Friday, September 30, 2011

Hotel 1929 @ Singapore

On my last holiday trip to Singapore, due to budget constraints, I have booked a two night stay at this Hotel 1929, which is considered a 4-star boutique hotel on the fringe of Chinatown. It was called 1929 because the row of shophouses here are built in the same year and has been under the conservation project due to the historical architecture which is now increasingly rare.

As funny as it might seem, in all the hotels I stayed at in Singapore, this looked like the most moderate, simple and cheapest hotel I've ever been to. Gone are the days of my Four Seasons, Meritus Mandarin and Ritz Carlton. It has come to my senses that hotels there are really obscenely expensive and my money is better off spent on other pleasures of life than on my sleep. After all, I'm out in the streets shopping, dining and chilling out most of the time.

This hotel features 32 individually designed rooms with a mix of classic designer and retro vintage furniture. The corridors of the hotel will bring back memories of the olden days in Singapore with its B&W archival photos of the early 20th century. The hotel also have an interesting collection of chairs, which is from the owner's private collection. Besides that, the other "cute" aspect of this hotel is that they have 2 suites that have an outdoor hot tub on the roof top terrace that overlooks the bustling streets of Chinatown.

When I opened the door to my room, if you could see my reaction, it would really be funny! My jaws dropped, literally but I was "stoned" for a few seconds there. It was the SMALLEST room I've ever stayed in a hotel before, ANYWHERE! I think even the quaint hotel I was staying in Koln a few years ago was a bit bigger than this. As you open the door, the wash basin is located on the left, leaving no space in between the door opening and basin. The bed is just right beside the windows, meaning you'll have to get off the bed from the other side or from the bed end. HAHA...

I've also never seen such a small toilet. The toilet, encased in glass but frosted in the middle (to hide the essential parts) is just beside the bed, with a side-table-sized walkway. It's so small, you can even see that the shower head is almost directly above the toilet bowl, leaving 2ft of space for you to stand and turn. My luggage was even bigger than the width of the walkway.

The only consolation of this hotel room is the cleanliness and the modern touch of amenities and also a LCD TV. At night, it might get a little noisy due to the bars across the streets but at least this place is easily accessible and safe. The aunties who made your beds and clean the room is worth your tips!

Service is limited as I wanted to request for a ice bucket and they don't have it. So, I came up with a plan - to use the basin as a bucket, went to 7-11 to buy some ice and then just chill the champagne in it! Although it is not the best way to chill a champagne, as long as it works, I don't mind!

The Duval Leroy 1995 Blanc de Chardonnay is not something you can get easily here in KL but in Singapore, you can get almost anything if you have the moolah. Duval-Leroy is based in Vertus, a village in the Côte de Blancs, which is one of the largest land-owners in all Champagne region. The firm owns vineyards in all the Grand Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs. A number of the wines produced here demonstrate a certain quality of Chardonnay not to be found elsewhere.

This bottle here is very special. I love the light golden hue with a nose of lemon and the palate of toasted citrus notes and some minerals. You also get that yeasty flavours that finish off with a sweet note and hints of spices. Nevermind if they don't provide the champagne flutes because I can drink straight from the bottle - advice from an alcoholic.

I enjoyed my stay but I can't wait to get out of this TINY room. If I stay another day more, I'll have to drown myself with more bubblies which will end up being more expensive than a night's stay here. I paid SGD$140++ for a Superior room, considered a very good price in this "money-sucking" island but if I were to use that money over here in KL, I'll at least get a room double that size! Beggars can't be choosers, as the saying goes. But I have no regrets, it is a nice place to stay if you don't mind the size. For me, it's a little too far from the Chinatown MRT and thus I resort to taking a cab to everywhere!

Try the Ember restaurant at the hotel, I heard it's a great place to dine. Down the road is where Nicholas is - one of my favourite fine dining place that serves a good degustation menu. Just right opposite the hotel, there's another boutique hotel called Saff. I'll give it a try the next time I'm in town for a holiday. Right now, it's all about tightening the belt! No more flushy poshy hotels for me!

Hotel 1929
50 Keong Saik Road
089154 Singapore
Tel: +65 6347 1929


Sean said...

wow, the hotel may be petite but it sure looks pretty! nice historical colonial feel. can be a refreshing change from the modern skyscraper hotels :D

Huai Bin said...

I like the antique feel of the hotel! :)

...and yeah, it's quite a bargain at SGD 140, that's reasonable in Singapore.

Heh! Nice trick with the sink and ice for chilling the champagne! :)

eiling lim said...

Sean: Yeah the smallest hotel ever!

Huai Bin: Haha, I'm still sober and brains are still working.

Mun Mun said...

Good choice of champagne. It is one of the rare ones you can find now in the market. Well I am sure you did enjoy ya self when you were there. The hotel's furniture are pretty interesting. So old school...! :)

suituapui said...

That looks very nice...and cheap too. I guess you can't get anything like that along Orchard at that price. Btw, I've a friend running Rucksack Inn - I think they've three now...and there's one in Chinatown. That should be cheap - boutique backpackers'. Jac(queline) Chan's the name - you can google and book online. If you call, tell her you're my friend...and see if you can get any specials...

Jobless Girl said...

Wow, outlook not so impress but inside so nice.

KY said...

looks like a quaint little place. :D

Jennifer Lee said...

Ember's not bad. They got very good white truffles there!

Philippine hotel said...

Hotel 1929 doesn't look that bad to me. Sure it is small but it is neat and clean. I love your blog and stories anyway. Now, i envy you for having and grabbing all the chances for you to do what you truly want to do.

Shawn said...

Nice Blog.....

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UnlistedCollection said...

Nowadays, boutique hotels are gaining attention as more and more people are getting more travel-savvy aiming to get the best experience possible. In the subject of experience which is before dominated only by the luxury hotels, boutique hotels presents a new and fresh accommodation experience. But what distinguishes a boutique hotel from a luxury hotel? Boutique Hotels are all about: “A Different Kind of Experience”.

This kind of hotel’s intimate size produces its characteristic personal feeling and heady ambiance. Some luxury travelers enjoy the compact size and enveloping atmosphere of a boutique hotel. Others prefer feeling like observers in a big, busy luxury hotel.

Boutique hotels give an overall feel when you first walk in. Like Unlisted Collection ‘s Hotel 1929 in Singapore. It is a revamped historic hotel shop-house facade blends perfectly with the neighborhood, but inside, the juxtaposition of antique and modern, interior and exterior, provides a theatrical environment where guests can indulge their imaginations.

Dawn Ho said...

Hi! Informative entry :)
May I ask was the room you got the superior single or superior double

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