If a low price and central location are the most important factors in your decision on where to stay in Singapore, the Porcelain Hotel should be on your shortlist. For just S$120-180 per night you can stay in one of their stylish shoeboxes in the heart of Chinatown.
The Porcelain Hotel occupies a strip of elegantly restored shophouses on Mosque Street, so named for its proximity to historic places of worship, but also a short walk to the Chinatown street market, Chinatown SMRT and some of the best hawker centres in Singapore. In short, the location gets full marks for convenience.
The hotel is easily identifiable by the blue floral pattern on the otherwise all-white building, and the use of designs from Chinese porcelain continues within. The lobby is dimly lit with an intimate seating area, probably because it doubles as the entrance to the expensive luxurious Oriental Chamber day spa next door, and staffed by sharply dressed young women.
In total, there are 138 guestrooms ranging from standard single rooms to suites with soaking tubs. The rooms feel quite new, are well kept, and have all mod cons including air-con, flatscreen TV, mini-bar and coffee/tea maker. That said, what will strike you most about the rooms is how ridiculously small they are.
The layout of the room we viewed was so compact that you could literally brush your teeth in bed – the sink was behind the bed, the phone and TV were on a ledge at the food of the bed and there was a separate washroom with a shower and toilet. The only place to store luggage is under the bed and the “closet” is a hook on the wall with a few hangers. We were further surprised to learn we had seen a relatively spacious Deluxe Queen room – a standard single room is just eight square metres.
The next thing we noticed was that the rooms are immaculately clean. The spotless interiors of the deluxe rooms would betray any speck of dirt, but there didn’t seem to be any. The bed was soft with crisp sheets and the bathroom was stocked with fluffy white towels and the tiled floor was spotless. The rooms have some charming details like ceiling lamps that look like Tang-dynasty porcelain plates and come with freebies like local calls, bottled water and WiFi.
If you’re the type who likes to laze around in a spacious hotel room, obviously this is not the place for you. But if you’re simply looking for a comfortable place to sleep, and don’t suffer from claustrophobia, Hotel Porcelain is good value for expensive Singapore.
Ignore the rack rates posted on the website (we hope no one has ever paid that much to stay here!) - on our most recent visit in 2015 we were quoted $100 for a standard and $110 for a superior -- though only the latter had a wondow. The hotel is also family-friendly and children age six and under can share the room for no charge – we’re just not sure where you’d put them. It goes without saying that the rooms do not have enough space for an extra bed.
Discounts are given for multiple night stays and last minute reservations -- also shop online for deals.
By Tanya Procyshyn
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.