I am not too particular about accommodation when I travel abroad as long as it’s affordable, clean, safe and convenient. I would rather spend the tourist dollars on transportations to exotic places and splurge on good authentic food than spending on luxurious hotels or vacation homes.
That is to say that I’m fine staying in hostels where I would have to sleep in a shared dormitory with other strangers from different parts of the world. This whole idea of this no-frill accommodation is a totally cool idea for backpackers or travellers who simply want a totally different travel experience.
But the point is that not many hostels actually make the effort to provide a conducive, clean and safe environment for these travellers. More than often, they would only go to the extent of providing you only with a bed and a roof to shelter your head. They wouldn’t want to go the extra mile for their guests because they believe in this simple principle: you get what you pay for.
Let’s take for an example of my previous hostel experience in New York City where there were rats scampering outside the hostel. The photographs of bright, clean and tidy rooms as published on the website doesn’t reflect what my friends and I saw in reality. There was a stench in the shared rooms along with with old bedding, damaged lockers and not to mention about the half-naked men who littered their beds with soiled clothes. It was one of the scariest night ever, curling into bed and trying to get some sleep while at the same time fearing about the safety of our belongings.
That was quite some time ago but now I took on a totally new perspective of hostels after my one-night staycation at Bunc Hostel in Singapore. This 223-bed and 3-storey hostel located at Upper Weld Road, at the heart of Little India, a culturally-rich district that is close to the city centre. Bunc@Radius prides itself as a boutique hostel that offers services like no other. It’s actually the creation or vision that was brought to life by the owners who were like you and me, avid travellers who like the concept of ‘hostel-cation’.
Bunc@Radius is one swanky ‘modern trendsetter’ hostel that sets out to refine and modernize hostel stays in our city. And here’s 20 reasons why you might just want to save some accommodation money, forget about booking expensive hotels stays and bunk in at Bunc hostel instead – from a local (Singaporean’s) perspective.
1. Located RIGHT SMACK in our city centre
Bunc@Radius is strategically located in Little India district where you can get in touch with the Indian roots from its spicy flavourful food to their extravagant traditional costumes and accessories. It’s a 10-minute walk from Bugis MRT or Little India MRT. Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay, Chinatown, National Museum of Singapore… you name it as most of the attractions are just a few MRT stops away from Bugis MRT or Little India. Our city-state is highly accessible by trains or buses.
2. THE FULLY AIR-CONDITIONED ROOMS
Singapore is akin to this large glass-walled greenhouse that traps heat and sunlight. It can get really hot and humid all-year-round here. And if Singaporeans can’t live without their air-cons, I’m sure some tourists wouldn’t be able to withstand the heat and humidity. Ya’ know what they say about Singapore, right? It’s an ‘air-conditioned’ city with most buildings like shopping malls equipped with air-conditioning systems. And the temperatures are rising up, year by year. We may be small but we are not spared from the effects of global warming.
3. COMPLIMENTARY WI-FI
Unless you’re on a digital detox, you probably can’t live without the internet. Saying goodbye to Facebook and Instagram even for just a day is going to be really agonizing for me. There’s also a common area at the lobby with a long dining table and sofa for you to laze around as you work on your iPad or laptops.
4. A Spacious Lounge Area to ‘CHILL’
Singaporeans love to chill at the malls or over long brunches in beautifully-furnished cafes on weekends. With the spacious lounge area here at Bunc, you don’t exactly have to ‘chill’ outside. There are some board games set for you to relive your childhood memories in the name of fun. Having some bonding session with your travel mates or new hostel mates over games! You could also grab a book from the shelves to catch up on some reading.
And if you do not have any technological gadgets with you but wish to surf the net, you can use their MAC and Windows computers for a minimal fee of 50 cents per 20 minutes.
Do you know that part of Singapore collection of old memory is stored in these glass jars? The items stored in it are toys we use to play, back in the olden days! My favourite childhood game is the five stones!
5.FRIENDLY RECEPTION SERVICE
Need some help to get around Singapore? You could always approach their friendly staff at the reception table.
5. A FULL RACK OF TRAVEL BROCHURES
Need more information about the attractions in Singapore? Or simply had no idea where to visit in Singapore? Check out these galore of attractive travel brochures and try to find something that catches your eye.
6. FREE DRINKABLE HOT AND COLD WATER
Do you know how troublesome it is to buy mineral water from the convenience store if the hotel or hostel don’t provide their guests with clean water? Some hotels, however, do hot water kettles but you might want to check if the heating coil is rusty or not. Sometimes even drinking boiled tap water might be unsafe in some countries. It can be quite a hassle to purchase and carry heavy bottles of mineral water back to the hotel or hostel. So I really appreciate those hotels or hostels that provide a free-flow of clean and safe to drink water.
