My Singapore trip a couple of weeks ago was unscheduled and timely at the same time. Unscheduled because the decision to accompany my friend came in the last few days of her departure and timely since I felt the need to take a break from my work. After making sure that I still had enough leave credits to cover this trip and my future planned ones, my friend had me book my air ticket asap so we will be on the same flight. Over the weekend, I looked for a place to stay as we were set to fly out the next Monday. We were a bit rattled as the last time we were in Singapore was back in 2012. We stayed in Bugis area that time. This time, I thought it was nice to stay somewhere we haven’t been to before.
Box Capsule Hostel is a good choice of lodging when in Singapore. Located in picturesque Ann Siang Rd, it is housed in a converted three-storey shophouse. The building where #BoxCapsuleHotel is was part of the Ning Yeung Wui Kuan, the oldest Chinese clan association in Singapore. Established in 1882, it was originally a temple and meeting hall for Cantonese immigrants. As a lover of old architecture, the renovated building still exhibits the shophouse’s original structure, courtyard features and beams which beautifully shows its well-preserved authenticity. Located in the cultural neighbourhood of Singapore Chinatown, it is within walking distance from trendy cafes, heritage spots and has great access to public transportation. Surely not a bad choice. 🙂 #Singapore #hotels #themermaidtravels
Chinatown seemed a good choice for me as we wanted to see the Chinatown Food Street again. I have considered booking us in a full serviced hotel but the thought of spending the whole day exploring made me decide to try staying in a capsule hostel. I have stayed in one in KLIA2 airport back in 2015. But I thought of my friend if she’d like to give it a try and luckily, it turned out that she was also mulling it too. With that settled, we booked a two-night stay in Box Capsule Hostel which was conveniently located in the area.
There are several things I can say why I would recommend staying in this capsule hostel. But of course there are also things they can still improve on.
Limited reception time – I was advised that their reception is only open until 11 PM. This could be quite a hassle for some travelers arriving after this time or for walk-in guests who would probably want to check if a capsule is still available. However, we had no issues arriving in the wee hours of the morning as the hostel dutifully assured us that we can still do self check-in. We did this by informing them ahead of our expected arrival time. Instructions where sent to me via SMS (or perhaps by email if you will request) after giving them a ring. We arrived close to 3 AM the following Tuesday but our calls were answered promptly. We were given a pass code for the front door and our keys were left on the desk at the reception. Specific instructions were also included in the little packet. As such, we quickly found our assigned pods upstairs.
Location – Choosing to stay in Box Capsule Hostel was not a bad decision since it was located in picturesque Chinatown. The hostel is within walking distance from cute cafes, convenience stores and public transportation. It was about a 15-minute walk from MRT Tanjang Pagar station. Maxwell Hawker Center was just up the hill too! No problem for budget travelers seeking affordable yet delicious food. Chinatown Food Street was pretty accessible too but it could be quite a walk from the hostel.
Hostel Pods – The hostel’s overall design was pretty neat and maximized all the available floor space without getting the feeling of being claustrophobic. The capsules in our room each have their own assigned lockers (placed across each capsule), privacy curtains, beddings and towels. The air-conditioning worked quite well. It can get pretty cold so bring a jacket with you. However, there was one time that I woke up sweating a bit and I guessed that the air-conditioning was timed at times. Though after a while, it went back on again.
Breakfast – It’s rare for some hostels to include breakfast in their room rates. But Box Capsule Hostel have complimentary breakfast. But of course, do not expect a lavish one. They allotted a small space to serve as the pantry where you can find a sink, utensils, a microwave, toaster, hot water. It’s pretty self-service. What’s for breakfast? There is the choice of fruits, eggs, coffee and tea, bread, spreads like peanut butter, jams and butter were offered too. There is a regular-sized refrigerator too where you can place your left-overs or water jars. No one will serve you breakfast so everyone must do their own chores. Washing of used kitchen wares is a must too. It’s helpful too that they put up signs for all to follow. Breakfast is available between 8 to 10:30 AM daily.
Hostel Amenities – Since hostels are popular among backpackers from different races, it was a smart thing to set-up a common area where guests can have a chance to mingle with each other. Box Capsule Hostel’s loft was turned in a comfortable lounge spot where guests can find books and board games. There were even a couple of indoor swings. Bean bags and chairs are available for guests to use. However, it’s strictly quiet time past 11 in the evening. The bathroom is co-ed but the toilet and shower were built separately (sorry I forgot to take a photo of this area!). There’s hot and cold water and a spacious wash area too (multiple sinks for tooth brushing or a quick handwashing). Footwear is not allowed inside. But guests do not need to worry since the staff does regular cleaning and sanitizing.
Staff & Service – All the things I mentioned above will be put to waste if the service was not good. But my experience in communicating all my questions to the hostel were answered in a timely and direct manner. We were very grateful to the staff who assisted us in our arrival during an ungodly hour. Our emails and calls were answered promptly so my fears of not having a pillow to rest my head on that night quickly vanished. 🙂
Interestingly, the hostel itself is located in an old building. The original design and layout were still evident, giving off a rustic feel. Architecture and history lovers would be ecstatic to stay in a building like this. It was a nice example of adaptive reuse I may say.
Our second visit to Singapore turned to be more enjoyable than I expected. Even though it was a last minute decision, I didn’t regret it. Nor did I regret staying in Box Capsule Hostel.
Do check out Box Capsule Hostel if ever you will be visiting Singapore soon!