Full house for NDP at many Marina Bay hotels

Singaporeans hoping to get a good view of the National Day fireworks from hotel rooms in the Marina Bay area will have to act fast.

Hotels say a large majority of their rooms have been snapped up for the long Aug 9 weekend, with more locals taking up the rooms than usual.

At the Pan Pacific Hotel, which is expecting full occupancy on National Day, most of the bookings were made by Singaporeans.

"This is likely attributed to the extended four-day weekend, with many locals taking advantage of the opportunity to do a staycation," said its public relations manager Nathalyn Fong.

At The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore - where National Day rates start from $870 a night - some reservations were made a year ago, mainly by Singaporeans. General manager Peter Mainguy said guests can view the festivities from the hotel's newly renovated club lounge on the 32nd floor.

Both the 2,561-room Marina Bay Sands and 1,261-room Swissotel The Stamford have also run out of accommodation for Aug 9.

At Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where rooms facing the fireworks start at $699, a minimum two-night stay over Aug 9 is required. Average room rates for the period are about the same as last year.

Marina Mandarin Singapore has a "Fireworks Extravaganza" package starting from $1,200 per night for a minimum of two nights over the National Day weekend. As of Thursday, only a few suites were left.

Freelance journalist Sim Ee Waun, 45, booked a room at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, for the parade's preview on Aug 3. She has done so almost every year since 2006 so that her ailing father can view the fireworks comfortably.

"We plan to check in in the late afternoon, pop champagne and watch the fireworks," she said. "It's a lot more comfortable than jostling with the crowds."

mellinjm@sph.com.sg