A city full of millionaires, Singapore is a top destination for the rich and powerful; and naturally when they come to town they spend a few nights at the world famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
Undoubtedly, the $8 billion super structure is the pinnacle of the Singaporean landscape and the epitome of the cities sheer opulence.
The Marina Bay Sands experience is one that every Singaporean longs after, and can enjoy for a price.
But, fear not as I’m here to ensure that we can all experience a little bit of luxury without splurging away our student loans. Below, you’ll find a complete guide to creating your own Marina Bay Sand experience on a budget.
Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck
First things first, the Marina Bay Sands Observation Deck is a straight up CON designed for the naive tourist with not enough time or know how. Entry for the sky deck alone is $23 (per adult) and once at the top, you’re not even guaranteed a seat. You are literally paying for the view. Additionally, although the Deck is extremely spacious, the edges are is consistently busy (especially on clear days) – meaning competition with other spectators for a view of the city.
That being said, if you have the cash but are short on time, or if are with a anyone under the age of 18 then the sky deck is for you. Although the ticket only permits one admission as you cannot leave and return later once inside, there is no time limit implemented meaning that you can stay as long as you please. Additionally there is concession shop that sells overpriced drinks, ice-creams and alcoholic drinks.
The Observation Deck is good, but it’s not for everyone. I would say that if you are 18+ and want to experience the skyline on a budget then CE LA VI is your place!
CE LA VI Club Lounge
‘You haven’t made an entrance till you’ve made an entrance at CÉ LA VI Club Lounge, Singapore’s premier rooftop nightclub soaring 57 levels above the city with electrifying panoramic views of Marina Bay’ – Marinabaysands.com
CE LA VI is the BEST way to experience the Singaporean skyline at nighttime from 57 stores without forking out – well if you’re a girl that is. On Wednesdays ladies get to skip the cover charge and get one free drink on Diamond Life!
Unfortunatly for guys, it’s a pricy affair with entrance at approx $30 not including drinks. Not to mention the dress code is extreamly strick – meaning no shorts, flip flops, tank tops. Additionally there are tighter age restrictions on Wednesdays as gentlemen have to be 25 or older, whilst the age restriction for ladies is 18.
However bear in mind that $20-$30 is the average price for entry in most clubs. I would say that Ce La Vi wednesday night is always a good time!
CE LA VI Sky-bar
‘…the SkyBar is an oasis overlooking a 360 degree panorama of Singapore…[come] sip on delicate cocktails by the bar or sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere with pulsating eclectic beats from the nightly DJ sets’ – Marinabaysands.com
If you’re a guy or can’t make it to CE LA VI on a Wednesday or you refuse to pay the clubs’ high cover charge then Sky-bar the second best choice. The bar operates from 12pm until late and is FREE entry with the purchase of one drink ($20-$30). To get up to the bar just take the Tower 1 lift to level 57 from the lobby of Marina Bay Sands.
A happy medium between the Observation Deck and the night club, the Sky-bar gives you the chance to sit down and relax, with a cocktail in hand and breathtaking view of the city.
Too broke for a vacation? Then why not try a Staycation?
If the trips to Ce la Vi aren’t doing it for you, and you’d to see some more of the hotel then why not stay a night?
Bare in mind though that Marina Bay Sands’ rooms start from $200 per night. So, staying the night would be a costly expense, but one that can be shared among friends. The cheapest rooms have a maximum capacity of 2 but when we visited it accommodated 4 people. It’s a bit cheeky, but it’s the best way to do it and staff often turn a blind eye!
Book a room and split the cost with friends! With the cost of the cheapest room, split four ways, we ended up paying $50 (approx. £25) – which is extremely affordable. Fortunately, we were upgraded to a room with a city view!
An stay at Marina Bay Sands is unmissable and also has major perks such as exclusive access to restaurants, free entry to CE LA VI club, entertainment, Spa facilities and lots of discounts! However the most AMAZING is that only Marina Bay Sands guests can access the world renowned infinity pool on floor 57!
