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“Private Double Room was Fine”
Review of Betel Box Hostel

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Betel Box Hostel
Ranked #20 of 241 Specialty Lodging in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2012

The room was clean, and I found the staff to be friendly and helpful.
Had a very early plane to catch and the cost of the taxi was only $20.

A rather colourful neighbourhood to boot that springs to life at night.

Room Tip: If it is in your budget, go for the private room.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank djpinks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 6, 2012

i was there around april in Joo chiat road... First of all there was a receptionist who 's very nice & make you welcome. Well informed about the city...i wish i remember his name...Only thing i know, he was a sailor in the past days. very clean & organized. few minutes to train station.For more info, feel free to ask.... from Malta

Room Tip: i was in a 12 beds room and can say nothing wrong...
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank alanMalta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2011

Summary:

Positives: Great amenities (interesting deco, hot water shower, free internet for once a day, nice free/discount breakfast & lunch, attentive and friendly hostel's bar/cafe cashier, cozy lounge room).

Negatives: Beds weren't made (they only hand out bed sheets and pillow case later to do on your own - which means you could see sweat stains on mattress). They decide to do renovation and paint job during out stay (weekend). Sarcastic & oblivious hostel reception. A little bit far from MRT station.

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Detailed review:

I don't expect much from guesthouses or budget hostels since I'm quite happy with very basic things like decent bed/room, shower and toilet, proper cleanliness and I think respect and a bit of courtesy goes a long way in businesses like this. Everything else is a plus.

On the outside, it looks great. I could overlook the distance from Paya Lebar MRT to the hostel as a good exercise (all for strong legs and a tanned skin) and the place certainly looks homely. We arrived a little early than the check in time (1pm) but they let us in anyway and said the 6-bed dorm is almost available (only one bed was occupied out of 6). Since we get to enter the room earlier, we don't mind that they have not yet put the bedsheets on our beds because we thought they didn't want to bother us resting and we're just glad that we could rest (even on sweat stained mattress and pillows) after a sleepless night from the northern train journey prior to our arrival.

Somehow as soon as that last person in the room checked out, the management decided to renovate and paint the laundry room/toilet door in front of our room! Could you imagine resting with drilling noise and strong paint smell during your stay? What's illogical is the fact they decided to do it on a weekend and that the door worked fine before. They should have done it on other days when no one booked the room we stayed in. And for me, the LEAST they could do was inform us about the renovation plans before we stayed so we could find some place else. Or a simple "sorry for the inconvenience" gesture would have been appreciated. Other normal people would have asked for a discount or refund and make a fuss. I just consoled myself with the thoughts of using "the power of Internet review".

So we thought after a good shower, we could go out and escape the drilling noise a little bit (the drilling noise was over by late afternoon and continued the next morning) and come back to a bed with the pillows and sheets done but only to find them handed at the edge of our beds to be "DIY-ed". We thought that was fair enough but it was the strong, nauseous paint smell that lingers throughout our stay made us a little annoyed. We're already looking forward to leave the next morning.

At night when I asked the hostel's reception politely if I could get some drinking water, the receptionist answered "Don't you know you could drink straight from the tap in Singapore?" in an insinuating tone when "Yes, you may, the tap water is fine/safe to drink too" could suffice. Thankfully, the gracious hostel's cafe cashier, tasty free/discount food/drinks, hot showers and free one-time Internet usage that made us happy and look on the bright side.

In conclusion, I'll look for some place else to stay in Singapore (we only later found out that at night the area turned out to be a red light district but don't mind it since we felt pretty safe and it wasn't as noisy as the drilling noise in the day) and only book here if there is no other choice. Made us also wonder if they are more friendly/courteous to Caucasian/tourists-looking persons. We hope that isn't the case and purely coincidental.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Hana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2011

Great & friendly staff? Seriously??! I don't need that, I just need a 'human being'.

Let me tell you my Singapore tour with my friends which everything else was great but this hostel. Come on, for a homey backpackers hostel, you don't have to be so arrogant just because those guests are from Asia and not some overseas countries that has Simon Cowell's X Factor franchise. That's sooo yesterday and so not cool. Did we pay you short or destroy your stuff and some sort? I can't help it but noticing the double standard service given by the management. I tried to keep calm, thinking that it's just a 1 night stay.

Not to mention, the hostel freely changed the transfer rate for secure booking deposit. In quotation it's S$15 (not estimated or roughly, but clearly S$15) and then when we transferred, I was informed it was S$20 because the management say they checked and that's what their bank has charged them. We're still cool with that though no apology offered but I was wondering why don't you just say its S$50.

We didn't ask for anything extra, but yet did not bother to send us blanket as they're supposed to. So, thank you very much.

Room Tip: Bring your own amenities.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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9  Thank YovieEswark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

Great atmosphere here! Immediately Tony the owner helped us checking in. Gave out alot of great information and laid out the layout of the land. This 24 person dorm was acutally one of the comfiest sleeps i've had over here in Asia after 3 months. You have strong wifi in the lounge with free coffee and tea, access to snacks at reasonable prices.Also the common area has endless travel books and books about the history of Singapore; great when you arrive in a city with limited prior knowledge about what it has to offer and what to get up to! The best thing after arriving late in Singapore was simply going down to the bistro below and being recommended the Laksa Goreng! One of the best meals and actually spicy that i've ever had! On the other hand, breakfast included is rather small; and it was rather far from the heart of the city oh well. Would have extended for more than one night for sure if was a little better location to the heart of the city.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank brit_doerges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2011

pros:
the lounge was the best part of this hostel, really really cozy
unlimited coffee / tea at the lounge
wifi was fast and reliable
the manager and staff are very helpful
a lot of books
a lot of eatery nearby
free breakfast
good rates

cons:
a long walk from paya lebar or eunos mrt
hostel resto downstair is expensive
only 30mins per day if you wanna use their computer (and you can only use it up once per day)
showers in the 20 beds room were really small, better shower at the toilet which is bigger or the bathroom in the lounge are

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MoaiMind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2011

We loved the atmosphere here. It was very chill, the staff were friendly and always helpful. We only wish that the beds were made before we arrived (they hand you the bed sheets and pillow case) so then you don’t have to see the sweat stains. Anyway, other then that the dorms were great. The lockers are like school lockers so its difficult to fit a backpack, or suit case.. you have to take your stuff out and lock it up. Location was not bad (though I don’t think anywhere in Singapore is really a bad location), it was an easy bus ride to all areas that we wanted to go. At night the outside area turns into a bunch of brothels and you will see many old Asian men out there with the young ladies. We never felt unsafe walking around in the evening, there are lots of restaurants in the area and the common area at the hostel was a good place to hang out. OH – and the restaurants really good!!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank d0uluvme49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Betel Box Hostel

Address: 200 Joo Chiat Road Betel Box Backpackers Hostel, Singapore 427471, Singapore
Location: Singapore > Singapore > Joo Chiat
Amenities:
Free Breakfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 241 Specialty Lodging in Singapore
Price Range: $13 - $56 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Betel Box Hostel 1*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Joo Chiat Road, "Betel Box" is the fruition of our experiences of hostelling, backpacking and budget travelling around the globe and meeting like-minded travellers. It embodies that we want in a backpackers' hostel: friendly, respectful, addictive, aesthetically pleasing, functional and representative of all cultures in Singapore. Betel Box Hostel provides a home away from home with its creature comforts, is within easy reach to all parts of Singapore and in a culturally rich part of town! Who says budget accommodation in Singapore means budget service? And oh, you get to enjoy our Stimulating Company! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Betel Box Hotel Singapore
Betel Box Hostel Singapore

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