We have already reviewed the best 5 star luxury hotels in Singapore. This review compares the Marina Bay Sands vs. the two Fullerton hotels, Fullerton Bay Singapore and Fullerton Hotel Singapore.
Singapore, the gateway to Southeast Asia, is an intriguing country created by deeply passionate people following their dreams and aspirations. It’s a place that serves as a canvas for its people’s wildest imagination, where new experiences are created every day, and where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers, culture shapers, and socializers meet.
Singapore attracts more than 17 million international tourists every year. To put this in perspective, this is more than 3 times its total population. Some of this may be a result of the 2018 box office movie hit ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. This film is largely set in Singapore and has boosted the Lion City’s tourism even further.
We have already detailed the best hotel club lounges in Singapore which has the Fullerton Club Lounge near the top of our listing. Marina Bay Sands does have a VIP club lounge, and you can access this VIP room called Club55 if you book a club room. This luxurious lounge is on the 55th floor and offers complimentary breakfast, served with unforgettable panoramic views of the city skyline, Marina Bay, and Gardens by the Bay. You can read a magazine, newspaper, laptop, or iPad while you savor complimentary afternoon tea. In the evening, indulge in complimentary beverages and canapés as a prelude to exploring the glamorous nightlife at Marina Bay Sands. If you are flying out of Singapore airport, you may also need to read our guide on the best airline lounges at Singapore airport.
Contact our luxury travel concierge and get a quote at any hotel (Singapore or otherwise), as we offer extra free benefits like free breakfast, complimentary room upgrade, VIP gifts, and more at no extra cost.
The Fullerton Bay is by far the best hotel of the three. From the minute you arrive, you feel welcomed by their personalized service and friendly staff. The level of luxury is superb and because it is the smallest of the three. It feels more like a luxury boutique hotel in Singapore. It wins in every aspect with the exception of the Skypark and pool. The Fullerton Bay is more expensive but worth it, particularly if you book one of the best rooms in the hotel, the Bay view rooms.
The Fullerton is packed with heritage and charm and is also a great choice with a brilliant club lounge. It is larger than the Fullerton Bay. Both Fullerton hotels are just 5 – 10 minutes walk away from Raffles Place, an MRT interchange that gives you MRT connection to Orchard, Airport line, or Chinatown and Little India (via another line at another station). In the evening, there’s lots of food and activity at Boat Quay, which is next to Fullerton. You can also walk to Chinatown or take a boat ride down Singapore River to Clarke Quay, Esplanade, or Marina Square from here.
All that said, Marina Bay Sands is iconic and is often cheaper than the Fullerton hotels. The Marina Bay Sands pool offers unlimited Instagramable photo opportunities, so if you want to show off to your friends at home, this is the one to pick!
- Best For Luxury: Fullerton Bay & Fullerton Hotel
- Best Rooms: Fullerton Bay. Pick a Marina Bay View Room
- Best For Views: Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- Best Rooftop Pool: Marina Bay Sands Hotel although the Fullerton Bay has a great rooftop pool too, pictured above
- Best For Cocktails In The (Busy) Pool: Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- Most Exclusive: Fullerton Bay & Fullerton Hotel
- Best Restaurants For Fine Dining: Fullerton Bay & Fullerton Hotel
- Queues At check-in: Marina Bay Sands Hotel (feels like an airport check-in, even in the VIP Club Lounge)
- Best For Shopping: Marina Bay Sands Hotel which is connected to a shopping center
- Most Classy & Exclusive: Fullerton Bay
- Best Bar: Fullerton Bay. The hotel’s stylish rooftop bar Lantern is recognized as one of the world’s best hotel bars
- Most Boutique: The Fullerton Bay
- Most History and Heritage: The Fullerton
- Best Club Lounge: The Fullerton
- Best Pool: Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Their pool wins numerous awards
Remember: You can pay to get to the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Skypark without staying there. You don’t need to stay there to experience and photograph the pool!
