If you’re looking to stay in Singapore for a few nights and need an affordable and convenient hotel – the Ibis on Bencoolen is your best choice by far. This great city of Singapore is a vibrant hotspot for APAC tourism, as many tourists are stopping over for a layover weekend as part of their global travel. Recently Singapore has been recognised as one of the most expensive liveable cities in the world, and that trend is following in the on-ground costs of travelling here.
For tourists this means the price and value battle between accomodation providers has grown stronger in recent years across all star levels. As part of my weekend experience to the city with Scoot Airlines, AccorHotels welcomed me as a guest to stay in their 3 star Ibis on Bencoolen hotel.
As a young traveller who enjoys both affordable and luxurious travel, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to show my mother, Louisa, around Singapore (as her first visit to the city). The Ibis generously provided us a twin bed deluxe room with their ‘extra benefits’ upgrade package. Here’s everything we loved about this hotel and why we would recommend it as an affordable accomodation option in Singapore…
- Free and fast wifi
- Amazing breakfast
- Well trained staff (and friendly)
- Great location to cultural districts
- Free late checkout
Ibis on Bencoolen we found to beat our original expectations. There were a lot of small touches added to our visit, such as welcoming staff, our favourite Singapore newspaper, partner gym access, universal adapters, eco friendly products, fast wireless and more…
By far, the staff at this hotel are what make it so exceptional. Most hotels have friendly staff, but you can really feel the difference when they are skilled, efficient and passionate in their craft. The Ibis is a 3 star hotel with a competitive price range, however we felt it’s pushing far beyond the competition and star rating.
The Room & Amenities:
We stayed in a twin deluxe room with upgraded benefits. This room type sits around the $160-$180 SG per night rate. The room size is a little small, but it’s clean and modern fit out makes the room enjoyable to relax and work in. At the entry you have a well equipped bathroom with high a pressure shower, and towards the window is a large sized table, handy to work at. Over to one side you have space to hang clothes, a safe and a mini fridge, and opposite a wall couch with space to relax with a book or throw your bags onto.
— Lachy Nicolson (@lockyn) March 20, 2016
The hotel beds are soft and smooth using a ‘comfort-enchanting Topper’. The pillows are large and plush, alonside bedside reading lamps and iPhone chargers.
One thing that Ibis nailed was the wireless. Just log on to any device with your room number and surname and you’re ready to go. The speed is fast and your phone reconnects automatically – so you never have to worry about re-signing in through some awkward security screen again. As a millennial we take our wifi seriously!
One bonus feature we didn’t realise at first was the mobile phone sitting next to the bed. We thought this was to call reception, however, later on we discovered it’s a portable 3G hotspot phone to take with you travelling. We tested it out and found it to be the perfect third companion. Keeping us connected allowed us to efficiently roam the city, as waiting on our Australia carrier to connect to the local towers was slow. This was a huge green tick for Ibis.
Other amenities included:
- Gym access (California Fitness down the road)
- Re-sealable glass drinking water (eco friendly), hairdryer, safe, bathroom amenities and iron supplied in room
- Universal adapters, usb ports for phones
- Free late checkout
- Use of the Ibis bamboo bikes
Affordable and convenient location:
The Ibis is a prime for location to access the Marina Bay and city attractions, whilst also dabbling in the west shopping districts and Asian eateries. On arrival, Ibis is just a 20 minute drive from the airport, costing you around $20-$25 Singapore Dollars (SG) via Taxi or Uber. Once you’re settled in, you’re ready to start exploring with Bugis Street shopping and dining just down the road.
If you’re looking for a coffee and some indoor shopping, just walk 5 minutes towards the marina (south east direction on the map) and you will find the Bugis Junction, a large shopping centre featuring major outlets such as H&M and Uniqlo.
If you are keen on grabbing some technology accessories, then head the other direction to Sim Lim Square. From the hotel it’s only a 2 minute walk north-west, and you can find a range of tech gifts and gadgets to geek over.
In summary, this hotel is superbly located if you are not willing to pay the higher price to be close to the Marina Bay. The benefit of the Ibis Bencoolen’s location is you are closer to the cultural districts and Orchard Road shopping precinct. You can still access the Marina Bay attractions with a quick Uber or taxi for under SG $15. This means cheaper room rates, quieter rooms for good rest and a decent view looking back at the city!
Nearby sights and attractions:
Heading to see the city is walkable, but can take around 20 minutes to reach the Marina Quay area. We decided to walk in the cool of the afternoon – cutting through air-conditioned shopping walkways and stopping for a few cold drinks along the way. Heading home we caught a taxi, only costing SG $10.
— Lachy Nicolson (@lockyn) March 19, 2016
Seeing the Marina Bay Sands and surrounding harbour area is a must-see when visiting. We recommend walking around the bay, seeing the light show, walk through the beautiful shopping district and taking the elevator up to the SkyDeck for a perfect sunset/night time view of the city ( SG $23 entry).
Another great investment while in the city is to take a quick cab to the Gardens by the Bay. Book your tickets online to skip the long queue and enter the world’s biggest flower and nature domes. This lively and vibrant garden showcase features a mass display of tropical flowers and garden artistry from all over the world.
When you’re finished at the flower dome follow through to the second dome, featuring the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and man made mountain forest. Stand in awe of the beautiful biodiversity and take a walk through the top level for an aerial view of the canopy. We recommend bringing a wide-angle lens camera to capture the incredible nature mountain.
While in city, we also recommend taking a cab 10 minutes down the road to the China Town district, where you can get some delicious food and see the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Take plenty of cash with you to shovel out at the local street markets. Here you will find heaps of affordable gifts and trinkets to take home.
Nearby highlights to the Ibis…
– Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple (next door)
– Sim Lim Square (2 min walk)
– Bugis Street & Junction Shopping (3 min walk)
– Fort Canning & Museum (15 walk)
– Raffles Hotel (15 min walk)
Our room came with breakfast each morning (as part of the extras package) in the ground floor lobby restaurant. The breakfast featured a buffet with a range of Asian and Western foods, with both hot and cold dishes on offer. You can also grab fruits, toasts, yoghurts and yummy pastries as side dishes.
For drinks there is a choice of juices, teas, and a decent coffee. The breakfast lounge is open spaced with multiple seating areas, all quite comfy. My personal favourite was having the Straits Times awaiting me to read with during breakfast. This morning routine was quite enjoyable and we were impressed by the amount of staff on shift servicing the guests and food.
Note: Breakfast runs between 6am and 10am.
The Ibis general rate sit below the SG $200 per night standard for 3 star hotels, offering a competitive choice if you are looking for affordable accomodation that will still provide good amenities.
For specials or day rates check out their website here.
Our stay at the Ibis was really enjoyable, pushing our initial expectations of a three star hotel. The location, modern room fixtures, amenities and great staff make it a very competitive choice for affordable accommodation that’s close to the all the action of the city.
If you are heading to Singapore and try out this hotel for yourself, please share your experience below in the comments or with Austraveller on facebook.
Click here to view Ibis website
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