My husband and I needed to ferret out a reasonably priced hotel in Singapore that would replace the old budget hotel we used to book. For about a decade, we used to stay at the New 7th Story Hotel, an eccentric but conveniently located budget hotel well known to back-packers and cost-conscious travelers. It was sadly demolished in 2009.
While we mourn the loss of our favourite hotel, the reality is that like the old 7th Story itself, we've aged. We're not as hardy any more. Although we continue to seek good value in a hotel, sentiment aside, we've outgrown the old standard. As mature travelers, we're looking for modern comforts as well as location.
Our research came down to a handful of possibilities. Given that even two-star budget hotels can cost upwards of $100 S in Singapore, we psyched ourselves for doubling that amount for something more up market.
The trouble with Singapore, however, is that a lot of good hotels will triple that amount.
The one we settled on is the Wangz Hotel and luckily, we were able to book it for around $200 S before tax in a December special (though the price goes up according to the season). Importantly, it offers free WiFi in the rooms which is not as common as I was expecting in Singapore (several upscale hotels in this range charge for access in the room). And the Superior Room at the Wangz is thankfully spacious; I can do my yoga exercises without bumping my head on a suitcase. The ultra-modern decor is arty, although more businessman friendly than woman-friendly in that there's no plug for the hair dryer in the washroom.
The Wangz Hotel is a ten minute taxi ride away from Orchard Street but just a five minute walk from the Outram Park MRT station. The hotel is new enough that we found it easier to tell the driver to take us to the grey, circular hotel next to the Link Hotel on Outram. Everyone knows the Link Hotel next door.
Outram Road is busy and although I feared it would be noisy at night, we both slept well.
Although we usually try to cut food costs in Singapore by hitting the food courts, we splurged one night at the hotel's Nectar Restaurant. The warm seafood salad is one of the chef's signature dishes and it was excellent and I'm very choosy about where I eat salad when I travel. A bit pricey, but that's Singapore. Besides, it was Christmas time. Back to the food courts next month.