1. Fullerton Bay Singapore
Strategically located in the heart of Singapore’s financial, arts, and cultural districts, the Fullerton Bay Singapore is within immediate proximity to the Central Business District and key attractions such as the Merlion Park, Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Asian Civilisations Museum, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. The Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, and the city’s main shopping belts of Orchard Road and Marina Bay are only minutes away.
With only 100 guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s intimate ambiance and sophisticated interiors will appeal to discerning guests. It is definitely one of the best boutique hotels in Singapore.
The spacious rooms measure from 50 square meters (538 square feet). Each room impresses with panoramic views of the Marina Bay waterfront and the vibrant Singapore skyline through full-length windows and a private balcony. Overlooking the city’s landmarks from the privacy of the guestroom, guests are treated to natural light and a sense of place. Amenities are top-notch; Bvlgari Red Tea bath amenities are one of my favorites, and there’s an in-room Nespresso machine. Sheets are fine Egyptian cotton linen.
Strategically positioned on the top three levels of the hotel, six exclusive suites offer unsurpassed views through generous floor-to-ceiling windows and two balconies. Among the six suites are five Theme Suites and a Presidential Suite. These have to be some of the best suites in town. Each of the stunning suites is adorned with bespoke artwork and antiques, signature fabrics, and decorative items that embody their individual themes alongside contemporary pieces.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel provides a variety of culinary experiences by the resplendent Marina Bay waterfront. Guests can choose to indulge in culinary treats at a chic brasserie, Clifford, which is illuminated by 10-meter high floor-to-ceiling glass windows, unwind at the sophisticated waterfront lounge, The Landing Point, luxuriate under the stars at the much-talked-about Lantern, a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Marina Bay and the city skyline or the newly unveiled restaurant, The Clifford Pier.
The hotel’s stylish rooftop bar Lantern is recognized as one of the world’s best hotel bars by CNNGO. With bespoke outdoor vintage-inspired furniture, including romantic daybeds, Lantern presents a lush, charming tropical environment that is representative of Singapore.
The new dining destination, The Clifford Pier, preserves the Pier’s intrinsic hawker culture and honors its historical role as the landing point of Singapore’s forefathers, as well as a melting pot of diverse cultures, presenting the best of Singapore’s delicacies alongside reinterpretations of dishes from the region and Western classics.
Get the following benefits at Fullerton Bay Singapore, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:
- Upgrade at time of booking (subject to availability)
- Daily Buffet breakfast, for up to two in room guests per bedroom served in restaurant
- One Fullerton bear per room, per stay
- One Dining Credit of $100 USD equivalent per room, per stay (not combinable; no cash value if not redeemed)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
2. Fullerton Hotel Singapore
The magnificent Fullerton Building is a grand neoclassical landmark built in 1928 that was once home to Singapore’s General Post Office, the Exchange Room and Exchange Reference Library, and the prestigious Singapore Club. Today, the Fullerton Hotel Singapore has been transformed into a stunning 400-room heritage hotel in Singapore.
Dynamically located in the heart of the financial and arts districts, the hotel successfully blends rich heritage with contemporary style and personalized service to offer guests a world-class accommodation experience. It is actually located at the mouth of the Singapore River and is a mass of grand staircases, high ceilings, and marble, super classy! This area was originally the heart of colonial Singapore. A nearby footbridge dates back as far as 1870.
This hotel is magnificent with a pillared frontage, historic dining rooms, and glorious waterfront views. The hotel is actually dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers but offers a nice slice of history on the waterfront.
Rooms overlook the sunlit atrium or have verandas with views of the skyline, river promenade or Marina Bay waterfront. The rooms are extremely generous in size, as are the bathrooms, but the highlight for me here is the pool, which is infinity in design on floor two and has great views of the river and bay.
When you stay here, you are three minute walk from the boat quay, which offers lively nightlife with lots of restaurants and bars. Beyond Boat Quay, other quays offer similarly great options for nightlife. Chinatown and Little India are also close by if you take public transport.
