has come a very long way in a very short time. Not that long ago, it was a dingy city with smelly open drains and unruly traffic. But it's been transformed into a sparkling, orderly city with a high standard of living and is the world's fourth leading financial centre.
Natalie Gruzlewski visited the island's newest pride and joy, Marina Bay Sands, and is still talking about it. She said it looks as though a spaceship has landed in the city. Three towers are topped by the boat shaped SkyPark, large enough to hold 3900 people (or four A380 aircraft!) and a 150m-long infinity pool. A cantilevered platform overhangs the north tower by 67m.
The integrated resort facing Marine Bay was developed by Las Vegas Sands and is the world's most expensive stand-alone casino property, costing S$8 billion. It features a 2561-room hotel, exhibition centre, mall, art and science museum, two theatres, more than 30 eateries, an indoor skating rink, two floating pavilions and a casino with 500 tables and 1600 poker machines.
The Chocolate Bar opens at 8pm, offering 57 chocolate themed desserts in a very, very tempting buffet.
Marina Bay had a two-day "soft" opening celebration in June, 2010 and a performance of Riverdance followed the theatre's November completion. The grand opening was in February this year, featuring the ArtScience Museum, Wonder Full Light and Water Spectacular and restaurants. The Broadway musical Lion King began in March. It's appropriate for the city named from the Malay Sanskrit for Lion City.
Accommodation is offered in 18 room choices which have views of the sparkling city skyline or serene sea.
There are way too many food and drink outlets to list choose a cuisine and it's sure to be available. Australia's Tetsuya Wakuda's Waku Ghin has just 25 seats and the chef cooks your meal right in front of you. It competes against other restaurants with chefs from Spain, Japan, the US and France. Amazing.
The lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum covers 4600 square metres and has 21 galleries housed in the 10 fingers of the structure.
The Art Path has 10 art installations forming a path through the resort.
The gleaming casino was Singapore's first casino license, breaking a traditional prohibition. Citizens and permanent residents have to pay a $100 levy to enter. Foreigners enter free on presentation of their passports. The casino features an enormous Swarovski chandelier suspended 40m above the main dome. It weighs 7.1 tonnes, is 6.4m high and has 132,000 crystals.
The Shoppes is Singapore's first large-scale luxury mall. It has more than 300 shops ranging from "affordables" up to the well-known (and pricey) haute couture houses. You can even take a ride on a two-man sampan along the canals of the mall There's also has a skating rink.
The Republic of Singapore.
See Marina Bay Sands website (details below) for hotel rates.
Singapore Airlines has flights to Singapore from:
- Perth $859
- Melbourne $1086
- Adelaide $1095
- Sydney $1104
- Brisbane $1106
Sales and validity dates and other conditions apply.
Prices correct at March 10, 2011.
For further information
Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
Ph: +65 6688 8868
Visas: Australian passport holders do not require a visa for a stay of up to 30 days, providing a social visit pass is obtained on arrival. Extensions cost S$40.
Electricity: 230V at 50Hz using three-pin square shaped plugs.
Time zone: GMT +8.
Currency: Singapore dollar.
International dialling code: +65.