It’s no secret that real estate is expensive in Singapore, and the premium costs are naturally reflected on hotels—that a matchbox-sized room may easily cost as one at a three or four-star elsewhere. Oftentimes, budget travelers are left to resort to below average places in seedy areas, not knowing there are alternatives. Fortunately though, I discovered ibis Singapore Novena, an economy hotel located within the city that follows international standards. Read more…
ibis Singapore Novena is situated at a prime location, a lane dominated by high-rise condominiums reserved for affluent expats and locals. However, before the area became among Singapore’s key addresses, it was part of an estate of bungalows and shophouses, with much of the area’s heritage and history still intact at the charming Balestier Road nearby.
Shops and restaurants are aplenty in the proximity, thanks to Novena Square Mall and Zhongshan Park. The renowned shopping and leisure districts of Orchard Road, Marina Bay, and Little India aren’t far off also—all are reachable within a few minutes by bus, train via the Novena MRT Station, and taxi. The hotel, by the way, is on the same road as the Ministry of Home Affairs, making it “one of the most secure places in Singapore,” as a manager jokingly told me.
It was my first time to stay at a hotel under the ibis brand, although I’ve already known that it’s under the Accor umbrella of properties together with Sofitel, Mercure, Novotel, and Pullman. ibis currently has close to a thousand hotels worldwide mostly in Europe, but in Asia, it’s very prominent in Indonesia. And although it offers rooms at economy prices, it follows the highest level of service at par with the standards set by its esteemed parent brand.
We arrived at ibis Singapore Novena late into the afternoon after traveling from Johor for an event. Wanting to freshen up and get on with our agenda in Singapore, we were relieved that one of the hotel’s international staff members fixed our stay arrangements and handed our keys in a jiffy. I’ve to commend how efficient and hospitable the service of their staff was throughout our stay.
Our room, although smaller than ones we’ve slept at in other cities, is carefully laid out in a way that we were able to comfortably move around and put our luggage and shopping bags down. Regarding the room’s look and feel, it’s modernly decorated, and the vibrant colors are appealing.
The queen-sized bed was comfortable and relieving after days full of touring, walking, and eating around Singapore, and it came fitted with luxurious sheets and complemented with fluffy pillows. Aside from the standard lamps, at the bedside are power points for charging gadgets and laptops—a feature of newer hotels that I absolutely love.
The room likewise boasts of the following conveniences: a desk, a small closet, an LCD TV, a electronic safe, a minibar, and an electric kettle for coffee and tea. The bathroom, meanwhile, is absolutely spotless and stocked with several towels and basic amenities.
Breakfasts are served at Oopen, the hotel’s restaurant and bar that serves international fare at affordable prices. Their Asian and Western buffet selection is kept simple yet tasty and filling.
Aside from the restaurant, the hotel provides a handful of other services, such as laundry, free shuttle services to Orchard Road and Novena MRT, and complimentary fast wireless internet.
In all, ibis Singapore Novena is perfect for leisure and business travelers who are looking for a strategically-located base in the city. It offers the comfortable experience of a hotel with international standards, great service, and delicious breakfasts for an affordable, value-for-money price.
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