Monday, February 24, 2014

Singapore Boat Quay & 5FootWay.Inn

For visitors to Singapore, Boat Quay is a well known tourist dining and pubbing area. Situated by the Singapore River, and lined with rows of old shophouses, which are preserved and converted to serve various needs, it is particularly atmospheric at night.

Historically, it was of course a quay which had seen a large part of our shipping and trading past. Today the area is dominated by restaurants and pubs, and at one point in time, the IT company I was working with had an office in one of the retrofitted shophouses! Well, nestled within one of these shophouses is also a hostel known as 5footway.inn.

Marketed as a boutique hostel, the reception area is pleasantly decorated in a very cosy setting. The shophouses within Boat Quay all hold certain historical value and I think it is an excellent idea that such buildings can be used for tourism in such practical useful way.

Reception area

The layout of the hostel was a little confusing to me though, perhaps due to the original interior structure of the shophouse. Luckily, ample signs were available to direct customers and I was shown to my room by the staff anyway, so all's good. However, the shared toilets and bathrooms were in a section such that for some rooms, access would require one to walk pass the reception area. For those who are more conscious of their "outlook" when going to/fro the bathroom, well, time to get used to the hostel community lifestyle! :). The toilets and bathrooms are clean though and shower head and hot water all functioning admirably!

The rooms (or at least the standard private room I stayed) have a minimalist look, with simple white furnishings that are so common in so many hostels around the world. A nice touch is the side light and a power point just beside the bed - a necessity for today's many flashpackers! A note to light sleepers though - the wooden floorings of these old shophouses do creak! So you may likely be well alerted of the human traffic outside your room!

The lounge and breakfast area is situated at the topmost floor. A nice surprise was that part of the hostel includes a photo gallery within! Showcasing exhibits from a local award-winning photographer Edwin Koo, you get "free entry" to the gallery with your hostel stay! ;) As a photographer myself, I find that is an excellent tie-up and cooperation between the hostel and photographer. The free breakfast is the usual - toast and cereal, nothing to shout about. But the best part of the kitchen is the coffee/tea/milo machine. Unlimited coffee/tea/milo at a press of a button. Niiice! It's a non-cooking kitchen though, but you do have a microwave to heat up stuff.

Lounge/TV room & photo exhibits
Kitchen with a cool beverage machine

And the really best part? The terrace! Offering views of the Singapore River, the Marina Bay Sands, the Boat Quay crowds below, it is such a great place to just relax and chill. And of course, meet other travelers as well. The day I was there, there were ALOT of Korean guests and almost all girls..! :)

Terrace with a view
Terrace with a view. The photo exhibits extend to the terrace as well!

While Singapore is not a big country, staying at a central location still has its advantages. Easily accessible from MRT, and in a really central location, I do think it is probably the best location of its 3 projects (the others at Bugis and Chinatown). And as mentioned previously, the nighscene in Boat Quay is really pretty. Check it out if you're visiting Singapore!

**My 1-night stay has been kindly sponsored by 5footway.inn

No comments: