Ever since I learned the existence of capsule hotels, I’ve been eager to try spending a night and experience the minimalist accommodation offered there. I didn’t get to try these hotels on my trip to Japan, the country where capsule hotels were first originated, but I came across one in Singapore when I searched for affordable accommodation during my short trip there on November. The hotel received rave reviews in Agoda anyway, so I thought I’d ought to try this one.
Chic Otel is a capsule hotel located on Mosque Street in Singapore Chinatown. Their official facebook account says the place is located near Chinatown MRT station, which turned out to be true when I went there by following their guide. All I had to do was to exit from gate A from the MRT station and head left to go to Mosque Street, only two minutes or so walking until I arrived at the hotel.
My room (or should I say, my bed?) wasn’t ready yet by the time I arrived on twelve noon. The staff who greeted me at the front desk politely offered me to drop my bag there and come back at later time. I was about to go to attend a music concert anyway, so I gladly accepted his offer. He then asked where I was about to go and offered some useful tips on how to get there, like what train I should use and on what station I should change trains. Not only that, he also showed me some bargains and offers that were only valid for tourists such as myself. I was really impressed by his thoughtfulness and warm welcome for a simple guest such as myself. And thus, I took my leave to the concert venue with ease.
It was almost midnight by the time I got back to the hotel. I was greeted by a lady at the front desk instead of the staff who had greeted me in the noon. The lady gave me another warm welcome and confirmed my booking once, then she took me on a brief tour to show me the facilities inside the hotel.
Chic Otel is a simple hotel that has three floors. The ground floor consists of a corridor that houses several comfortable chairs, a reception desk and some boxes for guests to store their shoes. The second floor consists of shared shower rooms and female-only rooms. There are three shower rooms available on the floor, where all guests take turns to use them. The top floor is one big room furnished with private beds, or capsules, stacked on top of each other. I guess there are about thirty to forty beds inside that big room.
I was then shown my bed on the top floor of the hotel. It was a bunk bed on top of another bed. I worried I had to bring my bags on to the bed, but the lady showed me they had private boxes with keycard access below the bed big enough to hold two medium-sized bags for each guests. I specifically chose the top bed since I thought I would be less bothered by other guests presence that way.
All capsules in the hotel has a single bed for one person only. Despite being a single bed, I found the size to be quite spacious for one person to sleep and relax. In fact, there was still a decent gap between my head or my feet to the capsule walls above and below me. I could even roll sideways and trash around a bit during sleep comfortably 🙂
Aside from the bed, I also found an internet TV, a headphone and a reading light so I could enjoy some entertainment on the bed before going to sleep. There are tons of TV channels and movies I could watch using the TV, but I didn’t get to try them extensively since I was rather sleepy by the time.
But the greatest feature of them all had to be the private curtain installed on each capsule. Each bed had a curtain at the entrance of the capsule that could be pulled, allowing some private space to be made instantly. I had the experience of staying in some backpackers’ hostel before. The only thing I was rather uncomfortable staying in a place like those was the lack of privacy. With a simple curtain, the discomfort I had in these hotels was solved in capsule hotel!
I had a pleasant sleep afterwards and woke up soundly in the following morning. I deliberately woke up earlier than usual to avoid the peak hours of guests using the shared shower rooms, since there were only three of them. Then I went to the ground floor, where another staff offered me complimentary breakfast which included sandwiches, some fruits, and hot tea or coffee, just enough to start my day.
I checked out from the hotel around nine in the morning. I met the same staff who greeted me first on the day before. He asked my experience staying with them and gave me some tips on how to go to the airport from there. He also told me that I could get discounts if I’d like to stay there again in the future by booking directly to them instead of going through reservation third-parties such as agoda. The friendliness and thoughtfulness of the staff, complemented with hotel’s meticulous interior and cleanliness, made the night I spent there simply comfortable.
Now I understand why this hotel received such rave reviews, and I agree with them too!