, Pizzeria, and Sky on 57. A partially destroyed version of the structure was featured in the 2015 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, which takes place 10 years after a biochemical disaster rendered most of Singapore's eastern half inhospitable. The trailer of the 2016 movie Independence Day: Resurgence has a scene depicting the destruction of the property after being caught in the gravitational pull of a hovering alien spacecraft. It was also featured in the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, both in scenic B-roll of Singapore, as well as a setting towards the end of the film.
Location: Bayfront Subzone, Downtown Core, Singapore; Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue; website: www.marinabaysands.com ; Nearest MRT Stations: Bayfront and Promenade on both the Circle Line and Downtown Line Marina Bay on the Circle Line and North South Line; By public bus:: Services 97/97e, 106, 133, 502/502A, 518/518A, NR1, NR6; By water taxi: From Grand Copthorne Water Front, Raffles Landing Side, Boat Quay, River Side Point and Robertson Quay
Background, Design and Investment of Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is one of two winning proposals for Singapore's first integrated resorts, the other being the Resorts World Sentosa, which incorporates a family-friendly Universal Studios Theme Park (Universal Studios Singapore). The two large-scale resorts were conceived to meet Singapore's economic and tourism objectives for the next decade and will have 30-year casino licenses, exclusive for the first ten years. The project was put up for bids. In May 2006, Las Vegas Sands (LVS) was declared the winner with its business-oriented resort. [Source: Wikipedia]
Las Vegas Sands initially committed to invest US$2.83 billion in the project, not including the US$880 million for the 560,000 square meters (6,000,000 square feet) of land the resort was built on. With the escalating costs of materials, such as sand and steel, and labour shortages owing to other major infrastructure and property development in the country, Sheldon Adelson placed the total cost of the development at US$5.87 billion as of July 2009.
Las Vegas Sands declared the undertaking as "one of the world's most challenging construction projects and certainly the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built". It expects the casino to generate at least US$1 billion in annual profit. For the economy, Marina Bay Sands is projected to stimulate an addition of US$2.7 billion or 0.8% to Singapore's Gross Domestic Product by 2015, employing 10,000 people directly and 20,000 jobs being created in other industries. In April 2019, Sands announced a US$3.3 billion expansion of its Marina Bay Sands property in Singapore. The expansion will include the construction of a fourth hotel tower containing 1,000 luxury suites and a 15,000-seat arena.
The resort is designed by Moshe Safdie, who says it was initially inspired by card decks. The prominent feature of the design is the three hotel towers, which has 2,500 rooms and suites, and a continuous lobby at the base links the three towers. In addition to the hotel and the casino, other buildings include a 19,000 square meter (200,000 square foot) ArtScience Museum and a convention centre with 110,000 square meter (1,200,000 square foot) of space, capable of accommodating up to 45,000 people. The resort's architecture and major design changes along the way were also approved by its feng shui consultants, the late Chong Swan Lek and Louisa Ong-Lee. The main contractor was South-Korea-based Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.
The three towers are broader at the base and narrow as they rise. Each tower has two asymmetric legs, with a curved eastern leg leaning against the other, creating a significant technical challenge in its construction. Substantial temporary structures were necessary to support the legs of the tower while they were under construction, and required real-time monitoring for continual assessment and analyses in the course of their erection.
Sands SkyPark and Its Spectacular Rooftop Pool
Crowning the three hotel towers of Marina Bay Sands at 200 meters in the sky, the Sands SkyPark stretches longer than the Eiffel tower when laid down. The Sands SkyPark is also home to the world’s largest public cantilever housing a public observatory deck, lush gardens, jogiing pathsm exclusive restaurants such as The Sky on 58 and KU DÉ TA; with a 150-meter infinity-edged swimming pool to complete the luxurious experience.
The SkyPark covers 1.2 hectares (three acres) and has vast swimming pool and jogging paths. The structure bridges all three towers with a segment cantilevered off the north tower. The hull of the SkyPark was pre-fabricated off-site in 14 separate steel sections and then assembled on top of the towers. There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimetres (20 inches). In addition to wind, the hotel towers are also subject to settlement in the earth over time, so engineers built and installed custom jack legs to allow for future adjustment at more than 500 points beneath the pool system. This jacking system is important primarily to ensure the infinity edge of the pool continues to function properly. [Source: Wikipedia]
The SkyPark pool is the world's longest elevated swimming pool at 146-meters (479 feet). It features a vanishing edge (a concept called an infinity pool) as situated 191 metres (627 feet) above ground. The pools are made up of 422,000 pounds (191,000 kg) of stainless steel and can hold 376,500 US gallons (1,425 cubic metres) of water. The SkyPark also has rooftop nightclubs such as Lavo and Cé La Vi, beautifully sculptured gardens, hundreds of trees and plants, and a public observatory deck on the cantilever with 360-degree views of the Singapore skyline. There’s no greater feeling than standing at the top of the world here. The infinity pool almost lets you swim in the clouds. The SkyPark is accessible only to hotel guests for security reasons.
Marina Bay Sands Hotels amd Attractions
Check-in to the Marina Bay Sands hotel and you’ll enter a world of sheer luxury and exclusivity. Be greeted by personalised and intuitive service that seeks to make your stay a truly unforgettable experience. The three hotel towers are crowned by the Sands SkyPark on the 57th storey, which offers a 360-degree view of Singapore’s skyline.
The biggest hotel in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands is comprised of three 55-storey towers, 2,560 luxury rooms and suites, and 18 different room types. Its 230 luxury suites come with butler service, VIP privileged access and panoramic views of the South China Sea and the Singapore skyline. And extending from each room’s balcony, the “Hanging Gardens” of bougainvillea provides a magnificent backdrop, overlooking the upcoming Gardens by the Bay.
The area in front of the three towers embraces the Theatre Block, Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block. The lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum is constructed next to the three blocks. Its roof is retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and laser shows when opened at night. Wonder Full, a light and water show that is the largest in Southeast Asia and was produced by Laservision, is stage in front of the Event Plaza at night. . The ArtScience Museum and Wonder Full show opened in February 2011. See ArtScience Museum Under Museums
On the 55th floor, discover the restorative power of touch at the Banyan Tree Spa. The award-winning spa offers an array of indulgent massages in 15 uniquely designed rooms, each with spectacular panoramic views, and uses Singapore’s national flower – the fragrant and beautiful orchid – as a key element in its treatments.
One of the largest art commissions ever completed as part of an integrated architectural process, the hotel will also be home to the Marina Bay Sands Art Path. The Art Path features seven large-scale art installations by five internationally renowned artists, creating shapes, moods and interior spaces that invite guests to visually and physically experience the artworks firsthand.
Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands is one of Singapore’s largest luxury shopping malls with a refreshing mix of international brands, emerging labels and new concepts. Located in the heart of the Central Business District, this eye-catching shopping destination features a contemporary and open design, offering breathtaking views of the Marina Bay skyline.
Natural sunlight will bathe the mall, illuminating the interiors via full-glass windows. Other innovative concepts here include Singapore’s first skating rink within a mall, as well as a canal where you can take a relaxing boat ride through the retail belt in one of the many beautifully crafted sampans. Another exciting highlight to look out for is the Louis Vuitton ‘island’ boutique that’s housed in the Crystal Pavilion. This is the largest boutique located outside of Paris and if you love the brand, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s no limit on what you can purchase in the boutique here.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands occupy about 93,000 square meter (1,000,000 square foot) of retail space with over 300 stores and food and beverage outlets Among the retailers are Bally, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Burberry, Cartier, Christian Dior, Fendi, Ferragamo, Franck Muller, Gucci, HugoBoss, Max Mara, Miu Miu, Omega, Patek Philippe, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Anne Fontaine, Henry Cotton’s, Stefano Ricci, Wolford , Chanel, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Chopard, REDValentino, Dunhill, Vertu, Ferragamo, Montblanc, Blancpain, Vera Wang Bride, an Hermès watch boutique, and Herve Leger.
