Monday, December 7, 2015

Going Sky High At Ion Orchard's Ion Sky Observation Deck


When it comes to observation decks, the first thing that comes to mind is the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. However, you need to pay to get access and if it rains, better luck next time. Now, there’s an alternative. It’s air-conditioned, it’s located in the Orchard Road shopping district and it’s free. It’s called Ion Sky and here’s some information that you might need to know about it.

What is Ion Sky


Located right above the iconic Ion Orchard shopping mall and Orchard Residences condominium, Ion Sky is an observation deck that allows you to view 360 degree panoramic and bird’s eye view of the Orchard Road shopping district and its surroundings.


Initially, there was an entry fee (just like the SkyPark) to enter the premises which has been scrapped since. Although you don’t have to pay, the admission hours were shorter than the SkyPark’s and just recently, the hours were shortened even further. Luckily, I managed to visit it before the revision.

Entering Ion Sky


Getting to Ion Sky was easy. Just enter Ion Orchard like how you would usually do and head over to the fourth floor until you see a place called Ion Art, a free art gallery. Enter the gallery and you will notice a lift lobby that will bring you up the place. Press the button and in no time, you will reach the premises.

Unique Lifts


Although the lift lobby was dark, the insides of the lifts were very well designed and felt luxurious. There was also this feature where you can see where exactly the lift is located when it’s travelling up or down through the indicator lights at the lift lobby. A subtle but interesting addition that adds up to the already wonderful experience.

Exploring Ion Sky


Once you’re up, be mesmerized by the glass walls, unique carpet flooring and wooden walls in this ‘sky-like’ experience. At every corner, you can see amazing bird’s eye views of the Orchard Road shopping district and the surrounding areas. You can even spot the iconic Marina Bay Sands.

Beautiful Views All Around


Many visitors were busy checking out all the beautiful sights and at the same time, busy taking photos of the surroundings and selfies with their friends at a high altitude.


Augmented Reality kiosks were available as well where you can use the built-in camera to point and shoot at different areas to learn more about them. A great addition indeed.

Useful Information on Glass Walls


Other than just staring out the glass walls, visitors can also view a plethora of interesting facts and figures pasted on the walls about the sky. One of them explained about what precipitation is all about and the process of how it rains.


Think of it as a science lesson in the skies. So not only will you get to soak in the panoramic views, you can also learn something new as well. Ion Sky makes a great family-friendly place.

Facilities and Amenities


Unfortunately, no snack bars were available selling snacks and beer possibly because it was indoors and that the floor was carpeted. There is however a restaurant and bar called Salt Grill & Sky Bar if you want to dine in the skies. I’m not sure if outside food was allowed but it’s best not to bring them in.


Basic amenities like washrooms are also available. They were clean and very luxurious as this is Ion Orchard anyway. Comfortable seats can also be found if you want a short break from walking around along with a Concierge if you need more information. Not bad for such a free attraction.

Overview


My visit to Ion Sky was excellent. Ambience was great, the views were mesmerizing and the interactive Augmented Reality kiosks and factsheets made the experience even better. However, I do wish that they would reinstate the old operating hours as it was recently shortened.


Was it worth my trip? Definitely worth it and it was indeed very memorable. Although with the new operating hours, I’m not too sure if I should make a visit again. Still, if you don’t mind the new operating hours, do give Ion Sky a visit.

Getting Here

Bus services available: 36, 77 ,124, 143, 162, 162M, 167, 171, 174, 190, 518, 700, 700A, NR3, NR6, NR7 (Bus stop outside Tang Plaza along Orchard Road)

Nearest MRT Station: NS22 Orchard MRT Station (North South Line)

Website: http://www.ionorchard.com/

 

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