Marina Bay Sands – Singapore

Have you ever stood next to a building, or should I say underneath a building, looked up and felt a sense of overwhelming magnitude. Felt a flip in the pit of your stomach just at the sheer enormity, like the kind you get on a roller coaster as it corkscrews its way along the tracks. All metal, glass and shiny it feels as if it might crash to the earth like a fallen spaceship and swallow you up, having finally given way to the peaks of its height. Peaks which appear to sway precariously above the clouds. This static building of nothing but bricks and water takes on a presence that is both eerie and awe-inspiring. I never knew architecture could be so profound until I stood beneath the grandeur that is Marina Bay Sands.

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Backpack laden I looked up and felt a giddy rush wash over me. After tiny cramped back alleyways, dust track roads and low rise makeshift buildings Singapore seemed like another world. Slender and tall, strong and clean the city screams precision. Modern to the end it is a stark comparison to the places I have frequented recently.

Despite my previous love for London, standing here I’m left feeling like a fish out of water. Boots thick with dust, with dirt under my fingernails I feel as if Marina Bay Sands is my travelling nemesis. We are booked in for just one night at this outstandingly magnificent, and extremely pricey hotel to rejuvenate our travel sore bodies and enjoy some much needed luxury. Yet it is amazing how hard it is to slip back into a modern world that you used to fit into so comfortably when faced with it so blatantly and abruptly.

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It doesn’t take long for the strange sense of intimidation to wane. Once inside, although still huge, Marina Bay is far less imposing. Inside the structure I am part of its world, outside I was but a mere spectator.

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Marina Bay Sands is a city in itself. There is a casino, a theatre, a shopping centre and countless restaurants. It’s a place full of people from all walks of life going about their day; some causal dressed couples, some holiday makers and families, copious amounts of serious suit clad business men taking important calls and meetings and the odd road weary traveller seeking a bed with actual pillows and a shower so hot you will be able to write your name in the steam.

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Checked in we take the lift to the 29th floor located in tower three and make our way to our room. Opening the door was a moment of pure ecstasy. After months of roughing it, of outdoor bathrooms and freezing water, of bugs and of sheetless rock hard beds room 2905 is heaven on earth.

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After a quick round of the room flicking every switch, twisting every knob and pushing ever button I strip off my clothes and make for the shower. But not before I discover the remote controlled blackout drapes!!

Underneath the pelting stream of water I wash away months of dirt that no amount of hostel tepid drizzle has been able to remove. Warm and bundled into my complimentary dressing gown I feel lighter and more relaxed than I have since I left London.

Showers out of the way, it’s time to get wet again, so it’s straight to the world famous infinity pool for a dip and a panoramic view of Singapore. Submerged in the cool water, cocktail in hand looking out over a city that once seemed so massive now seems so tiny. Up here we are the giants and while it might be but a fleeting experience for now at least we are on top of the world.

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By Sophie Maguire

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