Wednesday, July 30, 2008

one florence close: clean and comfy rooms in singapore

looking for cheap accommodations in singapore is not easy. i considered booking us a room in any of the fragrance hotel or hotel 81 branches, but they seemed too generic, too cold. i like to stay in a place with personality, and a little human touch.

while singapore had a lot of backpacker joints, the reviews i read weren't too encouraging, and very few of them offered private rooms.

so i searched for more, and ended up checking out one florence close. from the website, it looked promising--MRT just a few minutes' walk away, a hawker center at the corner, residential neighborhood (read: quiet and peaceful). most of the reviews from trip advisor were also favorable, so i decided to go for it.

sent my booking information via email, and received a prompt response from cynthia, the manager. guests are asked to give credit card details, "so that we can confirm your bookings. we will not make any charges to it--unless you back out on us or make a late cancellation."

we arrived at the hostel past 11pm, waaaay past the check-in time of 10am. but cynthia already gave me clear instructions for self check-in. sure enough, there was a note at the door of the reception area with my name on it. inside it was the key, and directions on what to do to enter the hostel. i don't know about you, but i was thrilled at this tiny scavenger hunt-ish game. we find our room without a hitch, and settle in.

our room was just big enough to accommodate us and our luggage. our "bed" was a queen-sized (two twin mattresses put together) mattress placed on the floor, with ikea-looking polka dot pillow cases and duvet. aside from this, there was also a small wooden box on which the tv rested, as well as an air conditioning unit, and a tiny corner with plenty of hangers for our clothes. pretty spartan, but clean.

then came the part i dreaded most: the bathroom. unfortunately, one florence close doesn't have private bathrooms. this was the only setback with this hostel, but thankfully, the experience of sharing a bathroom with other travelers wasn't the nightmare i thought it would be.

the bathrooms were tiny, but clean and with ample hanging provisions. the hot water was working, and shampoo and liquid soap were provided. there are only two units available for guests, but i never once had to wait for my turn. toilets were in separate cubicles, and they were also clean, complete with toilet paper supply.

entertaining extras came in the form of two persian kitties, pepper and romeo. pepper actually welcomed us on our first night, refusing to leave our room when we arrived. but they're well-behaved cats (too well-behaved, actually. too quiet! :p)

now, let's talk location. from the city center, one florence close is actually a bit far. it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to get to orchard, city hall, and raffles place. but the neighborhood is pretty pleasant, with most everything you need just a few steps away: there's a local hawker center at the corner, a fruit stall, a JIE bakery where you can get kaya toast, hock lam beef noodle place, and another chinese restaurant.

there's also a chinese medicine store (which came in handy when susie got sick), and a pharmacy up simon road. the kovan MRT is just two minutes away, and across the station is heartlands mall, where the bus stop (bus 1o7 or 107m) is also located.

our stay in one florence close was rather uneventful, mainly because i was hardly there. but the room and facilities were clean enough for SGD88, and the location, for me, is pretty desirable, and is not too stessful as when you stay in the city. it offers a nice glimpse into busy singapore's residential districts, where the pace is more relaxed.

the hostel provides a lot of information about places you can visit in singapore. local calls are also free, and a communal kitchen and refrigerator is also free for you to use. just make sure you label the stuff you put in the ref! :)

so, next time you're in singapore, and looking for a nice place to stay in, one florence close comes highly recommended.

more photos of one florence close on my multiply.

contact information:
one florence close
1 florence close
(perpendicular to upper serangoon road)
singapore 549588
tel. no.: +65 90272702; +65 62899005
email address:


datch said...

djong! i saw your pix on multiply. nice ;-) mataas nga pala talaga cost of living sa sg. but glad you enjoyed your trip. :-)

i gotta go! said...

hey datch! yeah, medyo mahirap ngang magpigil gumastos. nakaka confuse din minsan, $1.00 ang isang bote ng mineral water, akala ko mura, pero 33 pesos na nga pala yon! :p

kegler747 said...

Thanks for this info... I usually book a hotel in the Little India district kse nandun ang mga mura na hotel at malapit sa Mustafa Center na open 24 hrs :)

Penny Lane said...

napaka-comfy at homey naman ng dating niyan!