After 3 weeks in Malaysia it was time to move on to Singapore. Singapore is a country I had been looking forward to visit for a while, because I had always heard amazing things about it and was kind of excited to be spending a week in a 1st world country. I know that sounds crazy, but I have spent over a year in developing countries and this change was one I was looking forward to. I was also excited because I was going to be staying at 4 different accommodation locations around the city/state and enjoy a bit of luxury thanks to my partnership with AsiaRooms. I knew Singapore wasn’t that big and that it also had one of the best public transportation systems in the world, but loved the thought of being able to explore different neighborhoods of Singapore at my leisure from a few steps away at the accommodation I was staying at.
My week began with a 2 night stay at ABC Premium Hostel in Singapore. The hostel is centrally located in the neighborhood of Little India and a few blocks away from the MRT station Farrer Park. Upon arriving and walking in I felt like I was in another world. Everything was clean and spotless walking up to the reception you then see a wall with many futuristic looking shoe lockers (I kept telling my self I need to get a photo of them, but in the end forgot). I was welcomed and greeted with a smile and after checking in given a tour of the hostel. I couldn’t believe this was a hostel it looked more like a chic boutique hotel. The rooms were all labeled with a country in Asia and a brief description of the country. I was staying in the dorm room Thailand, but my favorite description was that of India. You all know I have a love hate relationship with India, but that description of it couldn’t have been more perfect.
The dorm room on the other hand was also more than perfect. Each bed is assigned a security key card wristband that gives you access to your own personal locker, personal luggage storage and personal shoe storage. Each bed also has it’s own reading lamp, outlet and hooks. For some reason those 3 things are such small details, that most hostels over look and they are something that are really needed in all dorm rooms around the world.
The dorm room even had two double beds and I was going to be enjoying one of them for 2 nights. I was welcomed with some chocolates courtesy of ABC Premium Hostel because of the Christmas season along with a towel and complimentary toiletry items.
The hostel is equipped with some of the latest technologies. Along with offering complimentary WiFi through out the entire hostel it also has computers available for all guest traveling without a laptop. I loved that the monitors were attached to the wall and in below them were outlets for headsets, thumb drives and other options for all your computing needs. They also had a huge 50+ inch smartTV in the common area. I had no clue what a smartTV was, but apparently you can surf the web on it and is like an actual computer. I think I’ve been on the road way to long, because I had no clue we had TV’s that could do that. It was pretty neat and I really wanted to try it, but the TV was always being used and I don’t know how I’d feel surfing the web infront of everyone like that. 2 nights here was the perfect amount of time to explore Little India and would have to admit that this is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed at.
After exploring parts of Little India it was time for a complete change and time to explore Sentosa Island. Sentosa Island is an island resort in Singapore visited by over 5 million people a year. The island includes two golf courses, six hotels, the theme park Universal Studios Singapore, 3 artificial beaches along with many shops and attractions. I spent a night at Siloso Beach Resort in Sentosa and it was just what I needed. The last time I stayed at a resort was at my brothers destination wedding in Playa Del Carmen. To be honest I rarely stay at resorts they are not my thing, but every once in a while it feels nice to be pampered and have everything at your disposal right there in one place. The resort is also centrally located in Sentosa Island and easy to reach through Singapore’s MRT system and then the Sentosa Monorail. Upon arriving I was loving the lush environment surrounding the resort and found out later that it is in fact an Eco Hotel and the Top Achiever for Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards 2010. I did find it strange though that the reception was all the way at the back of the hotel on the 8th floor of the building, but then understood when the view from the reception was this.
I was very excited with the fact that it had a pool and not just a regular pool, but an amazing pool with slides and even a waterfall. It had been so long since I was abe to enjoy a pool and honestly can’t remember the last time I was in a pool. I was greeted with a smile and notified that my room had been upgraded for free from the Deluxe Double to the Superior Double and was going to be able to check in early instead of the normal 3pm check in time. I walked into my room EEEEeeee-d a bit and because I rarely have my own room let my backpack explode everywhere. I was in heaven. It was then time to explore the island a bit.
Across the street from Siloso Beach Resort is Siloso Beach. It is a beach known as the place for beach volleyball and other outdoor activities such as canoeing, skim boarding, mountain biking or rollerblading. It’s a nice artificially made pristine beach. I however was a bit beached out, coming from 15 days in Koh Tao, a week in Boracay and another in El Nido, Philippines and was looking forward to the pool.
So instead of exploring more of the island and it’s attractions I spent the entire day reading a book relaxing next to this amazing pool. It was fun standing under the waterfall and sliding down the slide like a little kid again and just relaxing. I was also trying to work on my tan, but it was an overcast day and didn’t get much sun. That night I enjoyed the complimentary WiFi at the restaurant and was able to get some work done. Sadly my one night came and went so fast and it was time to move on and explore another part of Singapore.
