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“ZERO star service at a "Five" star hotel”
Review of Marina Bay Sands

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Marina Bay Sands
Ranked #38 of 316 Hotels in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 May 2011

I was reading the most recent posts on this website and I have to concur. This hotel is horrible (in the most horrible sense)! It was supposed to be a weekend getaway for me and my girlfriend and we were expecting to be wow-ed, but instead we were left utterly frustrated and disappointed.

My first negative experience came even before I checked in! I made my reservation via the hotel's website. It wasn't until a few days later did I receive a confirmation email on my booking, and this was ONLY AFTER I sent them a follow-up email to inquire about it.

The confirmation email stated that I could check-in at either Towers 1 or 3 and provided NO INFORMATION on parking for vehicles. Naturally, I drove my car to one of the towers, only to be told by hotel staff that the carpark entrance is located on the opposite side of the road where the convention centre and shops were. Hence, I had to make a detour. There were road signs indicating where the carpark was but those who do not know better will think that this carpark was only meant for people heading to the shops and convention centre. I parked my car under the section marked "Hotel". You would think that the elevators/escalators at the carpark would lead you up to the hotel. NO IT DOESN'T! It leads up to the shops and it took us at least another 15 minutes of walking before we got to the hotel.

Next up is the check-in experience. The actual check-in process was alright - took about 10 minutes. But we had to queue for about 30 mins before we got our turn! When we first joined the queue, there was a family of tourists at the front. They were complaining about not being served despite having waited in line for one hour! I believe that check-in times are usually bottlenecked at the housekeeping and reception levels. From my experience with other 5 star hotels in Singapore, checking in at 2pm and checking out at 12pm is the norm. Marina Bay Sands' check-in and check-out times are 3pm and 11am respectively. This is already an additional 2 hours for housekeeping to ready the rooms for new guests. At reception, there were four staff serving the check-in crowd of about 5-7 groups at that time. Therefore, the only logical reason that I could think of for the appalling waiting time is lack of manpower. But then, is this a justifiable excuse? After all, guests are paying 5-star rates, and they should be getting 5-star service.

Sometime later, I realised that I had forgotten to inquire about the complimentary access card for use when exiting the carpark the next day. I was checked-in at Tower 3 and had approached the reception there to make my inquiry. To my dismay, they were unable to provide me with the information that I needed and I was told to approach the valet service counter at Tower 1, which was at the other end of the building - a 5 min walk. I finally reached the valet service counter and once again made the same inquiry. Another piece of dismal news - MBS does not provide complimentary parking for its hotel guests and a fee of $6 is required. $6 is not a big amount and I can very well afford it. But what peeves me is the knowledge that MBS has the cheek to charge ITS OWN HOTEL GUESTS for parking when most other (if not all) hotels in Singapore provide complimentary access. Why are guests not informed of this beforehand? Surely MBS does not expect all its guests to be foreigners? Also, I think that my question was a very basic question which the reception staff could have handled. Telling a guest to do a 5 min walk for such a simple matter does not reflect well on the hotel's service standards at all.

My experience the next day was no better. I got woken by sounds of highway traffic and construction drilling at about 9am. Just some background information before I proceed - the MBS project was a massive undertaking with the Singapore government. However, there was some delay and they had no choice but to open only certain parts of the estate to the public, the hotel being one of those opened earlier (recall that MBS is made up of several components i.e. hotel, shops, convention centre etc). There was still construction work going on at an adjacent compound that is directly linked to the hotel, hence the drilling that I heard. As for the highway traffic - the hotel is located NEXT TO a major highway, so probably at least half of the hotel occupants will have the highway as the view in their rooms. So yes - MORE sound proofing work needs to be done for these rooms!

To be honest, I was glad that the check-out time for MBS is an hour earlier than the norm as I was eager to leave. Given that this hotel's rack rates are not cheap, guests ARE ENTITLED to gain access to top notch amenities and service. Regretfully, this was sorely lacking in both aspects. I recall seeing this whilst using the "Check In" feature for Facebook - "Marina Bay Sands Hotel - this place is ridiculous". I absolutely agree.

Last but not least, a word of advice to my traveler friends - there are many quality hotels in Singapore, especially around the Marina Bay area where MBS is located. Some examples include The Ritz Carlton, The Mandarin Oriental and The Marina Mandarin (good value for money). Please make your hotel bookings there. =)

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank wongj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13,735 - 13,741 of 22,419 reviews

Reviewed 3 May 2011

The Marina Bay Sands truly is the new landmark of Singapore and as such an amazing sight. However, with apparently more than 10,000 staff, training probably must be something that happens on the job, which might be why the service does not (yet) live up to full five star standards. There is also a lot of construction going on around the hotel, in particular towards the waterfront, and the first room that was assigned to us was on a low floor looking directly at the highway that is right in front of the hotel and the construction site beyond it. Having said this, the hotel is brandnew and the rooms are clean, come with huge TV screens, a nice bathroom with a free standing tub and all amenities that would be expected from a top notch casino hotel. Restaurants and shops are abundant and further dining and shopping options are still being added. The infinity pool at the top of the hotel is amazing and probably a good enough reason to stay at Marina Bay Sands for a night or two. To sum it up, Marina Bay Sands is definitely a must-see and worthwile a short-time stay. But (unless you are a serious gambler for which the location next to the casino is most important) for longer stays I would not recommend it as the service needs improvement and as a mega hotel/tourist attraction with no focus on treating guests according to their individual needs does not provide a "feeling-at-home" atmosphere.

