If you can travel out of Singapore during the weekends, you can always do a staycation and get into that holiday mood during those two precious days. I enjoy going for staycations because it allows me to explore the little pockets of the neighbourhood in Singapore. This time I’ve chosen Ibis Style at Macpherson because it was near my partner’s place and it is all new and swanky. I did my booking, once again on, booking.com, as I still find that the hotel room prices offered there is still relatively cheaper. You can also book a room via Accor Hotels website which is around the same price but I still find it more convenient to book via booking.com.
Hotel stays in Singapore are expensive! A decent hotel stay would cost from $200 and above. The luxurious hotels like Sofitel can go up to $500! For a night stay at Ibis style, I paid $180 which is considered quite affordable here in Singapore. Based on the reviews I’ve read on Booking.com, it seems like a pretty modern and stylish hotel. It has all the facilities which most hotels would have – swimming pool, gym, WIFI and a restaurant that serves breakfast. However, I would list it as a budget hotel. All those artist’s impression photos you saw on booking.com website is not quite accurate. The photos made space look huge but in actual fact, the hotel itself looked very small and crammed up. The lobby area is exceptionally small. You will only need to take about 8 steps to walk from the front desk to the lift. On photos, the swimming pool looks wide and long but in reality, it is just a small pool which is no longer than 7 metres long. Space is definitely a constraint here.
This is the entrance to the Ibis Styles Singapore on Macpherson where the drop-off point is once again very narrow. The hotel is also linked to the new Macpherson mall which is currently quite empty except for a small NTUC supermarket at level 2 which makes it rather convenient for us to get any snacks or drinks. The mall itself is quite small as well and there are not many shop tenants who would set up a shop there. One thing for sure is that the place here is rather quiet and peaceful as compared to the hotels in the downtown area where the crowd usually gathers.
The hotel is about 3 bus stops away from Tai Seng MRT. A plus point about Ibis Styles is the free shuttle bus which ferries passengers from the hotel to Tai Seng MRT, Serangoon MRT (NEX) or Orchard Road. However, you will need to reserve a seat in advance as the mini bus can only fetch a limited number of people. And to get to the hotel, you could also ride on their shuttle bus to the hotel from Tai Seng or Serangoon MRT station. You can also choose to walk from Tai Seng MRT to the hotel which is about 15 to 20 minutes walk.
We stayed on the 7th floor and it was only later when we discovered that the number ‘7’ happens to be the number of jubilee in our bible too!
The hotel room walkway is brightly-lit but it can be somewhat quite glaring.
The room is clean and looks quite new since it is a new hotel which is built only a few months back in 2016. However, the room is not properly maintained like the USB charging outlet which isn’t working. But the front desk staff were prompt in their service and they loan us a USB charger so that we could charge our phones.
The best part about this room is the super comfy bed and pillows. It makes a whole lot of difference to our sleep. Some budget hotels go for poor quality bedding and it isn’t very comfortable to sleep on it. The least favourite part of the room has got to be the layout and design of the room. There’s a huge grey pillar which separates the two beds and I find that the pillar not only takes up space but is also an eyesore. And to maximise the space, they created this open-concept toilet which a separated bath and toilet area.
Some of the rooms have a good view of the swimming pool but for ours, we have a view of Joo Seng neighbourhood. The windows were huge so it allows natural lighting to fill up the room. If you want to privacy, you can put down the blinds.
There were power sockets installed near the bed and beside the TV as well.
The room has a minimalistic outlook and even the phone is fixed to the wall to maximise space.
The television is placed as a good distance away from your bed so it doesn’t affect our eyesight.
Beside the television are the coffee and tea-making facilities and a study desk. We were surprised that they also provide a smartphone to hotel guests so that they are able to enjoy free data services while they are travelling in Singapore. With the smartphone, they are also able to enjoy discounts and promotions listed on the smartphone itself. This is definitely a huge plus point for travellers.
The kettles are clean and you can boil water safely with this kettle. Coffee and tea sachets were also provided in the drawer below.
One green or eco-friendly feature of the room is the recycling waste bin which has two compartments – one for recycled materials and the other for non-recyclable items. However, I felt that there should be a poster or a label to educate guests on how to use the bin. Not many would bother to separate their own waste or trash.
There’s even a mini bar where you can store cold drinks and food. It’s a really small fridge, though.
There are some complimentary room amenities which would only be given upon request. They do provide a dental kit, shaving kit, slippers and comb. That’s not too bad for an Ibis hotel. However, mineral water is chargeable at $1 per bottle.
Dilmah teas and Nescafe coffees are provided.
There’s no wardrobe but there’s a small area for you to place your luggage and hang your clothes on those hangers. Hair dryers are provided as well.
Over here, they do provide shampoo and body foam by Dove and Lux.
Below is the sink area which is parted from the sleeping area of the room by a movable panel with a mirror fixed to it.
All the other hotel facilities were found at level 4 of the hotel. This is where the restaurant Chat & Chow, swimming pool and the gym are located. There’s also a small corner where you can use the Apple desktops to serve the internet.
Breakfast is served at Chat and Chow restaurant and the colourful wall with the portraits drawn on the tiles is one of the most iconic features of the hotel.
On weekends, they do offer Teochew Porridge buffet which is quite affordable as well but I doubt the quality and variety of the food served.
So what’s for breakfast? Many of the reviews on booking.com would talk about the poor quality of their breakfast served at the hotel. Some were disappointed in the food served there. I would say it is pretty average. Although it is none like the ones served at bigger hotels, they tried to provide the simple breakfast basics like bread, cereal, hot food, salad, coffee and juices. The variety isn’t that great but enough to fill you up. The food is not that fantastic but it’s also not that bad. I would say it is pretty average.
They served samosas, fried spring rolls, vegetarian bee hoon, salads, yoghurt, bread, cereals and porridge. It’s more of an Asian-style breakfast.
They also serve chickpeas and rice to cater some of the Middle Eastern tourists and Indian tourists who were staying over there for a night.
The pool looks pretty magnificent, right? But it is actually rather small. It looks clean, though. Next to the pool is the gym. It’s the smallest gym I’ve ever been to.
It is one fully-equipped gym with treadmill, weights, mats and exercise balls. But the exercise balls were deflated and from this, you can tell that the gym is not properly maintained. Because the space is so narrow, there isn’t much space for you to lay the exercise mat as well. Not a very conducive place to exercise at but at least, there’s a gym with all the basic gym equipment.
Here’s the detailed free shuttle bus schedule which they do not post or share it on their website. I actually called the receptionist for the bus timings and she quoted me the wrong timings. But we did manage to catch the bus. I’m not complaining.
Sadly, there aren’t many shops at Macpherson Mall for us to shop and walk around. Likewise, there were not many shops, cafes or restaurant in the vicinity for us to explore as well. Like I said, it is a quiet neighbourhood.
There’s a small NTUC fairprice supermarket with an OCBC and POSB ATM machines.
Overall, I would say that it is an affordable and value-for-money hotel for tourists but it’s not an ideal place for staycation especially when there’s not much to explore around the area. My favourite hotel for staycation would still be HOTEL INDIGO!
Have you stayed at Ibis hotels before? Or do you have any hotels to recommend? Do let me know in the comment box below.