After doing a lot of nothing in Sentosa Island it was back to the city for more sight seeing. This time for 2 nights at Naumi Liora in Singapore. This hotel is centrally located in the neighborhood of ChinaTown and around the corner form the MRT station Outram Park. This is actually the newest boutique hotel in Singapore and loved everything about it. The outside is painted a beautiful bright orange color that for some reason reminded me of Central America and all the bright colors that are used there for many of the homes and hotels.
I walked in and felt a little out of place. Here I am walking in in jeans a t-shirt and a backpack on my back when everyone else is dressed nicely in business atire and just looking at me like “um WTF?”. Luckily though the receptionist came to my rescue greeted me and made me feel at home in seconds. She welcomed me, checked me in and showed me around. I was loving the lobby and how chic it was. Chic boutique is the vision I have for the apartment or home I will own one day in the future (not anytime soon though, I’m not ready to settle down).
My favorite part of Naumi Liora was the “NIBBLES”. At the lobby of the hotel they had containers with all types of goodies and even a small refrigerator with mini ice cream cones. Every time I would come back from exploring a bit of Chinatown I would stock up on Skittles (I hadn’t had Skittles in FOREVER) and a mini ice cream cone. I loved that I wasn’t the only one enjoying the free nibbles because I every time I was getting some I would see others stocking up as well. Y’all all know I love free stuff… I mean who doesn’t especially “NIBBLES”?
What I found strangest of my time at this hotel was upon checking in the receptionist said “Oh & be sure to see us tonight for the password you will need to access the library we have a few doors down from the hotel.” I said “I’m sorry, but what?” She said “Don’t worry enjoy your day and just see us tonight for a surprise.” I thought okay and carried on, later that night I did go back and got the password. I made my way to the library and it was a tiny room with one huge wall filled with books and after a few minutes browsing the lady ask me for the password I gave it to her she pressed a button and a door open from the wall. I giggled and walked in and on other side of this wall was a secret bar. It was a nice bar too and everyone was dressed nice and I knew I couldn’t afford a single drink in here and felt very out of place again. So I did a little lap around the bar and walked back out. I then spent a while speaking to the librarian and she told me this was a PDT (Please Don’t Tell) bar and the only one in Singapore. It’s a bar modled after PDT-NYC where to get in you must call a number give them the password to get in and if it’s wrong they hang up on you and don’t open the door for you. I found it so interesting because I had only seen bars like this in movies. I won’t share the password here, because I want to follow the rule of PDT, but if any of you visiting Singapore fancy visiting this bar contact me and I will send it your way. I will never forget the password, because it made me giggle and wonder if they knew me somehow.
After exploring Chinatown it was time to go back to Little India and spend my last 2 nights at Moni Gallery Hostel in Singapore. This hostel was not so centrally located, but was a short walk from the MRT station Boon Keng. I didn’t mind that it wasn’t centrally located because I had already explored Little India and was going to be exploring Orchard Road anyway and also be visiting the US Embassy near there to get more pages added to my passport (here’s the result of that). This hostel was quite unique in a very different way it was like any other hostel I have stayed at, but was also an art gallery. It had beautiful paintings and sculptures from around the world all over the hostel. It really felt like you were staying at an art gallery.
My favorite sculpture was the sculpture below. I tried and I tried to get a focused shot of it, but because the lighting I just couldn’t with the small point & shoot I have. You can see why I like it anyway…jajaja!!!
What I liked most of Moni Gallery Hostel was that it had quite a few common areas. It had this beautiful balcony view above, but also a large common area in the reception area and then in the 2nd floor a huge room devoted as a reading/working/entertainment room. The room had a pingpong table, huge flat screen television and 3 desk for laptop users to use. The last day in Singapore it rained all day and was happy that I had already seen everything I had wanted to see in Singapore and could enjoy the day relaxing in the reading room reading a book and also getting some work done as well. It was the perfect way to end my time in Singapore.
My week in Singapore came and went in what felt like a blink of an eye. I had a great time exploring different corners of Singapore and experiencing the diverse vibrant neighborhoods around the city/state. In the end though I’m a bit confused as how I feel about Singapore… I made many observations and in the end felt like it’s more of a police state than anything else, but I won’t get into that now. I will be writing more about my time in Singapore the following two weeks. For now I must admit that all 4 of these accommodation options were amazing and unique in their own way. The places I was able to stay at cover all budgets and are in amazing locations around Singapore. Honestly in Singpore the most import thing is that you are near a MRT station. If your hotel is near a MRT station like the ones above you will be able to get to any corner of Singapore in minutes. If you decide to visit Singapore I would highly recommend staying at one these locations, to taste a bit of luxury in Singapore at any budget.
I’d like to thank AsiaRooms for providing me with the above accommodation. The hotel booking company offers discounted rates on accommodation all over Asia as well as last-minute deals. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.