Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at Porcelain Hotel.
I’ve always been intrigued by Porcelain Hotel, having passed by it many times when in Chinatown. I liked the concept of its porcelain white themed rooms, and thought it made for an interesting premise for a boutique hotel. Eventually, I decided to check out the hotel for myself – let’s see how my stay at Porcelain Hotel went.
Porcelain Hotel – Video
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the hotel, do check out my Youtube review of Porcelain Hotel below:
Porcelain Hotel – the Brand
First opened in 2011, Porcelain Hotel is managed by JL Asia, a hospitality group more known for its portfolio of condominiums (Jool Suites, 8 Farrer Suites, Central Imperial, 28 Imperial Residences, etc) than its hotels. With a total of 138 rooms, the 3-star hotel can be considered a mid-sized one and even has a spa on its premises.
Rooms at Porcelain hotel generally start at around $80, but some of its entry-level rooms are woefully small (8-14 sqm). I decided to book the Executive Queen Room, which was its second-highest tier (the highest being the suite room) available on the Traveloka platform, and it came in at just under $100. I felt it was a tad steep for a 3-star hotel with no notable facilities (pool, gym, etc), but decided to take the plunge anyway. Itchy fingers, I guess…
Porcelain Hotel – Check-in
The hotel is situated on Mosque Street, which is just a stone’s throw away from Chinatown MRT.
If you’re having trouble finding the hotel, just keep a lookout for its all-white exterior. There’s also a rather conspicuous sign with the hotel’s name on it – it’s unmissable.
The lobby of Porcelain Hotel was large and fairly well-maintained, with numerous porcelain ornaments decorating the area. Check-in was smooth as well, and I was assigned a room within minutes.
However, the corridors of the hotel were dim and cramped, very budget hotel-esque. That being said, I do like the lighted door signs – like lanterns in the night, they fit the oriental theme of the hotel well.
Porcelain Hotel – Premier Queen Room
Although I was initially assigned an Executive Queen Room, I found the room to be in a torrid state of cleanliness – there was still leftover food residue on the counter, with ants crawling about said residue. I immediately requested for a room change and an upgrade, and was thereafter allocated the Premier Queen Room.
The Premier Queen Room has a long corridor, with the bathroom located right next to the entrance.
There’s a wardrobe, but it’s bare-bones – all you get are a few paltry hangers, an electric kettle, a pair of bottled water, and a tissue box.
A pair of cups and teaspoons can be found in the drawer below, along with some generic sachets of tea and coffee. It’s probably the worst refreshments that I’ve seen in a hotel room.
There’s also an ancient-looking safe and a mini-fridge, though the mini-fridge wasn’t functioning optimally – items placed inside took a long time to cool.
The room also comes with an L-shaped sofa in the corner, but the cleanliness of the cushions was suspect so I didn’t lay on it at all.
Upon first impression, the main bedroom of the Premier Queen Room actually looks pretty good. I like the all-white aesthetic, with the decor being a refreshing change from the rooms of my previous staycations. It felt cosy but not too squeezy – a nice size for a budget hotel room.
I’ll start with the positives of the room, which is mainly its newish 32-inch smart Xiaomi TV. It’s relatively modern, and I had no issues connecting it to Netflix and binging Squid Game.
There’s also a compact workstation, with convenient power ports on the side to charge your laptop/phone. Like the rest of the room, the desk and chair are painted white to match the hotel’s porcelain theme. Unfortunately, the chair was faulty (watch the Youtube video above), so I didn’t manage to use the workstation.
As its name suggests, the room comes with a Queen bed. Unfortunately, the bed felt like mush, and had clearly seen better days. Furthermore, the duvet was paper-thin, and utterly inefficient at providing warmth and comfort. I did appreciate that four pillows were provided, but they didn’t significantly improve sleep quality.
I also discovered two prominent raised humps in the bed. At first, I assumed it was the bedsheets not being set properly, and called for housekeeping to replace the sheets. However, the housekeeping guy informed me that it was simply a problem with old mattresses, and that there was nothing he could do. When I asked if I could swap rooms again, the hotel manager relayed to me that “a lot of our mattresses are like that”, and reminded me that they had already given me an upgrade previously. I took the hint, but was definitely left unsatisfied with the response. I’ve probably stayed at 30 different hotels this year, and I’ve never encountered such an issue with the mattresses – in other words, I don’t buy the excuse.
