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W Sentosa Cove

W Sentosa Cove

W Sentosa Cove

21 Ocean Way, Singapore, Singapore 098374

+65 6808 7288

http://www.wsingaporesentosacove.com/

My Rating: 83%
Price Rating: $$$$

Summary of my Stay: I arrived at the hotel late at night and the property was beautifully lit inside and out. The bell-staff were friendly and efficient. They guided me up the staircase to the lobby where the music from Woo Bar filled the entire main floor. Check-in was personal and quick and within moments, I was being ushered to my room. The room was spacious and well laid out. While the rooms are equipped for every business need, they were certainly designed with fun in mind. There was ample closet space (well done) and the bathroom was oversized. The bed was soft and delightful. I hit the sheets and I was out. Although, I did spend a few moments basking in the technicolor glory of the bedroom before passing out. 
I had a quick bite to eat at WOOBar which was enjoyable. However, the W is known for their drinks and less about their food. And their drinks did NOT disappoint. 
The W Sentosa Cove is very private and really was a nice relaxing break. You get the impression that you're at a private island resort and not in a city of nearly 6 million. 
Fun fact: If you get tired of lounging on your yacht, the hotel is alongside the Singapore Yacht Club. So just pull on in and let the W welcome you.

Nestled in the heart of the Singapore Yacht Club

Nestled in the heart of the Singapore Yacht Club

Highlight of the Hotel: The hotel's pool and spa area were heavenly. The pool is aptly named WET and there was something for everyone and every age. The uniquely shaped pool is open 24 hours/day. So upon arrival, I slipped down and dipped into the refreshing water. The next morning I went back to the pool and saw the signature W prominently displayed. The pool itself is massive and has a swim-up bar. An array of colorful bean-bag floatation loungers was at the edge of the pool waiting to drift guests out into the water. There are areas for kids (aka partiers-in-training) that still keep in line with the aesthetic of the whole resort. Servers were attentive and drink orders were promptly brought poolside. My drink was a variation of a mint pina colada that came with its own inflatable pink flamingo. In the summer months, guest DJs spin at WET and the pool becomes a private party oasis. Indoors, the AWAY spa brought a modern cool flair to relaxation. When you walk into the spa lounge, you are in a casual and elegant beachy surrounding. However, as soon as you go into the change rooms and down towards the vitality pools, you know you're in a spa, unlike any others. The concentrated colors and unique designs take you on a journey. Relaxation pools were heated at different temperatures, rain fall showers were an out-of-body experience and the treatment rooms look like they belong on a spaceship. If you're planning a visit, make sure to book a treatment or two here. 

The pool lit up at night - more pics in the YouTube video

The pool lit up at night - more pics in the YouTube video

Vitality pools at AWAY Spa

Vitality pools at AWAY Spa

AWAY Spa treatment room

AWAY Spa treatment room

Highlight of my Stay: Too often luxury hotels cater more to business clientele than to vacationers who want to have fun. The W Sentosa Cove was designed to be sexy and playful, and the numerous small fun touches were my highlight. WOOBar is a great place to start. Their menu is a vinyl record and my drink was served in a glowing lightbulb complete with powersource. I've already mentioned how cool the pool and spa are. The rooms are colorful and welcoming—certainly not your typical corporate style hotel room. There was a customized poster that welcomed me to the hotel in a spring break type theme. The in-room snack bar was filled with vibrant candies and treats that belong in a Katy Perry music video. In the hallways, a small army of colored Roombas silently attacked the hallway carpets. On the main floor, there are acoustically designed art installations that you pull over your head like a helmet incase you needed to make a phone call while the DJ's music is blasting. And yes, they actually worked. There was an endless supply of little details that made the stay here fun and memorable. 

WOOBar

WOOBar

Thomas Edison Drink at WOOBar

Thomas Edison Drink at WOOBar

Drawbacks: The hotel is privately nested alongside the Singapore Yacht club on Sentosa Island making it is the perfect hotel to explore the Resort World attractions such as Universal Studios. However, it is a 15-20 minute drive into downtown Singapore where you'll find the main shopping and dining attractions of the city. 

Lobby and check-in desk

Lobby and check-in desk

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Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

Marina Bay Sands

10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956

+65 6688 8868

http://www.marinabaysands.com/

My Rating: 74%
Price Rating: $$$$$

Summary of my Stay: The Marina Bay Sands is an iconic hotel that has drawn worldwide attention for its design and luxurious design. The design is instantly recognizable and the infinity pool is the ideal spot for the jet-setting-selfie-taker. But beyond the aesthetic and remarkable pool, did the hotel live up to the hype?

