In Singapore, you can find a variety of accommodation for all types of travelers. You can stay for a relatively cheap price at various guesthouses, lodges, and inns for about 50SGD per night. You can also stay at very exclusive hotels with big swimming pools right in the center of the city. Booking a stay in advance is easy and saves a lot of money. There are some very good and reliable hotel booking websites; we have the best experiences with agoda.com and booking.com.
1) Ibis on Bencoolen
There are several nice hotels within the lively area Bencoolen. Ibis on Bencoolen can be found at a perfect location; a few minutes’ walk from several popular shopping malls, some nice local markets, and very close to Bugis MRT Station. From this metro station, you can easily explore the entire city, including the city center. Right in front of the hotel is a bus station. Just ask which bus heads to the city center at the reception. Make sure you buy an EZ-Link smartcard card up front, so you have a balance to pay for your ride.
At a few hundred meters from Ibis, you will find the most popular IT mall called Sim Lim Square (SLS). Here you will find everything that has to do with electronics, such as computers, gadgets, and cameras and accessories. Also at a few minutes’ walk, you will find the popular shopping mall Bugis+, a hip and very modern designed shopping mall. Next to Bugis+ lies Bugis Village, a covered market where you can buy almost everything. Opposite Bugis+ lies Bugis Junction, also a popular mall.
Ibis on Bencoolen is a very nice 4-star business hotel. Because of its great location, it is also ideal for tourists. The rooms are tastefully designed and contain everything you need. Each room has an LCD television and throughout the hotel you have free WiFi. The room we had also contained a very small fridge which was a bit impractical as a few cans of soda barely fitted. Right next to the hotel is a 7-Eleven supermarket where you can go all day and all night for snacks, sodas, or water (yes, we are cheap sometimes).
Ibis on Bencoolen is a busy hotel during the week. We arrived early and all rooms were occupied, so we had to wait until we could check in at 2 p.m. We left our suitcases there and ventured into the Bencoolen area. Walk-in rates were poor. It can be booked on the Internet (for example via agoda.com) for about 155 SGD including breakfast; while at the main entrance, there was a big sign that advertised a stay for 198SGD per night.
The hotel has an excellent breakfast. The coffee was great too. Because it is a business hotel, most guests eat their breakfast quite early in the morning. During the week, you will find an almost empty breakfast area after 8:30 a.m. There is a restaurant where you can enjoy a fine lunch. Prices are very reasonable. We paid 12SGD for a delicious club sandwich. If you prefer to eat out, then that is possible too as there are many local and Western eateries within walking distance of the hotel.
We can definitely recommend this hotel, especially if you want things like breakfast covered up front. It’s great to have a few popular malls within walking distance and, besides the metro, you can also take the bus to the city center, making Ibis a great choice for tourists that have a few days to explore the city.
2) Studio M Hotel
Studio M is a very pleasant hotel in a nice neighborhood in Singapore. The hotel is part of the internationally renowned Millennium & Copthorne hotel chain. The hotel is located at Robertson Quay, a 15-minute walk from the entertainment district Clarke Quay and all the fine restaurants at Boat Quay. Clarke Quay MRT (subway) is within a 15-minute walk from the hotel.
We had a deluxe loft, a well-designed room on the 9th floor (corner unit). The room featured a modern design. We had a small living room with a couch, a desk with TV, and a huge window (4 meters high) with a tremendous view over the city. We also had a staircase to the open bedroom upstairs. Again, there was a large TV. The shower and toilet were located right next to the entrance. We had free WiFi in the room, with very decent speeds as we are used in Singapore.
We had a fantastic view of the city; we had a view of the central business district, with both Quays nearby and Marina Bay Sands in the distance.
We had a very nice room for a reasonable price compared to several other hotels. While Studio M is not cheap (there are more affordable alternatives), you do get a lot of value for your money. Hotels in Singapore are often much more expensive; a similar 4- or 5-star hotel often costs over 250 SGD per night. We only paid 180 SGD per night for Studio M. We chose this 4-star hotel as a 2- and 3-star hotel will also easily cost more than 150SGD per night. A much less centrally located 2-star hotel such as the Hotel 81 chain also often costs over 100SGD per night. We booked Studio M Hotel through agoda.com, which is our favorite hotel website together with booking.com.
Studio M is a beautifully designed hotel. Everything looks modern and sleek. There is great attention to fine details. The lobby looks great and on the first floor you have a couple of PCs with internet that you can use free of charge. The swimming pool was beautiful. Around the pool you have several lounge chairs and enough shade to keep out of the sun. There is a cozy lounge bar on the same floor as the pool, with next to it a big gym.
Next to the lobby you have an Espressamente Illy, which is a good place for a nice cup of coffee. They serve a very good lunch and also snacks like pastries and brownies. Within a 3-minute walking distance, you will find a TCC (Coffee Connoisseur) and 7-Eleven convenience store. Directly behind the hotel lies Robertson Quay, a river that goes through Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. Along Robertson Quay, you have several bars with terraces.
Studio M is a great choice, though you are not really near to anything. It is, however, easy to grab a taxi in front of the hotel, or you can walk to the Clarke Quay MRT station. We had a fantastic time in the hotel, and we recommend it wholeheartedly to other travelers that fancy a bit of an upscale place to stay. Did I mention the great coffee? I love it when I can visit a nice coffee place almost 24/7, and Espressamente Illy is open great hours :).
