There's no denying that the concept of 'Revenge Travel' - the urge to explore and travel extensively after prolonged periods of lockdown - has gained important momentum in the wake of the pandemic.
The two-year long health crisis curbed our ability to enjoy leisure travel. However, as restrictions begin to ease, many are eagerly planning trips, both local and international, that have long been on their personal bucket lists.
My husband and I found ourselves caught up in this trend. After the culmination of our wedding celebrations, we decided to use the easing of pandemic restrictions as an opportunity to embark on our much-awaited honeymoon. We set our sights on two destinations: Singapore and Malaysia.
As we tried numerous local eateries and explored multiple attractions in Singapore, now, I'd like to share our experience when staying at this garden city. By the way, if you're curious about our adventures in Malaysia, feel free to check out our previous posts.
The hotel we chose in Singapore was the Check-Inn @Little India, located at 60 Buffalo Rd, Singapore 219184. It's important to note that within Singapore's Little India district, there are two similarly named roads - Kerbau Rd and Buffalo Rd. They are distinct, yet both situated within the Little India area, so be sure not to mix them up.
The Check-Inn hotel is conveniently situated near the Little India MRT station, making it a breeze to commute from the airport or any other part of the city. We found it particularly helpful after a long flight, as we were quite exhausted from hauling our suitcases all day.
For those who prioritize convenient transit links, the Check-Inn hotel could be a suitable choice. It's worth mentioning that securing accommodation in Singapore can be a daunting task, especially for budget-conscious travelers like us.
If your budget allows for a higher nightly rate, you might consider spending above SGD 200. That should make the hotel hunt less challenging.
Personally, I found the search difficult due to the high demand for a limited number of hotels in Singapore. As a result, even if some accommodations are smaller than expected or don't meet the highest cleanliness standards, they still have no shortage of takers. The high demand is likely due to a lack of alternatives.
Hence, our primary criteria while choosing a hotel was proximity to public transport. We were willing to compromise on the size of the room if it meant easier commutes. Remember, when in Singapore, strategic location can often trump spacious luxury.
We arrived at the hotel for check-in around 8:30pm. Gratefully, the process was straightforward and uncomplicated, allowing us to retire to our room swiftly. On arrival, we were promptly greeted by a receptionist at the front desk.
We were asked to fill out several forms for record-keeping, and our passports were photocopied for administrative reasons. As is standard practice, a deposit was requested, which would be refunded upon check-out. The deposit was set at SGD 100.
After that, the receptionist handed us our room key and briefed us on the hotel's policies and guidelines. We were then free to ascend to our room, and the prospect of rest was indeed exciting!
Upon entering the Check-Inn hotel, I was struck by a fusion of classic and modern aesthetics. Boasting a British Colonial-style architectural theme, the hotel was tastefully decorated in monochromatic hues of black and white. Medium-sized frames, housing vintage-themed paintings, adorned the walls, enhancing the classic feel of the place.
Despite being surrounded by bustling Indian restaurants and a small market, the hotel interior was surprisingly tranquil. The silence that enveloped us upon entering the hotel was a welcome change from the external hustle and bustle.
However, a slight drawback was the less-than-soundproof nature of the partitioning walls. At night, we could faintly hear voices from the adjacent room.
Do note, this hotel does not feature an elevator. Guest access to upper floors is via stairs only. The hotel spans three levels, which can present a minor challenge to those assigned rooms on the top floor - hauling your luggage up can be quite a workout. Let's proceed to the room to explore its facilities.
We stayed in room 201. The first thing that meets the eye upon entering the room is the bed, owing to the compact size of the room – a mere 13 square meters. The wall adjacent to the bed was graced with a black-and-white, vintage-themed photograph or painting. The room had no windows.
The bed, a king-sized one, came with four pillows. The mattress was soft and comfortable, while the blanket was rather thin, sandwiched between two white sheets. It was quite delicate and could easily unravel with a forceful tug.
