Forget the Merlion. Singapore’s most iconic sight is without a doubt the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, which has becoming quite famous amongst tourists for its infinity pool.
So much so, in fact, that tourists have resorted to lying and cheating in order to gain access to the infinity pool, which is only open to guests at the hotel. And it’s easy to see why, since a night at the hotel will cost $400 and beyond.
Now, we would, ahem, never dream of encouraging you to cheat your way to a free swim at MBS. But just out of curiosity’s sake, what are these bold tourists doing to worm their way into the hallowed infinity pool? And if you’re not quite so bold, how can you legitimately get yourself a pass to use the pool without spending $400?
1. They disguise themselves as guests
While Marina Bay Sands hotel guests must show their key cards before they can enter the pool area, tourists exploit the fact that there are some guests who do not get checked when they enter, or who are checked but manage to be let in without their key cards nonetheless.
These tourists disguise themselves as hotel guests, usually by donning the hotel’s bathrobes and slippers, which they steal from housekeepers. One tourist wrote an account of how she walked around on a random floor until she came across a housekeeping cart, from which she nabbed a bathrobe.
2. They enter in a way that decreases the likelihood of their getting checked
First of all, to get up to the pool floor, sneaky tourists will need to follow a bunch of guests headed the same way (they will usually be dressed in bathrobes and slippers), since you need to scan your key card in the lift to get up to the 57th floor.
The hotel has now installed gates which open when you scan your key card. Fortunately for infiltrators, when there’s a flood of tourists going in and out it’s possible to enter right behind someone else who’s just scanned their card. Sneaky tourists enter right behind a group of tourists so they can slip in undetected.
Once you’re past the gates, you’ll have to contend with being checked by staff stationed there to weed out cheaters who get in without their keycards. If you’re spotted sneaking in without scanning your card, there’s a higher chance you’ll be stopped.
Most people say to walk in confidently as if you’ve been there before and hope the staff think you belong there and don’t bother asking you for your card. Some use excuses, saying they left their bags behind in the pool area or bathroom, while there have been instances of people pretending to be celebrities, although I wouldn’t recommend doing that if the only celebrity you resemble is Moses Lim.
It’s worth noting that some tourists claim they have snuck up to the infinity pool by taking an alternative route, such as by entering the pool area via the fire escape, or walking behind Cé La Vi where there is a small staff-only passageway.
3. They make up an alibi for when they get caught
Given that trying to enter the infinity pool as a non-guest is technically trespassing and could get you slapped with a fine or jail term, most tourists trying to sneak in come up with an alibi in case they get caught. Many do research on room numbers so they can provide a realistic-sounding one when asked which room they’re in, and then they pray their acting skills are up to par as they fib that they’ve left their keycards in their rooms.
Okay fine, maybe you’re not willing to risk going to jail just to swim in a swimming pool, no matter how fancy it is. Here are some lawful ways you can gain entry to the MBS infinity pool.
4. Split the cost of a room with a bunch of people
If you book in advance and at a time when the hotel isn’t full, the very cheapest room you can get at MBS is usually about $379. If you can find 10 people who want to go swim in the infinity pool, you can split the cost so that each person pays under $40.
Now, that’s still a hefty price to pay for entry to a swimming pool. In addition, you’ll only be given two key cards per room, meaning you’ll have to take turns using the pool. But at least you won’t be a criminal.
5. Make friends with hotel guests
If you’re the kind of person who can sell insurance-linked savings plans to students or magic stones to aunties, you might be able to make friends with hotel guests who will, it is assumed, invite you up for a swim.
The main areas where hotel guests socialise are at the bars, most notably Cé La Vi, or at the casino. Who knows, the Chinese tourist beside you at the baccarat tables might, high on the camaraderie of beating the banker together, offer to give you a free swim.
Have you ever swum in the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool? Share your experiences in the comments!