I arrived early afternoon and the entrance is a chaotic scene of moving vehicles, luggage and people. Through the front doors and towards the check-in desk, you get in line with several dozen other guests who are checking in. To help speed things along, a man with an iPad is ensuring everyone has their ID and confirmation ready. A few minutes later, a lady with a tray walked by and offered everyone a popsicle. If you're forced to wait in line in a tropical country, a frozen treat is always welcome. 

Lobby

Lobby

Check-in was smooth but when I inquired about paying to upgrade my room (something I do at almost every hotel I visit), they were very clear that was not possible. I had booked a deluxe room with a view of the Botanical Gardens, and so even a view of the city would have been preferred, but they were firm that of the 2500 rooms, there was nothing available. Hard to believe but fine. 

The room was ready and I took my keycard and set off to find the elevator bank. There are dozens and regularly people would go to the wrong tower and wrong set of elevators. They are marked but the hotel's design does complicate minor things like this. On my floor, the hallways are pristine, modern and bright. Opening the door and entering the room, the room did not live up the hallway. The room was fine but basic. It was dated and had visible signs of wear. Nothing about the room set it apart or was worth what I had paid to stay there. The bathroom again was alright but forgettable. The balcony was a decent size and the view of the gardens was better than I expected. 

Deluxe room 

Deluxe room 

The hotel is known for having world-class....well...everything. From restaurants with celebrity chefs to the best shopping at the adjoining mall, to the massive casino that is attached to every niche entertainment activity you could hope for. While I was there, I didn't have a chance to check everything out but the shopping at the Mall was impressive (1 million sq. feet of retail space). Every high end label was visible and had an unmatched selection. But the layout of the mall is ridiculous and you're forever taking escalators and stairs to different levels (not just different floors). Among the other attractions, the resort features the ArtScience Museum, a skating rink, 2 performance theatres and a nightly laser show. 

In regards to the restaurant selection, I did eat at Spago by Wolfgang Puck (a personal favourite of mine and one that also provides the poolside menu) and SweetSpot. Spago was great and would make Wolfgang proud. The location atop the Sky Park makes it an ideal location for a casual but quality lunch. SweetSpot was a pricey indulgence but a nice place for a quick sugary pick-me-up. There are 43 restaurants on the property and I'm sure there are a few gems among them. 

Tropical drinks

Tropical drinks

Highlight of the Hotel: Without a doubt, the highlight is the rooftop infinity pool at the Sky Park—191 meters above the ground. The Sky Park is over 1 hectare in size and boasts the world's largest elevated pool. It is a guest-only attraction and it is the main reason to stay at this hotel. It will take your breath away with the stunning view of the Singapore skyline. Even in less than ideal weather, the pool makes for a great place to hang out. The tropical weather in Singapore changes quickly and often, so one moment it was misting and ten minutes later, the sun was beating down. All the while, the pool is the place to be at. 

Sunset 

Sunset 

Highlight of my Stay: Again, the highlight was the pool. I feel the pool is the only reason travellers would pay this rate to stay at this hotel. The pool is unmatched in terms of view and sheer scale. And the fact that entry to the Sky Park is for guests only (and strictly enforced) makes it a decently exclusive place to hang out. 

Panorama shot with Singapore skyline

Panorama shot with Singapore skyline

Drawbacks: The hotel is out of the way and is really only walking distance to the attractions that are part of the complex. Several times members of the hotel staff tried to direct me to a tour bus stop, but never was it actually there. So I ended up taking taxis everywhere I needed to go which worked out fine but wasn't my original plan. 

The hotel really hypes it's restaurants...which also inflates the prices. While I knew the hotel would be a tourist trap, the menu prices were mostly unwarranted. You could dine at Michelin starred restaurants with better views for considerably less than most of their options. 

View from the Botanical Gardens by the Bay

View from the Botanical Gardens by the Bay

They cater very much to the gambler—which shouldn't surprise me since they have a casino. This is another reason prices are inflated...higher margins allow them to comp players without hurting their bottom line. 

At the end of the day, this is a cool but basic, business style hotel with some big name restaurants and a crazy cool infinity pool. If you're looking for a hotel in Singapore, spend one night here. Enjoy the pool and make the most of it. Then pack yourself up and move to another property that will make you appreciate Singapore and all it has to offer. 

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