Marina Bay Sands' infinity pool is a hot destination for many travelers. However, the cost of using the pool is pretty steep for a lot of people. From year to year, the average price for a hotel room can range from $500 per night to $700 USD per night. For those who don't know, the only way one can access the beautiful infinity pool which overlooks all of Singapore is by staying at the hotel. Two travelers tell us the story of how they were able to access the pool for free through a clever approach.
I met Oliver as well as two other travelers off of Couchsurfing which is an app that travelers use to find hosts when they are traveling. It also has a Hangout feature to meet other travelers nearby. It was 2017 and my first time in Singapore. The city is an amazing place for food, culture, and anything else one would expect from an awesome adventure in Asia.
The four of us originally met up to explore the touristy bits of Singapore. We got food at hawkers Center, visited the Cloud Forest, went clubbing, and saw the nightly light show at Gardens by the Bay.
We made a pact as a couple of travelers
Since we all figured that it might be the last time that we would all be together and in Singapore at the same time, we decided to make a low-key pact, and pool together money for one room at Marina Bay Sands so that we could use the infinity pool there. We had researched different ways to get into the pool for free, but none of us wanted to go to jail in Singapore and all of the other options seemed ridiculous. Some people had suggested buying the white robe that people wore in the hotel to try to sneak into the pool. Other people had recommended dodging into the elevator when other guests were going in to try to get to the pool and sneak past the second security barrier there.
With the pact created, Oliver and I split from the other two travelers and gloated on how amazing it was going to be to spend a day in the pool. After a few hours of being apart from the other two travelers, we contacted them to confirm the start of our hotel room booking. Left with only the 3 of us, we began to look online for available rooms. That's when things started heading south. Maybe it was the time of year, maybe we didn't know how far in advance to book, or maybe it was just meant to be me and Oliver, but all the rooms were sold out for the next day. With great dismay, our group seemingly gave up on our hopes of jumping into that magical infinity pool.
The next day, Oliver hit me up and we decided to just take things easy, grab some food, and head to CÉ LA VI. CÉ LA VI is a rooftop observation deck/bar located right next to the Marina Bay Sands pool. It provides a nice view of the entire city, but it is definitely not the same as being inside the infinity pool. You basically buy a drink to get the view, and that's exactly what we did.
Sipping our drinks while sitting on the deck, we felt slightly depressed yet slightly satisfied that at least we had been able to get a nice view of the city. We even made jokes about coming back when we had enough money to get a hotel room with other people who would also be interested in using the pool. Now, at the time of this writing, the hotel strictly forbids such practices and we highly do not recommend this approach. It's not even what we ended up doing.
As we were leaving from CÉ LA VI, I decided that instead of walking back to our hostel, we would get an Uber Pool. Uber had us wait at a side entrance of Marina Bay Sands. Deep down inside, I kept thinking about being inside of the infinity pool. I felt a little defeated because we were so close yet so far from achieving our goal.
Upon the arrival of our Uber, I realized that the other two passengers who were joining us were staying at the hotel. In the car, I whispered to Oliver saying that I would ask them if they would lend us their hotel cards so that we could check out the pool. Oliver laughed and said that it wouldn't work, but I was determined to give it a try.
It never hurts to try
Both passengers were in their 20s like us, and seemed open to chit chat when I asked them how they liked Singapore. We found out that they were from Japan visiting for fun. They also mentioned that they were going to a bar nearby for a few hours before they would return to the hotel. That's when I took the opportunity to ask my question: "We really want to see the infinity pool, and it's our first (and possibly last) time in Singapore. Could we borrow your hotel key cards?"
One of the two girls seemed quite adamant about not lending us the cards, but the other seemed less bothered by the whole situation. Finally, after discussing things amongst themselves for what felt like hours to me, they agreed under the condition that we meet them at the bar they were going to be at a little later. We exchanged phone numbers, and Oliver and I got off at our hostel. Oliver was convinced that they would not actually message us to tell us when we could pick up the cards, but I told him to remain optimistic. We fell into our mode of excitement again, and sat in our hostel waiting and waiting for a message from either of the two girls. Like two fools getting ready to jump off of a pirate ship plank, after two hours of sitting around, we realized that the phone we were using to check for the message was not turned on. After plugging in the phone, we quickly checked whether we had received a text. We did.
I don't remember the bar name we met the girls at, and I'm sure Oliver does not either. All I remember is that it was about a 1 mile run from our Met A Space Pod hostel at Clark Quay. Time was really tight. We saw that the pool closed at 10 PM, and by the time we had realized that we had received a message, it was already past 9 PM. In a pool of sweat (no pun intended), we met the girls at the bar, grabbed the hotel key cards, and immediately called an Uber to take us to Marina Bay Sands. At this point, there was a huge possibility of everything going wrong, with nothing going right and no pool time at all. We didn't care whether we would spend a lot of time in the pool. No. It was about just being able to prove that we did it.
In what felt like the longest few minutes of our lives, we eventually made it to the hotel at exactly 9:59 PM. With anxiety skyrocketing, we hopped into the elevator and took it to the pool floor. At exactly 10 PM, we got into the pool as people were leaving it.
Seriously, we will forever be grateful for the security guard who let us in right at 10 PM.
Finally made it to the top
It's impossible to describe the amazing feelings one has being in the pool, and knowing that all of this happened by chance and for free. These were some of the photos taken with a very shaky, but happy hand.
After a few minutes of taking 1 million photos, and snapping everything to our friends, we left. We gave the key cards back to the two girls, and told them that they had forever changed our memories of Singapore. Oliver even told one of them that they could grab some food when he would be in Japan which was the next country that he would backpack to.
Spoiler: they never got food together.
We spent the rest of the night partying and having a great time at Canvas Club. The sign outside the club seemed to summarize everything for two random travelers like us perfectly: The world is yours