The Marina Bay Sands experience is quality – the rooms are impeccable, the beds are fantastically comfortable, the staff are lovely, and the services are phenomenal.
That being said, there are some negatives. For instance, the check in/out desk is always busy so you will spend a while in a line. Also, the number of key cards issued is based on the number of guests registered on the reservation (max. 3 cards per room). We were given two key cards and found it quite tedious to get up to and from the lift so if you’re more than 4 people I would recommend splitting the cost of two room, instead of trying to share three key cards. These issues are a little insignificant, and are only minor bumps on the road of luxury for the broke. I promise you’ll have a blast regardless!
Marina Bay Sands Infinity Pool
‘Imagine yourself floating in the world’s largest rooftop Infinity Pool, gazing down on the glittering city-skyline from 57 levels above. You won’t find a more spectacular photo-taking spot anywhere in Singapore’ – marinabaysands.com
Located on the Sky Deck, a platform that is longer than the Eiffel Tower, the 492ft (150 meter) infinity pool is one of the world’s largest. The view from the top is simply captivating! From sunrise to sunset, Singapore’s city-scape is always a pleasure gaze at.
The infinity pool is key card access and opens from 6am until 11pm daily – so you can easily come and go at any point in the day hassle free! However, getting up to the rooftop is the most annoying part of the whole experience.
Getting up to the 57 floor is extremely long if you are with more than two people as the key cards are needed to operate lift.
Did I say lift? I meant lifts. Plural.
To get up to the top, you’ll need to ride TWO high speed elevators. The first flies up from the first floor to the 48th and the other travels from the 48th to the 57th. This is tiresome if you are on any floor below 25 for sure! Especially is they can often be over crowded, and a long wait.
Additionally, finding a spot to lay down may be hard as the pool is often crowded – especially on days with blue skies! However bear in mind that there are also Jacuzzi tubs available on the opposite side of the rooftop! These are often warm, relaxing and completely crowd free!
All in all, the positives definitely out weigh the negatives for sure! I promise one you ger one glimpse of the view you’ll be captivated.
Watch some of the highlights of the stay in the video below!!
Marina Bay Sands Shopping Center, Food Court
There are plenty of but they may be out of the average students price range. I mean, Ce La Vi’s Restaurant alone has a minimum spend of 80++!!
For food hacks, I strongly advise you skip the fancy restaurants for the humble food court in the Marina Bay Sands Shopping Center as it’s the best way to save money. Also, avoid midnight mini bar raids, and overpriced pool stand and bring your own snacks with you!
Wonder Full – Light and Water Spectacular
‘Immerse yourself in Wonder Full: an amazing convergence of light, music and sound, where the universal tale of the journey of life is told by masterfully combining both electric lights and laser effects…’ – marinabaysands.com
Whilst at Marina Bay Sands go check out the the awe inspiring light and water! You’d be missing out majorly if you pass it up! It’s FREE, runs every 15 minuets and is easily accessible. The show is usually held at Event Plaza and Promenade however if you’re on a Staycation why not watch from above? If you want to avoid crowds you can either watch from the Marina Bay rooftop, or walk to the other side of the bay for a wider view of the show.
Marina Bay Sands Casino
‘Boasting one of the world’s largest Swarovski crystal chandeliers, the casino is also home to over 600 table games, more than 1,500 slots and a wide array of dining options’ – marinabaysands.com
I really have no hacks for the Casino, but I guess all the money you’ll save by following this guide can be put to good use.
However before you can gamble your loan away, you need to splurge $100 for a 24 hour entry levy as it’s law that all Singapore citizens and permanent residents of Singapore must purchase and hold a valid Casino entry levy JUST to enter! Also, you must be over the age of 21 to enter.
The casino is no Las Vagas, but you’ll have a brilliant time! It has a lot of table, electronic, and slots available. That being said, gamble responsibly.