Value Score No Data
Good For Families
Good value, budget guesthouse near Bugis
I stayed at Superb Hub @ Bugis City for 6 nights during a visit to Singapore in March 2009.
I paid 53 SGD (25 GBP) for a single room with shared bathroom facilities.
This was my third visit to Singapore and I knew exactly what I was looking for and a rough idea of the area I wanted to stay in. Namely:
- a cheap room with basic facilities: I didn’t intend spending any time there other than to sleep at night;
- a good air-conditioning system: absolutely vital in a country as hot and humid as Singapore is;
- free wireless Internet access: following a trip to Japan the previous autumn where I enjoyed free Internet access in the room, I got used to being able to check my emails and the latest football news first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I had consequently bought a netbook to take with me on my travels;
- close proximity to an MRT station: a much cooler way of seeing the sights of Singapore than walking in the intense heat and humidity;
- no breakfast included: Singapore is a city full of fine food and I knew that I could grab breakfast somewhere different every day.
I had previously stayed at Sleepy Sam’s Hostel (a great place!) in the Kampong Glam area of the city, and I was happy to stay in the same area again.
Superb Hub at Bugis City ticked all the boxes!
Superb Hub is located on Arab Street in the Kampong Glam area of Singapore, just a short walk from the Bugis MRT station and the Bugis Village hawker centre and Bugis Junction shopping centre.
Bugis MRT station is just a two minute walk from the hostel and is a convenient station for visiting the city’s sights. It is on the East-West line, making it simple to reach from Changi Airport (just a quick change at Tanah Merah required). It is just one stop from City Hall and two stops from Raffles Place and, with a few line changes, you can reach Chinatown, Little India, Clarke Quay and Orchard Road quickly and easily.
The hostel is also very close to North Bridge Road, which had often been my point of reference on previous visits to Singapore. On the occasions that I fancied braving the heat and going for a walk, I knew that I could find most places from North Bridge Road; for example I knew that it would lead me down to the river, onto South Bridge Road and into the heart of Chinatown. Alternatively, I knew where to turn off North Bridge Road to find the Raffles hotel or Orchard Road.
There is a 7-11 store next door to the hostel and lots of nearby places to eat, drink and shop.
My small single room was everything that I hoped it would be. It was basic in the extreme, with just a bunk bed, a locker, a small table and chair, a lamp and a mirror. What more did I need? Well, a small fridge would have been nice, but apart from that I was fine. Oh, and maybe a small window to the outside world, but now I’m just being greedy!
The air-conditioning unit was every bit as powerful as I hoped it would be and, just in case it wasn’t, there was also an oscillating fan above the door.
There were ample electricity sockets for me to plug my netbook in while also charging up my mobile phone, and the wi-fi connection was generally very good, with just the occasional hiccup. In fact, most of Singapore now enjoys free wireless broadband access, so I‘d taken the step of registering an account with QMax, a free local provider, enabling me to access the Internet from pretty much anywhere in the city. So, when the hostel’s connection failed, I merely switched to the QMax connection instead.
The shower and washing facilities were located just along the corridor from my room. There were a couple of washbasins, a shower cubicle and a toilet cubicle. There were further facilities downstairs. During the morning rush-hour, queuing was sometimes necessary.
Towels were provided for a small charge; I received one upon checking in in lieu of the 2 SGD change that I was due from paying my room bill, but I’d also taken my own towel along as well.
Upon checking in you’ll receive a key for your bedroom and a key for the hostel’s back door, so you can come and go as you please outside of reception hours. All footwear must be taken off upon entering the hostel and left on a shelf by the back door.
Ronnie, the owner of the hostel, is incredibly helpful and friendly. A few moments that typified this were:
i) upon checking in, Ronnie brought me a cold bottle of mineral water while I was filling in the necessary forms and settling my bill. Upon completing the formalities, he provided me with a detailed city map, a comprehensive information booklet to read in my room and helpfully suggested the best places to eat, drink, shop and see. He also gave me his mobile phone number in case I needed to get hold of him at any point when he wasn’t on reception.
ii) at the end of my stay, I checked out of the hostel in the morning, but didn’t fly home until late at night. I was able to store my luggage in reception for the day, free of charge. Arriving back at the hostel in the evening, a sweaty mess after a day of sightseeing and not looking forward to dragging my luggage to the airport for a long flight home, Ronnie again appeared with an ice cold bottle of mineral water and a towel and welcomed me to use the showers to freshen up. That was a nice touch, and I arrived at the airport feeling a lot more refreshed than I otherwise would have.
As I was leaving, I chatted to Ronnie about my stay and how much I had enjoyed it. He was the first to acknowledge that there are still improvements to be made (he talked about plans for an outdoor patio with tables and chairs) and that he had been on a learning curve since the hostel’s fairly recent opening. He mentioned that some guests had posted negative reviews after their stays, complaining about the size of the rooms, or the lack of TVs in the rooms, or other luxuries that were missing. I think that those guests had perhaps failed to do their research before booking and weren’t fully aware of what to expect. Although, and my memory might be betraying me here, I think Ronnie mentioned that TVs may be added to the rooms in the near future, as part of the ongoing process of improvement and responses to customer feedback. If you take a look at the reviews on Tripadvisor, you’ll notice how eager Ronnie is to assess customer feedback and to respond to their reviews.
A very good value hostel, with basic private rooms in a good location near Bugis MRT station. Friendly owners, free wi-fi access and a great air-conditioning system! Highly recommended for budget travellers!
Directions: Located on Arab Street in the Kampong Glam area of the city, just a 2 minute walk from Bugis MRT station.
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