It’s finally happened! The $5.95 billion Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore finally opened its doors to public in a gala event, and it also managed to dethrone the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi from its position as the world’s most expensive hotel. Marina Bay Sands hotel is comprised of three 55 storey towers, which opened in April 2010. The three towers are connected with a one hectare roof sky park offering 360-degree views of Singapore’s skyline and featuring beautifully sculptured gardens, restaurants and a swimming pool.
But swimming to the edge won’t be quite as risky as it looks. While the water in the infinity pool seems 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 pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height. It features in the impressive, boat-shaped ‘SkyPark’ perched atop the three towers that make up the world’s most expensive hotel.
The hotel features 2,560 rooms that would cost you $520 a night. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the structure is said to be based on the design resembling a deck of cards. The hotel decor includes an indoor canal that has Sampan boats to ride in, a casino, an outdoor plaza, a convention centre, a theatre, a crystal pavilion and a lotus flower shaped museum. The resort will open employment to over 10,000 locals, enough to generate $72 million each year.
The owners have also commissioned five well-known artists to create works of art to ‘integrate’ with the buildings. Among these is a 40m-long Antony Gormley 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. Artist Chongbin Zheng created Rising Forest which is 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.
On Friday (June, 25th) the world’s most expensive hotel was given a launch party befitting it. Diana Ross performed for 2,500 VIPs in the resort’s Grand Ballroom and pop singer Kelly Rowland headlined an outdoor concert. The opening celebrations also featured a death-defying relay. Seven teams of three participants each scaled the three towers before sprinting across the 340-metre long Sands SkyPark, where the infinity pool is located, to the finish line.
Thomas Arasi, president and chief executive officer of the resort, said he expects to attract an astonishing 70,000 visitors a day once it is fully open. It was due to open in 2009, but was delayed thanks to labour and material shortages, and funding problems due to the global financial crisis.