Hotel 81 Geylang, Singapore
Check in: August 27, 2018 | Check out: August 29, 2018
Total Price: 101.95 SGD (exclusive of service charge & VAT: 18 SGD)
Address: 20 Lorong 16 Geylang, Geylang, Singapore, Singapore 398863
IN BRIEF: A 2-star Singapore hotel like Hotel 81 Geylang is spare on room space, strategic in location, and generous on WiFi and late checkout.
WiFi is free and fast in my room so I was able to work on my part-time jobs. From the property, one only needs to walk for 10 to 15 minutes to reach the nearest train station: Aljuneid. This train station is only eight stops away from Changi Airport and just a few rides from the City Center, Bayfront, Promenade and Downtown. Arriving late at night, the male receptionist was helpful and then on my last day, I was allowed to check out an hour later.
While the location is hard to beat, it is also a red light district. The surrounding area literally lit up with a variety of neon colors when I arrived at 45 past 11. These lights came from tacky bars and sex toy shops seducing tourists (or perhaps locals) to participate or make a purchase. When I asked the staff if the area was safe, he said it used to be unsafe yet he assured me that authorities had taken measures to make Geylang safer. Another drawback to staying here? The room could use more cleaning.
The average area of 2-star hotel rooms in Cebu is 14 sqm. A good example is Red Planet Hotel Cebu. But how are they different? Hotel 81 Geylang is twice as expensive as Red Planet Cebu yet a standard room here is dated, untidy, and a little cramped, especially in the bathroom area. Instead of using a glass or wooden door, it used a sliding door made of plastic material.
Don’t expect a restaurant or canteen within the hotel. Take comfort that convenience stores and street-side eateries are only a few blocks away. If you are not a heavy eater, the room has a water heater, a free bottle of water, tea powders, and instant coffee sachets to help you cope with night cravings.
During my stay, I was unlucky to have noisy neighbors. My room felt like one of the old apartments I rented in Dubai. I was hoping against hope there would be no bed bugs. Fortunately, there were none.
Almost immediately after checking in, exhaustion came over me. But when I laid down in bed, rest was still elusive. I ended up browsing the internet to pass the time and plan my next day’s DIY tour of Singapore City Center. While checking the internet, I found an online news article about a suicide-cum-murder incident in the same hotel where I was staying. It happened in 2015 so it should not have bothered me, yet it did.
I decided I wouldn’t get out of my room the next day. I was alone in a new city, knowing nobody. I pulled a pillow for a hug, hoping to calm my nerves. Paranoia was out to cripple me but sleep eventually knocked me out. I guess I was too tired from having to do everything on my own that day.
When I woke up the next day, I noticed some free tour brochures and booklets that I grabbed at a tourist rack in Changi Airport. I picked one and began browsing mindlessly.
There are so many things to see and do in Singapore! My judgment was clouded by the past. This city couldn’t be as soulless or frightening as I imagined.
I gave in to curiosity. Lugging my backpack, I headed out to look for food and the nearest train station. Best decisions I’d ever made that day.
All day long, I was out exploring the city center and downtown, seeing and admiring new and awesome things. I went back to my hotel at around 9pm, forgetting what I was worried about the previous night.
I hope I didn’t scare you by relating my personal experience or feelings while I was at this property. Know that you’re getting the perspective of someone who was alone, sleep-deprived and a little scared.
So, the takeaway? The room was fine. It could use more cleaning yet overall, my stay was comfortable. I had the room to myself and I didn’t have to share a bathroom with strangers, all for less money. Of course, you can opt for better budget hotel chains – Fragrance Hotel came up as highly recommended.