3) V Hotel Lavender
We stayed at V Hotel for a few days after hearing about its great location. On the internet, we came across very reasonable prices to which we could not say no. It is located in Lavender, an area just outside the center of town, with Lavender MRT Station directly below, which makes it a perfect tourist hotel to easily explore the city. One subway station away is Bugis, and directly above the subway station are Bugis Village, Bugis Junction, and Bugis+, guaranteed for a pleasant shopping experience.
V Hotel is a nice hotel; according to the hotel reviews sites, it is a 4-star hotel, and we agree to a certain extent. Standard rooms are clean, but rather small, which is quite common in Singapore. The shower area was also quite compact. There was an LCD TV , an empty mini fridge, and a kettle. There was free WiFi in the rooms, but the speeds and reliability could be improved. If you have a room at the right side of the hotel, you will have a view over the city; the inner row of rooms has no view.
There is a nice pool and a large area around it where you can sunbathe. Next to the pool is their signature restaurant 12 Inches (of pizza). This is also the place where you can have your breakfast in the morning. Often there are nice deals for this hotel, but without breakfast. In that case, you can enjoy a local meal (or a sandwich) at the small food court right next to the subway entrance.
The hotel was very affordable when we booked it. We paid 150SGD per night through agoda.com, which is a bargain for Singapore standards. We felt it was not worth 4 stars, mainly because of the small rooms. It is, however, a great hotel for what you pay for it. Because of this, the hotel is very popular and therefore often crowded, which you clearly notice when you are in the lobby area. Lavender is a nice neighborhood and because you are right above a subway station, it is very easy to explore the highlights of the city. We would recommend this hotel mainly because of its affordable price and the easiness of getting into the city center by metro.
4) Albert Court Village Hotel
We found out about Albert Court Village Hotel through a tip from a friend. He told us the hotel is very nice, affordable, and located at a great spot near numerous attractions. Through the official website of Albert Court, a night without breakfast costs around 240SGD, but a check with Agoda gave a total price of 150SGD per night. Breakfast was not necessary, as there are plenty of eateries within walking distance. For this price, it a great place to stay. If you go only a bit lower in price, you end up at the budget places further outside of the city.
The lobby has a luxurious yet cozy vibe to it. In the lobby is an escalator to get to the first floor, and from there you take the elevator to the different floors with rooms. It mixes old with new and these influences clearly overlap. The front of the hotel looks like time stood still; it has a very nice colonial vibe to it.
Rooms are quite spacious (though some cheaper rooms are small) and the interior is quite basic. It has a small shower, air conditioning, a small mini bar, and, of course, free WiFi. Some rooms have great views over the main road, while others look out at the back of the hotel where the view isn’t that nice.
The hotel is within walking distance (+/- 5 minutes) from Little India, and also within walking distance of the Bencoolen district. The nearest metro station (MRT) is in Little India. Another underground station is close to Bugis Village. A few regular taxis are usually waiting right in front of the hotel and, if there are none, you can request one at the reception.
IT enthusiasts may like the fact that the hotel is located less than 100 meters from Sim Lim Square (SLS). SLS is the biggest electronics mall in Singapore. If you are looking for gadgets, cameras, video cameras, computer parts, electronics, games, and all that has to do with IT, you go to this mall. Beware, however, that you need pretty good bargaining skills to actually get a cheap deal. Often, tourists pay much higher prices compared to locals.
Albert Court is an excellent hotel, especially if you are able to get a great price up front. The location is great, and within minutes you are in the metro heading towards the city center. Make sure though that you get it at a fair price by booking up front (as otherwise there are quite a few better alternatives).
5) Value Hotel Balestier
Value Hotel Balestier is located along Balestier Road just outside the center of Singapore. Unlike several basic hotels in the center of Singapore, Value Hotel Balestier is a real ‘value’ hotel. We paid only 84SGD per night for a superior room on the 5th floor. The hotel is obviously pretty basic for the price you pay. Check-in is from 2 p.m., but if you arrive early, your room is often already available.
Rooms are very basic and not very big. The bed is fine for 2 people (although on the short side for Westerners). As is often the case with budget hotels in big cities, it can be a bit noisy. Light sleepers would be wise to bring earplugs. The shower is small, but clean and modern. There are no facilities at the hotel and there is no fridge in the room. There is also no breakfast in the hotel and the hotel does not offer free internet. Luckily, I bought a 3G SIM card with broadband, so at least we had internet access.
Within walking distance are several local restaurants; some are actually very popular among local residents, which you can discover easily by searching for waiting lines in front of the restaurant during breakfast time.
Right in front of the hotel, you can easily take bus 131 to Novena MRT and from this subway station it is a mere two stops to Orchard Road with all its glamorous shopping malls. Above Novena MRT lies Velocity @ Novena, a shopping mall specializing in sporting goods, clothing, travel gear, and outdoor equipment. Here you also have quite a few nice restaurants and lunch places, including a great organic sandwich bar at ground level, a soup spoon with delicious soups, and a TCC next to the main entrance. It is often not easy to get a taxi right in front of the hotel, as there is a lot of traffic on Balestier Road. In front of the entrance of the hotel, you will also find an ATM and a small mini market for water, sodas, or a snack.
There are a total of three Value hotels (same chain) at Balestier Road. Besides Value Hotel Balestier, there is Value Hotel Nice and Value Hotel Thomson. Do check reviews up front because the hotels are not all the same.
All in all, the Value Hotel Balestier is a very affordable solution for its great location and very low price. Rooms are basic, but pretty decent and modern. You get what you pay for. Unless you are trying to stay overnight for less than 100SGD per night, this hotel may be a bit too basic for your taste. The other hotels on this page are definitely a better choice, but this comes with a price. Value Hotel is what it is, a pretty affordable value place to simply sleep for the night.