Looking for a Hostel
Before my friends and I went to Singapore, a classmate recommended a place called Beary Good Hostel. Initially, I did not give her suggestion much thought. Staying in a hostel is something that would never cross my mind as I've always stayed in hotels every time I visit other places. I checked their website and immediately loved the place. My friends and I started searching for more hostels and found many nice and affordable ones in Singapore. They seem much more fun than typical hostels. They are perfect for young travelers who don't mind having to share a room or a bathroom with other travelers. Travelers who are more private can bring along their friends so they won't have to share a room with strangers.
Despite the hostels' low rates, they are surprisingly clean. They also offer some freebies that are not available in some hotels.
In this page, I will show you some of my favorite hostels in Singapore. Some of the information are not available on the hostels' websites, so I did an intensive research and collected all the information I could find. I hope you guys will find this useful.
A Beary Good Hostel
It owns three hostels: Beary Good, Beary Nice, and Beary Best. All three are strategically located in Singapore’s Chinatown, which means that they are near shops, eateries, and MRT station!
Guests will have to climb a flight of stairs to reach the dorm (but not in Beary Nice and Beary Best where both have a lift). By the entrance, there is a shoe rack where guests leave their shoes before getting in. A shoe-less inn keeps the place cleaner like in Japanese homes. The lounge area is small yet very cozy. The small and big teddy bears scattered around the place make the hostel much more welcoming (thus the name “Beary”!). Teddy bear lovers will surely enjoy their stay.
Each room has 10 or 13 beds. Beary Nice and Beary Best have fewer beds in each room and cost a bit more. The bedrooms are air-conditioned, a plus points to travelers wanting a nice cool place to stay in. Each bed has its own lamp and power sockets. Lockers are also provided but you have to bring your own padlock; otherwise, you can rent one from the hostel. A group of four tourists or more can make a group booking and have a dorm exclusive for their group (which means they don’t have to share their room with other guests!).
Due to the hostel’s limited space, there is only one toilet for the guys and one for the ladies (a possible dealbreaker for some). I’ve read that there are also other toilets in the building though I’m not sure how many. Aside from the toilets, there are also separate shower rooms.
The Beary hostels offer free breakfast, unlimited drinks (e.g. coffee, hot chocolate, tea) all day, and free WiFi. Not bad eh? If you don’t have a laptop or a tablet with you, you can use the hostel’s laptop in the lounge area free of charge. They also offer guests tickets to some of the city’s famous tourist attractions at lower prices.
Address: 66A and 66B Pagoda Street, Singapore, 059225 (Beary Good Hostel)
16 & 18 Upper Cross Street, Singapore, 058331 (Beary Best Hostel)
46B Smith Street, Singapore, 058956 (Beary Nice Hostel)
Tree in Lodge
As the name suggests, Tree in Lodge is an eco-friendly hostel situated in Bugis. They do not use plastic/Styrofoam/toxic products, they recycle whatever they can, they use filtered water instead of bottled water, they conserve energy and water (their air-conditioning system is turned off between 12pm to 6pm), and they encourage their guests to go green!
The hostel has three types of room: mixed dorm with 4 beds, twin room with 2 beds, and a 4-bed dorm exclusive for female guests. Each bed has curtains to give guests more privacy – a really thoughtful gesture by the management. If you’re travelling with some friends, you can make your room private if you rent all (or some) of the beds. I’ve read some reviews about the beds making some noise when you move because of the material, but they’re very clean. Foods and drinks are not allowed inside the dorm. Tree in Lodge has a lift, which is great!
Tree in Lodge boasts having plenty of toilets and showers. The toilet/shower to guest ratio is 1:4, and the males’ are separate from the females’. The doors to shower rooms have writings on them such as “9 litres of water can be saved per minute” and “enjoy your shower under 5 minutes”, serving as friendly reminders to guests about being eco. I will definitely feel guilty if I take too long to shower!
The common room has plenty of tables and windows which are opened when the air con is turned off. Tree in Lodge offers free breakfast, unlimited drinks, free WiFi, free movie nights, and free tour to Singapore’s nature spot! They also sell public transport cards to guests to help them save fees for availing new cards.
Address: No.2 Tan Quee Lan Street, (Bugis), Level 02, Unit No. 02-01, Singapore 188091
River City Inn
Located in Clarke Quay, River City Inn appears to be one of the cleanest hostels in Singapore. I’ve read a lot of reviews about it and everyone seems to be saying one thing – the hostel is squeaky clean. It may be hard to spot the hostel since it’s on the fourth floor of a store. River City Inn is just opposite to 7-11. There is no elevator or an escalator, which is a drawback especially when you’re carrying heavy luggage or shopping bags. Before you enter the inn, you are required to remove your footwear so that whatever you got from the streets would just stay outside.
River City Inn has as small as a 4-bed room and as huge as a 14-bed room. For female guests’ safety, they also offer a ladies-only dorm. The hostel’s air conditioning system is turned off at 9am. Free WiFi is available, though I’ve read the internet gets slower inside the bedroom. Some noise is also inevitable because of the number of guests staying there. Each bed has curtains for added privacy. Free “filling” breakfast is served until noon. They also provide free unlimited water to help guests save money. The hostel is very convenient and is only a five-minute walk from the MRT station.
