This small, neat and relatively new hotel is fine for travelers who aren’t particularly concerned about being away from the CBD and the overpriced boutiques of Orchard Road. In recent years Singapore hotels have become very expensive and there are few bargains to be found – unlike in most other large Asian cities where you can stay in a luxury property with king size beds, a swimming pool and sumptuous buffet breakfast for the same price as you get a windowless old dog box here.
The Aqueen has several advantages over its rivals at the budget end of the market, most importantly that it has been well maintained and all of the appliances in the room work, including a good sized flat screen television, and the rooms actually have windows - a comparatively rare thing at these prices . There is no wardrobe and the toilet is collocated with the shower – but these things hardly matter for a solo traveler staying for one or two nights. My bed was a single and quite firm, with good clean linen. And the wifi is free and fast – a nice feature because many other Singapore hotels gouge mercilessly by charging for internet access, which in this day is like charging guests for water and air.
While the immediate surrounding area is not especially glamorous with many high rise apartment blocks, there are plenty of nice cafes and restaurants on the main street Balestier Road – so organsing reasonably priced good quality Chinese meals is not a problem. For the truly desperate there is even a McDonald's directly opposite. Having said that, it would be nice if the rooms included a small fridge for cold drinks and food – but you can’t have everything in a small space and at a budget price. There does seem to be some sort of bar arrangement next to the foyer, but it didn’t seem to be open during my short stay. The most common local shops seemed to specialize in home lighting, with plumbing a close second, so if you are after a new lampshade or different type of electrical socket or that hard to get spigot, then this is the place for you.
The taxi ride from Changi cost SGD25 and the trip took about 45 minutes in peak hour traffic. The check in took place at a leisurely speed and the staff seemed helpful and friendly. The nearest MRT station is apparently 20 minutes walk away, but given the low cost of taxis that is not a major concern.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We offer executive class hospitality to business & leisure travelers. We strive to deliver comfort, warmth, friendly service & genuine quality to all our guests. We are located close to the Central Business District & are conveniently served by the Mass Rapid Transit network. We are also near convention venues such as Singapore Expo and the Suntec Convention Centre. The Hotel is surrounded by Singapore's famous eating places as well as cultural historical sites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aqueen Hotel Balestier Singapore