Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 August: Singapore: Bugis: The Pod @ Beach Road Boutique Capsule Hotel

Buying plane tickets two months before my travel date gave me few options on where I could stay.  In Singapore, I already experienced staying in a condominium, HDB and single-room in Clarke Quay.  With cost as a decision factor, also to feel the experience I decided not to try in Japan, I get to stay in a capsule hotel.  After searching several the same service in, I chose the most decent from what I see in the pictures and read in the reviews – The Pod

Location: 289 Beach Road Level 3 Singapore 199552

Boutique capsule hotel catering to discerning travelers who desire fuss-free and convenient living.
With 83 cozy capsules inspired by modern and minimalistic living, you can look forward to convenience at your fingertips without compromising on comfort, quality or style.
At The POD, personalized concierge services are on hand to satisfy your every need so that you can focus on the things that truly matter. 
Enjoy complimentary laundry service, hot buffet breakfast and Nespresso coffee, high-speed Wi-Fi access and more. A complete set of amenities ensures effortless living right at the centre of Singapore.
Located at the fringe of the Singapore Central Business District, near the Haji Lane - rated as one of the top shopping places in Singapore. [Reference]

Price: Affordable (compared to other accommodations in SG) [PHP 5,663.88 (USD 129.66) for 3 nights]
If you have longer time before your travel date, you could have a chance in getting single room in decent hotels at the same price. 

Location: Good – 10 to 15 minutes walk from 2 different train stations (1) Bugis in EW12, DT14 and (2) Nicoll Highway in CC05. Close to Haji and Arab areas where you can have late drinks with friends.  Very close to shopping areas in Bugis Junction.  Upcoming mall at the grounds of Concourse Skyline will soon be promising. (But in Aug 2014, only Starbucks and small convenient store is open)

Check-in Experience: Read the instruction outside the building on how to open the secured door.  This will lead you to another door going to the elevator.  Aim for 3F which is the reception, you’ll be guided to your floor, room, then pod #.  Everything will be noted on your entry card as well.

Room: Unique experience – It is my first time to stay in a capsule hotel. (Single POD Side Entry - Female Only).   You should be mindful of the etiquette.  Be quiet at all times. Lights off by 11pm.  Each pod is with small desk, light, power socket, 2 pillows, blanket and hanger.  There is also strong wifi signal in the pod, but I’d rather take my Viber calls in the reception area.

Housekeeping: A bit annoying if your co-travelers having their things clutter on the bedside and they leave their pods open for everyone to see. 

Public areas such as bathroom and kitchen are clean when you’re the first to use it.

Culinary Experience:  Satisfying – Self-service simple buffet starts by 7am, but try to be there 15 minutes early, to have a bit of a privacy.  You can get anything you wanted to try without annoying other travelers from passing by while they are watching the television.  Variety of basic breakfast meals are being offered and they are good enough to start-up your morning.

Final Review:  It gave me a good experience to what it is like to stay in a capsule hotel.  But per my character, I guess I’d rather stay in a single room than in a capsule.  Not that I’m suffocated by the space, but I feel deaf with my voice.  I can’t speak to myself (which can make them think I’m a fool), I can’t sing, I can’t shout, and I can’t do monologue – which I of course do by having solo trips.  I got to listen to my mind in a louder perspective being solo watching the stars in my wide window-room – that is what I missed.

But going back to the initial factor, staying in The Pod satisfied what I need – safe accommodation in tight budget.  Recommended to those if privacy is not an issue.

Tip: Contact them prior to your arrival to reserve the lower pods for your own convenience.

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