Five of the best new hostels in Chinatown

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Got bitten by the travel bug but can’t afford to splurge on 5-star hotels? Book a room at one of these hostels located in the heart of bustling Chinatown

First published on 6 Dec 2012. Updated on 11 May 2013.

A Beary Good Hostel

Vibrant and cosy, A Beary Good Hostel certainly lives up to its name – adorable, fluffy teddy bears are scattered throughout the place, and its furniture and walls are splashed with a myriad of bright colours, making you feel instantly at home. In terms of proximity to an MRT station, nothing beats this place, as it has three branches spread around Chinatown. With an easy-to-spot signboard (the logo is a cute white bear against a blue backdrop) at Chinatown MRT’s Exit A, there’s no way you’ll get lost in the crowd. For $27 a night per bed, you get to enjoy a whole lot of freebies: breakfast consisting of toast and cereal, coffee, tea or hot chocolate all day, Wi-Fi, local phone calls, self-service laundry facilities and more. The rooms are air-conditioned and you can choose from mixed or separate dorms, which house about 10 to 12 beds each. If you’re feeling restless, they’ve got you covered – the lounge is outfitted with books, board games, a TV, DVDs and even a Wii console. The cash-only reception service is 24/7 with no curfew, plus they’ve got discounts on tickets to attractions like Universal Studios Singapore and the Singapore Zoo, as well as bike rentals, printing services, and the list goes on. 66A Pagoda St (6222 4955, www.abearygoodhostel.com). Email: reservations@abearygoodhostel.com


Adler Hostel

This first-of-its-kind luxury hostel is a haven for flash packers – with its elegant and sleek interior, you'd think you stepped into a 3-star hotel. There’s an air of quiet charm mixed with a dose of quirky sophistication that’s worlds apart from the rambunctious crowds outside. Though the rooms are mixed and separate gender dormitories of 16 beds each, each bed has a curtain of its own, which adds a little more privacy to an otherwise communal environment. Each sleep cabin is also equipped with a universal power point and a built-in lockable storage system. During your stay, for $50 a night, you’ll get to enjoy free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, a complimentary bath towel and shower gel, laundry facilities, use of the lounge area and even discounts to the Wavehouse Sentosa (1-for-1 on the Flow Rider) and clubs around town. 259 South Bridge Rd (9177 5685, www.adlerhostel.com). Email: contact@adlerhostel.com.


5footway.inn

Named after the covered sidewalks commonly found outside shophouses, this air-conditioned boutique hostel is clean, minimalistic and cosy. Designed by architects, its amenities include a free breakfast of cereal, milk, fruits and toast, 24-hour cash-only reception, security lockers, cleaning facilities, entertainment areas and an outdoor terrace. Beds are dust-mite free and equipped with a little cubbyhole for guests to charge their phones. If you need to get online, Wi-Fi is available in every area of the hostel, so you can even surf from the comfort of your own bed. Bookworms can also look forward to reading lights if they want to curl up with a book late at night. Got the munchies? Head down to their affordable café at the second South Bridge Road outlet for coffee, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream. A stay here will set you back about $30 to $47 per night, depending on the suite you select. Dorm rooms house four to 10 guests, and most of the rooms are mixed, with two female dorms available. If you want to save some money, make a reservation via email – it’s much cheaper. 63A Pagoda St (6221 5832, www.5footwayinn.com) Email: reservation@5footwayinn.com.
 

iStay.inn

If you’re looking for a quirky and artistic place to hang out, you won’t be disappointed with iStay.inn. The funky hostel is casual and chic, with artwork lining the corridors, graffiti designs adorning the walls and furniture imported from Hong Kong by the owner’s artist friends. What makes this place feel like home is the common living room, which is stocked with books, games and DVDs for guests to gather and socialise. The main draw of the place is its eclectic vibe, and the owners are even planning on conducting art classes in the near future. Rooms range from $32 to $40, from a mixed gender bedroom of ten people to a more private suite for two females only. Breakfast includes toast, cereal, peanut butter and jam, along with coffee, tea and fresh fruit. If you need laundry services, they’re available upon request, and those who have forgotten basic necessities like towels, toothbrush and toothpaste can be loaned and bought respectively for small fees. You also get access to Wi-Fi and computers, plus security is tight with a night watchman and 24-hour CCTV cameras in common areas. 211A South Bridge Road (6225 4125, www.istayinn.com.sg). Email: reservation@istayinn.com.sg.


Rucksack Inn

With branches close to Clementi and Lavender MRT stations, this Asian-inspired inn has recently opened a new branch along Temple Street, Chinatown. Bright lanterns welcome you at the entrance, and the casual interior, decked out in red and white with Chinese symbols and simple furniture, is a reflection of what Chinatown would be like if it were packed into a building. Those who would like to hear fascinating stories of early immigrants can embark on the Rucksackers’ signature walking tour, which takes you through China Street, Nanking Street, Club Street, Ann Siang Hill and Maxwell Food Centre. To get a room, all you have to do is spend approximately $28 to $32 per night. Dorm rooms house six to 12 people, though female dorms and family rooms of six adults are also available. If you want a bit of privacy, go for their private room. Breakfast consists of coffee and toast, and inexpensive laundry services are provided. Wireless is available all day, with iMacs at the receptionist area, and gamers will enjoy the lounge, which is equipped with an Xbox, a PS3 and a Wii. If you want to venture out of the area, they also provide discounted tickets for Universal Studios Singapore, Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari and more. 52 Temple Street (6438 5146, www.rucksackinn.com). Email: reservations@rucksackinn.com.
By Shi Min Xie
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