Room Tip: if seaview: high floor because of construction
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dominik78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
aacortes, Senior Vice President - Operations at Marina Bay Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2011

Thank you for your review. We are glad that you chose to stay with us.

You are correct to say that the 150-meter infinity swimming pool at the SkyPark is a very popular attraction amongst our hotel guests.

We have been focusing intensely on service improvement training for our 8,500 Team Members on top of their daily work improvement trainings. Your comments are greatly appreciated as they help us to make Marina Bay Sands better every day.

We hope that you will choose to stay with us again in future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

I had no problems at all. Although I didn't time it, check in couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes max. I asked the reception staff if my room was a club room facing the city, with a king bed and non smoking as I had booked and she confirmed it was and that's exactly what I got. The room was exactly what I expected, clean, large, tastefully furnished with a comfy king bed, TV, work desk etc. Bathroom was large and well appointed. Overall the room was no worse than a similar grade room at any other 5 star hotel.

I had no problem with my bags, no problem with the service, no problem with breakfasts, no problem with the pool being crowded because it wasn't most of the time when I was there, no problem with room service, no problem with housekeeping barging in or not cleaning my room, no problem with staff that couldn't speak English because all of the ones I talked to spoke English, no problem with rude staff, on the contrary they were all very nice. All in all I had no problems, none, zero, nada.

My experience was anything but frightfully shocking and I am more inclined to believe the hype and publicity than the complaints because to me the hype and publicity delivered and I saw and experienced nothing to support the complaints.

Personally it really doesn't matter to me if a perfect stranger who reads this decided to stay at the MBS or not, but if a friend or relative asked if I would recommend it to them my answer would be yes, go, enjoy and I have no doubt they would.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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4  Thank DJForrestfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
aacortes, Senior Vice President - Operations at Marina Bay Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2011

Thank you for your positive feedback. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and did not encounter any problems during your visit.

Thank you for your support and we sincerely appreciate that you would recommend us to your friends and family.

We look forward to welcoming you back at Marina Bay Sands.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2011

We stayed in MBS with some family members. We got the rooms as part of the package. The location is great and there are busses just beside, and a 10 minute walk brings you to Suntec City/MRT (Circle line). The infinity pool on the top is worth a visit and offers breathtaking views of Singapore. We stayed for a couple of nights there and seem we started to have a tough luck on the first night (evening) itself. The room is facing a major highway (AYE) and west sun, so the room is pretty hot even though the A/C is on. Ironically the A/C temp adjustment seems not working. So after about 30 min the service staff came and ‘adjusted’ the settings. The guy keeps on mumbling and sure needs to improve his English 

Second day we started with pretty good energy levels and we had a short visit to the infinity pool on the top. Views are breathtaking and just Google for the pics. I’d say this is the best part of the hotel. Not a lot of variety for food and food is terribly expensive. Same goes for shopping areas. The canals are pretty clean (much better than any other Venetian places) and I’d say being in Singapore this can be taken for granted.

In a one line summary, the place is more for business folks rather than a casual visitor or family visit.


Pros:
Location and easy access to attractions
Newly constructed (still in great condition) & contemporary designs.
Casino just at the ground floor and 10 min drive to sentosa & resort world sentosa

Cons:

Service needs lots of improvement
Not family friendly (IMHO)
Expensive

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank srichakra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2011

Our friends from Singapore surprised us with an overnight stay at The Marina Bay Sands for our wedding anniversary.

Room: We are situated at Club Rooms, very nice, spacious, smells fresh, great automatic window blinds, great view, overlooking Marina. I loved the pillow and the bed. Love the coffee-maker and mini bar. They even gave us a welcome champagne, chocolate and cookies.

Food: They offered high-noon tea/snack, before dinner cocktail, and after dinner chocolate buffet. Everything was superb!

Pool/View Deck: great infinity pool with all-day free drinks at the Club. Nice (scary) feeling at the view deck. But at night there's a live band where you can listen and even dance at the deck making your night a romantic one!

Mall: great shopping mall across the hotel where you can find all 'women's bestfriends - purses/bags, shoes, accessories, and food!

Spa: relax in the sauna and steam room at the spa. Very clean.

Room Tip: I prefer the club rooms or higher.
  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank purpleroyale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pek_ChinSiong, Senior Hotel Manager at Marina Bay Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2011

Thank you for your positive feedback and congratulations on your wedding anniversary!

It is heartwarming to hear that you and your partner had a memorable and romantic time, and managed to fully enjoy The Club at Marina Bay Sands experience.

We look forward to welcoming you back at Marina Bay Sands.

