Great value for midrange dorms
Hangout @ Mount Emily is set atop a small hill named Emily, funnily enough, and is a 20-minute walk from both Orchard Road and Little India.
This is a mid-density, quite upmarket residential area, which means you’re a long walk to hawker centres and points of interest. But this is a spacious, multi-floor affair, delivering on airy dorms (no bunks!) along with well-sized private rooms. There’s also a rooftop garden deck area with sun loungers, which, while lacking a pool, does have a peculiar shower-waterfall thing (like a grown-up’s splash pool?), good to stand under to cool off. It’s also pleasantly cool come the evening (as long as it isn’t heaving with rain).
Just beyond the hostel you’ll reach Mount Emily Park which once housed a public swimming pool. The pool was filled in some years ago, apparently due to security concerns as the Palace (the president’s house) is straight across the road — you can see the top of it from some of the private rooms in the hostel.
The vibe Hangout exudes is hip and breezy, with a fresh citrus-y minimalist theme. Rooms and dorms are immaculate affairs, with cheery bright walls and furniture. They’re also capacious — these are the only dorms we saw in Singapore that have single beds, not bunks — with a reading light, safe and some cupboards and hangers for your clothes. Bathrooms are shared, with hot-water showers and, like the dorms, plenty of room.
The upper floors have a selection of double and triple rooms with private bathrooms. We were shown two corner units and they were equally bright and airy affairs with windows lining the walls. Absolutely immaculate throughout, including the bathrooms, these are standout value — and the triples could be a good fit for travelling families whose budget will stretch this far.
On the second floor is a main common area, with a large flatscreen TV, some cushioned seating, a coffee machine and a few internet terminals. There isn’t really much in the way of desk space, though there is a bench you can set up on, or a couple of tables outside. Otherwise you’re up on the roof — pack your sunscreen.
Staff are helpful and quite knowledgeable on the area — though that isn’t all that much of a feat as, well, there isn’t all that much in the immediate surrounds here, save Mount Emily Park.
If you can’t face another pod or a squeaking metal framed bunk, Hangout could be just the medicine you’re looking for. Despite the envious rooftop area, this isn’t a party hostel though you are welcome to go grab some cold drinks at a 7-eleven and lug them back up the hill to the hostel. The hostel attracts a mixed crowd of older couples and young backpackers on their first hit through Southeast Asia.
The on-site restaurant is open for the Western (complimentary) breakfast, plus lunch and dinner. Prices are mid-range, but you’re probably better off walking into town for a feed.
Once you know the back way, this is an easy hostel to reach — from Selegie Road walk up Wilkie Road and after five minutes or so, you’ll reach a pathway and set of stairs running up to your right. There are a few signs there, though confusingly none for Hangout. Climb the stairs and the hostel is immediately on your left at the top. You can’t miss it.
The closest SMRT stations are Dhoby Ghaut and Little India — but both are a solid 20-minute walk away. For first timers to Southeast Asia, this is a recommended spot to ease yourself into the scene. If you’d prefer to be in a more lively area consider Bunc in Little India or Adler Hostel in Chinatown. Reservations are recommended.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.