Sleep in sleek style
The Pod brands itself as a “boutique capsule hotel” and you’ll find it on the upper floors of a modern building on Beach Road, just around the corner from Arab Street in Kampong Glam. The look and feel of the entire place, from the gift-box presented Nespresso cartridges at the front desk (one cartridge per night!) through to the polished bathrooms with arty tiles underfoot, lends Pod a distinctly upmarket air.
It does however also possess boutique pricing. Just as the Bunc hostels are a step up in quality and comfort from the more run-of-the-mill hostels in Singapore, Pod is a step up again from the Bunc style properties.
Two pod styles are available at Pod: front entry, where your feet face towards the corridor, and side entry where you sleep parallel to the hallway. We went with the latter and were glad we did as the front entry is considerably more claustrophobic. While the overall dimensions are the same, the side entry, with an entire side open, just feels are more spacious and comfortable.
Mattresses are firm with clean linen, and a small desk falls out the side of the wall. While this last feature looked good, in practice it wasn’t comfortable to work at and we ended up just with our laptop on our lap. A swipe-key secured locker lies below the bed and, at least with the side entry bed, there was plenty of space to cram stuff in. The pod also has its own light, a single power outlet and access to the included good quality WiFi throughout the premises. Most importantly, each pod has a blind that can be pulled down to give more privacy.
Each floor has its own bathroom and with these facilities, which are really of a hotel standard, Pod Boutique leaps ahead of the rest — they’re immaculate, spacious and extremely well looked after. Double thumbs up. The upper floor also has a DIY laundry room where you can do your laundry for free.
The one spot Pod falls down a little is the common area, which sits beside the lobby. It’s a combined breakfast area and small lounge section and while it is comfortable enough, with 83 pods on site there is no way on earth it is big enough. It wasn’t too busy on our visit but it really hasn’t been designed in a way to make many people comfortable — so get there early!
Staff were competent but quite perfunctory — when we asked after the location of a cafe with WiFi, we were pointed to KFC, which was really not what we were after.
Overall we felt that Bunc was considerably better value mainly due to its larger common area and more spacious pods, but the Pod Boutique does have a bit more flair to it and if having extremely clean bathroom facilities are of a high concern, then you’ll be glad you spent the extra money to stay here.
Address: 289 Beach Rd
T: 6298 8505;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º51'38.29" E, 1º18'2.94" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: S$30 to 80
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
$93 for a double pod
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
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