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Reviewed 2 May 2011

We stayed at Marina Bay Sands for the Easter long weekend, and found it to be absolutely fantastic. We stayed in the “base model” Atrium room on floor 7, and found this to be perfect, nice and close to the action, but still with modern and spacious witht floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the Casino and “Shoppes” across the road.
There were 3 of us, myself and my partner, both in our early 20’s and our 5 month old daughter. They accommodated for all three of us perfectly, and our cot and luggage were delivered to our room within 10 minutes.
Firstly, our flight arrived into Singapore from Brisbane at 08.00, and we were at the hotel by 09.00 even though check in does not start until 15.00. We proceeded to the check in counter and amazingly they let us have our room, at no extra cost, 6 hours early!
A lot of people have commented on the fact that the lobby is like an Airport, very impersonal, and in reality they are probably correct. However, as previous posters have said, you don’t stay in the lobby, this was not really a problem.
The building itself is absolutely amazing, I found myself in awe every time I saw the hotel from the outside, or even stood in the lobby. The Skydeck and rooftop are also amazing, with fantastic views of the Financial District on one side, and out to sea from the other. Going up there for the first time took my breath away, I have never experience anything else like it anywhere in the world. The room itself was very clean and very modern, and was what you would expect in a 5 star hotel, with a nice big bathroom and large comfortable bed.
One of the things we most enjoyed about this hotel was the food court in the “Shoppes” which are accessible via an underground tunnel from the hotel lobby. The food court was unlike anything we see in Australia, with lots of great quality, cheap international food, from traditional Chinese and Indonesian food, to Indian and Western cuisine. There is also a funky indoor skating rink next to the food court for the kids. The Shops themselves are very high end, and are brands such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Rolex, and are not much fund for the average traveller who is unable to afford such luxuries!
It is unfair to complain about the location, as the hotel does not profess to be a city-centre hotel. For frequent or even second-time visitors to Singapore, it makes a nice change to be away from Orchard road, and just spend a few days in the resort itself, but for much longer than 3 days, the location MAY become tiresome. That said, we never paid more than $6 SGD to get to Orchard road, as Cabs are very cheap in Singapore.
Another thing of note are the free half-hourly shuttles in the air-conditioned luxury coaches, this operates perfectly and on time, and the coaches really are luxury, with wide leather seats and lots of leg room.
Finally, the Casino itself was just ok, it is huge and very impressive, but I don’t believe it really caters to the Australian Gambler, with only a small number of Blackjack tables, the lowest limit being $25, and not very much roulette or other “western” games.
In short, Marina Bay Sands is a “Must Do,” and has everything you want for a Short escape in Beautiful Singapore. I would definitely go back, if not only to take family and friends to experience the amazing architecture, but if you are looking for the City Escape, and want to be able to walk to lots of different shops, bars and restaurants, try Orchard Rd instead, and visit Marina Bay Sands for the day.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Ant_and_Kresta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pek_ChinSiong, Senior Hotel Manager at Marina Bay Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2011

Thank you for taking the time to submit your review. We are glad that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us.

For the convenience of our hotel guests, we do offer early check in when the requested rooms are available.

We appreciate your feedback regarding our Casino. Games on offer include Baccarat, Power Baccarat 98, 7UP Baccarat, Texas Hold’em Progressive, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Blackjack, Pontoon, Singapore Stud Poker, Sic Bo, Three Pictures, Money Wheel and various slot machines.

We look forward to your continued support and hope to welcome you and your family and friends to Marina Bay Sands.

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Reviewed 1 May 2011

After waiting in a line for almost 40 minutes to check in I was then told my room wasn't ready and had to wait 3 hours before it would be ready! They finally found another room for us and then we had to ring reception 3 times to try and find our bags. Each time they said they would call back but never did.

There was even a line to get into the elevator, a compete nightmare! After being there for 2 hours I'd had enough and checked out. We moved to the Mandarin Oriental just down the road and much cheaper rate and the service was amazing!

Will never set foot in the Marina Bays Sands again...

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ubudlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pek_ChinSiong, Senior Hotel Manager at Marina Bay Sands, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2011

Thank you for your feedback.

We regret to learn that your recent stay with us was less than satisfactory. We sincerely apologize for the inconveniences caused.

Please be assured that this is not up to the usual high standards that we strive to achieve for our guests, and will look into appropriate measures to rectify the service shortfalls experienced.

We will contact you via a private message.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marina Bay Sands

Address: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956, Singapore
Phone Number:
Region: Singapore > Singapore > Marina Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Spa Hotel in Singapore
#23 Romantic Hotel in Singapore
#29 Family Hotel in Singapore
#30 Business Hotel in Singapore
#38 Luxury Hotel in Singapore
Price Range: £265 - £625 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Marina Bay Sands 5*
Number of rooms: 2560
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located along Marina Bay waterfront with 3 cascading hotel towers, 2,560 rooms, extraordinary Sands Sky Park, floating crystal pavilions, lotus-inspired ArtScience Museum, The Shoppes, Celebrity Chef Restaurants, Theatres and hottest nightclubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marina Bay Sands Hotel Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Singapore

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