A Room Without A View


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.

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13 thoughts on “A Room Without A View

  1. love it yellow boxes all round.
    I’m amazed you recall any of it or even managed to leave with a free mini bar.
    I would have been challenged. As we know not much changed there.
    I think your lovely bridge picture reminds me of the Albert Bridge. SW3/11.
    xxxc

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    1. Funnily enough I thought that too – the Albert Bridge bit I mean!! I have to confess, I did have a bit of a lost Saturday but that’s behind us now…..as is the free mini bar alas

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  2. I loved this blog! I laughed out loud more than once, I found the yellow box bit particularly hilarious! It’s so funny they put you on a kind of stage, it’s like you’ve been naughty and their making an example of you.
    Singapore looks so lovely as well a lot greener than I had imagined.

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  3. Thanks darling. yes, the yellow box, the ulitimate ‘Naughty step’. Great fun being in the box, but a bitch to get down off when your’e pissed. It’s those high seats…. and then the step down…..

    Jakarta and Singapore are like Chalk and Cheese. One day I will take you there.

    The reason that Singapore is so green is that a lot of love and thought has gone into the planning of the city’s environmental landscaping. When the country became independant 50 years ago they had a big campaign called ‘Greening Singapore’ and I have to say, much as I love Jakarta, it could do with taking (please excuse the pun) a leaf out of Singapores book

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  4. I will not excuse the pun but I do love the first statue….you know the artist by any chance? Also as someone who has worked in an office without windows for the last 6 years I can say you get used to it and somehow it makes it less distracting but that just might be my own problem.

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    1. Desperate pun, I make no apologies for it though!

      Heres a link – the artist is Fernando Botero

      Singapore 03 03 Sculpture Bird
      http://www.mountainsoftravelphotos.com/Singapore/…07%20Singapore/Si…23 Jul 2005 – Singapore 03 03 Sculpture Bird [16 of 28]. Fernando Botero’s 1990 giant fat Bird sits on the river in front of Singapore’s UOB Plaza. The bird is …

      The only real problem with the windowless room was that we kept oversleeping due to the fact it was so dark. Tricked into believing it was still nightime, we slept hours longer than we normally do. Actually not such a bad thing.

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  5. Nice post! I’m Asian but sad to say, I haven’t been to any countries in Asia except my homeland of the Philippines. I would love to go back one day and explore Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, etc…

    For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through your blogs of Asia. 😉

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  6. Thanks Malou. It’s equally fascinating for me to read about your neck of the woods. I haven’t been to Holland for ages – I used to go a lot when I was a child with my Mother. Her family all came from Goes though we used to stay mostly in the east near Almelo, just outside a little village called Tubbergen at the farm. Reading your blog reminds me of all the things that I love about Holland, thank you!

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