Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Lloyd’s Inn.
I’ve heard a lot about Lloyd’s Inn, with a slew of reviews (and pretty Instagram photos) readily available online. I was intrigued by its proposition. On one hand, it’s not part of a conglomerate, unlike Orchard Hotel which is under the Millennium group. Yet, it isn’t the usual boutique hotel as well. It defies categorisation, and therefore piqued my interest. To satisfy my curiosity, I eventually decided to book a stay at Lloyd’s Inn.
Lloyd’s Inn – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my stay, do check out my Youtube review of Lloyd’s Inn below:
Lloyd’s Inn – the Brand
Located along Lloyd Road – just a stone’s throw away from the famous 38 Oxley Road where late Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew used to reside (and later a major source of dispute between his children) – Lloyd’s Inn is a mere 5-minute walk away from Somerset MRT and Orchard Road.
With just 34 rooms (spread across 8 room categories), Lloyd’s Inn is a relatively small establishment, one that’s actually only two storeys tall. As such, one can easily miss the entrance to the hotel – I certainly did.
Rooms at Lloyd’s Inn start at around $130, which is actually relatively pricey for a 3-star hotel. In fact, that’s more than Orchard Hotel’s Premier Double room despite being half the size. I actually deliberated quite a fair bit on whether to pull the trigger, but eventually decided to book the lead-in Standard Room so I could cross Lloyd’s Inn off my staycation bucket list. Prices would only increase once the pandemic is over anyway, so I reasoned that this was the best deal I was ever going to get.
Lloyd’s Inn – Check-in
As I arrived on a weekday, there was no queue at the check-in counter and I was assigned my room almost immediately.
Lloyd’s Inn lobby made an impactful first impression. Various fauna can be seen throughout the lobby, while the hotel’s distinctive monochrome aesthetic lends it an air of sophistication.
Lloyd’s Inn has always been a hit amongst nature lovers, and stepping past the lobby I could see why – it’s like being in a nature resort.
Like the lobby, the corridor is painted white, with granite floors giving the corridor a utilitarian feel. However, lights are conspicuously absent, and at night it can be dark and a tad creepy.
Lloyd’s Inn – Standard Room
I was issued room number 1, which is actually located just behind the lobby.
The Standard Room reminded me of the lobby, with its minimalist, MUJI-esque aesthetic. In fact, it reminded me of some of the Bali/Thai resort hotels that I’ve been to, albeit much cosier at a mere 16 sqm. I would say that the main bedroom area appears bigger than I’ve expected on paper, mainly due to the lack of a bulky bed frame so there’s more empty space.
As I indicated in advance that my stay was for a birthday celebration, Lloyd’s Inn kindly provided a handwritten greeting card, as well as a complimentary bar of chocolate. Hotels usually provide a slice of cake for such an occasion, so the chocolate bar was an intriguing departure from the norm.
The bed itself was alright – not too soft like Hotel Bencoolen, but not particularly memorable like five/6 Hotel Splendour either. Instead of the usual bedside lamps, Lloyd Inn’s elected for track lighting instead, similar to those that light up a stage. It’s an interesting choice, though one that’s perhaps more aesthetic than practical (you can’t adjust the angle of the lights as they are mounted to the ceilings, and cannot be remote-controlled).
Beside the bed is a safe, bedside lights controls, a power port, as well as a little nook for you to put your small items (glasses, phone, wallet, etc).
Stowed away in a drawer under the bed is a hairdryer, laundry bag, and a copy of the Bible.
There are room slippers provided, but not the usual disposable kind. While the slippers were comfortable on the feet, I would have preferred disposable slippers given the current pandemic situation.
Interestingly, there’s also a Bluetooth Logitech keyboard and a wireless mouse provided. I can imagine these would come in handy when paired with an Ipad to get some work done.
And instead of the usual bathrobes, kimonos are provided instead, which certainly ties into the chill vibes of Lloyd’s Inn.
Entertainment comes in the form of a 32-inch TV, which is angled towards the bed. Unfortunately, the picture quality was suboptimal, and even though it’s described as a Smart TV I couldn’t manage to pair any of my external devices with it either.
Nevertheless, there’s a decent variety of TV channels available, and I did find myself watching some movies/game shows to while away the time.
Lloyd’s Inn employs the sink outside the bathroom concept, which I’m not a fan of.
In a bid to be environmentally friendly, Lloyd’s Inn provides packet water instead of the usual bottled ones. However, the water had a weird cardboardy aftertaste to it, and I ended up drinking tap water instead.
Paid add-ons in the form of a fancy dinner and in-room spa/mani-pedi are also available, though the prices are quite steep. In any case, I don’t quite see how an in-room spa would work – the room is way too small to accommodate a massage table.
There is a mini-fridge, but it’s too mini to fit a bottle of wine. It was also heavily stained, which was off-putting.
The refreshments provided are above average, with Nescafe Gold coffee and 1872 Clipper Tea Gold sachets available.
A variety of toiletries are also available, including a pair of dental kits, shower cap, comb, vanity kit, and a sanitary bag. All are labelled in Lloyd’s Inn custom packaging, which is a cute touch.
There’s a chair and some space on the desk to technically do some work, but I found it way too cramped to be productive.
I ended up doing my work on the doorside desk, which also has a box of tissues, an analogue phone, and a desk lamp. As there were no chairs, I had to sit on the wooden platform. Due to the lack of back support, I found myself giving up on getting any work done after 30-45 minutes as my back had started to ache.
