During our second trip to Singapore, my husband and I faced the somewhat challenging task of finding suitable accommodation. This wasn't due to a lack of options but rather the typical characteristics of hotels in Singapore: steep prices coupled with small room sizes and generally older building structures.
In addition to considering factors such as room size and hotel condition, location was a top priority for us. We had no intention of compromising on proximity to the city center and accessibility to public transportation, despite the constraints of our budget.
In this article, I'm excited to share our ultimate choice and review of the hotel that met our needs on this trip. Hopefully, this information will be of help to anyone planning a vacation or business trip to Singapore.
Our choice was Ibis Singapore Novena, conveniently located at 6 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329543. A major advantage of Ibis Singapore Novena is its prime location, only a 10-minute walk from or to Novena MRT station.
While it's not quite as close as our previous stay in the Little India area (where the nearest station was a mere two-minute stroll away), we were pleasantly surprised to find a bus stop just a stone's throw from Ibis Novena!
This immediate access to a bus stop provided an additional transportation alternative. On days when we didn't feel up to the walk to the MRT station, we could easily hop on a bus to various destinations around the city.
The walk to Novena MRT station does involve a bit of a climb (a fun little fitness challenge!), which was another reason why we sometimes preferred the bus. But all in all, the hotel's location and access to transport posed no issues.
Another appealing factor was the hotel's proximity to several top tourist destinations in Singapore, including Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens by the Bay. These attractions were just two MRT stops away from Novena, which was super convenient for our sightseeing plans.
Within the hotel's surroundings, we found Zhongshan Mall, a shopping center teeming with a variety of restaurants, such as Toast Box, McDonald's, Starbucks, and more. This proved to be a convenient solution for many of our meals during our stay.
Moreover, there was a 7-Eleven convenience store located at the Novena MRT station, ensuring that we had easy access to any necessities. In conclusion, we encountered no significant issues during our stay at the Ibis Singapore Novena.
One great aspect of the Ibis Singapore Novena is its affiliation with a hotel chain. These are establishments managed by the same parent company, ensuring consistent quality of service across various locations.
In this case, the Ibis brand is part of the All Accor group. This gave my husband and me a sense of reassurance since we were confident about what to expect regarding our room's quality.
Moreover, when we compared the rooms at the Ibis Singapore Novena, they were the largest among other hotel options at 18 square meters. In contrast, the standard room size in most Singapore hotels is around 14 square meters — quite a difference!
Given our decision to choose a chain hotel, we initially planned to book our room directly via the official All Accor website. However, for some unknown reason, we experienced trouble processing the payment.
Despite multiple attempts to book through the official app, we still couldn't finish the payment. Consequently, we decided to book the room via the other hotel-booking platform.
We selected the "Standard Room with one queen-size bed" option, for a four-night stay totaling IDR 6,289,959 (roughly 418 USD). Given the quality and reputation of the hotel, we considered this price quite reasonable when compared to other establishments whose standards were less predictable.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a spacious, comfortable, and spotless reception area. At the back of the queue area, there were ample sofas available for waiting guests. We reached the hotel in the afternoon, a little past 2 pm — right in time for check-in.
The check-in process was seamless. I only had to present my identification (passport) and state my full name — there was no need to provide the hotel booking number/code.
The receptionist then needed a few moments to print out some froms. I also needed to sign a few of them and provided my email address there. Importantly, we weren't asked for a deposit, which was a welcome surprise!
After the check-in formalities were completed, we received two hotel access cards and a rundown of the hotel's policies. Following this, we headed straight to our assigned room, number 621, located on the 6th floor.
Upon entering this hotel, I was immediately impressed by its modern and luxurious design, quite exceptional for a 3-star hotel. The staff, from check-in to check-out, were helpful and friendly, ensuring a hassle-free stay for us.
Now, allow me to elaborate on the facilities we enjoyed during our four-night, five-day stay at the Ibis Singapore Novena hotel.
In contrast to our previous hotel visit, the Ibis Singapore Novena provides elevator facilities that visitors can readily utilize. The hotel lobby houses four elevators, which means no overcrowding with other guests.
To use the elevator, you must tap the hotel card on the elevator access controller located near the floor number display. Upon doing so, we could select your desired floor number. For those interested, I've written a tutorial on how to operate an elevator in a high-leveled building — do check it out!
When entering the room, I was delighted by the spaciousness, with the room measuring a substantial 18 square meters. Both my husband and I were extremely satisfied with our accommodation.
The bed, a queen-size model measuring 160 cm x 200 cm, came with two pillows, but no bolsters. The size is ideal for two travelers, not too small, not too big, providing ample space for comfort.
The bed is flanked by functioning bedside lights, enabling you to switch off the main lights when settling in for the night. The light switches are conveniently located on either side of the bed, making them easily accessible.
Beyond that, the room was impeccably clean and well-maintained, with no stains on the bed linens, or any sign of insects or pests. Directly across from the bed, there was a large-screen TV housed in an elegant cabinet, adding a blend of modern and classic aesthetics to the room.
Beneath the TV cabinet, there's a partition or rack to stow hotel brochures. Guests carrying books can use this facility to keep their reading materials organized and safe from potential spills.
The room's air conditioning system worked seamlessly, providing adjustable temperature settings based on guest preferences. If guests opt not to modify the settings, the hotel presets the temperature to a comfortable 23 degrees Celsius.
Following on, we have the desk, chair, and sofa - our favorite spot as it provided us with a space to indulge in our snacks whilst soaking in the view outdoors.
