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Published: October 10th 2011
Clean and well serviced
I go to Singapore rather frequently on business and usually have nothing to write about. That just about summarises the place. It's safe, clean, organised. You go there, arrive at Changi Airport which is just about the best in Asia, get an impeccably polite taxi down town, whip through the check in procedure at your (usually shockingly expensive) hotel and reverse the process on the way out.
Nothing untoward happens, and nothing interesting happens either. It's too expensive to eat really well and the night life.... well, Orchard Tower is known as the "Tower of Whores" - but that's also organised and if you want to take one of the various Vietnamese, Russians or Thais (No, I don't!) for extra curricular activities, you also pay about three times the going rate elsewhere in the region.
That's Singapore - I do my shopping in the Emporium or Paragorn in Bangkok and buy the same stuff cheaper.
So why write about it now? This time I decided to avoid the Orchard Road rip-off 4 and 5 star hotels that are now charging upwards of $250.day (and the Singapore dollar is abou at par with the USD) and try something a
... but Good Value
At $179/night this is about the best value in Singapore before you descend to the bug-house level.
Hence the Ibis Hotel
on Bencoolen Street. You can walk to Orchard Road and to other tourist places, so as a location it's still central enough. Taxis line up at the back of the hotel and so are convenient.
What I found was a cheap (by Singapore standards - $179/night) hotel but one where we were greeted with a real smile and where the service was excellent. The little bar in the rather austere lobby served a decent Chardonnay and had fixed iPads with all kinds of useful info at a touch.
The rooms were basic but new and very clean. They were serviced on time and everything worked. As for breakfast, great - exactly what I could get in the luxury hotel I stayed in on a previous visit in the upgrade ($70) business lounge. At the Ibis it was part of the deal, fresh fruit, a coffee machine that produced as much latte as I wanted to drink, newspapers, fruit, scrambled eggs and bakey.
So there you go. Not the most exciting place I've ever stayed or one with any character (Ibis is a French group with the same format scattered around the globe) but for doing business, a pretty good deal. Ibis Hotel
170 Bencoolen Street
189657 - SINGAPORE
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