Sadly after my last Maldives trip, I was suffering from a little bit of post-trip blues as I had no more leave left to take until 2014 (which admittedly isn’t that far away, but NOT THE POINT). So when I was offered a chance to spend a night at the Village Hotel Katong, I was more than happy to have myself a little staycation in Singapore, even if it was for just one night. Here’s a review of my stay at Village Hotel Katong.
The Village Hotel Katong is located on the eastern side of Singapore, in the Katong area as its name implies along the long East Coast Road stretch. It’s an area with a lot of private condominiums and property, so you do have a fairly well-off crowd and expats here, but also it’s well known for being a food mecca with lots of popular local eateries in the vicinity within walking distance, Peranakan cuisine in particular is synonymous with this area. Quite good if you want to get away from the downtown hustle and bustle!
It’s not the most accessible area as it’s not near an MRT station (that’s changing soon!), you have to take a bus or cab when it comes to public transport, though there are free shuttles from hotel to the airport every hour (and from the malls to the MRT stations as well). I drove to the hotel, and I work around the area so I’m quite familiar with getting around there – it’s not too far away from the main downtown area though, perhaps about 15mins by cab at most.
I was put up in Room 1128 on the 11th floor in one of their Deluxe rooms. Here’s a panoramic shot of the room:
Quite a decent room, not super luxurious but quite comfortable. The bed is firm yet comfy with cushy pillows. The toilet is fairly spacious, no bathtub but it has a great rain shower, and there is a tiny little balcony that you can stand out on to get some fresh air.
I like the overall design: modern and clean, with a touch of the Peranakan heritage through motifs on the furniture and finishing.
Here’s the view from my balcony – you can see the surrounding condominiums, but they’re not too close for comfort.
Overall a good room, lots of storage spaces to keep your bags neatly and ample easily accessible plugs. the wifi speed was quite good One thing though was that the aircon was really, really cold. Not sure if the dial just wasn’t working very well, but even when I turned it to the max, it was still blasting something that felt like 16 degrees!
The hotel isn’t very tall – 12 stories in total. The lobby is on the 2nd level, and connected to the shopping mall.
The swimming pool is on the 4th level, fairly big round pool, though more for dipping than hardcore swimming. I was there for a short while on the deckchairs before it rained.
The in-house dining option is called Katong Kitchen, and basically serves up traditional Singaporean and Peranakan food that you can find from around the area. Morning breakfast buffet is also served there, and there’s quite a wide spread of your American breakfast food to local stuff like Nasi Lemak and Laksa.
AROUND THE HOTEL
The connected mall Katong V is run by the same management, so you’ll notice the rather seamless design details extend from the hotel to the mall. It’s home to a supermarket, a couple of cafes and restaurants as well as other random shop, so if you get stranded when it rains (like I did), there’s decently priced options you can turn to for food. Other malls within walking distance are I12 Katong (or 112 Katong) which has a cinema and a good food court with more shopping options, or Parkway Parade which is bigger than both the other 2 malls combined.
Along East Coast Road itself is a veritable selection of eateries which you should definitely check out, from your hipster joints to more local familiar favourites, and most of it is quite good. I had dinner that night at a new Mexican place across the road called Lower East Side which I enjoyed immensely,
One food you have to try – Laksa. Nyona Laksa is also known as Katong Laksa because it’s really popular in this particular part of Singapore, and you’ll find a number of stalls here each claiming to be the authentic one. Or pop over to Marine Parade Hawker Centre, just across the road from Parkway Parade Shopping Centre. Lots of government housing and flats where you’ll find the average Singaporean hanging out in his neighbourhood, the hawker centre food is cheap and good! More on good Singapore food on a budget (laksa included) here.
Overall an enjoyable stay – I do think the location is a pretty interesting one, very nice area which even fellow Singaporeans like to check out on their weekends even if it might not be as convenient compared to the downtown hotels. It’s a great alternative location for visitors to Singapore who want to get a different take on the culture aside from the usual tourist sights, or even for locals who just want to be within walking distance to some of Singapore’s best food.
Thanks to Far East Hospitality for the complimentary stay. All views are my own.