Situated next to the desk, there are several electrical outlets to charge devices like your phone or smartwatch. The desk also houses two separate waste bins, each with a specific function, so make sure to segregate your trash accordingly!
Adding to the convenience, the room doesn't limit you to just one table. A longer table, accompanied by a plush sofa, is also present. This is where my husband and I kept items or foodstuffs, such as snacks we'd picked up from local vendors or 7-Eleven. The cushion on the sofa is both soft and clean, making it an ideal spot for a little daydreaming.
Beside the sofa, you'll find a telephone you can use to place orders or communicate with the reception or housekeeping staff. If you're unfamiliar with using the hotel's phone system, you can check out the tutorial here!
Going on vacation doesn't mean having to deal with wrinkled clothes. The Ibis Singapore Novena has got you covered by providing an iron along with an ironing board. These items are stored in a spacious three-partition wardrobe where guests can neatly arrange/hang clothes and store other belongings.
At the bottom of the wardrobe, you'll find two pairs of hotel slippers. These can be used within the room or elsewhere in the hotel. I usually bring these hotel slippers back home for personal use. Is that allowed? Absolutely! Hotel slippers fall under the category of items that guests are permitted to take home from the hotel.
Typically, a room comes equipped with an electric kettle along with glasses, spoons, coffee, tea, and sugar. However, bottled water isn't provided at the Ibis Singapore Novena. Initially, I was a bit unhappy by this as I'm not a fan of hotel tap water.
Much to my surprise, the tap water was both refreshing and tasty, with no hint of a chlorine aftertaste. Upon further research, we found that the hotel has a commitment to sustainable development program.
Therefore, they've done away with bottled water, waste bins are categorized by type, and the air conditioning is set to an environmentally-friendly 23 degrees Celsius.
During our stay, my husband and I were more than comfortable drinking tap water in our room or from dispensers located on each floor. This turned out to be a bonus as we didn't have to spend money on bottled water during our stay. We each had our own tumblers, which we refilled whenever we went out and returned to our room.
Above the kettle there's a safe where guests can securely store their valuables. The safe operates just like those in other hotels, but the different design can sometimes confuse guests. So, if you're unsure how to operate a hotel safe, do check out the tutorial in this article.
Another amenity is a mini refrigerator. When compared with fridges in hotels across Indonesia or Malaysia, this one is noticeably smaller. Storage for food and beverages is just sufficient in the main compartment, with side compartments absent.
Next, let's discuss the bathroom. Even though it isn't particularly large, it's suitably sized and thoughtfully designed. The shower area, sink, and toilet each have their own dedicated spaces, ensuring the bathroom remains dry and clean. The sink area is clutter-free as toiletries such as soap, shampoo, or shower caps are not directly provided.
The front desk staff informed us that guests can request these items, and they would be delivered to the room. The only items available at the sink are two drinking glasses and a wall-mounted hand soap dispenser.
Additionally, three types of towels are provided – two bath towels and one mat towel. Do note that the smallest towel is for the bath mat – don't get it mixed up!
Moving on to the toilet area, there's a single toilet seat, but no bidet shower. As someone hailing from Indonesia, this gave me a bit of a jolt. Luckily, the bathing shower came with a long hose, which could be used as a makeshift bidet.
The final section of the bathroom is the shower area. Guests can find a 2-in-1 soap and shampoo dispenser, replenished daily by the staff, ensuring you never run out of these essentials. As is customary in most hotels, you can opt for a cold or hot shower as per your preference.
Should you have any doubts about how to operate the shower or toilet seat in the hotel bathroom, feel free to check out the respective tutorials linked in this and the following article.
Another useful amenity offered by the hotel is a currency exchange machine situated near the reception. Guests can effortlessly swap their home currency for Singapore dollars. Just insert your money, for instance, rupiah, and click 'Start Exchange' to receive Singapore dollars.
However, be aware that this service can be pricier than withdrawing cash directly from ATMs. Furthermore, the machine supports a limit of 16 types of currencies, which include Ringgit, Won, Yen, and Thai Baht.
When it was time for us to check out and head to Changi Airport in the afternoon, the checkout process was smooth and hassle-free. Simply returning the hotel card to the front desk sufficed.
Since we hadn't had lunch yet and still had some shopping to finish, we opted to store our luggage at the hotel. Luggage storage at Ibis Singapore Novena is complimentary.
You just need to notify the receptionist, who will then provide you with a numbered card corresponding to your luggage. When retrieving your suitcases, all you have to do is return the card.
Ibis Singapore Novena excels in two crucial areas: accessibility and location. While Novena isn't the most bustling tourist area and its streets are relatively calm, the MRT station is a manageable 8-10 minute walk away. For those who find this a bit far, there's the option of hopping on a bus that's considerably closer to the hotel.
Regarding food options, while the hotel isn't ensconced in a food street or hawker centre like Little India, there are some department store and a 7-Eleven within reach should you need to buy anything. They aren't in the immediate vicinity, but are still easily accessible. You can find many ways to get by!
In terms of amenities, this hotel scores high marks across the board – spacious rooms, cordial staff, pristine cleanliness, and more. If you're seeking a 3-star hotel that delivers on superior facilities, impeccable cleanliness, adequate room size, and proximity to public transportation, Ibis Singapore Novena is a splendid choice!
What do you think? Have you made up your mind on where to stay during your next visit to Singapore? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!