The world’s most expensive hotel has been officially opened in Singapore in a ceremony by singing legend Diana Ross, who performed for 2,500 VIPs in the resort’s Grand Ballroom and pop singer Kelly Rowland headlined an outdoor concert.
The Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, estimated to have cost £2billion when it opened in 2004, was previously the world’s most expensive hotel. However, the dazzling new Marina Bay Sands £4bn resort – which features an indoor canal, opulent art, casino, outdoor plaza, convention centre, theatre, crystal pavilion and a museum shaped like a lotus flower – has taken the top prize.
Give it time though…they’ll probably build a hotel in the UAE out of solid gold, just to top this.
One of the many highlights of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, which has 2,560 rooms costing from £350 a night, is the infinity pool on the roof, located in the boat-shaped ‘SkyPark’ that spans the three towers of the hotel. The platform itself is longer than the Eiffel tower laid down and is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Infinity pools give the effect that the water extends to the horizon. In reality, the water spills over the edge into a catchment below, and is then pumped back into the pool. The pools have two circulation systems. The first functions like that of a regular pool, filtering and heating the water in the main pool. The second filters the water in the catch basin and returns it to the upper pool.
Vertigo sufferers may not enjoy swimming in this pool – it’s 55 storeys up. At three times the length of an Olympic pool and 650ft up, it is the largest outdoor pool in the world at that height.
The owners have also commissioned five well-known artists to create works of art to ‘integrate’ with the buildings. Among these is a 40m-long Antony Gormley sculpture made from 16,100 steel rods. The whole thing weighs 14.8 tons and it took 60 people to assemble it in the hotel.
Artist Chongbin Zheng created Rising Forest, which is 83 three metre high pots with trees in them. The pots were so big the artist had to build a customised kiln the size of a small building to make them in.
The resort will employ 10,000 people directly and generate up to £48m each year. Entrance to the casino alone is nearly £50 a day – but an average of 25,000 people have visited the casino daily since its initial phased opening two months ago.
Thomas Arasi, president and chief executive officer of the resort, said he expects to attract a staggering 70,000 visitors per day once it is fully open.
It was due to open in 2009, but was delayed due to labour and material shortages, and funding problems as a result of the recent global financial crisis.
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