The necessary remotes (aircon, TV) are placed beside the bed, along with an analog phone. I found the position of the phone awkward – it’s too far away from the bed, and I had to hunch over the steps when I’m making a call.
The steps lead to a locked door, which had a cautionary sign warning guests not to knock or attempt to open it. Eerie, to say the least.
The room does come with windows, which opens up to a view of Mosque street and the shophouses that flank it.
For greater privacy, blinds are available and the curtains can be drawn as well. However, the window area was filthy (a recurring theme that I’ll elaborate on later), so I tried to avoid touching the blinds/curtains/windows as much as possible.
In comparison, the bathroom felt slightly better maintained than the main bedroom. For one, there are his and hers sinks and mirrors, which is a rare sight in budget hotel rooms. However, toiletries are sparse – only a pair of dental kits are provided, with basic amenities such as hand soap sorely missing.
The toilet is a traditional one, and unfortunately lacks a bidet by the side for convenient washing.
A highlight of the bathroom was the TOTO rain shower, which provided a decent showering experience. There’s also a modern handheld showerhead, with strong water pressure.
However, the toiletries are basic, and come in a large pump bottle that made me feel like I was in a gym shower. Having individually bottled toiletries would definitely have elevated the showering experience.
Porcelain Hotel – Cleanliness
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been to almost 30 different hotels this year, across a variety of price points including numerous budget hotels. Unfortunately, I have to say that Porcelain Hotel has the ignominious honour of having the worst cleanliness standard of them all.
Firstly, there were conspicuous stains on the sofa.
The floor of the room is carpeted, and there is a noticeable amount of dust clumps along the edges – the carpet has certainly never been vacuumed, at least not in a long while.
Dust is a recurring irritant, with plenty of dust accumulating on the steps that were next to the bed…
…as well as even more dust clumps right beside the bed, in between the bed and the wall. If you have asthma or some other sort of breathing condition, avoid Porcelain Hotel at all cost.
I also found that one of the legs of the desk was dangerously chipped, while there was also a mysterious sticker stuck next to it. How housekeeping could have missed either befuddles me.
Other signs of wear and tear can also be seen from the tape marks on the walls…
…as well as the white oriental decorations above the beds, which were heavily chipped around the edges. These have clearly seen better days.
Such lapses continued in the bathroom, where I spotted a prominent rust mark.
Suspicious stains were also spotted on the shower switches – once again, it puzzles me how such aspects were missed by housekeeping.
There was also plenty of dirt and grime stuck in between the tiles of the bathroom. The back of the bathroom door in particular was an ugly sight – I’ve seen public restroom doors that looked better.
Conclusion – so Porcelain Hotel “shiok” or not?
Unfortunately, I have to say that Porcelain Hotel was my worst stay thus far. I had high hopes for it, but it underwhelmed tremendously in reality. Firstly, the dark and narrow corridors gave the hotel a sense of sleaziness – I felt like I was in a Chinatown brothel. In particular, level 5 had an overwhelming stench of cigarette smoke despite the hotel supposedly being a smoke-free property. The Premier Queen Room was also in dismal condition, with many of its furniture (mattress, table, ornaments, etc) being in bad shape. Furthermore, it’s the dirtiest hotel room I’ve encountered, with clumps of dust on every corner, with conspicuous stains rearing their head all over the room. Porcelain Hotel was the only property thus far that I’ve considered checking out early and not staying the night. I’m genuinely hard-pressed to say anything positive about the hotel. At close to $100, there are much better options out there for the money (Hotel G, Santa Grand East Coast, Ramada Zhongshan, Five/6 Hotel Splendour, just to name a few). I wouldn’t even pay half the price for the room I got (which was already an “upgraded” room) – I would rather spend the money at Champion Hotel. Porcelain is prized for its purity and clean look, which makes the shoddy, unkempt nature of the rooms at Porcelain Hotel highly ironic. Stay away – you have been warned.
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.
Porcelain Hotel Location: 48 Mosque St, Singapore 059526
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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.