Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ibis Hotel Novena, Singapore review

One thing I like about the Ibis Hotel chain is their array of hotel lines that cater to all sorts of travelers of different budgets and taste. There is the main Ibis, the more business-y end of the hotel line, identifiable with its red logo. There is Ibis Styles, the quirky boutique-like range with its green logo and finally, for the thrifty traveler who still wants some comfort and the basic needs, Ibis offers Ibis Budget in blue.

While I was in Singapore for work, my company had my colleagues and I stay in the Ibis Novena as it was the most reasonable hotel that could accommodate three people in a single room. From Changi airport, it was a S$20 cab ride to the hotel.

Check-in was fast as they only required the booking number and the paying credit card's details to open a tab. Payment of the room was to be made upon checking out. The lobby wasn't big with only limited seats for waiting. The attached restaurant Oopen Grill and Pasta serves as the morning buffet spot but that comes with an additional cost.

Our room for three wasn't big but it wasn't too cramp either despite having a big queen-sized bed and a single bed. There was somewhat of a day bed next to the wide desk facing the window, giving us ample surface to lay out our laptops and electronics for work. The floors weren't carpeted as I supposed it was easier and cheaper to clean but the timber-tiled surface was a nice change.

The cupboard was not big with just enough space for us to hang our dresses for the night. The same goes for the safe too as it was a small one with just enough space for a friend to keep her mini laptop. The bathroom comes equipped the toilet and a shower. The usual amenities such as shampoo, body wash (from Body Shop, no less), towels, facial towels and so on were provided. Be careful though when opening the bathroom door as it was possible to hitting your roommate.

The bed however was utter bliss. It was like sleeping on a cloud with a fluffy pillow to rest my head on. I was simply happy just rolling about on it.

Now to the important part, do they offer complimentary wifi? Yes, they do and the connection was not limited to the number of devices. It was pretty fast too, allowing us swift access to our emails.

There wasn't much to offer in the surrounding area in terms of food and shopping along Balestier road. There was a mall across the street that offered the usual fast food affair and convenient marts. Before checking out, my colleague and I wandered up and down looking for good old hawker food and found only a coffee shop that had mixed rice, roti canai and chee chong fun.

There are two MRT stations near ibis Novena with Novena station being a 10 minutes walk uphill along Irrawaddy road. The other is Toa Payoh station. Because of our luggage, we opted to grab a cab to Novena-Velocity mall/station which cost only S$4.

Ibis Novena also provides free shuttle service to Novena station as well as Orchard road although at fixed hours throughout the day. A schedule can be obtained from the lobby. Alternatively, the hotel staffs are also very helpful in helping us call a cab during peak hour at no extra change.

I should also comment on the staffs' honesty when my colleague left her laptop behind and only realised it the evening after we checked out. When she called the hotel, they were quickly able to trace it to housekeeping and told her that she could collect it at her own convenience. Thanks to the 24 hours lobby service, we could pick it up on the way back from the Safari Night park at midnight.

Aside from the food limitation and lack of interesting attractions along Balestier road, I would recommend Ibis Novena to just about anyone looking for a comfortable sleeping place at a reasonable price. If I am not mistaken, parking is provided but at a certain rate. To get their rates or special promos, check out
Address: 6 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329543

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