Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Budget Hotels

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_02_Bedroom View

It’s challenging enough to put together “cheap”, “comfortable” and “Singapore” in one sentence, but when you’re looking for ideal* 3-night accommodations for a family of 5 — 4 adults and 1 toddler — you ought to know you’re taking “challenging” to a whole new level. It’s no surprise I spent the better part of a week scouring Booking.com, Airbnb, other hotel booking engines, various hotel websites, and Google Maps in search of a happy medium.

Budget Hotels: The Top 14

*
There aren’t that many hotels with triple rooms, much less family rooms that can accommodate 4 or more adults. Most of the options below consist of two rooms.

(For a detailed comparison of suitable hostels/inns and apartments/houses, check out: Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Private Rooms in Hostels/Inns | Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Airbnb Homestays)

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Notes:

  • Search parameters:
    • 4 adults, 1 child
    • 1 room or 2 rooms
    • 3 nights (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) in November
  • Distance to nearest MRT was obtained through the Directions feature of Google Maps. Allow for a variance of a few meters, since the actual exits of a train station might not be in the exact spot marked in Google Maps.
  • To get the average rating, I converted the Booking.com score into percentage, added it to the TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14), and divided by two. Although these ratings give you an idea of quality, do remember that what’s acceptable or essential for one person might not be acceptable or essential for another. Before you go ahead and book, it would be best for you to read the actual comments/reviews from previous guests.
  • Exclusion Criteria — Places that met any of these conditions were automatically excluded from consideration:
    • Less than 50% average rating;
    • Extremely negative reviews in TripAdvisor or Booking.com, even though the average ratings were acceptable;
    • Total price of over PHP 30,000.
    • Since I used Booking.com to do the preliminary search, places that were not available during the dates I entered were not included in the subsequent evaluation.

The Details

*
Fragrance Hotel – Balestier

  • PHP 16,190
  • 2 double rooms
  • Location: Novena / Balestier
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 1400 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 55%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.4
  • Average rating: 60%

Fragrance Hotel – Ruby

  • PHP 16,330
  • 1 family room, 1 double/twin room
  • Location: Geylang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 650 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 55%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.1
  • Average rating: 63%

Fragrance Hotel – Emerald

  • PHP 16,330
  • 1 family room, 1 double/twin room
  • Location: Geylang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 800 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 50%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.6
  • Average rating: 58%

Fragrance Hotel – Sapphire

  • PHP 16,330
  • 1 family room, 1 double room
  • Location: Geylang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 900 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 47%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.9
  • Average rating: 58%

Fragrance Hotel – Pearl

  • PHP 18,981
  • 1 family room, 1 double/twin room
  • Location: Geylang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 950 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 34%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.2
  • Average rating: 53%

Fragrance Hotel – Lavender

  • PHP 21,717
  • 2 double rooms
  • Location: Lavender/Kallang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 450 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 70%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.1
  • Average rating: 66%

Harbour Ville Hotel

  • PHP 22,406
  • 2 queen rooms
  • Location: Chinatown / Tiong Bahru
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 1500 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 45%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.5
  • Average rating: 55%

Hotel 81 Star

  • PHP 22,679
  • 1 triple room, 1 twin room
  • Location: Geylang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 750 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 50%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7
  • Average rating: 60%

Hotel 81 Sakura

  • PHP 23,167
  • 1 triple room, 1 double room
  • Location: East Coast / Katong
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 1100 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 55%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.5
  • Average rating: 60%

Asphodel Inn

  • PHP 23,376
  • 2 double rooms
  • Location: Little India
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 450 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 48%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.8
  • Average rating: 58%

Park View Hotel

  • PHP 24,393
  • 2 double/twin rooms
  • Location: Bugis
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 600 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 41%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.9
  • Average rating: 55%

Santa Grand Hotel Bugis

  • PHP 25,621
  • 2 double/twin rooms
  • Location: Bugis
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 500 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 66%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.4
  • Average rating: 70%

Aqueen Hotel Balestier

  • PHP 25,871
  • 2 double/twin rooms
  • Location: Novena / Balestier
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 1400 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 68%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.1
  • Average rating: 70%

Strand Hotel

  • PHP 29,604
  • 1 family room
  • Location: Bugis
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 250 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 66%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 6.6
  • Average rating: 66%

My Favorites

*
Fragrance Hotel Ruby is one of the cheapest in the budget hotels category and is reasonably well-reviewed. Santa Grand Hotel Bugis costs much more but offers a buffet breakfast — always a good thing — and a pool. The Strand Hotel is the most expensive in this list, but its family room can accommodate 5 persons, the breakfast sounds filling, it’s a stone’s throw away from the Bras Basah (CC2) exit, and the busy Dhoby Ghaut interchange is nearby as well.

In the end, it’s going to boil down to what you consider non-negotiable — whether it’s an en suite bathroom, a central location, or something else — and what you’re willing to give up or pay more for. Set a price ceiling, then prioritize. When traveling with children, think of things like bottle sterilization, nappy changes, and sleeping space. Think of possible problems too: if there are, say, torrential rains the whole day, will you be okay with staying in? And try to remember past travels: what was it in previous hotels that you remember fondly, and what was it that you absolutely never want to experience again? When choosing accommodations, in Singapore or elsewhere, it’s best to consider not only your budget but the people you will be traveling with, your expected routine and itinerary, and the little things and comforts that will make for a memorable vacation.

*
Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Budget Hotels” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

*Ideal, of course, is a matter of preference. For our particular party of 5, the perfect lodgings would have had these specs:

  • A spacious family room or 2 connecting rooms
  • En suite bathrooms
  • Located in a central, interesting, respectable neighborhood
  • 5 minutes or less walking distance to MRT
  • Free breakfast, preferably buffet
  • Free WiFi
  • Pool and play area for kids
  • Good reviews from previous guests
  • Cheap

(Yeah, that last one blew the bubble.)

 


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