A staycation at Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands is on many people’s wishlist, but what’s the MBS hotel really like with kids? How are the rooms and is the dining scene good for kids? Here’s our review of MBS
Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has become such an integral part of our Singapore skyline that it’s now the landmark used to represent SG. So what’s it like staying at the iconic Marina Bay Sands? We checked it out for ourselves and found that it’s surprisingly kid-friendly. Here’s our guide to staying at Marina Bay Sands with kids!
Premier King City View Room
We stayed in a Premier King City View room at the Marina Bay Sands hotel, overlooking the bay and other stunning landmarks like the Esplanade, ArtScience Museum and Louis Vuitton ‘island’ (the exterior literally glitters at night). The great thing about the MBS hotel is that it’s hard to get a bad view – whether it’s a city view or harbour view room, you’ll be treated to expansive views of Marina Bay or the sea and nearby Gardens by The Bay. Our room was nice and cosy with its own seating area in addition to a desk and a plush king-sized bed. Bonus points for the non-slip mat that they included for the bathtub! As mamas would know these are important for safe bath times with little ones and I realise it’s not something most hotels provide.
Cots can be requested at no additional cost, while extra beds will come with an extra fee.
Spa: Yearning for some pampering? You’ll find the spa at Tower 1 Level 55, with a whole host of traditional and modern treatments, whether it’s a facial or a luxurious body treatment. Make sure to check for any promos before you book – sometimes they offer discounts for Sands rewards members or cardmembers of certain banks!
Banyan Tree Fitness Club: Located at Tower 2 Level 55, the fitness club (aka gym) is open 7am – 11pm and does not require prior booking. Just make sure to have your phone/TraceTogether token and keycard just in case, for easy registration.
One thing’s for sure – you can’t beat the convenience of staying at MBS hotel. It’s in such close proximity to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum (with the amazing Future World exhibition), with both offering multiple F&B and kids’ activity options.
Future World: Where Art Meets Science needs no introduction – this interactive gallery combines art and technology seamlessly to create an indoor playground-like experience that delights kids of all ages. My toddler loved it so much we visited this exhibit three days in a row! Our favourites were Sliding through the Fruit Field, Inverted Globe, Giant Connecting Block Town and Light Ball Orchestra. We highly recommend going early in the day to avoid the peak hour crowd that usually streams in after lunch time.
If you have older kids, it’s worth checking out Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed. This cool gallery features works by some of the world’s most acclaimed video game developers, bringing immersive video game-themed installations to the general public. Some of the installations are a little graphic and scary so might not be suited for younger tots.
Keep your eyes peeled for mini holiday camps that are held throughout the year at ArtScience Museum, which are often similarly themed to the galleries and invites kids to get creative using technology!
Sampan Rides & Digital Light Canvas
These two attractions are the easiest on the pocket within the Shoppes at MBS! Entry to the sampan rides and Digital Light Canvas is affordable at $13 and $5 per person respectively, and great fun for kids. They’ll love the novelty of riding a boat down the indoor canal (it even goes under a couple of bridges!) plus the interactive light rink is a great way to keep young ones occupied.
Sands Theatre at MBS
Oh how we’ve missed watching live theatre shows! Sands Theatre used to host some amazing productions, including Aladdin, Lion King, Matilda, Sweeney Todd The Musical and more. We’re glad to hear that theatre shows are beginning to open up again all over Singapore, and the two we’re excited about are Kumar Unmasked (adults only!) and La Clique (18 September – 7 November 2021), a theatrical production that blends circus, comedy and contemporary cabaret!
Visit Gardens by the Bay
You may recognise the stunning soaring Supertree grove of Gardens by the Bay from your room (or at the rooftop near one of the restaurants, LAVO). This free green park is a great place to start exploring before it gets too hot! From the hotel, there’s a connecting path straight to Gardens by the Bay which is free to enter. From now till 3 October 2021, you may spot some larger-than-life animal inflatables around the garden – read all about it here!
Boat tour around the bay
We didn’t try this one, but it always looks like a lot of fun. The boat tours you usually see in Marina Bay are hosted by DUCKtours, and gives you the chance to view our Singapore skyline from a different perspective. The hour-long tour takes you around Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, the Esplanade Theatre and the towering Merlion.
Not kid-friendly obviously (only guests 21 years old and above allowed), but if the kids are occupied and you want to sneak away for some fun, the casino is located within Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The Daily Entry Levy is $150 and valid for 24 consecutive hours upon activation.
MBS is home to some amazing restaurants, whether you’re after casual fare or posh Michelin-star eats. My family and I have some dietary restrictions (vegetarian or pescetarian and no-alcohol preferred) and were worried it would pose a problem, but all the restaurants we dined at (Spago, RISE, Blacktap, Yardbird and db Bistro & Oyster Bar) accommodated our requests graciously without batting an eyelid. Our favourites were Spago (available for breakfast), Blacktap and Yardbird for their kid-friendliness. You can have breakfast at Spago overlooking the infinity pool on the 57th floor (plus we love the booth seats and low tables), while Blacktap is well known for their massive Crazy Shakes and Impossible burgers.
1. Look out for deals on the MBS website and other popular booking sites like Klook and Agoda before you book! Some offer free dining credits or room upgrades (which can be useful if you need more space for the kids).
2. Note that it does get busy during check-in. We were there during the September school holidays and there were many families waiting around – understandably so as the hotel has over 2,000 rooms! Check-in at the Sands Lounge (a quieter VIP area) is available if you book certain rooms or suites.
3. Book your pool slot immediately after checking in. Pool bookings can easily be done via SMS with multiple time slots to choose from, depending on availability. Each pool slot gives you 1h15mins of swim time. Make sure to follow your designated pool slot as they’re very strict with the timings and won’t let you in earlier and will not give extensions when the time is up.
4. Walk everywhere! With such beautiful views of the city, walking along the bay makes for a lovely family bonding experience. Our stroller really came in handy too for wheeling bub around the huge mall. But of course if you’re more of a ‘namaste-in-bed’ kind of family, just enjoy the views from your room.
5. There’s a small 7-Eleven at Bayfront MRT station if you need any quick snacks or drinks for the kids. This was a lifesaver for us when my daughter had a hankering for some fresh milk and crackers!
Can’t get a room at MBS? You can still enjoy the convenience of a staycation in Marina Bay by booking a room at hotels like Ascott Raffles Place, The Fullerton Hotel, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, PARKROYAL Collection Marina Bay and Ritz-Carlton. With other great malls like Esplanade, Marina Square and Suntec City in the area, exploring Marina Bay on foot isn’t too hard.
Need more kid-friendly staycation ideas? Read our guide to 30 Kid-Friendly Staycations in Singapore with Deals!
We were hosted for this stay with Marina Bay Sands. Thank you for having us, MBS!