The hotel has an equally luxurious but different-styled sister property across the street, the 100-room Fullerton Bay Hotel, which is housed in a modern waterfront building and ranked the number one hotel in Singapore by Tripadvisor.
The Straits Club Lounge at the Fullerton elevates your luxury stay further by offering breakfast, including champagne breakfast (Veuve Cliquot), afternoon tea, and evening drinks and snacks all for free if you book a club room. Crucially, our luxury travel concierge can get access to this lounge included in your room booking for free.
The food at breakfast, tea, and cocktails in the evening is extensive and should fill you up. There are daily specials at each mealtime, and as you would expect from a hotel of this caliber, the food quality, and the array is excellent. Although it is lovely to take advantage of these freebies, it is worth popping up to the rooftop bar to take in the views at least once during your stay.
They say: “The Straits Club offers the ultimate service experience to discerning travelers by providing premium accommodation and the highest level of quality and comfort. Guests of The Straits Club enjoy privileges that include round-the-clock personalized service, in-room registration, a complimentary daily Chandon breakfast, afternoon tea, evening canapés, and cocktails in a dedicated lounge with a vintage Peranakan décor featuring Straits Chinese artifacts. Other privileges include preferred laundry rates, pressing service for up to two clothing items, and late check-out (subject to availability). To accommodate guests’ meeting needs, a meeting room for up to six persons may be availed for two hours.”
By booking via our luxury travel concierge and you get the following benefits for free:
- Upgrade at time of booking (subject to availability, up to Esplanade Room only)
- Buffet breakfast daily for up to 2 in-room guests, served in the restaurant
- Commemorative historical book or limited edition framed Fullerton stamp
- Complimentary access to the Straits Club Lounge for up to two people (offering daily breakfast, tea items throughout the day and evening cocktails and canapés)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
3. Marina Bay Sands Hotel
The Marina Bay Sands hotel comprises three 55-storey towers, 2,560 luxury rooms and suites, and 18 different room types. This hotel is an enormous hotel, home to the iconic and eye wateringly high swimming pool spanning the towers.
This unique structural masterpiece, designed by visionary architect Moshe Safdie, spans the width of all three soaring Marina Bay Sands hotel towers. The SkyPark floats atop the three soaring hotel towers at the height of 200 m (650 ft). This gravity-defying platform stretches longer than the Eiffel Tower laid down and is large enough to park four and a half A380 Jumbo Jets.
It houses a ticketed observation deck, lush gardens, shops, top-notch restaurants, and an exclusive, infinity-edge swimming pool with a legendary view. Complementing the retail space are delectable dining options, including restaurants by celebrity chefs, fine dining, and casual eateries.
To be honest, it’s not my cup of tea at all. I am not great with heights, and this is the world’s largest infinity-edge pool at that height. It comprises 422,000 pounds (191,416 kilos) of stainless steel and holds 380,000 gallons (1,438,456 liters) of water.
Natare engineered this stainless steel swimming pool to allow for the swaying of the three skyscrapers in every direction. There are four movement joints beneath the main pools, designed to help them withstand the natural motion of the towers, and each joint has a unique range of motion. The total range of motion is 500 millimeters (19.68 inches). The SkyPark is designed for wind pressures of up to 2.5 kPa (5,933 lbs./ft² or 250 kg/m²) and wind speeds of up to 105 ft./s (32 m/s). It seems almost unnatural, but you can’t help but admire this marvel of engineering. It shouldn’t work, but it does!
If you do decide to stay in this Disney or Vegas-style massive hotel and want to experience the pool, get a poolside lounger first thing in the morning, before the crowds.
The hotel rooms are very average. The level of luxury is limited by the sheer size of this hotel. 2,500 rooms is not boutique! Expect spectatorship and awe here, but if you are looking for the highest level of luxury, you will not find it here.
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