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“Cheap price for a very lousy service”
Review of Empire Hostel

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Empire Hostel
Ranked #175 of 244 Specialty Lodging in Singapore
Reviewed February 4, 2012

The address has been very misleading as some 3rd party sites still mention their old location at Syed Alwi. I called first to confirm the address and also called while I'm at the area but the person who answered my call sounded annoyed and was not very accommodating. A staff waited for me at the door and did not even help me with carrying my luggage up towards the hostel. First thing that I didn't like is that I had to take off your shoes just before going up and my sole can really feel the dirt of the floor. I was not asked to take a seat or anything but was requested for the payment and my passport right away, plus, there's a 10% fee as their service charge - which was not stated anywhere.

Some of the lockers have the same lock/key. I accidentally opened someone else's. I requested for another locker and the staff wasn't even apologetic about it. Room was so-so. Washrooms dirty. It wasn't a good 15-minute initial experience so I decided to just leave but the staff won't let me refund anything as I have already "checked-in." She told me that I should've asked her to see the rooms first before paying. Like she gave me an opportunity for that!

Please save yourself the hassle and the headache. Don't even bother booking here.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Ria-chan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 - 25 of 30 reviews

Reviewed May 5, 2011

My experience was a total disaster.
I booked this place via HostelWorld and it ended up being a really disappointing and frustrating experience.

First, the place is not properly indicated. It´s not evident to find the single door that barely has an indicator of the hostel being there in the first place.
Then comes the bell that doesn´t really provide you the feeling of it working so you wonder if you actually rang it or not.

Once inside, all where surprises.
The stairs were steep to death and it was easy to forecast the danger on my way out.
I was taken into a living room where water was dripping from the ceiling (it had been raining previously). Water was just leaking to the floor, nothing to contain it. The staff girl was certainly uninterested by it and not worried about the impression that would give to a newcomer.

Then came the bomb: On top of the price of reservation there was an additional 10% on top to be paid on the spot!!!
They claimed it was indicated in their profile and indeed it was... under the indications on how to join the place from the airport!!!

I explained the girl who attended me that it was a totally unfair situation since the information was not clearly informed in their profile and that I was not going to pay that extra 10%.
As you could imagine, that extra money would have placed them below other results in the search engine so they basically cheated the users into making them think that´s the price.

Following her cheap excuses about the info being in the profile (she had the paper well prepared so it was clearly NOT the first time this happened), I told her they could have indicated such situation on top of the profile, where they advertise their free WIFI, 24h reception and such (in uppercase, nonetheless).


Obviously, I walked away from there letting them know I´d complain about their attitude to both HostelWorld and the Tourism Board of Singapore
(http://www.case.org.sg/Making_a_Complaint.html).

I actually encourage anyone having had similar circumstances to act upon this abusive situation for the sake of good practices in hostels.

I felt cheated, abused and fooled and it´s certainly not the out-coming you expect from paying for a place to sleep.

Room Tip: Best room is to not stay there. Period.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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6  Thank JFQueralt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

I'm very dissatisfied with this hostel:

(1) I needed to pay 10% surcharge at the door. Although this surchage is stated in the terms and conditions in "small print", the booking rate is very misleading given that 10% is not a small amount for budget travellers.

(2) There's a strange rule that "no shoes and slippers are allowed in the hostel". I find it unacceptable and the host was very keen in enforcing this stange rule. It means that you have to walk on bare foot and it makes your foot dirty.

(3) The host requires all people to put their shoes on the steep stairs. This makes the stairs very DANGEROUS, and there's no lighting on the stairs near the entrance. If people fall down by slippery, the hostel may face lawsuit claiming compensation for personal injury!

(4) The floor was shaking seriously when people walked outside my room. I was waken up in the midnight and in the early morning many times.

(5) There is a karaoke downstairs, so I could hear music all night long - which made me difficult to get into sleep.

(6) Only two showers available - I had to wait for shower in the morning. And it's a toilet + shower - which is not quite good.

(7) No fire escape door - I was worried about safety all the time and I find it dangerous in case of a fire!