Since there’s hot water available, you can also cook cup noodles if you’re hungry!
7. KITCHENETTE FACILITIES
This is great for vegans or raw foodists that would prefer to prepare their own meals while travelling. There’s also a coin-operated washing machine with built-in detergent and a coin-operated dryer for you to do your laundry.
8. OUTDOOR DECK
More recreational space for the guests to rest and relax! There’s also a piano ( that is still in-tune!) for music lovers to jam. This outdoor deck space is also available for rental to hold parties, events and performances. Not to mention that there’s also a ladies lounge and movie/games room too. Sometimes parties, movie-screenings and BBQs are organized for Bunc’s guests.
9. LUCKY DRAW CONTEST
Every guest who checked in is entitled to take part in Bunc’s SPIN-TO-WIN contest where they could win tickets to clubs or free usage of their fluffy white towels.
10. LADIES-ONLY DORM
My friend, Esther and I stayed in the ladies dorm. If you feel awkward or uncomfortable with the sight of half-naked men, perhaps you might want to stay in these ladies-only rooms.
11. CARD ACCESS TO ROOMS AND BATHROOMS
Safety is the key here. There’s also a 24-hour CCTV installed. Big brother’s watching!
There’s a fan for air circulation and a ventilation system that draws in fresh air from the outside to get rid of any stench. The rooms would smell cleaner and fresher too.
13. STORAGE CABINETS WITH HANGERS
14. CLEAN BEDDING WITH 2 FLUFFY PILLOWS, DUVET AND 7′ MATTRESS
Two pillows are always great – one for your head to snug in and the other to whack the face of the intruder who tries to disturb you from your beauty sleep.
15. A LADDER TO PERFORM FUNCTIONAL EXERCISES AND STRETCHES
Climbing up the ladder helps to build strength in your arms as well as to burn some calories after indulging that plate of Char Kuay Tiow ( Singapore fried noodles).
Oh, feeling tired with backaches after travelling around Singapore? This is a great exercise to relieves the tension in the neck and back area.
16. BUG-RESISTANT HYGIENE PROTECTORS
I’ve heard of several stories about travellers getting bitten by bed bugs. These tiny bugs can be really vicious and their bites can really make you itch all over. The last thing you want is to bring these bedbugs back home as these bedbugs can stay onto your clothes.
With these bed bug-resistant covers, you probably don’t have to worry about getting bitten by bedbugs.
17. BATHROOM FACILITIES: HAIR DRYERS AND ECO-FRIENDLY SHOWER FOAMS
Love anything that is green and eco-friendly! Eco-friendly foams are less harsh on the skin and contain fewer irritants and harmful chemicals.
18. DINING AREA EQUIPPED WITH UTENSILS, CUPS, PLATES AND BOWLS
Perhaps you have bought some packed-food over or ordered a pizza delivery and wanted to dine in the hostel. The dining area, which is just next to the lobby, is equipped with cups, plates, bowls and utensils for you to use. But do remember to wash them at the sink provided after use!
You can warm up your food with this microwave oven too.
19. THE FOOD HAVEN
Little India district is a food haven!
The Singapore food experience starts right here! If you want to try some local delicacies, be sure to drop by Berseh Food Centre where you can find really good and affordable local delights. It’s about 5 to 10 minutes walk from Bunc hostel. Fancy having some afternoon tea in the late afternoon? You can try out the cupcakes and other sweet treats at this bakery cafe called Butter Studio along Jalan Besar road which is just right across the street from Berseh Food Centre.
If you walk further down from Butter Studio, you will pass by this Shanghainese/Hong Kong Dim Sum restaurant along Jalan Besar road that sells really good traditional Dim sums. This famous Dim Sum restaurant is called Swee Choon which you should really try.
People usually head there for late supper. since it only opens from 6 pm to 6 am. It’s so popular that people have to queue by the roadside!
20. COMPLIMENTARY BREAKFAST
The breakfast affair is kept really simple here. Toasted bread with fruit jams or a bowl of cereals? Coffee or tea?
Free-flow of white bread
Full Cream Milk
Peanut Butter Toast in Bunc@Radius’ style
Koko crunch, honey stars with full cream milk.
It’s more than just a bed here at Bunc@Radius.
Bunc@Radius, Little India
Address: 15 Upper Weld Road, Singapore 207372