Singapore Backpacker Hostels, The Second List


Staying in Singapore on a budget no longer means a seedy two-star hotel with no character and charm. Last time I reviewed backpacker hostels I had given the once-over, eyeball test. Now I’ve pulled backpacker hostels off the Internet, pleased by their name, their location, their prices, some intangible aspect of their Web presence. Call this list, “Places I’d Like to Stay Sometime.”

Each place below received at least a 70 percent approval rating on www.hostelworld.com. If booking through this Web site, note that the prices quoted are per bed and not per room. If one person books a double room, the rate is for both beds. Typical rates are less than US$50 for a room (most with a common bath on the hall), and less than US$20 for dormitory beds. In Singapore, those prices are a steal.

Sleepy Sam’s Bed & Breakfast – I’m not sure I believe it’s like “waking up in a luxury resort everyday,” but Sam’s is located in the old confines of the Sultan of Singapore’s palace – a more appealing area before the government re-made Istana Kampong Glam as a Malay Heritage Center. The Sultan Mosque is near, and good eating places, and the restored shop houses are fine examples of colonial architecture. Approval rating: 91%. Website: www.sleepysams.com.

Betel Box Backpacker Hostel – Hostel World offers only the option of staying in dormitory rooms at this quaint place in Katong. The hostel’s own Web site offers at least one double room. Either way, the common rooms of this renovated shop house look comfortable and inviting. Also, it’s close to the seaside activities at East Coast Park. And, yes, this is one I first looked at because of the name. Approval rating: 88%. Website: www.betelbox.com

A Travellers Rest-Stop – One of the few hostels in which attached, private bathrooms are the norm. Located at the end of a string of post-war shop houses, the hostel may not have the charm of those in earlier colonial buildings, but it looks good value for the money, and is near the food and attractions of Chinatown. Approval rating: 85%. Website: www.atravellersreststop.com.sg

One Florence Close – I can’t say what it looks like outside, but the interior shots of this ‘designer’ hostel show cozy, tastefully decorated rooms. It’s close to the Kovan MRT Station, with only eight rooms available. Book early. Approval rating: 83%. Website: Oneflorenceclose.com.

The Hive: The Backpackers’ Hostel – Singapore’s own capsule hotel? I don’t know, but they advertise something similar. It’s close to Little India, not far from the bus terminal for connections to Malaysia, and near the Boon Keng MRT Station. It might be worth a look in some situations. Approval rating: 78%. Web site not functioning.

Fern Loft Hostel – Fern Loft has two locations, one on East Coast Road and one in Chinatown. The original at East Coast Road has a higher approval rating and is close to the ‘beach’ and East Coast Park. It might be a good place for those with no interest in shopping malls and designer shops. Approval rating (East Coast Rd.): 73%. Website: www.fernloft.com.

Axis Hostel – Axis has the lowest approval rating of the list. Still, 71% isn’t bad, and it has the most convenient location to the MRT, with the Aljunied Station 30 meters from the front door. Maybe I include it for nostalgia’s sake. Aljunied was my station my first few months in Singapore back in 1994. There are plenty of eating options close to this hostel, and several beer gardens, not to mention the other entertainment on sale in the nearby official red light district of Geylang. Approval rating: 71%. No Web site.

Copyright © 2007 Tropical Tramp