Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In today’s article, I’ll be reviewing my stay at VIP Hotel.
I happened to chance across VIP Hotel while browsing on Traveloka, and was intrigued by its proposition as a budget hotel that’s located on the fringes of Orchard. As such, I decided to book a stay to check it out.
VIP Hotel – Video Review
For those who are interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the stay, do check out my Youtube review of VIP Hotel below:
VIP Hotel – The Brand
VIP Hotel was established way back in 1972, with its most recent renovation occurring in 2010. With just 57 rooms, the 3-star property is considered a relatively small one.
Nightly rates are fairly affordable, with rooms starting from $70+. I booked the entry-level Superior Double room – let’s see how my stay went!
VIP Hotel – Check-in
VIP Hotel is located along Balmoral Crescent, and is about a 10-minute walk away from Newton MRT and the Orchard area.
The lobby is fairly big for a small budget hotel, and even has a restaurant and a watch shop on its premises. There wasn’t much of a queue when I arrived, and I was issued my room within minutes.
As a testament to the hotel’s old-school nature, there’s even an Internet Corner in the lobby for guests to surf the web. You know, in case they didn’t bring their smartphones or tablets along…
VIP Hotel only has three storeys, with room doors vibrantly coloured. The result is a chalet resort vibe – not necessarily a bad thing, just different from the usual budget hotels at this price point.
VIP Hotel – Superior Double Room
I was initially issued the Superior Double Room, which is VIP Hotel’s lead-in category.
My first impression of the Superior Room was that it probably hasn’t changed much since the 1970s – it looked like an American motel from a Netflix TV series. The feel of the room is decidedly dated, although it is rather spacious (25 sqm) for the price.
The Superior Room features a Queen bed. The bed is pretty mediocre, although I did appreciate the multiple pillows provided. A pair of bedside lamps and tables flank the bed, as do a pair of Chinese paintings that made the room feel firmly stuck in the previous century.
Besides the bedside table is a big cupboard, with its aesthetic matching the “vintage” look of the room.
Inside the cupboard are a few hangers for you to hang your clothes, an ironing board (though no iron), a safe, and a stack of Yellow Pages/The Green Book. I haven’t seen either in at least a decade – its presence is a testament to the age of the room.
The room comes with a 32-inch Toshiba TV, but unfortunately it wasn’t working when I tried to switch it on.
Thankfully, the EuropAce mini-fridge beneath the TV was functioning without a hitch.
Large and new, the minifridge was probably the most modern item in the room.
Being a budget hotel, the refreshments provided were basic, though laid out in a thoughtful manner.
A hairdryer can also be found in the drawer, though it does show clear sign of age.
Those looking to get some work done will have to make do with a small corner of the desk. Although there is a power port as well as an analog phone provided, the curvature of the desk isn’t ergonomically ideal – the setup is definitely far from ideal for productivity.
The white leather chair was also heavily stained, with pieces of leather peeling off – it has clearly seen better days, and should be replaced.
The Superior Room is large enough to accommodate an ornate emerald green armchair that benefits from plenty of natural lighting due to it being positioned right beside the windows. I imagine it makes for the perfect place to curl up and read a book in the morning.
The dated design of the Superior Room extends to the bathroom. Decked out in green tiling, it looks like something out of Under One Roof. As expected, the toilet is the traditional kind, and lacks a bidet by its side.
Some simple toiletries are provided, namely toothbrush and A.ME toothpaste (aka Colgate ripoff), shower caps, as well as generic shower gel and shampoo from local hospitality brand Ecogenesis.
The highlight would be the full size bathtub, which I know is a game-changer for many readers.
Despite its age, the bathtub looks fairly well-maintained, and in better shape than the bathtubs I encountered at other budget hotels such as Hotel Royal and Hotel Bencoolen. There’s no separate standing shower, but at this price point having a bathtub is already a bonus.
VIP Hotel – Cleanliness
Unfortunately, I encountered several cleanliness issues that made me request for a change of room.
Firstly, I discovered what looked like bloodstains on the bedsheets.
The stains were quite prevalent, so I’m baffled as to how the housekeeping missed this while making the bed.
There also seemed to be mould growing on the walls near the air conditioning unit – definitely a health hazard.
Finally, the bottom of the wooden toilet door was splintering, which can potentially be dangerous. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I promptly returned to reception to request for another room.
VIP Hotel – Deluxe Room
As way of apology, the receptionist upgraded me to a Deluxe Room.
