The Pool on Top of the World

Prescott gave me an amazing Christmas present:  a night at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel!  The Marina Bay is remarkable for many reasons, the most notable of which is probably its architecture.  From ground level, it looks like this:


But for me, the draw was entirely about the swimming pool, which sits up on the top of the building (on the 57th floor) where you can just barely see the trees in the photo above.  I saw pictures like this on line and have been talking about going ever since I first took the job in Singapore:


The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is fairly fancy and incredibly popular.  It’s always at about 97% capacity, which is a remarkable figure for any hotel.  The only frustrating part of our stay was check-in, which involved waiting in line for a long time.  We amused ourselves by taking pictures of the ceiling …


… and of the orchids on the desk …


… until the helpful check-in person apologized a lot for the wait and then got us settled.

This hotel is all about the views, and our visit for a very civilized-feeling afternoon tea in the Club Room did not disappoint.


After tea, we went down to the 42nd floor, where we entered a hotel room that was easily bigger than the whole of our apartment.  It was nice to be someplace spacious for a change, though we had no idea what anyone was supposed to do with all of the extra room.  All we did was walk straight through to the floor-to-ceiling windows, which look out over this:



We next made a beeline for the swimming pool.



If I were going to offer critiques, they are (1) the whole scene is too crowded (the pool chairs are all pushed up against each other, and the pool is filled with picture-takers like ourselves), and (2) they play terrible synth music over the speakers all day long.  Other than that, it was amazing.  When the wind picks up, you can walk over to the other side of the roof to sit in a warm jacuzzi and take in a view of the ocean.  And the sunset was remarkable:



For dinner, we walked over to Artbox Singapore, an event that’s been shipped over from Bangkok.


Basically, it was a lot of food and craft stalls crammed too close together into a parking lot.  The whole thing would have been exciting — the food and items for sale looked promising — but for the fact that you could barely move.  It was like everyone in Singapore came down and decided to fit into a space designed for fifty cars.  We looked at the lines for food, decided to try what we could without having to wait forever (we managed Thai iced tea soft serve, mango with sticky rice and out-of-place-but-delicious poffertjes), and went to a food court for the balance of our dinner.  As festivals in Singapore go, this was not our favorite.  But we did get to see this odd pair:


When we got back upstair to our hallway in Tower 3, this was the view that greeted us at the end:


This morning we went to the gym, had a delicious buffet breakfast back up at the Club Room, and then spent a little time practicing using our phone cameras for art shots:


Then we went back up to the pool, where the weather was perfect.  We could not have asked for better.



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