I’ve stayed in some seriously cruddy hotels in my time, quite a few mediocre ones and a small handful of glitzy ones. However, up until my trip to Singapore last week, I have never before been able to boast about staying in one without a window.
The Irishman and I had to make an urgent dash to Singapore last Thursday as our visas had expired. Our last trip if you remember (see Singapore Sling’s and a 48hr Honeymoon) was in November, so it was a great excuse to go back and do some exploring, catch up with good friends, and also visit Nanyang University.
This time when looking for somewhere on the Internet for us to stay for the 3 nights, Pedro didn’t manage to find the great package deal that he did the last time we were there, but he did find something reasonably cheap and affordable in an area that we liked very much on our previous visit, in Little India. When I casually asked him on the flight over what the hotel was like he muttered something about ‘not very good reviews and small rooms’. I wasn’t in the least bit bothered about the room being small nor the bad reviews as I’m a girl of simple tastes and like to make up my own mind in regards to whether a hotel is any good or not. It’s the size of the soap bar that’s generally the deal breaker for me.
We arrived at The Moon Hotel, Dickson Road at 21.45; about an hour later than we should have due to the taxi driver taking us the scenic route round Singapore to get to it. Tired, a bit grumpy and desperate for some food and alcohol as always, we staggered up to the reception area and checked in. I wasn’t particularly concentrating as my mind was focused exclusively on getting the bags into the room and heading out to find the nearest bar ASAP.
‘Did you hear that Lottie’ the Irishman said jogging my elbow. ‘Hear what?’ I replied still absorbed in my fantasies about finding a glass or 6 of Sauvignon Blanc. ‘The mini bar is free, all the beer and drinks in the minibar are free and they replace them everyday!’
‘Holy mackerel Lover, you’re kidding me?’ I replied, instantly snapping out of my reverie.
The sweet girl behind the counter seeing me suddenly wake up and come to life, then told us something even more incredible ‘For each of you, your first five drinks of the evening in the Bar are on us as well’.
Not quite believing our luck we made our way up in the lift to room 309.
It’s fair to say that whoever wrote the reviews was right on the button when it came to describing the rooms as small. I’m going to up the ante a notch and say the rooms are minute.
I want you to picture if you will, a rectangular shape approximately 8feet wide by 14 feet long. At the top end of the rectangle there is just enough space for the double mattress which does not have a bed base and is placed directly onto the floor, albeit a few inches higher than the rest of the room. To give the impression of space, the dividing wall between the bathroom and the bedroom is clear glass. As you walk into the room directly on the right hand side is a tiny bathroom that you almost have to reverse into. In here is the toilet and the shower. Also in the entrance area, which is the small longish rectangle left leading up to the sleeping part, is a basin fitted into the external side of the bathroom wall. There is no room for a chair and only just room for the suitcases, which have to be piled on top of each other to enable us to get to the bed. The famous mini bar and a safe are housed in a small cupboard to the left hand side of the sink.
We dumped our bags and left the hotel quickly to find the nearest bar which fortunately was just around the corner. Recently the Irishman and I have fallen off the wagon badly with our ‘giving up smoking’ regime. We sat down in the outside area of ‘The Prince of Wales’ Backpacker pub and lit up a cigarette. Almost as soon as we had done so, a twitchy waitress immediately came over to us and told us in no uncertain terms that the only place that it was permitted to smoke was the Yellow Box area. As you can see from the photo the yellow box area is a bit of a joke. We are talking outside area here, not inside the pub so how they expect the exhaled wafts of noxious cigarette smoke can remain inside the yellow box area is a total mystery to me. We finished our drinks, walked up the street and decided upon Khan Restaurant for our first Indian curry in months.
Our meal in this Indian canteen style restaurant was absolutely delicious. In fact it was so delicious that I was going to write a rave review about it. Unfortunately however we spent most of the night, the following morning, and the next day on the toilet. Glass walls for bathrooms are all fine and dandy when the going is good, but frankly there are times when a solid wall partition complete with soundproofing is infinitely preferable.
I loved staying at The Moon Hotel despite our tiny windowless room. I’d stay there again for sure and it’s got nothing at all to do with me being an alcoholic. It’s spotlessly clean, efficiently run and if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia, relish a good breakfast, and appreciate a generous free drinks allowance, I doubt there are many places in the world in a major city, that you can find a place as good as this for £35 per person per night.