Hotels are pretty expensive in Singapore. I was ready to book a hostel and share a room and bathroom with other tourists. Staying in a hostel sounds fun. You get to meet fellow travelers. And based on the photos I have seen, hostel guests really have fun. However, my aunt was not too keen about sharing personal space with strangers. She feared that something bad might happen us for which I quickly replied, “Singapore is a city of fines. They penalize people for acts as simple as chewing a gum or eating in a bus. Imagine their penalty for grave crimes. ” Nevertheless, I looked for hotel for us.
South East Asia Hotel is highly recommended by Filipino tourists in the two forums I frequent. The advantage is that I do not have to pay in advance which is a plus point for a non-credit card user like me. Room for 2 costs only SGD100 a night. This is expensive than the hostel rate in Hong Kong so I looked for savings in other ways like sleeping in the airport and taking a bus trip at night.
All I had to do was e-mail the hotel and reserve a room. In less than two days, I got a reply and it was agreed upon that they will reserve the room for us as long as we arrive at the hotel before 9 AM on the date of our arrival.
I am a DIY traveler so bloopers are expected.
We walked quite far before realizing that there is a shorter route to the hotel. We entered the hotel through the adjacent vegetarian restaurant. HA!
I was wondering why there was no one manning the reception and the guy in the restaurant did not bother to accommodate us. Good thing the lady in the reception noticed and called us. The room was not yet ready so I just paid the fees and we left our bags with her while we set off to our itinerary for the day.
We were back in the evening and a different lady was in the reception so I informed her that I already paid for our room but I do not know what the room number is and that we also left our bags this morning. She gave us our key and told me to go to the other door to get our bags. She opened the door and she was untying the strings on the luggage near the door which isn’t ours. I was quick to say, “These are not our bags. Those are ours”, pointing to the bags near the table. So I walked to pick them up for which she sternly replied, “You stay in the door.” Oops, I might have trespassed into unauthorized area. It was just two steps! Anyway, she handed me the bags. I asked her our room number since we do not know. She replied in the same stern voice, “Where is your key?”. Then I saw the room number. Then, I asked again, “Where are the rooms? What floor?”. (Humirit pa ako!) She told me to look at the keys again. Then, I saw the number 4 before the room number. 4th floor. Sorry po. Tao lang.
Ignorance is bliss, they say. Bloopers kept on coming. When we arrived in our room, it was dark. There was a flashlight in my bag. It was locked so I searched for my bag’s keys to unlock. Using the flashlight, we were able to find the switch but the lights won’t turn on. I decided to go back to the reception area and braced myself for a little scolding from the unaccommodating receptionist. I grabbed the keys and after I locked the door, I realized I grabbed my bag’s keys and not the room key. Argh. We were locked out. Oh my! I was prepared to be shouted at. I had no choice.
God heard my prayers because the unaccommodating receptionist was busy. Another person helped me. And I found out that we only have to do this on the box near the door for the lights to turn on. HA! Probinsiyana-moment!
There was a water heater for the coffee and tea they provided.
There was also a hotel phone which I used to call my friends’ cellphones. When I checked out, I was only billed SGD0.20 for the calls. That’s around Php7 only!
Overall, the hotel experience was okay. I will book this hotel if I travel to Singapore again with people who want to stay in a hotel. Otherwise, I will try those fun hostels. 😀
The Casa Blanca Guest House Experience
Since this post says “The Tale of Two Hotels”, here goes the other hotel story. Actually, this is not a hotel. It is a guest house- a house that is converted into a transient space. We stayed overnight in Malacca and I picked this place because it has a room with an ensuite bathroom and it has good ratings in Agoda.
By the way, my Agoda experience was a breeze. I have read of other people experiences- complaining about their unsuccessful bookings with Agoda. I was a bit apprehensive. However, we were only staying for one night so there was not much loss in my part. Luckily, I never experienced such an inconvenience. I was glad they accepted Paypal payments. Because I had a pleasant experience with Agoda, I will book with Agoda again next time I’ll need a hotel.
We rang the doorbell and nice Chinese gentleman greeted us at the door. He knew we were arriving and showed us how to open the front door. It had an automatic lock system. A button near in the wall should be pressed before going outside so that the door will be opened. Along with the room key was a card to use to open the front door. All we need to do was to press the card at the security box outside the door for it to open. (Take that, SEA hotel!)
The room was spacious. I could do cartwheels inside (if only I still knew how).
I was not crazy about the bathroom design. That said, we were more than happy with this clean bathroom.
The host admitted that he knows little English. Excellent service makes up for incorrect grammar. Communication is shared understanding and I understood this sign well.
