After spending quite a few nights at the
Ibis Bencoolen, and covering the inaugural Budget and Economy
Hotels Asia forum, which tool place - somewhat ironically - at the
Grand Hyatt Singapore, we feel more than prepared to write this review
of the Value Hotel Balestier.
There are currently three Value Hotels open in
Singapore, the Value Balestier, Value Nice and Value Thompson.
These three hotels are located along Balestier Road, with the
latter two being only a short walk away from one another. The
company will also be opening more next year, including a 4-star
property close to Lavender which will offer over 800 rooms.
All three hotels offer roughly the same rate,
which is to say from Sin$ 69 depending on which day of the week you wish to
stay. That extremely impressive rate, especially for a city like
Singapore, is nett, which means it is inclusive of taxes and
service charges. If you would like internet then just add Sin$ 10
nett to that base rate.
For that rate, you get a clean
and comfortable room, simple but functional bathroom and even use
of a swimming pool and gym! That's right, from Sin$ 69 nett, and
regardless of which of the three Value Hotels you stay at, you
are entitled to use the swimming pool, as well as the gym, at the
Value Thompson, for free! You do not need to be a mathematician to
see that that, is exceptional value. But is it too good to be
All three of the Value Hotels are very similar,
but on this page we are going to concentrate on the Value
Balestier, the oldest of the three.
Security at the hotel comprises of a lot of
cameras, so many in fact, that there is not supposed to be any blind
spots in any of the public areas. How efficient this might be, is
unclear and untestable, but as a guest, security was never really a concern.
The Value Balestier has three different room
categories Standard with window, Standard without window and Superior. The Standard rooms are almost identical in
size, which is to say around 13/15 sqm, the only difference is that
some do have a window, while some do not. Superior rooms are slightly
larger, no window, but they have a sofa bed so that three adults,
possibly four at a push, can
sleep inside comfortably.
The rooms all feature a good size Sharp LCD
TV with around 15 channels, two of which are sports channels which
feature the English Premier League and other major sporting
There is no cupboard in the rooms, just
a few hooks from which you can hang clothes from a hangar if you
have some. The Standard rooms with windows and the Superior rooms do have a small cupboard-style space, but
it is only tall enough to hang a shirt, and possibly not even that.
Every room has a small dressing table on which
sits the tea and coffee making facilities. This dressing table is connected
to the wall in front of a mirror, and is where you will find a
multi-socket plug, conveniently located above the table. If you
need more sockets, the hotel can provide an adaptor upon request.
Space in the room is limited, and there is no
storage beneath the bed, so you will be more than likely to stand
the suitcase on its side rather than lying it down flat. This
shouldn't be a problem but something you should be aware of,
especially if you have a lot of bags.
The bathrooms are very small, but they are clean
and functional with good hot and cold water power. Look upon the bathroom as a large shower cubicle with a
toilet and hand basin / mirror in it, because unless you are an
expert at this type of bathroom, then everything is going to get wet.
The floor does dry quicker than we would have expected, but for
many guests, this type of bathroom could take a while to get used
The beds and pillows at the Value
Hotel Balestier are excellent, comparable to many
of the better four and five star hotels around the
And, if you do opt for a room without a window, then at
least you do
not have to worry about whether the hotel has black out
curtains or not, nor whether the road noise from outside
will be an issue - advantages to some.
Unfortunately, while all this sounds terrific,
and it is so far - the excellent mattress, the very good quality
sheets, the nice pillows and very good shower do not make up for
the fact that the in-room sound insulation is really quite
terrible. You will have to hope that your neighbours understand
this, and keep the noise down, because if you both are watching
the same channel on TV, one of you could quite comfortably turn
the sound off, and you would both be still able to follow the rest
of the programme! At one point during the night, and again early
in the morning, we wondered whether a guest at the completely
other end of the corridor had brought one of those noisy
Chihuahuas back to the room, only to later discover the hotel does
not allow pets!! No harm in making some noise, but it just shows
how little sound insulation there really is. Perhaps therefore it
is not the best place to stay if you are travelling with children.
The internet at the hotel is provided
in the room through a LAN cable, and the connection is
immediate and good quality. Our speed tests gave an
average upload speed of 0.28 Mbps, and a download of
1.71 Mbps for local and international connections, which
is slow but compares well to other hotels in Singapore we have tested. If you do
not travel with a laptop, then there are also two PC's in
the lobby that can be used for a fee.
Apart from the poor sound insulation, the only
other real downside we could find at the
hotel, is the lack of an in-room safe. Yes, the hotel does have
safety deposit boxes in the reception, but with many travellers,
especially those on business, carrying sensitive info or just
expensive equipment, the lack of what is now regarded by many as
an absolute must, could well deter a substantial number of
So to conclude, if, as with any budget
hotel, you know what to expect and are happy with that,
then the Value Balestier is a good choice. For the
price, and the fact you can use a gym and pool for free,
be only 10 minutes from Orchard Road by taxi or bus,
have some great local eateries on your doorstep, and do
not mind being without an in-room safe, then the
Value Hotel Balestier really does live up to its name.
If it somehow managed to fix the sound
insulation without tearing the building down, added in-room safes
and perhaps a shelf or two, then it would be very hard to find a
better budget hotel in Singapore. It could even then, change its name to
Great Value Hotel Balestier!
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