Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton.
After splurging on Naumi Hotel, I decided to return to hunting for bargains, and in so doing chanced upon Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton while searching for cheap 3-star hotels on Traveloka. As it has been recently renovated, I thought I would book a stay to check it out.
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay at Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton, do check out my Youtube review below:
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton – the Brand
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton first opened its doors in 1996, and recently underwent a renovation last year during the downtime brought by the pandemic. A 3-star hotel, it only has 42 rooms, making it a relatively small establishment. It’s also under the NuVe Group, which owns a group of other budget/boutique hotels such as Hotel NuVe Urbane which I reviewed previously.
Rooms at Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton can be found for below $50 nightly, making it one of the handfuls of 3-star hotels that cost even less than a Hotel 81 (the other being Champion Hotel). At such a low price point – some capsule hotels/dormitories cost more per night – I figured I couldn’t go wrong, so I decided to book a stay. Let’s see how it went!
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton – Check-in
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton is housed in a 4-storey heritage building along (you guessed it) Hamilton Road. It’s about a ten-minute walk from Lavender/Farrer Park MRT, so it’s a bit out of the way – good luck if it rains.
Being a small-sized establishment with only 42 rooms, it is perhaps no surprise that the lobby of the hotel is also rather minute. There’s only one check-in counter and a pair of armchairs for waiting guests. However, the lobby does look contemporary, and a far cry from the sleaziness one might find in Hotel 81/Fragrance Hotels – it looks very cafe-esque in its decor.
Check-in was fast and simple, and I was issued my room within minutes. Surprisingly, the hotel didn’t collect a deposit, which is par for the course for more budget hotels. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a lift on the premises – I had assumed there wouldn’t be one given that there were only 42 rooms in the hotel.
The chic aesthetic of the lobby extended to the hallways too. Though not the widest, the corridor was decked out in sleek wallpaper, with pixellated artwork adorning the walls. The room numbers were indicated on these cute little square signs too – it felt like I was walking through a condominium corridor rather than that of a budget hotel. It’s definitely a refreshing change from the dimly lit hallways of most hotels at this price point.
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton – Deluxe Queen Room
I booked the entry-level Deluxe Queen Room, which unfortunately comes without windows.
The room I was assigned to had an elongated walkway, which made the 15 sqm room feel more spacious than it actually is. With contemporary wooden flooring and newly painted walls, it’s clear the room has benefitted from its recent renovation.
Due to the small size, the room does not come with a conventional cupboard. Instead, there’s a small clothing rack provided, as well as a few hangers. However, it’s situated right above the refreshments – I’m not sure hanging clothing right above boiling water is the wisest idea.
Speaking about the refreshments, they are bare-bones, though I can’t complain since this is a budget hotel. There’s Dilmah tea and Nescafe coffee sachets, a pair of bottled water and cups, as well as an electric kettle to boil water in. Not luxury by any means, but they suffice.
The main bedroom area does feel a little cramped, though it’s enough to fit (barely) a Queen bed. The bed is alright and fairly clean, though I wish they provided more pillows. However, I do like the contemporary looking bedrest, as well as the cool looking lighting fixture above – little design elements that make the room feel less budget in nature.
A variety of lighting controls are squeezed next to the bed, as well as a pair of power and USB/USB-C ports. There’s also a small bedside table where a box of “tissue” (it’s actually just a toilet roll inside), TV and air conditioning remote can be found. However, an analogue phone was conspicuously lacking, so there’s no way for you to contact reception from the room should you require any assistance.
A hairdryer is provided as well, which is not always a given at this price point.
Unfortunately, the TV in my room wasn’t working, and as there wasn’t a phone in the room I couldn’t reach reception. I did attempt to inform the receptionist when I was heading out for dinner, but was told that their engineers had already knocked off. It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me – who goes to hotels to watch TV anyway – but it was still a slight disappointment.
The highlight of the room is the bathroom, which definitely made up for the faulty TV. Decked out in pearly white tiling, the bathroom looks like it came from an upscale condominium, not a budget hotel.
A clear sign of the recent renovation is the modern concealed cistern design of the toilet. There’s even a bidet at the side – a feature even some 5-star hotels lack.
I was also impressed by the inclusion of a rain shower. The water pressure was strong and the temperature wasn’t fickle, so I had a good time just unwinding under the rain shower. There’s also a handheld showerhead for more targeted cleaning.
The showerhead looks new as well – definitely miles apart from the yellowed, grimy showerhead of YWCA Fort Canning.
However, the budget nature of the hotel betrays itself in terms of its toiletries, which are generic ones that come in big wall pumps. It’s an aspect common in budget hotels – I encountered the same at Champion Hotel. If you desire a more luxurious showering experience, I would advise you to bring your own toiletries to shower with.
Another feature typical of budget hotels is the “sink outside” concept, which I’m not a fan of as it means I’ll have to touch the door, etc with dirty hands. That being said, I do appreciate the chic design of the sink, the mirror, and even the lamp – it’s clear that thought has been paid to the aesthetic of the fixtures.
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton – Wear and Tear
Despite the hotel being recently renovated, there were still a few areas that were worse for wear.
For one, the wallpaper on the wall is already peeling off. As the space beside the bed is rather narrow, I suspect this is due to guests repeatedly brushing up against it.
Secondly, the sink had a conspicuous crack in it – not sure what happened here.
I’m also not sure if it’s by accident or design that the bottom of the sink is exposed.
That’s because plenty of unsightly stains, grime and dust can be seen. If you’re not going to clean it, at least cover it up.
Lastly, there were also slight stains on the bathroom walls. It’s not a dealbreaker, but the stains look prominent – and therefore more unpleasant – due to the contrast against the white walls.
Conclusion – so Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton “shiok” or not?
All in all, I would still say that Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton represents good value-for-money. Yes, some areas already show wear and tear, and there was a lack of certain amenities (fridge, in-room slippers, phone, etc), but for less than $50 you’re getting a room that’s generally clean, not too cramped, and there’s even some bells and whistles like the rain shower. I suspect the dealbreaker for most would be the lack of windows, which might make it feel claustrophobic to some. If a window and some fresh air is a must, then Champion Hotel might be a better option. However, an aspect of Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton that I preferred over Champion Hotel is its location. Truth be told, I spent most of my stay outside the hotel, mostly exploring the variety of food options nearby. There’s a bunch of great cafes, restaurants, and even food courts in the area, and I had a blast just eating my way through them. If you book a budget hotel, you’re not going to spend most of the time in the room anyway – you just want a place to sleep, or perhaps have some privacy with your significant other. And in that regard, I think Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton fits the bill nicely by providing a clean, comfortable bed and a more than decent bathroom.
Those interested in booking a stay at any of the abovementioned hotels 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.
Harbour Ville Hotel Hamilton Location: 40 Hamilton Rd, Singapore 209210
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P.S.S.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.