A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to experience how it’s like to stay in a hostel in Singapore.
Situated right at Boat Quay, 5footway.inn Project Boat Quay is a boutique hostel with a fantastic location with a view. It was so easy to get to the train station with the option of choosing from either Clarke Quay (North-East Line) and Raffles Place MRT (North-South Line), both about 5 minutes away.
Getting there: For me, I arrived at Clarke Quay. Turn right at Exit F to walk along the Singapore River. Follow the route via the underpass to cross to the other side of the road safely.
After you get to this side, you will see 5footway.inn to your right shortly. See the black signboard with a big 5? You have arrived at your destination. Enter through the black door and proceed to climb the flight of stairs up the shophouse, and you would expect to be greeted an informative chalkboard wall and an sign to turn left for the reception.
Initially, the place looked like a maze as it seemed like many corridors but thankfully, there were enough signs to guide me around in this labyrinth. As I wandered near the entrance, I found this small room but it’s also my favourite part as I really enjoyed the decor – a cozy area for two to chit chat and chill.
The check in time is 3pm, but I checked in near 6pm. No crowd, guests were mostly out. The common area felt welcoming with natural light coming from above and I liked the cushions shaped as local snacks the curry puff and tutu kueh was really cute and made good conversation starters. The shophouse is also decorated with black and white photos by award-winning Singaporean photographer Edwin Koo which showcases some heritage and culture of the country.
At the corner was a brochure stand filed with a lot of information for the tourist and iMac computer that was free to use. The complimentary WiFi password was also shown on the coffee table, which had strong signal even from the rooms. Luggage could be kept at a corner near the reception and there’s a wall of local, urban Singlish slangs that would keep you entertained in your firs.
Checking in was fuss-free as the staff simply checked my details against their computer records. I was asked to place a deposit of S$20 per person that would be refunded at the end of my stay, then gave me a short tour while on the way to my room. She opened the room with a keycard which was then passed to me. There’s a security function where when the door is not shut for some time, it will beep – this is to make sure your room is properly locked.
Instead of the dormitories, during this stay I opted for a private room “Superior Triple Loft” which had two decks, a single bed and a double bed on top. A pair of bathroom towels had been arranged neatly near the end of the bed. It had a window! The furnishing was minimal and a white box has been mounted on the wall to act like a ‘bedside table’ — inside it was a night light and of course, a power plug to let you charge your device. The staff promptly provided me an air freshener when I requested and allowed me to keep it overnight so I was able to use it whenever needed.
I ended my night after showering and reaching the hostel late night after having supper downstairs, along Circular Road where there’s prata houses that open until late.
All the bathrooms are shared in this hostel. Thankfully, my room was near to the female showering area so I did not have to walk a distance. (however, that also meant a lot of foot steps could be heard from the wooden floor. By the way, ear plugs are available upon request at the reception) The male and female toilets are split at two floors of the area, and shower gel and shampoo was provided in each cubicle.
The next morning, I was happy to wake up at 8am for an early stroll along the Singapore River. Interestingly, there was a free event called ArchiFest and I managed to check it out after breakfast.
I finally checked out the rooftop terrace at near 11am, where it was getting a bit too sunny, but early breakfast at the terrace would guarantee you a relaxing view of the river as you would face directly Parliament House and Asian Civilisations Museum and see Marina Bay Sands in the background.
Free flow toast and cereal are available for breakfast when you book a stay, also the pantry is furnished with a refrigerator, water dispenser and microwave oven that you can use any time of the day. There’s also a photo gallery here with the walls filled with the photographers’ works.
5footway.inn at Boat Quay is a non-smoking hostel with over 60 rooms, ranging from single private rooms to shared dormitories (up to 4 pax). Prices range from $30 – $120 per night.
5footway.inn operates 5 hostels in Singapore at the moment, with 3 located in Chinatown, 1 in Bugis, and 1 in Boat Quay. According to their website, they are also the first and only hostel to be SQC (Singapore Quality Class) certified — which means they meet certain criteria of good performance.
Location, location, location: 5/5
If you enjoy nightlife, Boat Quay is a convenient row of restaurants of different cuisines, massage parlours and pubs along the Singapore river. There’s also a cat cafe for cat lovers nearby. Only a stone’s throw away to Clarke Quay, another prime location for locals and tourists with a livelier ambience for those who prefer to end their day with a more happening crowd.
The next time you are in town, or feel like having a mini staycation that is budget-friendly, feel free to use this code <AMI10> to get a 10% discount when you email them directly to book your stay!