Saturday, 7 July 2012

5footway.inn Project Sultan Mosque

I haven't paid for accommodation in Singapore in a very long time as I've gotten away with crashing with other people or day tripped in recent years. I've also never stayed in a hostel situation before, so it's a first. 

Snagged a standard twin room some weeks ago at 5footway.inn Project Sultan Mosque (opened back in April, so it's new-ish) through Agoda. If you want your own bathroom, standard is not the way to go. Checked in late afternoon (after 4 p.m.) and despite the chaos at reception, we were given a quick tour of the place before being taken to the room upstairs. You would also have to pay a refundable S$20 deposit per person for the keycard that you use to tap in as doors are locked after 7 p.m.

Rooms upstairs
Stairs: Pretty, but you don't want to deal with in the middle of the night;
sorry, the lens was frosted from the A/C
Camera lens frosted over and it wasn't thawed out yet when I took this
Room: We got a windowless room on the highest floor (accessible by spiral staircase) towards the back which had TWO bunk beds, leaving with very little room to navigate. At least I don't have to  climb and sleep on the top bunk, so we both got to sleep on lower bunks, haha. It was also pretty quiet the two nights we were there save for the sounds of doors are opening and closing, and not from the KTV lounge next door or the nearby mosque. Light sleepers might want to bring earplugs just in case. A waste basket (even a tiny one) and a mirror in the room would also be nice.

The only perk the windowless room provided was that while it was adequately dark to sleep in, but it also made it very easy to oversleep so you might want to set an alarm.. or just be a light sleeper :P Makes it feel like you're sleeping in a sensory deprivation chamber or something. Without a window, you need to keep the air conditioning running constantly or it gets warm and stuffy very quickly. Beds and linens were also clean; the personal light, plug point (to charge the gadgets) and shelving are also a really good idea and at least worked. The storage drawers under my bunk were large enough for most backpacks and wheeled luggage.

Room key, locker key and key card
Left: lockers; Right: the bunks

Why didn't I think of this myself? D'OH!
Bathrooms: The shared bathrooms on the first floor were clean for the most part, and plenty to go around, so it's not like you have to wait to use them or anything like that. Mirrors in more of the smaller bathroom stalls would be nice. I brought my own slippers and towel (S$2 if you didn't); shower gel and shampoo is complimentary.
Internet: The secure Wi-Fi signal was very good in the room and also outside in the al-fresco/five foot way (geddit?) dining area - as in YouTube video streaming good. Password is available at reception.

Breakfast was simple - From 7 to 11 a.m., you get to dig in to cereal (cornflakes and Koko Krunch), toast, fruit (if you're lucky - snagged an apple the first morning; none the next) and hot drinks from the machine was adequate. Didn't really see anyone else during our stay despite the full capacity except probably during breakfast. 

It's in between a couple of bus stops and near the Nicoll Highway MRT station (like walking from KLCC to Ampang Park LRT stations?); the latter might sound torturous if you have heavy luggage. Cabs aren't hard to get once at the bus stop. Haji Lane is also a couple minutes away.

It's not too bad if you're young and travelling with easygoing friends or significant other (NO DIVAS) on a flashpacking budget but not alone. Not sure if I would recommend this for families. The loft rooms sound quaint in theory, but not when you have to get up in the middle of the night to pee in a dark, windowless room.
8 Aliwal Street, Singapore 199901, Singapore