My July Singapore adventure was all around the East Coast area.
And by god, I do love this neighborhood.
For one, East Coast has a quaint character to it.
The streets has the most charming heritage buildings which I’ve always adored. The streets are quiet in the morning during my runs, but come to life in the evenings with businesses offering music, food, groceries plus offices.
There are eateries and malls around, but nothing gigantic nor ostentatious that would clash with the nice village vibe of the locale.
I stayed a night in the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong Hotel, my first ever Holiday Inn Express Hotel experience, and found it be more than adequate in terms of comfort and service for the price paid.
This is the 3rd and largest Holiday Inn Express property to date in Singapore, boasting of 451 rooms in Singapore’s first heritage town, the Joo Chiat district of Katong.
The current rate starts from SGD130++/night and that includes an acceptable spread for breakfast with pastries, hot food, eggs, beverages plus salads, yogurt and fruits.
In addition to the daily buffet, guests can opt for “Grab and Go” breakfast consisting of coffee, muffins and fruits.
BREAKFAST: Buffet from 7am – 10:30am daily OR Grab & Go Option if you prefer not to join the breakfast crowd
Besides the comfort of the room, the amenities are sufficient for the non-fuss business or casual traveler.
If you have watched my video below, you would have noticed that there is a self-service laundry room.
24 hours GYM: A few threadmills and free weight with complimentary towels and water.
Lobby: Self-service Business Centre, Internet stations, 24 hour Bar and Snack station
To get to your room, you would need to get to the lobby on the 10th floor.
Bear in mind that you would have to handle your own luggage as this is Holiday Inn EXPRESS, a no-frills hotel, not a full service brand like the Holiday Inn, so do not expect room, luggage, turndown or shuttle services.
The lift will open to the same level where the reception, restaurant, self-service business centre, internet stations, laundry room and the gym are.
Siva was the guy on duty that evening as I dragged my tired body and huge luggage up at 11.00pm.
He had my check-in sorted swiftly, as it should be in any hotel. I queried about the possibility of getting myself to Woodlands upon my departure and he offered a wreath of accurate information which steered me in the right direction.
However, if you are traveling by flight, then Holiday Inn Express is a convenient 15 mins drive away.
VIDEO : My room and what to expect on your Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong stay
If you are lazy, watch the video above which detailed all my thoughts about my room and the surroundings within this property.
But if you are not a video kind of person, read on for my full impression.
THE ROOM: Cosy, subdued comfort
I love the room.
The ambiance is kept lively with splashes of serene blue, adding color to the business-like beige tones.
For the headboards and bedside couch, the beige went up a notch to take on a classy gold matte.
Overall it was a nice match of hues for a subdued vibe as befitting of its brand positioning but not gravely plain.
The texture on the wall behind the TV helped to impart some form of design on the walls since there aren’t any framed pictures.
Similarly behind the headboard the wall sports a background of contrasting somber black with geometrical lines.
The full floor to ceiling glass windows bought an instant smile to my face when I swung the door open.
This is just my kind of hotel/room space!
I was on the 16th floor so I had a nice view right out to the sea.
My sole dislike was the carpet. I thought the pattern was rather old.
The room is compact, that’s evident but it will fit 2 guests (as it meant to) comfortably.
There were clever uses of interior design and furnishing to maximise space as well as to ensure that the compact space remained intimate, rather than claustrophobic.
One particular element that I like was the use of frosted glass for the washroom, which also curves at the (right where I was sitting here) edge of the room where the corner seat by the bed is.
The curve added an eye-pleasing symmetry to the room, while the frosted glass reflects the light nicely, brightening up the room as well as being an aesthetic feature.
I mean imagine if it was a harsh, white wall corner. The feel of the room wouldn’t have been as pleasant, I reckon.
If you’ve noticed, the pillows covers are one with pattern and one without but keeping to the blue beige theme. Indirectly, these items added pop of colors and design to the overall decor, besides being useful items for the guests.
BELOW: I could chill and put my legs up on the bed if I do not wish to lie down or sit at the desk.
The bed is firm, the bedding fluffy and soft so I had a good night rest.
