The Sands SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands features a 492-foot-long infinity-edge swimming pool. // © Marina Bay Sands Pte. Ltd. 2008. All rights reserved.
Singapore, which has seen rapid hotel growth and development over the past two years with the openings of The St. Regis Singapore (April 2008), Capella Singapore (March 2009) and Resorts World Sentosa (January 2010), recently welcomed its two newest additions: Marina Bay Sands and the Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore.
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands, which had its soft opening earlier this year, held its official grand opening celebration on June 23 with an event line-up that featured Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and various Singaporean celebrities and business leaders, among nearly 4,000 invited VIP guests. Headlining performers included American singers Diana Ross and Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child fame.
The integrated casino-resort — a $5.5 billion endeavor that is estimated to be one of the world’s costliest casino-resorts — is one of two integrated resorts in Singapore (the first was Resorts World Sentosa, which opened on Jan. 20), following the country’s lifting of a 45-year ban on gambling in an effort to increase tourism numbers.
Marina Bay Sands originally opened on April 27 with 962 guestrooms and partial openings of its shopping mall, convention center, restaurants and casino. With the June 23 grand opening, the property’s remaining 1,598 guestrooms were opened, including 230 luxury suites, as well as its event plaza.
The major highlight of the grand opening included the highly anticipated unveiling of the Sands SkyPark, a unique rooftop structure that appears to float above the Marina Bay Sands’ three 55-story hotel towers at a height of approximately 656 feet. The 133,473-square-foot space can accommodate up to 3,900 people at one time and features an observation deck, complete with a 492-foot-long infinity-edge swimming pool and landscaped gardens. The rooftop also houses restaurants and lounges, including The Sky on 57 restaurant, featuring the cuisine of acclaimed Singaporean celebrity chef, Justin Quek.
To celebrate its grand opening, Marina Bay Sands is offering exclusive travel trade partner rates to travel agents. Through Aug. 31, agents can stay at the hotel for rates starting at $162 per night, subject to availability. For a $180 nightly rate, based on single occupancy, agents may also enjoy a daily buffet breakfast; the breakfast-included rate increases to $199 per night, when based on double occupancy. To access this special promotion, agents are advised to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or to call 011-65-6688-8805 to make their reservations. When making reservations, agents should quote “Special Trade Partner Offers.” A valid employment pass or proof of employment will be required upon check-in.
Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
The main lobby of the brand-new Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, which opened on July 8 // © 2010 Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
On July 8, the Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore opened on Singapore’s waterfront Marina Bay, adjoining the Clifford Pier and Customs House. The luxury property, the first waterfront hotel in Marina Bay, features 100 guestrooms and six different themed suites, and is the sister property to The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, an iconic hotel (formerly the city-state’s historic post office building) that also sits along the city’s famed marina.
Architectural firm LCL Architects designed the hotel’s impressive glass facade and guestrooms, while Andre Fu, the interior designer also behind Hong Kong’s The Upper House boutique hotel, designed the public areas and restaurants. Guests enter the hotel via a 56-foot-wide lobby at the historic Clifford Pier, where numerous Singaporean settlers first arrived from 1933 to 2006. The lobby houses a 16-foot-wide cylindrical chandelier that is suspended some 33 feet above ground, and Fu used nautical design elements and contemporary artworks throughout the public space.
Hotel suites, including a 1,636-square-foot Presidential Suite, are designed to reflect the influences of Singapore’s diverse and multicultural population, including Chinese, Malay, Indian, Pernankan and Colonial, and can be found along the top three levels of the property. The suites are named after the former governors of the Straits Settlement in Singapore. Deluxe rooms are priced from $800 per night.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel is home to three restaurants: Lantern, a rooftop bar surrounding an 82-foot-long pool with unobstructed views of Marina Bay and the Singapore skyline; Clifford, a modern brasserie with an 800-bottle wine library; and The Landing Point, a waterfront lounge that features a 43-foot-long bar and an outdoor terrace.
The newly opened Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore comprises just one component of a larger revitalization project targeting Marina Bay’s Fullerton Heritage precinct, which is also home to The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, The Fullerton Waterboat House, One Fullerton, Clifford Pier and Customs House.
Tourism Numbers Rise
The new hotel openings come at a time when visitor arrivals numbers to Singapore are seeing an increase. The destination saw visitor arrival numbers increase by 30.3 percent to 946,000 visitors total in May 2010, compared to the same period last year, which saw 726,000 visitor arrivals. May marked the sixth consecutive month during which Singapore saw record tourism arrival numbers. The country expects to reach its goal of at least 11.5 million total visitor arrivals by the end of 2010.
Singapore will also host a number of different events and activities geared toward international visitors and locals alike in the coming months. Through July 25, visitors can participate in the annual Singapore Food Festival, which includes food carnivals, tasting sessions, chef demonstrations and interactive cooking classes. From Aug. 14-26, Singapore will host the world’s first-ever Youth Olympic Games for more than 5,000 young athletes from around the world. From Sept. 24-25, visitors can witness the only nighttime Formula One street race at the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.
For Business Travelers
The Singapore Tourism Board has also made recent efforts to update its website, YourSingapore.com, with information and features specific to the needs of business travelers and planners. Now, planners can utilize an interactive Executive Guide to select event venues, search event calendars and educate themselves regarding city-wide programs.
In addition, business travelers with access to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can download the free City Advantage For the Business Traveller smartphone application through iTunes. The application, which was developed by the tourism board, acts like a compact directory with detailed listings for participating restaurants, hotels and retail and wellness establishments in the City Advantage program. Application features include the ability to make restaurant reservations and obtain recommendations for nearby activities via smartphone GPS capabilities. Users also have access to exclusive promotional deals.
Formula One Singapore Grand Prix
Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore
Marina Bay Sands
Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore Food Festival
Singapore Tourism Board