Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my recent staycation at The Daulat by Hotel Calmo.
After staying in full-fledged hotels such as Furama City Centre and Yotel Singapore recently, I decided to pivot back into exploring boutique hotels. I initially wanted to do a stay at the Wes Anderson-esque The Great Madras, but recent reviews were pretty appalling. I then found out that its sister property, the Daulat, has recently reopened, and was located just a few buildings down. Its latest reviews were more promising, so I decided to book a stay to check it out. Let’s see how my stay went.
The Daulat – Video Review
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of The Daulat, do check out my Youtube video below:
The Daulat – Brand
The Daulat first opened its doors in 2013 as a three-star boutique hotel. In 2021, the 16-room property – presumably besieged by pandemic woes – was acquired by Hotel Calmo, a budget-focused hospitality chain which also runs hotels in Bugis and Chinatown.
Despite being a relatively new property, prices for the Daulat are currently affordable. The entry-level Superior room (13sqm) starts from $76, while the larger Deluxe Room (17sqm) starts from $83. I decided to opt for the Deluxe Room – paying a mere $7 more for 30% more real estate seemed like a no-brainer.
The Daulat – Check-in
The Daulat is located right next to Rochor MRT, making it fairly accessible by public transport.
First impressions weren’t great as the hotel looked unfinished. I saw workers carrying out refurbishment work on the exterior of the hotel – a far cry from the hotel photos.
The same unfinished vibe extended to the hotel lobby, where chairs and tables were still cling wrapped. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist by the name of Sashi, who unfortunately informed me that my room still wasn’t ready, so I was forced to chill at a cafe nearby (The Malayan Council, if anyone’s wondering). At around 5pm, Sashi called to inform me that my room was finally ready. He conveyed that a new tenant (it looks like a bar of sorts) was in the process of moving in, therefore the renovation works. He also said that the swimming pool was still under maintenance, which was a shame.
Like the rest of the hotel, the corridor feels unfinished, with a wet paint sign slapped on the wall.
The Daulat – Deluxe Room
I was assigned to Room 101, which was unfortunately probably the worst room in the hotel (I’ll elaborate on this later).
The Deluxe room featured heavy wooden accents – the flooring, sliding door and cupboards were all wooden. Coupled with the white walls, the decor doesn’t feel as dated as some of its other budget counterparts. It also felt cosy but not cramped – a reflection of its adequately sized 17sqm size.
On the left of the room entrance was a sizeable clothing rack for guests to hang their clothes. However, there were no hangers available, nor the usual amenities such as iron and ironing board, flashlight, etc. There is a bag rest though.
Besides the clothing rack is a wardrobe, which also doubles up as a mirror. Unfortunately, the wardrobe was completely empty as well – I checked every drawer.
There is however free wifi in the room. The wifi password is actually stated on the wall, so you won’t ever forget the password. There’s also a stern warning – in gold – on the room’s non-smoking rule, as well as the $100 SGD fine if you’re caught.
Given how bare-bones the room was, I was surprised to find in-room slippers provided. It’s actually not a given – even the significantly higher priced Wanderlust didn’t have in-room slippers. The slippers were paper-thin and flimsy, but I suppose something is better than nothing.
I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a 40-inch smart TV in the room. Despite being from a Chinese brand that I’ve never heard of, the picture quality was actually not bad – better than the Samsung TV in Furama last week. Netflix and Youtube were available, and I had a blast binge-watching the new season of Bling Empire on the TV. However, do note that the TV actually doesn’t have any cable channels available, so if you’re planning on catching your favourite Mediacorp show while on staycation you will be sorely disappointed.
The Deluxe Room is large enough to accommodate a small workstation. I was disappointed to see a drab grey chair, instead of the vibrantly coloured chair in the room listings. It’s also not very ergonomic, so it’s definitely not ideal for extended hours of work. There are multiple power ports conveniently located near the desk though, which is a nice touch.
The room comes with basic refreshments – bottled water and Dilmah tea, as well as an electric kettle to boil water in. There are no coffee sachets available, which will disappoint coffeeholics. The room photos actually depicted a Nespresso machine in the room, but apparently, that got phased out in cost-cutting.
Interestingly, toiletries can be found on the desk instead of…the toilet. Guests get to enjoy individually packaged dental kits, shower caps, sanitary bag, and combs. A box of tissue was provided too, which will come in handy for those doing solo staycations. It should be noted that it’s actual tissue paper, instead of cheap toilet paper that some other budget hotels provide.
The Deluxe Room also features a pair of skylights, which was an interesting touch that sets it apart from other budget hotels.
In the morning, it’s actually pretty cool to see the morning light filtering through the skylights. It’s something you can’t find at home, thus making the Deluxe Room memorable.
The Deluxe Room features a Queen bed, which sits atop a wooden platform. Once again, it’s an aesthetic that reminds me of Wanderlust hotel – it even has faux leather bedrest and LED lighting underneath for added luxe. Four pillows are provided, which is generous. Bedside lighting is present in the form of a wall lamp.
The bed was ok to sleep in, but I found the pillows to be way too soft. They failed to provide the necessary support, and I woke up in the morning with a sore neck. The duvet was also too thin for my liking – you don’t get that heavy “cocooned” feel you often get with hotel room blankets.
I also found the safe hidden away in a drawer below the bed – it’s actually brown in colour to match the aesthetic of the room, which is a detail I didn’t expect.
The bathroom is segregated by a wooden sliding door, which cannot be locked.
The bathroom looked almost identical to the listing pictures, with faux marble sinktop, wooden furnishing and artistic tiling resulting in a Bali-esque feel.
The bathroom comes with a dedicated shower cubicle. I found it to be too cramped – it’s only able to accommodate one. It does come with both a rain shower and handheld showerhead, though water temperatures were fickle. Toiletries come in wall pumps and feel cheap, so I recommend bringing your own toiletries for a more luxe showering experience. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the cubicle door, which can’t be closed. This actually caused water leakage, causing the shower water to not only spill out to the rest of the bathroom but also the corridor outside it.
The toilet bowl is modern-looking, with a concealed cistern design. There’s a bidet too, which is a nice touch.
Conclusion – so The Daulat by Hotel Calmo “shiok” or not?
Fun fact: The Daulat actually has the highest Google rating (3.8/5) out of all of Hotel Calmo’s four properties. To its credit, the room was generally clean, and its aesthetic reminds me of a budget Wanderlust. However, I think it has the potential to be much better. The Deluxe Room I got was bare-bones, and also had the worst location possible as it was located right beside the reception. I was woken up at night by the reception phone ringing, and again in the morning by construction work. As compared to the photos on booking platforms, the actual rooms felt duller and lacking in amenities. I would be keen to return when the pool and lobby bar opens – I assume it will be an enhanced experience. As it is now, The Daulat looks and feels like an unfinished project, making it hard to recommend.
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.
The Daulat by Hotel Calmo Location: 16 Madras St, Singapore 208413
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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.