I like the fact that the soft and firm pillows are labeled too! You don’t get that often yes?
Naturally due to its brand position there isn’t a pillow menu but at least there are soft or firm pillows options offered rather than having all 4 same pillows.
The modern travelers will sigh with relief (as I did) as there were plenty of power points in the room, 2 right at the working desk, 1 each beside the bed and another near the entrance. To ensure that you do not “waste” a powerpoint just to boil the water, the kettle has its own dedicated electrical source.
The TV is of an adequate size while desk is long and cleverly tapers to a slimmer ledge as it approaches the bed, allocating space for the guest to walk to the other side of the bed.
The powerpoints are right where the ledge part is, so your gadgets can be charged and left on top, as your laptop will (presumably) take the bulk of the space of the desk.
A small shelve in the wall above you could come in convenient if you need extra space.
I like the compartmentalized platter which keeps the items orderly so the table top remained neat. It looked like porcelain, but is actually plastic.
The porcelain cups provided are of solid quality too. The coffee and tea sachets are standard for a no-frills hotel. The kettle is attached to the boiling device so you can save yourself the trouble of untangling wires when you need to boil your water.
Need a cuppa? Just fill the kettle and turn it on.
Here I observed another clever feature in the furnishing to maximise space.
Right below the corner where the tea making amenities are is an additional drawer for items which is part of the cabinet doubled up as the keeper for the mini fridge!
Being a no-frills hotel there isn’t a minibar but an empty fridge was ideal for me since I always travel with some snacks and drinks.
Besides, you can always head down to the reception (the 24 hour Bar and Snack ) to grab alcohol, snacks and instant noodles.
Otherwise the 7-11 right in front of Roxy Square is a mere 5 mins stroll from the hotel.
Budget doesn’t mean it is cheap.
As evident from the design and furnishing of the room Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong Hotel is admirably classy.
Heck, even the chair is nice!
A full length mirror doubles up as the door for the closet where the safe, slippers and etc are kept.
On the left, the space is kept door-less, as the entrance door to the room opens into it. So to avoid the doors hitting each other, it is kept hollow for the luggage and also for storage.
BATHROOM: Spacious, bright, good water pressure
I’m rather particular about the water pressure in hotel bathrooms as well as the duration the water takes to warm up once I had it running.
Here at Holiday Inn Express Katong the water was hot almost immediately and the pressure most satisfying powerful for a good long shower.
Another notable space-saving feature is the door which does double duty. It either close the shower area or separate the toilet area from the room.
Shampoo and shower gel comes from the 2-in-1 dispenser that is similarly used in other Holiday Inn Express hotels.
I support hotels with a conscience for Mother Earth. I only change my towels if I stayed longer than the average 3D2N stay.
The main draw is definitely its location, besides its fair price point.
This property is perfect for Singapore staycation-ers seeking some time to explore the pretty east coast. Likewise, foreigners would enjoy being amongst a charming trove of cultural landmarks, rows of traditional Peranakan eateries, colorful shopshouses and of course, the East Coast Park which offers great beach time and suitable for jogs, cycling, yoga, windsurfing or you can opt to just relax at the biggest McDonald’s in Singapore as well as the many pubs and restaurants within its vicinity.
Here, take a look at the video for the East Coast McDonald’s which is incredibly unique to any McDonald’s in Asia.
There are no MRT stations within walking distance from the hotel but buses traverse this route frequently.
The nearest bus stop is just a 250 meters walk, located right in front of Roxy Square.
Bus 14 or 36 drops you off opposite Roxy Square which is across the road from Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong. The journey is about 35 minutes.
The nearest MRT is Paya Lebar. Take bus 134, 135 and 43 to get to Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong.
I took Bus 10/14 to go to Sofitel So which is at Lau Pa Sat. It cost me < SGD2.50 for a 30 mins ride.
To celebrate the opening of Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong, the hotel is offering a special opening rate starting from SGD121++/ night for bookings until 31st August.
Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong
88 East Coast Road,
Waze: “Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong”.
Tel: 65 6 7232001
Email: [email protected]