Today I’m a travel writer. Knowing I was going to be in town on a stopover, I had pre-pitched to the editorial team at Renegade Collective magazine about a cool Singapore hotel I thought they should feature. They agreed, I set up the meeting and made my essential behind-the-scenes travel plans - MRT card top up, Singapore dollars, place to stay, friends to catch up with.
In the course of looking for a more budget friendly place to stay for myself, I came across an emerging trend of low cost but oh-so-cool Singapore accomodation that suited people just like me - working, travelling and juggling it all, but without the perks of a company expense account. I had decided recently I was ageing out of hostel stays, but this presented me with something new, and it was only for one night so why not I thought? I contacted the marketing manager at the newest of the crop, Bunc Hostel and just days later had checked in and was being whizzed about the island on my own private tour. I saw some really innovative properties and got to meet a number of boutique accommodation providers. Accomodation in Singapore can be dull and expensive, so it's wonderful to see there are new places to sleep in the city, if a sky high infinity pool is NOT your priority.
Bunc Hostel, Little India
Adrian from Bunc Hostel was the greatest host. He introduced me to some interesting people, and spoke with pride about how they were working together to forge a new market in budget boutique accommodation for digital nomads. I have been backpacking for years, and a tight budget is not always my reason to stay in hostels. I actually really like the atmosphere, the chance to meet other travellers, and the fact that you can be more of a person at a hostel. They nearly always have recreation rooms, with comfortable corners to sit in, and there is always a place to make a cup of tea and a well loved book collection to flick through. The downside though is the lack of privacy, sharing so much of your space and not being able to avoid roommates when you just want to be alone (and get work done!).
Bunc has taken care of this. I love, love, love the wider than usual bunk beds, snugly fitting in horizontal rows aligned with the walls, with their very own curtain to hide yourself away, numerous above and next to bed lights, a wide under bed drawer for your luggage that fit a padlock, along with internal shelves and power points around the bed as needed. It was like being inside a tent, but comfortable, climate controlled and with mod cons. Along with these glamorous dorms, they also have lovely double rooms and a very cool rooftop space with bean bags and tropical plants, where guests can enjoy movie nights or just revel in the glorious Singapore sunsets.
When the food is the real reason you're there
I had lived in Singapore previously and Adrian was delighted when I had some local favourites to request when he suggested we go eat lunch. We kept it classic and ended up at Maxwell Hawker Centre. I can't end a trip to Singapore without a serve of the local Hainanese chicken rice, so we had that. It's also too easy to sneak in some carrot cake, a cheeky cheong fun and of course Malay satay sticks with cucumber, peanut sauce and icy cold Tiger beer. I also snuck in a fresh serve of dosa in Little India before I left for the airport. Some of the best food I've ever eaten has been in Singapore. My mouth waters at just the of it. I have been known to book flights with well timed stopovers, just so I can eat lunch in Singapore.
Wanderlust Hotel for Renegade Collective magazine
I did have work to do though and my meeting at Wanderlust Hotel was inspiring to say the least. Also working to appeal to new markets, this new hotel is all about design and creatively inspiring their guests.
OF COURSE you want a giant typewriter for a couch in your hotel room. OBVIOUSLY you want a free standing bathtub in the middle of the room facing the TV. The Lego inspired jacuzzi on the roof, flanked by chairs in the shape of elephants seem perfectly natural additions to a totally unique and innovative concept.
Thanks imagination. you did it again.
* Since the time of writing this post, the Wanderlust Hotel as had a major renovation and all of the magical rooms are no longer there.