Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Eight to ten square meters in size are the average prison cells in some countries,  which I googled! My rooms in the Santa Grand Lai Chun Yuen were for sure not bigger than that and gave me a kind of feeling how it would feel being cramped into a small space like that. Of course I had a window I could open (well ...almost) and I had free WiFi and could leave my room! 

Changing my room to the more quiet Temple Street side in Singapore's Chinatown did not give me a bigger room. I think the bathroom was actually even smaller than the first one. The room was L shaped and provided a very narrow way from the door to the bed. My suitcase fit in, but barely and the carry-on had to be stored again on top of the small closet. Impossible again to open my suitcase and unpack/pack. In order to take the photo showing the desk and the way back to the bed, I actually had to stand outside the room with the door open AND the luggage moved outside! The luggage uses the same space that is needed for the room door to be opened, the bathroom door to be opened and the person walking in and out, so it has to be moved all the time, which is the same as it was over at the Santa Grand Chinatown hotel.

The bathroom was in my mind very unpractical since the shower was placed directly above the toilet seat. So you either had to stand there with your legs apart, or...well, sit on the toilet and shower! Again, almost no amenities. Just shampoo! And most annoyingly, no storage space for my own toiletries. It all needs to be placed outside the bathroom on the small desk.

The advantage of the Temple street side was that it was indeed more quiet at certain times. A bar with an open balcony across the street did prove to be very quiet. No noise at all from the bar. The only noise came from late night Lamborghini or Ferrari drivers who roamed down the narrow Temple street. The other noise came from the rooms next to me. Somebody was having fun!!!...and I felt like being right in the middle of it!

The other advantage was that the window/door could be opened and provided a nice balcony outside with a beautiful view of Temple street and the city. However the windows were the same as on the other side and did hardly close. Any noise came right through those windows. 

The room is so small and so uncomfortable that I and many other guests used the lobby and the seating area behind the reception to sit comfortably and do some online stuff. 

One little story remains to be mentioned though! When I got up in the morning and got out of bed, I thought I stepped on a cord from the curtains or the bed sheet However, when I switched the lights on, I realized that I had just stepped on a big fat cockroach and flattened it on the wooden floor. Now, I know this is an old and historic building, but I was still not prepared for this situation. First time in all my travels all over Asia that this happened to me. 

My final resume: room and specially the bath"room" is way to small, too much noise from in and outside to have a good night sleep. Breakfast is included, free WiFi and great location. The staff is very friendly, from check-in to cleaning the room. Price way to high for what I get for it. So, I have had my sleeps in an historic and beautiful Opera Theater, but next time I will go some place else. 

Bath "cell"
Nice view of Temple street

Balcony door opens a bit

No noise from the bar downstairs!

But noise from traffic still high

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