At 33sqm, the Deluxe Room is slightly more spacious than the Superior Room. Furnished with light wooden tones, it also comes across as more contemporary – at the very least, it looks like a room from this century.
As opposed to the Queen bed of the Superior Room, the Deluxe Room comes with a King bed as well as a Single bed, making it just nice for a party of three. The bedside tables and lamps remain, though much more modern in their aesthetic.
The Deluxe Room also benefits from a proper workstation that is significantly more conducive for getting work done. There’s a power port, as well as a bottle of hand sanitizer – a nice touch in these times. Due to the large mirror, it can also double up as a make-up desk.
Strangely, the LG fridge seems older than the EuropAce fridge of the Superior Room.
Despite the upgrade, the refreshments remain identical to those found in the Superior Room – decidedly basic. However, the safe looks much newer, though I doubt it has seen much use.
There’s also still a hairdryer in a drawer that looks to be in better condition than the one of the Superior Room.
The cupboard has been downsized, though as with most other furnishing of the Deluxe Room it looks remarkably newer than its counterpart in the Superior Room. However, the cupboard has next to nothing – except for a few plastic hangers – with the ironing board being absent.
Despite the modern appearance of the Deluxe Room, the Green Book still makes an appearance. It feels a tad incongruent with the modern nature of the room, but I suppose there’s a nostalgic element to it that just brings a smile to your face.
The TV is a 32-inch Panasonic Viera. Though not the best quality, it’s at least working, and there’s a selection of cable channels to browse through. There’s no smart connectivity, so you won’t be able to stream Netflix/Youtube to it.
Next to the TV is a pair of wooden armchairs and a coffee table. Given its dated looks, it feels misplaced in the recently renovated Deluxe Room – an odd choice to say the least.
The view is nothing to shout about – it’s mainly of the condomium beside the hotel.
The biggest difference between the Superior Room and the Deluxe Room would be the bathroom. In the Deluxe Room, the renovation is the most apparent in the bathroom, which now sports chic wallpaper, wooden tones, and clean looks. The floral patterns remind me of the bathroom of Orchard Rendezvous Hotel – not a bad comparison by any means.
The toilet now sports a modern concealed cistern design, though unfortunately there’s still no bidet available. I did like the toilet paper holder though, which is supposedly made from recycled materials.
The sink looks much more modern now – I feel like I’m in the bathroom of one of the luxury condomiums that surrounds VIP Hotel. However, the toiletries remain basic, which is a shame.
There’s still a bathtub, which is undoubtedly newer than the one in the Superior room. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the fixtures are by European luxury label Grohe – I definitely did not expect to see that in a (relatively) old budget hotel.
Unfortunately, I soon realised that the bathroom wasn’t as clean as it looks. For one, there was conspicious cobwebs above the mirrors – once again, I’m stumped as to how housekeeping can miss that.
I also found multiple brown stains on the bathroom wall, right behind the toilet – not the best place to find brown stains at.
The walls were also defaced, presumably by an overcreative child. It’s not a big deal, but it just undermines the renovated looks of the bathroom.
VIP Hotel – Amenities
Despite being a budget hotel, there’s a swimming pool on the ground floor for guests to enjoy.
Sadly, it was closed for maintenance during my stay, so I didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. It does look decent, and reminds me of the pool of Goodwood Park and York Hotel – very Bali chalet vibes. However, it is situated next to the hotel restaurant/reception, so privacy (more accurately, the lackthereof) might be an issue.
Conclusion – so VIP Hotel “shiok” or not?
Overall, I would say that VIP Hotel is a decent stay, especially if you manage to enjoy an upgrade to the newly renovated Deluxe Room. It’s not the cleanest, but the room is spacious and it does come with a bathtub. I enjoyed the Grohe fixtures as well – water pressure was strong and temperature wasn’t fickle. I also appreciated the offbeat location of VIP Hotel – nestled amongst a row of condominiums – which enhances the “staycation” feel as it’s away from the hustle and bustle. It’s also a good choice for those who want something different, perhaps more of a chalet vibe rather than that of a hotel. At this price point, VIP Hotel’s closest competitor is probably Hotel Royal Newton. Both hotels are relatively old, but have spacious rooms with bathtubs. Between the two, I would say that I preferred my stay at the Deluxe Room of VIP Hotel over the Family Room of Hotel Royal Newton – it’s simply newer and better furnished.
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.
VIP Hotel Location: 5 Balmoral Cres, Singapore 259895
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.