The air conditioning unit functioned well, providing a much-needed cool respite, especially in comparison to our prior experience in Malaysia. The television, however, was hardly used during our stay. Its unusual placement, facing the clothes hanger, made viewing from the bed rather inconvenient.
We got the impression that the television was more of a room accessory rather than a facility intended for use. Our itinerary was packed so our hotel nights were purely for bathing and recharging. Besides, after a long day of exploring, television was the last thing on our minds!
A notable feature of the room is the central placement of light switches and power outlets on the bed, providing added convenience. The close proximity of these utilities means you can charge your phone or switch off the lights without leaving the comfort of your bed. This thoughtful design touch adds to the room's functionality.
Bear in mind, the bathroom is rather compact, so you may need to manage your expectations. It lacks a division between the sink and the shower areas, resulting in a somewhat cramped single space. The area in front of the water closet is just enough for one person and demands careful movement to avoid accidental bumps.
However, when it comes to color coordination, cleanliness, shower variety, and flooring choice, the hotel fares favorably in comparison to other establishments.
They provided bath soap and shampoo have a pleasant aroma, and the hot shower functions efficiently. However, the bathroom size was a surprise to both my husband and me – we hadn't anticipated it being quite so small.
The bathroom door employs a sliding mechanism, a practical choice given the room's size constraint. As for the amenities, we were provided with two toothbrushes and two shower caps, which were replenished daily if used.
Upon entering the room, you'll find the power card slot, hot water switch, and bathroom light control on the wall adjacent to the door. Interestingly, not all functions are automatically activated via the power card. For instance, to use the hot shower, one needs to manually press the corresponding button.
For internet connectivity, the hotel provides a barcode which guests can scan to access the WiFi network. The hotel's internet speed is commendable, owing to its use of WiFi 6 technology. This advanced WiFi technology is standard in Singapore, resulting in impressively fast internet connectivity.
The hotel also provides a mini fridge, although it leans towards the smaller side compared to typical hotel fridges. Nevertheless, it is sufficient for storing small beverages or ready-to-eat items purchased from convenience stores.
In the hanger area, guests are furnished with a kettle, two cups, sugar, creamer, coffee, and two bottles of water for brewing hot beverages. These items are replenished daily if used. This comes in handy for whipping up instant noodles from 7-Eleven.
Check-Inn hotel equips each room with a safety deposit box, where guests can securely store their valuables when not in the room. Simply place your items in the box and create a password to lock it. Do remember your chosen password. As an added convenience, the hotel also provides umbrellas and slippers for its guests.
Check-Inn @Little India's primary strengths lie in its superb location and accessibility. Nestled in the heart of the city and conveniently near an MRT station, it offers guests an excellent starting point for their Singapore exploration.
The property isn't old, which lends itself to a pleasingly clean and well-maintained appearance. Its interior design, with a distinct classic edge, imparts a simple and timeless charm to the hotel, avoiding an overdone or 'cluttered' aesthetic.
The check-in and check-out processes are both straightforward and free of significant hurdles. The front desk staff are friendly, helpful, and return the deposit in full without any hitches. While the rooms are kept clean, we did notice a slightly damp smell from the carpet, likely due to the lack of proper ventilation.
However, a significant drawback we experienced was the exceedingly small size of both the hotel room and the bathroom. With limited space for storing personal belongings and luggage, it becomes crucial to organize your items effectively.
Thus, this hotel might be an ideal choice for solo travelers or couples who prioritize a strategic location but prefer to avoid the bustling Orchard area. It's particularly well-suited for travelers who mainly utilize the hotel as a place to freshen up and rest.
As long as you are comfortable with compact rooms and no windows, this hotel comes highly recommended. Its vicinity is packed with a variety of restaurants and mini marts, providing easy access to snacks or essential items. The famed Mustafa Centre is a mere 700 meters away, another plus point for choosing this hotel.
So, what do you think? Is anyone interested in staying at this hotel? Share your thoughts in the comments section. Perhaps you have personal preferences or experiences you'd like to discuss.