Although the room comes with a window, the view isn’t great too, blocked by shrubs and overlooking refuse bins. Definitely not ideal.
For the voyeuristic couples out there, there’s a window that looks straight into the shower.
One of the key selling points of Lloyd’s Inn rooms is its open shower concept. As such, I had high hopes for the bathroom, but alas I was disappointed. I found the bathroom too cramped for my liking – I literally couldn’t shower without my body brushing against the shower curtain. In addition, due to the open nature of the bathroom noise pollution was substantial, and I could frequently overhear streetside conversation while in the loo. Lastly, due to the refuse bins being located right below the bathroom, unpleasant smells sometimes wafted in, resulting in a less-than-ideal showering experience.
The toiletries provided once again feature the distinctive aesthetic of Lloyd’s Inn, but were unremarkable to use. For those wondering, the toiletries are made by Ecogenesis, the same generic brand found in Santa Grand Hotel East Coast.
Although the shower area was too cramped for my liking, the water pressure was thankfully strong due to the Grohe rain shower and showerhead. I enjoyed using the rain shower in particular. Together with the open concept of the toilet, standing under the rain shower made me feel like I was showering under the rain outdoors.
I also realised that one can see themselves showering due to the placement of the room mirror. I’m not sure if that’s by accident or design (probably the latter), but I can imagine this being perfect for narcissists.
The toilet has a traditional cistern, but it comes with a bidet on the side, with Kleenex toilet paper also provided. I appreciated how the toilet area was positioned slightly higher than the shower area, which prevents the entire bathroom from being a wet mess.
However, I was disappointed by several cleanliness lapses in the room. For one, the shower curtain was heavily stained. As aforementioned, due to the small size of the showering area, my body often had to brush up against the shower curtain, so realising after my shower that the shower curtain was heavily stained just gave me an icky feeling.
I also found conspicuous strands of long hair on the bed, which clearly weren’t mine.
What I struggled with most during my stay was the pest issue. Due to the open nature of the bathroom (as well as it being positioned above the refuse bins) I found multiple insects in the room, including flies on the wall and ants crawling on the table.
I’m fine with nature, but not when there are pests in the room. It’s also a stark disappointment, as Lloyd’s Inn is the first hotel I’ve stayed in where I’ve encountered pests. At its price point, having pests in the room is inexcusable.
Lloyd’s Inn – Amenities
The hotel also has a few basic amenities.
The amenity I appreciated most was the pantry area, which comprises a vending machine, microwave, water dispenser, and coffee machine (which I used a lot). There’s also a sitting area, and I bumped into quite a few guests having their breakfast here.
Even though Lloyd’s Inn only has two storeys, the property actually has a lift, which should come in handy should you be bringing along heavy luggage.
Lloyd’s Inn also had a pool area, though I wasn’t impressed. The pool is the smallest I’ve ever encountered, and only knee-length in depth. It really is a mere dipping pool – if you’re planning on swimming laps you will be sorely disappointed. Let me put it this way – it’s better for taking nice Instagram photos than for actual swimming.
There is plenty of furniture scattered around the pool area for guests to sit, relax, and perhaps read a book. However, I found most of the furniture to be dirty, and thus never actually sat in any of them. Pests such as mosquitos were an annoyance as well.
If you’re ever chased out of your room by your angry spouse/partner, at least there’s a hammock for you to spend the night in.
Lloyd’s Inn – Service
Unfortunately, the service I encountered at Lloyd’s Inn was underwhelming. For starters, the staff were insistent on charging a $100 deposit, instead of simply recording down card details as most hotels do. The $100 took a full two weeks to get refunded, so I’ll advise preparing cash if you’re checking in.
After discovering that my Standard Room was located right above the hotel’s refuse point, as well as the aforementioned cleanliness lapses in the room, I requested for a room change. The staff brought me to view other Standard Rooms, but they didn’t have the open shower concept as they were located on the lower floor. I then inquired if there were any alternative rooms available from the next category, but was told in no uncertain terms that I would have to pay to upgrade. I decided to view one of the Reading Rooms, which happened to be unoccupied that day. When I asked if a swap to the Reading Room was possible, I was once again told that I would have to pay a substantial sum as “it’s a better room”. In all my staycations, I’ve never met staff that were so rigid in their policies. Service and guest satisfaction are key in the hospitality industry, and in that regard, Lloyd’s Inn fell terribly short.
Conclusion – so Lloyd’s Inn “shiok” or not?
I have to be honest and say that Lloyd’s Inn has been my worst staycation thus far. For $130 a night, the overall experience simply fell way short of expectations. Several aspects of the Standard Room was too cramped for my liking, and the cleanliness lapses – especially the presence of pests – were inexcusable. There was a general lack of facilities as well, with the pool being too shallow and small to be anything other than a photo prop. In addition, the service was lacklustre, more money-minded rather than service orientated. Ultimately, Lloyd’s Inn was severely underwhelming, full of style but no substance. For less money, you would be much better off with Orchard Hotel (with rooms twice as big, a full-fledged pool and gym), or perhaps Orchard Rendezvous Hotel if you’re specifically looking for a nature-inspired hotel with resort-esque vibes.
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.
UPDATE: I reviewed my return stay at Lloyd’s Inn’s Big Sky Room here.
Lloyd’s Inn Location:
2 Lloyd Rd, Singapore 239091
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
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.