Another objective review from FattM. As usual, your experience may vary.
In Singapore for a few days, sort of on business. Needed a hotel on the East Coast that wouldn't kill my meagre budget but that also wasn't either a noontime knocking shop or stuck in the middle of Jalan Nowhere.
An associate of mine booked me into the Santa Grand East Coast and it was a generally favourable experience. A $16 cab ride from the airport (I knew where the hotel was so there was no need to faff around looking for it) on the ECP, a right turn onto Still Road, a left onto East Coast Road, about a 300-metre drive and it's the bright white old-timey looking building on the right.
There are two parts to the hotel: the old-timey white part where the rooms are no doubt larger and slighter more well-appointed and where the old-timey windows open and everything; and the new part- the black 6-story thing stuck behind the white building. My $130 a night room was in the black thing. The windows in that part don't open but they take up most of the north-facing wall so a simple pull of the curtains makes the room bright and sunny provided it's bright and sunny and not pouring rain.
- Location. Buses to the Central Business/ Getting Drunk on Expensive Beers District are almost right across the street. The #10 takes you right to Raffles Place. There are all kinds of places to eat within a 12-minute walk of the hotel- 'merican, Japanese, Indian, Malay, Chinese, "Italian", Thai, whatever. There's even place that serves nothing but chicken wings about 3 minutes away. Magic. Mallrats can make the 15 minute hike to Parkway Parade. Turn right out of the hotel, walk to the first main intersection (Joo Chiat Road), hang a left. Walk south until you see it.
- Information Technology: The free (Wow! There's something free in Singapore? Who'd have thought?) WiFi is fast and reliable and given the size of the room, works just as well in the bog as it does in bed. The big LCD TV doesn't have many channels but it has what you need. Sports, HBO Movies, Discovery Channel, and BBC. And since the TV's big and the room's small, you won't even need your glasses.
- Bed comfort: Nice firm mattress and a fluffy duvet. No top sheet though. Pretty standard for hotels in this price range. Not a big deal. Good pillows.
- In-room amenities: Some. You get slippers, coffee and tea, 2 bottles of water, and that's it. The desk is cramped for working or whatever and the electrical outlets come in a random variety of plug configurations. I strongly advise you to have an adapter or two with you. Some plugs are the 3-straight pin kind, some are the two-round pin kind. Be prepared.
- Shower pressure/ temperature: Sometimes you just want a good strong hot shower. They have those here.
- Building facilities: There's a small pool on the roof and a few deck chairs conveniently (not really) placed in the shade, probably because that's the only place with enough space for them. Semi-reasonable view from the roof, pleasant at night with a light breeze. There is a restaurant off the lobby. Although breakfast there was included in the price, I didn't take them up on it, mostly because I knew what I wanted to eat and they didn't have it and I knew a place down the street that did. There is a spa-type place (in the hotel building but not part of the hotel per se) that does bikini waxes and eyebrow shaping if that's your thing. There's no gym. Just as well really because walking three blocks in the gruesome Singapore heat is enough of a workout as it is.
- It's a pretty compact/ almost like in Tokyo-sized place so expect to hear of all the usual inconsiderate door slammings, drunken hallway conversations at 1am, people checking out and knocking over their luggage in the hall at 5am type things. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Every room in the black part of the building has a window facing the neighbourhood behind the place. Some of the people in that neighbourhood keep chickens. Some of those chickens wake up at 5:30am. Draw your own conclusions.
- Look, Singapore's not Bangkok. Things cost a lot in Singapore. That includes hotels. Normally. S$130 (about US $$110 or something) for a small room in a hotel 20-30 minutes away from the "city" wouldn't be especially good value. But for this country, it is. I guess that's progress for you.
If you have to spend a few days in Singapore without a particularly pressing schedule and you're watching the pennies and you'd rather not stay in the middle of eleventh-seven hundred office buildings and places that sell $14 sandwiches and you're more into just kind of chilling a bit with a cheap coffee-shop Tiger beer and eating some good food, you could do way, way worse than the Santa Grand.
The questions, as always, are:
Would I stay here again? Yes. Yes I would.
Would I recommend it to friends or non-friends? Sure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the East Coast area, Santa Grand Hotel East Coast is nestled at the heart of Katong, well known for its Peranakan heritage and culture. The hotel is also within the larger Joo Chiat area, which was designated as the national heritage conservation area by the Singapore Government with the intention of preserving its rich history, culture and architecture. This Peranakan themed boutique hotel aims to introduce Singapore's unique culture and tradition to visitors, just like its predecessors at Santa Grand Hotel Bugis, Santa Grand Hotel Little India and Santa Grand Hotel Chinatown. Santa Grand Hotel East Coast is built on a 2-storey conservation frontage backed by a 5-storey building. Guests will feel welcomed in the lobby, decorated in bright Peranakan colors, that comes with comfortable seating areas and a business center. Rooms come in four different designs, themes and colors that guests will feel the freshness and variety each time they stay with us. A roof top swimming pool and Jacuzzi offer guests a chance to relax in a tranquil environment with a bird's eye view of the low-lying housing architecture symbolic of the Joo Chiat heritage. Bright colors are used on design of the hotel, similar to the patented sophistication seen in the homes of the Peranakans, creating a warm and inviting ambience and leaving guests with fond memories of the stay. Be it for leisure travelers or travelers on business trip, Santa Grand Hotel East Coast is the place you want to stay in to immerse in a uniquely Singapore culture. Take a walk around the area and you will be amazed by the large variety of food to choose from. A definite must-try would have to be the famous Katong laska, well-liked by Singaporeans and visitors alike, this signature dish can be counted as one of the most popular favorites in Singapore! For outdoors, the hotel is near the popular East Coast Parkway where guests can exercise or just relax amidst the cooling breeze along the Singapore coastline. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Santa Grand Hotel East Coast Singapore