(8) The linens were being dried on the roof floor - it is dirty by placing them on the roof floor!

(9) There are many restaurants near the hostel - don't expect the streets are clean nearby!

(10) I sent my requests to this hotel two times before I arrived - saying that I would arrive in the midnight (this is required by them). But I never received their reply. This means that their service is bad and they are not responsive. I had to make international phone calls to contact the host.

(11) The office website of this Empire Hostel says that there is ensuite room (with private bath), but this is NOT TRUE. This is a misrepresentation or a misleading statement.

Overall, I am very unhappy about this hostel. It totally ruined my trip to Singapore. I will never stay in this hostel again. I strongly discourage people to choose this hostel!

Thank you for reading and please think carefully if you want to book this hostel.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
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6  Thank hk1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2010

this hostel located in a very hidden place, even thought it was situated opposite McDonald, but you cant find the place cause the entrance door was an unfinished wooden door with a hand written street name on it. The staircase and the walkway was so narrow and dark, no windows for rooms and living room. The whole place looks so terrifying. Poor ventilation cause the place smelly and you wouldn't feel like stand there for a second. No to mentioned the room we booked, you can actually touch the ceiling board if you want. We should have take some photos to show you guys. This is a very bad experience for those who first time travel to Singapore. Advices to all the travel site providers, conduct a quality check on the hostels, if possible have a site visit, and for travelers out there, collect more information and comments from those who had visit the place, check if the hostels provide you full view on the facilities, i.e reception counter, , rooms, kitchen, bathroom and etc.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank kl_traveler0412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2010

The hostel was hard to locate because it does not has proper nice entrance and hostel signboard. Upon the entrance door opening, the environment was so dark and smelly. The room was not spacious and so small. The photos in website and actual site was so different. It was very misleading information in website.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with friends
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2  Thank poohpooh2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2010

We stayed here for 3 days.
Just follow the direction and you will find the location (the building not really eye catching)

First impression is not really good.
The stairs are quite narrow.

The room is small, but it is OK. The bathroom clean and the water hot.
The air conditioning is cold enough and in good condition.

They also provide breakfast

Overall the stay is nice and the location also good :)

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Helenoetama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2010

My friend and I are staying in this hostel at the moment, as it had only few reviews that suggested it was a very nice place. I thought you might need another opinion, it's not that great.
Firstly, the directions given it was incredibly hard to find, even our taxi driver wasn't sure was they were trying to say, it was also, along with everything, written in broken english. It is near a Mcdonald's and a lighting shop and is on the second story of a restaurant, be warned, it's nothing like the pictures you see.
The lady who manages the place seems pretty disinterested in our stay, perhaps this is typical of hostel owners I'm not sure. I didn't get any good vibes from her at all, not very friendly.
It cost us $150 for 3 nights, really not very competitive at all, there was a really nice indian hotel (not hostel) down the road for 70 a night. The rooms are TINY, we had a twin private and it was hardly enough to fit our suitcases, let alone anything else like room for moving around and getting changed.

Shower pressure is ok, however the shower and toilet are in the same little room, with a few sinks and mirrors out the front.

Breakfast is average, they're too cheap to provide milk, white toast is available though.
We were also woken at 6am by very noisey people, unsure if they were staff or travellers, either way, early noise is not policed very well at all. Also, this area of town is quite unsafe to be walking around at night, as I've heard from a few locals.

Also! you are required to pay a 10% extra charge upon arrival, extra on your bill. what a nice surprise for you :) and a $30 deposit for the key, which you have to pay if you loose it.

I recommend not staying here at all, rip off price for a hostel of this type. There is much better value to be found, even if you throw in the extra 20 and stay at a cheap hotel, it's worth it, it doesn't feel right here at all, it's just a glorified house that's not all that clean.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Gemma24_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Empire Hostel

Address: 202A Syed Alwi Road | Corner of Jalan Besar Opposite Mac Donalds, Singapore 207735, Singapore
Location: Singapore > Singapore
Hotel Style:
Ranked #175 of 244 Specialty Lodging in Singapore
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Empire Hotel Singapore
Empire Hostel Singapore

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