A canal runs through the length of the Shoppes, in the same style as The Venetian in Las Vegas. Sampan rides on the canal are available for guests and shoppers at the shopping mall, similar to the gondola rides available in the Venetian. There are two Crystal Pavilions. One of the Pavilions was to house two nightclubs—Bruce Willis’s Avalon and Pangaea. The other houses the world's largest Louis Vuitton boutique. Both Pavilions opened in 2011. The Louis Vuitton Island Maison opened in September 2011 in a stand-alone glass and steel Crystal Pavilion that floats on the waterfront of Marina Bay. Incorporating art and cultural elements in its retail space, it is the first Louis Vuitton Maison in Southeast Asia, and was specially designed by internationally acclaimed award-winning architect Peter Marino. In addition to being on a floating island, the 1,900 square meter (20,000 square foot) boutique is connected to the Shoppes via an underwater tunnel The Pavilion vacated by Avalon and Pangaea was taken over by Singapore’s third Apple Store.
Hours and Days Open: Sun-Thu 10.30pm-11:00pm; Fri-Sat 10.30pm-11.30pm; Address: Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Ave; Website: www.marinabaysands.com/Shopping/The_Shoppes.aspx : Nearest MRT Station: Marina Bay Sands is linked directly to: Bayfront MRT station (CE1, Exit B, C, D, E) along the Circle Line Extension. Once you arrive at Bayfront (CE1) station, you can find 5 exits (Exit A to E) that bring you to the different areas of Marina Bay Sands.
Restaurants and Entertainment at Marina Bay Sands
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands includes an eclectic mix of gourmet restaurants and bistros, making Marina Bay Sands the hangout du jour for visitors and locals alike. The 50 dining establishments, include six of the ten Celebrity Chef restaurants —Bread Street Kitchen (by Gordon Ramsay), Cut (by Wolfgang Puck), Waku Ghin (by Tetsuya Wakuda), Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza (by Mario Batali), Long Chim (by David Thompson) and DB Bistro & Oyster Bar (by Daniel Boulud). Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, Wolfgang Puck, Guy Savoy and Tetsuya Wakuda have all won Michelin-stars.
Kumi Matsumaru wrote in the Daily Yomiuri: “At Cut, Wolfgang Puck showed off his blocks of meat, telling me, "We are proud to serve only the finest cuts of beef here at our first venture into Asia." At Waku Ghin, a restaurant by chef Tetsuya Wakuda, a Japanese-born Australian chef based in Sydney, one of the assistant chefs boasted of the restaurant's menu of freshly caught seafood, made possible because of its location. The assistant chef, who is Japanese, said he came all the way to Singapore via Australia because he was fascinated by Wakuda's gastronomic skills and wanted to work and learn under him.” [Source: Kumi Matsumaru, Daily Yomiuri, April 17, 2011]
Apart from indulging your appetite for fine food and fashion, the complete Marina Bay Sands experience includes world-class entertainment and art exhibitions. A hand-picked variety of local and international performances, including the Broadway hits Wicked and Lion King have made their way to two state-of-the-art theatres at Marina Bay Sands . The Sands Theatre and Grand Theatre seat 1,680 people and 2,155 people respectively. International acts such as Cirque Éloize and A. R. Rahman's Jai Ho, located in the latter during their world tours. Next to the theatres is a skating rink (synthetic ice) measuring 600 square meter (6,500 square foot). Dragonfire boxing is another regular event, which started on 5 May 2012 with the boxers Chris John with Daud Yordan.
ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
ArtScience Museum (Marina Bay) melds art and science in lotus-flower-shapped building divided into 21 gallery spaces designed to host world-class exhibitions. Its roof is retractable, providing a waterfall through the roof of collected rainwater when closed in the day and laser shows when opened at night. The 13-minute light and laser show features music by Singaporean artist Iskandar Ismail and utilizes its multicolor lasers, lights, fountains and video projections. It is also is eco-friendly: The light show is provided by 250,000 energy-efficient LEDs.
