Yes, the rooms are very small. I was still a little bit surprised even if I've been forewarned and have seen countless pictures. It was small, and one had little room to manoeuver. The standard can only comfortably fit one person.
The bathroom, too, was small. And it had glass walls. Unless you're travelling with a partner, I would not recommend these to parents with children or friends (unless you're very comfortable with each other). There is very little room to manoeuver when taking a shower, but they do provide both an overhead and a telephone shower.
But the negatives aside, I love this place. It was warm and cozy. My bed was cozy, and I had a radio/cd player (that doubled as an alarm clock) on my small bedside table. Overhead, I had a small reading light. The TV was indeed a flat screen; it was small, but it fit the room quite well. On a small table opposite my bed had a speaker phone, a very small refrigerator (it was so tiny it could only fit a can of coke and a bottle of water!), a heating kettle, and some coffee and tea.
Breakfast was OK, it was nothing exceptional. But I was not expecting much, as this is a bit of a budget boutique. On the buffet table was a choice of two types of bread (small croissants and sliced cream bread, which you can toast), two kinds of cereal, two kinds of yogurt (didn't find out if they were homemade), a limited selection of fruits, orange juice, milk, tea and coffee.
This kind lady who was in charge of breakfast would courteously ask everyone how s/he preferred his/her eggs. You can choose between fried or scrambled. After a few minutes, you will be served your plate of eggs with a small serving of pork and beans, a strip of bacon and a small fried potato cut in half. It's true about the salt and pepper shakers--but I didn't need to fight with anyone for it as I had my breakfast quite early on a Saturday morning.
Embers opens at 7:30am for breakfast. They do serve breakfast quite late, and you're more likely to miss it if you have an early morning flight.
Unique Quality: I was recently in Singapore for a business trip. I decided to extend a day and stay at Hotel 1929. I've heard about good (and the occassional bad) reviews. I was not at all disappointed and pleasantly surprised. Previously, I stayed at the Swissotel, but my 1929 room was more memorable as it was cozy and unique.
It's best quality? A toss between the staff and the location.
The staff are very friendly and very professional--from the front desk down to the cleaning lady. They contribute greatly to the welcoming atmosphere of the hotel. They always greet you with a smile, something I never really felt at the Swissotel. Hazley, the receptionist, was exceptional. He allowed me to check in early (at about a little past 1pm, published check in was 2 or 3pm) and to check out a bit later (2pm, even if published check out is 12pm) with ease and no extra charge. He was very accommodating and would effectively answer all of my queries.
Location was perfect, especially now when they're preparing for the New Year. Only five minutes away is Chinatown's colorful shops/street market (Trengganu, Sago, Pagoda, Smith--the Food Street). It's the place to be at night. It's also a place to buy cheap souvenirs. Most go for 3 for $10, like shirts and other trinkets. I did manage to score clay magnets for 3 for $5. Those Singapore flower pendants and earrings go for 3 for $10, although I did see a stall selling it for 4 for $10.
I had a small balcony which overlooked Keong Saik Road. It was wonderful, the street was generally quiet--except during prayer time in the nearby hindu (?) temple. Next to my hotel were these mom and pop eateries--good but cheap Chinese food.
I only stayed a night, but I will definitely come back!
The Chinatown MRT is also only a 10 minutes away. I checked with the map, though, and found that the Outram station is supposed to be nearer, but I could never find it. In any case, the MRT's entrance along Pagoda street is a sight to behold. It also has an upstairs garden, which is worthwhile to see.
Directions: Taxis don't know this hotel. I suggest you bring with you a copy of the address or a map.
If you're taking the MRT, exit either Outram Station or Chinatown Station. Use the MRT only if you have a few things with you.