There is a self-service kitchen. Guest can help themselves with anything available here. For breakfast, I made coffee and got some bread here.
There was also a bike for rent in the porch. Roaming around Malacca is more convenient with a bike, if only I re-learned how to ride one.
I will definitely recommend this guest house to friends.
Two type of accommodations, two different experiences, two enriched travelers.
I love your dress there, Kat!
And that woman was rude. You shouldn’t have to put up with that and she shouldn’t be in that job!
I know. I let it pass because I was in a foreign country. Lost in translation siguro. It makes me proud of Filipino hospitality.
HAHAHAHA funny experience! I’ve lived in SG for a while, and I must say na hindi talaga sila ganun ka-warm na mga tao. So, keri lang yan ‘te 😉 heheh And when I saw the YEYE coffees, oh gosh…memories came flooding. I love YEYE coffee! I’m glad you were unstressed with the rest of the trip! 🙂
YEYE coffee was delish. I forgot to take home the tea. I was not able to try it. 🙁
The trip was awesome nevertheless!
I haven’t been to Singapore or Malacca. Thanks for recommending good places to stay in. would be useful in case I ever go 🙂 I’d experienced a hostel only once, in Japan. It was a little scary because you’re bunked in with a lot of stranger. hehe. The beds have their own curtains though for privacy. Some also have curfew.
Thanks for the feedback on Japan hostels. If I have the opportunity to visit Japan, I will really have no choice but to book a hostel. I heard that it is pretty expensive there.
this is very informative thank you for sharing
Yay, travels! I’m going to SG rin in August probably and might look for a hotel I can afford. XDD I’ll look into the SEA Hotel some more. Sana hindi si Ateng Suplada ang maratnan ko.
Have a great trip to SG. Don’t let anyone dampen your day. 😀
I think most hotels will be expensive during first week of August because of the National Day holiday. 🙂
Don’t forget to buy White Coffee and eat lotsa noodles! 🙂
I missed your tip. I never had White Coffee. Next time!
Thanks for sharing your experience. Will definitely refer back to your post when I go to SG.
Hi Kat. Thanks for sharing your hotel experience in Singapore. Haven’t gone there but hope so someday. I hope that our relatives and friend there could accommodate us if ever or at least help us in our stay there.
Glad to be of help. 😀
Singapore is indeed one of the safest place to live . I just hope that they can learn how to be a little bit aloof when it comes to tourists.
now i have an idea where to stay in sg! i tried a backpackers hostel in sydney. if i stayed longer siguro. i would be partying everynite since backpackers hostels there have activtes scheduled everyday/nite for residents. if you’re not ito sharing space…esp bathroom, it is uncomfy but 4 years of dorm life trained us to minimize our personal space. you should try in one of your trips to share a room.
there are cheaper options: fragrance hotels which can be booked thru agoda. careful lang because the cheaper ones are in the red light district (geylang).
I want to try staying in a hostel. True, parang dorm lang.
There are lot of tales especially when we are on travel. Like what you had experienced when you picked up the wrong keys. :-).
that please flushing sign had made me laugh.i still see a lot of wrong grammar signs here in manila and is definitely a stress reliever. hahaha!
I enjoyed reading this post. Your tips are very good, ang galing. Thanks.
Mommy Maye (http://momayes.blogspot.com)
Natawa ako dun sa “Please flushing the toilet…” LOL!
Do you read chuvaness’ website? If she sees this toilet, it’ll be a big issue for her. Hahaha!
I read her site and this kitschy toilet will not pass her standards. 😀
I love reading your travel adventures. I was smiling the whole time I was reading and looking at the pics on this post because it’s the same hotel we stayed when we went to SNG too. Funny thing also coz I had the same experience with the door and the lights. I felt so dumb that time. hahaha!
Hehe! I felt dumb, too! Now that I know how to work it, I feel smarter already. HAHA!
i like your dress! 🙂 buti na lang busy yung receptionist na di accommodating pagbalik mo..hehe!
Thanks! Oo nga, eh. 😀
hahaha…naalala ko rin na yung ilaw drama..na isaksak lang pala yung parang card na kasama sa key ng room..ing ing lang…
so what! eh pers taym ko maka encounter nun..pero i think karamihan na rin sa pinas na hotel yan na ang drama sa mga rooms nila..
I am not alone in this blooper pala. 😀
[…] site when it comes to online hotel booking is Agoda. I booked with them early this year with our Malacca trip and the process went […]
Agree with you, tokayo (naks), that hotels in Singapore are expensive. That’s why we ended up in a hostel.
Will be posting about that tomorrow, by the way.