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“Away from Touristy Area” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel 81 Kovan

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Hotel 81 Kovan
Ranked #183 of 308 Hotels in Singapore
Manila
Level Contributor
42 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Away from Touristy Area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

To reach the hotel, get to the purple line and get off at Serangoon station. Take a short bus ride and in less than 5 minutes you should see Hotel 81 Kovan which is beside a small 7-11 store. If you smell a funky odor, you are on the right direction. The smell is coming from the durian store which is near the hotel's entrance.

The location of this hotel is far from the usual tourist area. It can be an advantage for those who prefer a quiet place. It can be, on the other hand, a disadvantage for those who wish to be within striking distance to Singapore's tourist spots. Personally, while the MRT is an efficient and well-connected mode of transportation, I felt the hotel was just a tad too far from the attractions. The additional bus ride (and the waiting for one to arrive) from the hotel to the station can be a waste of time.

The hotel has a small lobby with seats having a mere capacity of 2-3 people. Check in was quick and staff was okay. The lift to upper floors was also tiny but should suffice for 4 persons with suitcases.

The room was surprisingly tidy, even spotless. The bed was well-fixed and the linens smelled clean. We were given a room with a view of a local neighborhood - a different kind of view than the one we might get from staying at a hotel in a "touristy" area. The bathroom, albeit small, sufficed. It is noticeable that the housekeeping made sure the bathroom is always free from unwanted dirt.

Minor downside would be that there was only one power outlet in the room - an absolute inconvenience when we need to charge our gadgets.

Over all, a fairly good value for your money as hotels are expensive in Singapore. Compromise is that it is far from the attractions. Personally, I'd rather stay at a hotel near the usual tourist place even if it meants additional splurge.

Finally, a word of caution.

Everytime we leave and enter the hotel, we would always notice couples waiting at the lobby. After much researching, this hotel and its other branches have a reputation of being brothels. We were already on our last day when we knew the fact which was naturally uncomfortable for us. However though there have been efforts to clean up such shady reputation (or so I've read). In fact, on our floor's room, we saw families (and heard sounds from kid/s) checked in in adjacent rooms.

Room Tip: Request to be on the family-friendly floor. That is, away from the rooms where couples rent by the h...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Phronimos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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38 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    12
    2
    0
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4
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9
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2012 via mobile

Pros: Very clean, daily room makeup, good aircon.
Cons: Small rooms, no safe, no fridge.
MRT ten minutes away, food court and Seven Eleven next door. All the cabbies know where it is. Rooms are often rented for a few hours by local couples, which is probably why the mattresses are vinyl covered. Consequently beds not as comfy as they could be. Overall ok for a few nights stopover.

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank said2151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
99 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2012

I was arriving to Singapore this time after midnight. Knowing that Singapore rooms are very small I booked a double room for a few more pounds at hotel 81 Kovan. The taxi driver was surprised that I choose an hotel in a non tourist area, and made me feel a bit uncomfortable with my choice. Once there I was very pleased. The hotel looks quite new, everything is nice and immaculate clean. The room was a good size double, with a window covering all wall on the right, which was facing the side of the building. No noise at all was coming from the outside busy road. A flat TV and DVD were hanging from the wall opposite to the king-size bed. The bathroom was a bit small but very functional, all the necessary toiletries including toothbrush and disposable comb and razor are provided. The towels are big, free tea and coffee facilities.

The bed and pillows were a bit too hard, I mention this because I like firm beds but this one made my back hurt. The only thing that bothers me is that the hotel does not used fitted sheets, so as the mattress have a faux leather cover the sheets comes off as soon as you move in bed, forcing you to made the bed more than once during the night or sleeping over the fake leather cover.

The only downside is the noise of people coming through the hallways in the night walking in flip flops over a ceramic tile floor in the corridor. Of course that is not the hotel fault, but it can be annoying.

The hotel is situated about 700 metres between Kovan and Serangoon MRT station on the purple line. For those not wanting to walk the bus stops is at the hotel door, and it only takes to stops to either station. At both MRT stations you have a shopping mall and food courts. It is worth to visit and do some shopping there; you have a nice variety without the prices of Orchard Road. Although the hotel is a bit far away from the city centre, that is not a problem at all. The excellent Singapore MRT red can take you to the city centre in about 15 minutes.

To sum up this is an excellent budget hotel, very modern, clean and at incredible price. If you arrive outside public transport hours a taxi from the airport including night supplement cost only 24 SGD or £13.