The hostel got a lot of good reviews that it became very popular with backpackers, so it may get too crowded. The bathroom may also not be enough to accommodate all the guests when it’s fully booked. I think it is best to stay there during the off-peak season. If you’re going to stay at River City Inn, be sure to arrive on time as they are very strict with the check-in/check-out time.
Address: 33C Hong Kong Street
This is one of the best-looking hostels I’ve ever seen. In fact, it looks more like a hotel than a hostel. It’s more expensive than a typical hostel but is still considerably low compared to hotels. So if you’re looking for a nice affordable place that still has the feel of a hotel, then Bunc is one of your best options. Situated in Little India, this three-storey building is in the vicinity of shopping area and restaurants. The building has a lift so you won’t need to climb steep stairs every time you get in and out of the hostel. It also has a branch in Clarke Quay.
There are varied types of rooms available: standard to large sized mixed dorm rooms, ladies-only rooms (on the ladies-only floor!), and even private rooms with en suite bathroom! Some of the rooms have double beds, which is quite unique in backpackers’ hostels. If you don’t mind, you and your companion can rent a double bed. It is cheaper this way than renting a single bed. I’ve read a lot of reviews saying how comfortable the beds are. Bunc has free WiFi connection, free breakfast, lockers, reading lamps and power sockets beside each bed, bedside screens (instead of curtains) for privacy, and a deck, among others. There are also MAC computers and Windows computers available to guests.
There is a long table in the lobby. It’s a nice place to hang out especially if you’re with a large group of friends. The toilets are very nice. One reviewer said that they were like the ones found in a five-star hotel. I haven’t seen what the toilets look like, but I’ve read that there are paper towels and water in the toilets, so you can choose whichever you prefer using in cleaning up yourself. The air con is turned on from 6pm, which is fine if you’re out most of the time.
Address: 15 Upper Weld Road Singapore207372
Matchbox The Concept Hostel
What immediately caught my attention about this hostel is its similarity to Japan’s capsule hotels. As the word “matchbox” suggests, the beds look like two rows of matchboxes. It gives guests a feeling of having their own little private space. The hostel has gained popularity for being featured in different publications.
The dorms vary from having merely 2 pods to as many as 18 pods. Queen-sized pods are also available. Aside from the usual stuff being offered in hostels (free breakfast, free unlimited drinks, WiFi connection, free use of computers), Matchbox has its own foot and back massager, a true gem to tourists with tired feet and aching body from long hours of walking. If you want to use a computer in the comforts of your pod, you can bring one of the hostel’s laptops to your room! The showers and toilets are clean, though I’ve read that the toilets are a bit hard to flush. Some guests complain about some cubicles having a shower and a toilet in the same space, as the toilet seat would get wet after someone took a shower.
To make the guests feel extra special, the hostel also offers a 10% discount on tickets to some tourist attractions.
Address: 39 Ann Siang Road Singapore 069716
Wink Hostel is another cool and modern hostel inspired by Japan’s capsule hotels. This three-story hostel, located in Singapore’s Chinatown, has been featured in different publications like Cosmopolitan and Travel+Leisure. There are no lifts in the building, so guests will have to climb a flight of stairs to reach the dorm.
This high-end hostel is quite expensive compared to most hostels, but it is still cheaper than hotels. It has single-pod mixed dorms, double-pod mixed dorms, and ladies-only dorm. The rooms have 6 to 10 pods and a sofa. The pods are very spacious and are equipped with adjustable reading LED light and power sockets. The double pods are best for couples travelling together or tourists who simply want a bigger bed. Guests won’t have to go farther into the room to get something from their massive lockers, as the lockers are placed just beneath the lower pods. Plus, the lockers are installed with smart card locks! Sounds cool, huh? The walls between the pods are sound-resistant and the floors are carpeted, thus reducing echoes and noise. Guests will surely feel comfortable in their private sanctuary.
Wink Hostel offers their guests free breakfast, free WiFi access and free use of computers. The bathroom is very clean and modern, and the males’ bathroom is separate from the females’. Other facilities they have are a laundry/ironing room, a kitchenette, and a café lounge. Guests can get tickets to some tourist attractions at discounted prices. The hostel also has a 24-hour reception!
I’ve read some guests complaining about the bed ladder being too high and hard to climb. The hostel is planning to improve this though. The lowers pods are also without curtains or screens, which caused uneasiness to some guests. The hostel cannot install curtains since they may pose fire risks. This won’t be a problem though if you’re travelling with your loved ones/friends or if you’re staying in a ladies-only dorm (that is, if you’re a female).
Address: 8 Mosque St., Singapore 059488
I thought that the only difference between a hotel and a hostel is the cleanliness and the service that you get. I’m a bit surprised to have found that a lot of hostels in Singapore are super clean and have excellent staffs. In a four-star hotel that I frequent to in Hong Kong, my family does not get free breakfast, considering the high rate that we’re paying. We also do not have WiFi in our room. The free breakfast, free unlimited drinks, free WiFi, and free use of facilities after check-out, are some things that I really appreciate in these hostels. I would never expect these freebies from a hostel. Never mind the steep stairs that I have to climb. Never mind the shared bathroom and the cleaning-up after using the kitchen. Staying in hostels sounds like a fun and worthwhile experience for a young traveller like me!
© Rainy Kua 2016.