a singapore icon: the marina bay sands and its skypark

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Singapore is a bustling city state of several million people. It boasts many a skyscraper, not on the scale of a city like Shanghai, but impressive nonetheless. The centerpiece of the skyline is a complex that, like ancient Rome, it seems all roads lead to.

The Marina Bay Sands complex features three 55-story hotel towers which were completed in 2009. The three towers are connected by a 1 hectare sky terrace on the roof, named the Sands SkyPark. This has become one place in Singapore to which everyone flocks. The SkyPark is home to the world’s longest elevated swimming pool, with a 146 meter [478 ft] vanishing edge, perched 191 meters above the ground. The Ku De Ta bar is just next to the pool, although as a non-hotel guest you will have no access to the pool [which by the way can hold 376,500 gallons [1424 cubic meters] of water].

For a price, you can take a SkyPark tour. If you are a guest, you have free access to the pool. However, non-guests can get a free view of the pool and from the SkyPark from the Ku De Ta bar [a not so clever play on “coup d’état”]. I recommend this, as it is a relaxing way to take in the Singapore skyline and the spiced potato chips are pretty good. Just take the elevator to the 57th floor and you are there.

In front of the three towers include a Theater Block, a Convention and Exhibition Facilities Block, as well as the Casino Block, which has approximately 1000 gaming tables and 1400 slot machines. The ArtScience Museum, completed in 2011, is next to the three blocks and is an impressive piece of architecture built in the shape of a lotus.

In case all of that is not enough, the retail space at Marina Bay Sands boasts close to 1,000,000 square feet [93,000 m2] with over 300 stores and outlets, including names such as as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Cartier, Prada, Gucci, Hermès, Emporio Armani, Valentino, Dior, Dunhill, Vertu, Yves Saint Laurent, and Salvatore Ferragamo. No doubt you are encouraged to spend any winnings from the casino in these exclusive and very pricey shops.

And if all of that is not enough, a canal runs through the length of the retail space, in the same style as the Venetian in Las Vegas. Rides on the canal are available for guests and shoppers at the shopping mall, similar to the gondola rides available at the Venetian in Las Vegas.

But wait – there is more! Two more attractions of the resort are the two Crystal Pavilions. One of the Pavilions houses two internationally-renowned nightclubs – Avalon and Pangaea and the second Pavilion houses the world’s largest Louis Vuitton boutique. This Louis Vuitton floating island is 20,000 square feet [1,900 m2] and is connected to the portion of the boutique in the general shop area via an underwater tunnel.

Put it all on red and hope that you win, because a stay at this new icon of Singapore will cost you. As will your inevitable shopping spree. I mean, who can resist a $175,000 bracelet?

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