Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Check-Inn @ Little India.
Decked out in white with a distinct colonial flair, Check-Inn @ Little India looks out of place in colourful Little India, and thus garnered my attention. Given that prices are relatively affordable, I decided to book a stay to check it out.
Check-Inn @ Little India – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay, do check out my Youtube review of Check-Inn @ Little India below:
Check-Inn @ Little India – the Brand
If the 3-star property looks familiar, that’s because it used to be known as Park 22 Hotel Little India when it opened in 2016. Inspired by colonial-era bungalows, the hotel boasts three storeys and 32 rooms. There’s no lift in the hotel though, so if you’re carrying heavy luggage or have movement disabilities it might be better to consider someplace else.
The entry-level category at Check-Inn – though there’s also the Single room that sleeps just 1 person – is the Deluxe Room, which starts at around $60. However it’s rather small at 13sqm, so I opted for the Superior room instead, which offers an additional 3 sqm for just $10 more. The price also includes free coffee for 2 at Generation. I’ve been there before, and I have to say that its coffee is simply superb.
Check-Inn @ Little India – Check-in
The hotel is a stone throw’s away from Little India MRT – it’s next to Exit E, for those coming by public transport.
First impressions: the hotel lobby looks aesthetically pleasing and pays homage to the colonial inspiration of the property. Tasteful sketches adorn the walls, with curated postcards being available for purchase. However, the reception area itself is actually pretty small, and it can get cramped during peak check-in periods. There’s no area for luggage storage, nor a rest area. That’s perhaps to be expected for a budget hotel – Harbourville Hotel Hamilton’s lobby was even smaller – but it can nevertheless get irksome.
The check-in process at Check-Inn (try saying that 10 times, fast) was relatively fuss-free, and I got my room after a 15-20 minute wait. Do note that they are quite stringent on having a $100 security deposit, so I would advise buying the amount in cash prior to going over. To my surprise, I was issued a physical room key instead of the usual keycard – that has to be a first. I guess it stays true to the vintage colonial vibe of the property, though carrying a hefty keychain around in my pocket all day was not the most pleasant experience.
The corridor continues the monochrome palette of the hotel’s exterior, with watercolour paintings of shophouses by local artist Davi Beschizza adorning the walls. It’s not quite Shangri-La feels, but still better than Hotel 81.
Check-Inn @ Little India – Superior Room
My Superior room was located on the second floor, and overlooks the alleyway behind it. If you’re planning a stay at Check-Inn, I recommend specifically requesting a room on the higher floors – I’ve read reviews of guests on the first floor who had their stays disturbed by road noise.
Like the corridor, the Superior room is decked out in monochromatic colours of white, grey and black. Everything was neatly arranged and relatively clean when I entered, and the room felt cosy but not cramped. And just in case you haven’t gotten the colonial inspiration of the hotel yet, an illustration of a sprawling white bungalow can be found positioned above the bed.
The Superior Room comes with a King bed, which was alright. It’s not too hard, not too firm, but nothing outstanding either. The sheets were clean, though I found the duvet to be slightly too thin for my liking. The bed also lack bedside lighting, and instead makes do with a precarious lamp that hangs over sleeping guests. It’s definitely not an ideal arrangement – I had to be careful not to knock my head against the lamp when I was in bed. Beside the bed is a side table, on which an analog phone can be found should you need to ring reception.
Curiously, a full-length mirror is positioned opposite the bed, which I guess is great for those who like to look at themselves while engaging in…bedtime activities. There’s a yellow stool as well, though it does look rather cheap. Lastly, there’s a hook on the wall for guests’ belongings.
A mini-fridge is also provided. Though it was on the smaller side, it’s clean and sufficiently spacious to accommodate a bottle of wine, some bottles of ciders and a few snacks. However, it’s rather unceremoniously placed on the floor – something one might see in a university dorm room, not usually in a hotel.
In-room entertainment can be had from the flat-screen 32-inch Akira TV, which can often be found in budget hotels. While the picture quality was only so-so, I was pleasantly surprised to find cable channels such as HBO – most hotels at this price point only provide the basic Mediacorp channels.
Positioned in the corner is a little workstation, which comprises a faux wood table and a basic chair. It’s clearly not meant for prolonged periods of work – there’s a lack of connectivity ports, though refreshments, a box of tissues (useful if you’re doing a solo staycation) and a trash can (for your soiled tissues) are conveniently in arm’s reach. It also benefits from ample natural light filtering through the room’s small window.
A pair of the Holy Bible (in both English and Chinese) can be found in the drawer, along with a newish hair dryer. A hair dryer isn’t always a given at this price point, so kudos to Check-Inn for including it in their rooms.
The presence of a window was actually why – in addition to the larger room size – I opted for the Superior Room over the entry-level Deluxe. As such, I was disappointed to find that the windows were small, locked (so you can’t open them to let fresh air in) and without a view. It’s better than nothing, but still a letdown.
Another disappointment is the presence of unsightly mould on the ceiling. It’s not the first that I’ve encountered, but unlike Hotel Bencoolen (which is over half a century old) Check-Inn has only been in operation for a little over 5 years, so this is rather inexcusable. It’s an easy fix as well – it can’t cost much to clean and get a new paint job done.
Before I forget, there’s also no wardrobe in the room. Instead, guests make use of a modest clothing rack, which is just about adequate for two. There are however two extra pillows provided and an umbrella – a nice touch – as well as a safe and a pair of slippers. Unfortunately, the slippers are not disposable, so it’s not the most sanitary of arrangements. There’s also a small space next to the safe, which was just enough for me to put my Gnome & Bow duffel bag.
While the bedroom was sufficiently spacious, the bathroom is unfortunately way too cramped – it’s easily the smallest hotel toilet I’ve experienced. There was barely enough space for one person to move around, and definitely not big enough to accommodate two. The only saving grace was the presence of a bidet.
The shower area was bare-bones. There’s no rain shower (only a handheld showerhead) with a single pump of 3-in-1 wash provided. It’s easily the most underwhelming bathroom I’ve been in – even Hotel 81’s toilet looks better. I kept brushing up against the shower curtain while showering, which wasn’t the cleanest in the first place. If you’re a fan of long showers, you might want to skip this hotel.
Conclusion – so Check-Inn @ Little India “shiok” or not?
Overall, I would say that Check-Inn is a decent stay for the price. The Superior Room was generally clean, and had everything one needed for a short getaway. I appreciated the colonial aesthetic of the building and the room, which sets it apart from other affordable hotels I’ve been to such as Champion Hotel and Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton. I also liked the Little India neighbourhood it was situated in – there were plenty of hip cafes in the area, and Swee Choon is a ten-minute walk away as well. There’s still room for improvement – the mould on the ceiling needs to go, and the bathroom is far too small. But considering the affordable price of the Superior Room (it’s priced identically to Hotel 81), I would say that Check-Inn @ Little India is still good value for money.
Those interested in booking a stay can do so on the Traveloka app. Traveloka constantly has some sort of ongoing promotions, with prices so ridiculously low that I’ve personally booked about 90% of my staycations on Traveloka. Just for my readers, you guys can use the promo code “WAHTVLKSRV” (if you’re using SRV) and “WAHTVLK” (non-SRV) for 10% off any hotels bookings (up to $30 off, with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels bookings (with a minimum spending of $50) for existing users. The codes are valid till the end of 2022. Here’s a pro tip: keep a lookout for Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales which occurs every Friday to Sunday for the lowest prices! However, this post is not sponsored – I paid my own dime to book and review my staycations.
Check-Inn @ Little India Location: 60 Kerbau Rd, Singapore 219184
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P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.