Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Private Rooms in Hostels/Inns

STGMT_Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore_08

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.

Hostels/Inns: The Top 7

*
Here’s a quick comparison of the hostels and inns I short-listed from my search. These are either private rooms or dorm rooms that you can rent exclusively for your entire party. Take note that most of these lodgings feature shared bathrooms — that means you have to go outside your room to use the bathroom, which you share with occupants of other rooms. (This isn’t too big a problem when you’re traveling by yourself but might prove to be difficult if you’re with kids and/or seniors.)

(For a detailed comparison of suitable budget hotels and apartments/houses, check out: Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Budget Hotels | Affordable Singapore Accommodations for a Family of 5: Airbnb Homestays)

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table_hostels_mitraatable_hostels_pillowtalktable_hostels_joyfortable_hostels_gustitable_hostels_blanctable_hostels_footprintstable_hostels_g4

 

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;
    • Rooms that we would have to share with strangers, e.g., 12-bed dorm rooms;
    • Total price of over PHP 22,000.
    • 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

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Mitraa Inn

  • PHP 15,690
  • 1 family room (1 queen bed, 3 single beds)
  • Location: Little India
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 600 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 81%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.7
  • Average rating: 79%

Pillow Talk Hostel

  • PHP 17,584
  • 6 bunks
  • Location: Lavender/Kallang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 750 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 89%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.6
  • Average rating: 83%

Joyfor Backpackers’ Hostel

  • PHP 18,421
  • 2 double beds + 2 bunks OR 6 bunks
  • Location: Lavender/Kallang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 400 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 88%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 8.8
  • Average rating: 88%

Gusti Bed & Breakfast Singapore

  • PHP 18,840
  • 6 bunks
  • Location: Lavender/Kallang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 400 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 92%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 8.2
  • Average rating: 87%

Blanc Inn

  • PHP 20,109
  • 1 alcove, 5 beds
  • Location: Lavender/Kallang
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 850 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 82%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.4
  • Average rating: 78%

Footprints Hostel

  • PHP 20,893
  • 1 family room (6 beds, ensuite bathroom)
  • Location: Little India
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 700 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 68%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): Not found
  • Average rating: 68%

G4 Station Backpackers’ Hostel

  • PHP 21,980
  • 1 family room, 1 double room
  • Location: Bugis
  • Distance to nearest MRT station: 450 m
  • TripAdvisor rating (as of 8/9/14): 74%
  • Booking.com rating (as of 8/8/2014): 7.4
  • Average rating: 74%

My Favorites

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Among the short-listed hostels/inns, Footprints Hostel is the only one that has an en suite bathroom, while the Blanc Inn seems to be tops in aesthetics and maximization of available space. Both Joyfor and Gusti Bed & Breakfast are consistently well-reviewed and a walkable distance away from the MRT.

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: Private Rooms in Hostels/Inns” 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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