Among the shows it has hosted are sets, costumes and props from films like Titanic and Harry Potter; and Future World, designed by Japanese arts collective teamLab, that takes visitors on an interactive journey of lights, digital art and magic; and the Minimalism: Space. Light. Object. The grand opening was was a Mongolian-themed ceremony complete with horses and "warriors" presided over by Sheldon Adelson, chairman of Vegas Sands Corp. [Source: Time Out Singapore, May 18 2019]
Kumi Matsumaru wrote in Daily Yomiuri, “The asymmetrical museum reaches as high as 60 meters, as if flowering alongside the hotel's three 55-story towers. "There already are great museums in this country, but there had been no museums linking arts and science. Actually, I think this is the world's first museum mixing arts and science," Moshe Safdie, the renowned architect who is responsible for the resort's overall design, said a day before the opening. [Source: Kumi Matsumaru, Daily Yomiuri, April 17, 2011]
"These shapes...from the outside...some say lotus, some say a hand of welcome," the veteran architect said enthusiastically. Surely, the museum resembles a gigantic flower with 10 petals floating in a giant pond or even a massive hand with 10 fingers. "And, because of the geometry, every room inside has a slightly different shape. While the museum holds special content, the building itself expresses content."
Befitting the country's status as one of the four Asian Tigers, the museum's permanent collection showcases the nation's cultural and financial wealth, which along with temporary exhibitions are exhibited in 21 galleries covering 6,000 square meters. One of the four opening exhibitions is Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, which runs until the end of July. The event showcases 60,000 important marine archaeological finds of the late 20th century, mostly objects transported from China by a ninth-century Arab dhow whose wreck was found in 1998. Pointing at a large number of mass-produced ceramics and early examples of traditional blue-and-white china, Julian Raby, the exhibition's curator, proudly said the collection confirms the existence centuries ago of a maritime silk route between China and West Asia. Van Gogh Alive, scheduled to open Saturday, looks at his paintings from 1880 to 1890, accompanied by sights and sounds. The show runs until Nov. 6.In addition to exhibitions, the museum also will host related talks, tours and film screenings.” Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm daily, including public holidays; Website: http://www.marinabaysands.com ; Nearest MRT Stations: Bayfront, Promenade, or Marina Bay stations
Marina Bay Sands Casino
Marina Bay Sands Casino is the world's largest atrium casino with 600 tables and 1,600 slot machines. Housed inside one of the world's most iconic structures, the casino at Marina Bay Sands encompasses more than 15,000 square meters of gaming space spread over 4 levels. Boasting one of the world's largest Swarovski crystal chandeliers, the casino claims it has more than 25,000 visitors daily, about a third being Singaporeans and permanent residents who pay hefty fees for daily entry levy or annual unlimited access. Owned by Las Vegas Sands, it is open 24 hours a day and contains restaurants offering everything from noodles and dim sum to Western foods.
The tables games offered at Marina Bay Sands Casino are 1) 7 up Baccarat; 2) Fortune Six No Commission Baccarat; 3) Power 98 Baccarat, combining traditional Baccarat with a dice roll and higher payoutsl 4) Blackjack Lucky 8, Blackjack with side wager; 5) Dueling 8's 21, Get Four 8's (All Spades) for the highest payout; 6) Craps; 7) Megalink Singapore Stud, a poker variation based on five card stud with players playing against the House rather than against each other; 8) Megalink Texas Hold’em Bonus Progressive, another poker game that features head to head play against the Dealer; 9) Megalink Three Card Poker, apoker game that offers three ways to play and four different ways, played against the Dealer or the value of your own three card hand; 10) Pontoon Pandemonium, a variation of Blackjack; 11) Roulette; 12) Sic Bo, an ancient Chinese game of chance played with three dice. (The object is to select individual numbers or a combination of numbers that will appear on the dice after they are rolled); 12) Royal Three Pictures; 13) Power Pai Gow.
Electronic Table Games: 1) Rapid Baccarat; 2) Rapid Sic Bo; 3) Rapid Roulette. Slot Games: 1) Cash Cove, 2) FA FA FA, 3) Paiza Dragon, 4) Dou Fu Dou Cai Progressive.
Foreigners entering the casino only need to show their passports and do not have to pay an entrance fee at the door. To discourage locals from visiting casinos, the government imposed an entry levy on Singaporeans and permanent residents that was initially S$100 per day and S$2,000 for an annual pass but was raised to $150 per day and S$3,000 for the annual pass in April 2019.
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Text Sources: Singapore tourism websites, Singapore government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.
Updated in August 2020