There’s no doubt there are rooms with pretty spectacular views at the brand-new Marina Bay Sands hotel, but it’s hard to imagine topping the vista from the rooftop infinity pool, 55 storeys above Singapore.
As the UK’s Daily Mail reports, swimming to the edge isn’t quite as dangerous as it looks. While the water in the infinity pool appears to end in a sheer drop, it actually spills into a catchment area where it is pumped back into the main pool. At three times the length of an Olympic-sized pool and 650 feet above street level, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height.
The incredible pool is a highlight of the boat-shaped ’SkyPark’ perched atop the three towers that make up the world’s most expensive hotel, the $6.4-billion Marina Bay Sands development designed by Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. The hotel, which features 2,560 rooms starting at over $500 a night, was officially opened recently with a concert by Diana Ross.
The title of world’s most expensive hotel was previously held by the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, estimated to have cost $3.2-billion when it opened in 2004. But with its indoor canal, opulent art, casino, outdoor plaza, convention centre, theatre, crystal pavilion and museum shaped like a lotus flower, the Marina Bay Sands has taken its crown.
Inside the resort, shoppers can ride along an indoor canal in Sampan boats styled on traditional Chinese vessels from the 17th century. The owners commissioned five well-known artists to create works of art designed to ’integrate’ with the buildings. Among these is a 40-metre-long sculpture made from 16,100 steel rods. The whole thing weighs 14.8 tons and it took 60 people to assemble it in the hotel. Another dramatic artwork is titled Rising Forest and consists of 83 three-metre-high pots with trees in them. The pots were so big the artist had to build a customised kiln the size of a small building to make them in.
Marina Bay Sands is another indication of economic recovery. It was due to open in 2009, but was delayed by funding problems due to the global financial crisis.
By: Bruce Parkinson
Bruce Parkinson is a travel industry journalist and regular contributor to Takeoffeh.com as well as sister company, OpenJaw.com
Photo Credits: Reuters, EPA