Room Tip: If you are single pay a couple of SGD more and get a double room.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Patricia032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queen Creek, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2012

This hotel is one of the best I've seen in Singapore for budget-minded travelers (of which I am one). The hotel staff and counter crew are very helpful and always friendly and cheerful, and all facilities are in league with the more expensive hotels. Rooms are small, but adequate, and extremely clean, meaning that they "feel" clean and the floors feel "squeaky clean polished" on your feet. I love this! However, I would like to see a couple of improvement where the rooms are concerned. First, I would suggest this hotel move to using fitted lower sheets for their mattresses. The sheets they use now come off the mattress during the night's sleep and quickly become a tangled mess about your feet. If you are a 230 pound man as I am, fitted sheets (those with an elastic stretch material at the corners) would keep the lower sheet in place a lot better! Otherwise, the beds, while a bit firm for my tastes, are excellent.
A second place for improvement would be to provide wash cloths and face towels for the restrooms. All you get now are the large bath towels. So how does one wash their body and face? Wash cloths help remove dead skin cells, allow you to wash your back, and give you a much cleaner feel after a shower. Face towels mean you can get cleaned up without having to use the larger bath towels.
As a 3rd suggestion, it would sure be nice if the very smallish desk next to the bed could be larger. It is used to place a telephone and the coffee water heater, cups, and a few small room service items. There is little space for anything else! A larger desk area would make it a much more "user friendly" room. I needed to sit my lap-top on there (that's where one of the only two electrical outlets are located!) but the telephone and coffee water heater were definitely in the way. By the way, the electrical power in Singapore is 220 ~240 VAC, 50 Hz. Make sure your equipment (and electric razor!) can handle this kind of electricity! My razor would not handle it. The 50 Hz voltage frequency is no problem for most razor wall transformers, but the high voltage would cause it to quickly melt down! I recommend travelers bring a voltage converter if planning to visit Singapore. The hotel does not provide these.
The last thing I would do to improve the room and give it a more friendly feel is to add a couple of shelves up on the walls. There is just no place to put anything unless you use the area next to the large window by the bed. This is a large flat area that I suppose is intended for this purpose, but as it is right next to the bed, it is rather a pain to always have to get over there to use it. A shelf placed right next to the entrance door would be a good place for keys, wallets, sun glasses, etc., while a 2nd shelf near the TV would be nice for placing the coffee water heater, or a brief case, etc. These simple and low cost improvements to the rooms would really put this otherwise excellent hotel right over the top! And if you really want to impress your guests, get a small microwave oven and refrigerator in there too. I'd pay an extra ten dollars a night just for that!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank deanplmr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2011

I am staying in Hotel 81 Kovan as I write this review. It is my third night. I could NOT be more pleased. It is clean, quiet, efficient, and inexpensive. The staff has been hospitable and helpful. The rooms are small, but totally adequate. Mine has a window that cover the entire wall, but I realize rooms on the inner side of the corridor may not have windows? It is next to a very busy street and I've never heard traffic noise. The walls/doors must be thick too, because I've never been bother by corridor noise or the television next door though I can hear it when in the hall.

The wireless internet is $10/day, but for the price of the hotel, it is still a bargain. The wireless internet has worked well. My room is equipped with a flatscreen television and a DVD player. There are about a dozen channels on cable which include a movie channel or two, four sports channels, news, etc. More than sufficient unless you come here to watch tv.

There is no restaurant in the hotel, but a charming little restaurant next door and one bus stop away there is a small shopping plaza with half dozen restaurants.

The hotel is exactly half way between two MRT stops on the purple line, which can whisk you into the heart of the city in fifteen minutes. Buses stop right in front of the hotel and it's two stops to either MRT station.

There is no carpeting in the hotel as all floor surfaces are tile...thus easy to keep clean. My room is spotless. I leave for a few hours and the bed is made. linens are changed and clean towels appear. There is a bottle of water per day. There is a a phone in the room. I have a firm and comfortable double bed. The air conditioning works well. The bathroom is tiny, but adequate and the floor of the bathroom acts as the shower floor. I've never run out of hot water and it is there quickly. There is a long ledge by the huge window for holding luggage.

The hotel appears to be new? It is next door to the Fragrance Hotel Kovan and appears to be about half the price. There is a just place across the street that can handle all business center-type needs.

After reading some of the reviews of Hotel 81's in Singapore I was hesitant, but finally booked here. I would stay here again in a moment and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a clean, nice, small and inexpensive hotel room. I believe I paid $68 U.S. before taxes, which made it come out to about $80/night. In Singapore, i don't think you could do much better.

Room Tip: Ask for an outside room, if you want the possibility of a large window. There may be more noise on t...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Charlie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel 81 Kovan

Property: Hotel 81 Kovan
Address: 768 Upper Serangoon Road, Singapore 534637, Singapore
Location: Singapore > Singapore
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#23 Best Value Hotel in Singapore
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel 81 Kovan 2*
Number of rooms: 89
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel 81 Kovan Singapore

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