ibis Singapore on Bencoolen hotel has been around for many years. However not many, including myself, knew about the green initiatives they have practised over the years. I was impressed by how eco-friendly this hotel is and I believe that other hotels can emulate ibis Singapore on Bencoolen hotel on their efforts to go sustainable.
It is situated along Bencoolen street, very close to Bencoolen, Rochor and Bugis MRT station. It is close to Singapore’s art district where you can find the National Design Centre and Singapore Art Museum just around the corner. Its central location makes it easy for anyone to get around town. And this district is a food haven for vegans and vegetarians. Right beside the hotel is Fortune Center where all the vegan cafes and restaurants are gathered. There are also vegan bakeries there which offer really good dairy-free cakes!
ibis Singapore on Bencoolen is a 3-star hotel with 5-star service. Unlike other 3-star hotels which I’ve been to though, the rooms are well-maintained and food quality is above average. It’s almost as if the premises were newly-revamped. The lobby, albeit small, had natural lighting streaming throughout. The tinted reflective glass which makes it looks more spacious and allows guests to have a view toward the outside, without letting passer-bys peek in. In this way, guests can enjoy some privacy.
At first glance, Ibis doesn’t seem like much like an eco-hotel (You would expect something with lush indoor greenery and vertical gardening walls). Instead, they practise minimalism here and incorporated several good sustainable practices that are in line with AccorHotel’s Planet 21 programme.
I stayed in their standard twin rooms with extra facilities. The room comes with 2 single beds with new ibis bedding, a smartphone with Internet access and unlimited calls to 27 countries, 4 pm check-out, and the use of their unique bamboo bicycles. It is important to note that although they do not have an on-site gym and pool, you can still have access to their off-site gym which is a 10-minutes walk away from the hotel. They have partnered with BIGFitness where you could use their extensive gym facilities and even join their group workout classes!
Their beds were pretty amazing! The beddings are so soft and comfy. I find that AccorHotels always get their beddings and mattresses right to give you a good night’s sleep. As for the bedsheets and pillow covers, they do not change their sheets on a daily basis unless requested. Same goes for their bathroom towels as well, all this in a bid to promote water saving measures.
Bath amenities include conditioning shampoo, shower gel, hand soap, toothbrushes, shower cap and hair-dryer. The shampoo, shower gel and hand soap were stored in these refillable small dispensers instead of plastic bottles. They were also infused with organic and natural ingredients which are gentler on your skin, hair and to the environment too.
Honestly, which 3-star hotel actually provides such bespoke shampoo and shower gels??
The room also has a safe box, ironing facilities, minibar, coffee and tea-making facilities as well as a flat-screen TV.
There’s a small study desk by the window with USB outlet installed near it so that you can charge your laptop or other electronic devices. All you’ll need to bring is your USB cable!
AccorHotels have been providing supplemental income opportunities for a Jakarta community under the A Tree for a Child (AFTAC) programme. They funded workshops for disadvantaged mothers where they learn how to make eco-pens made from recycled newspapers. These eco-pens are left in the hotel rooms for the guests to use. This is a meaningful initiative where they contribute back to the society by helping an underprivileged community in Indonesia, providing income for women to improve their families’ financial security.
Forget about plastic bottles! To reduce the use of plastic, the hotel has provided guests with reusable glass water bottles where they can have it refilled at the bar counter or restaurant. Guests can choose to refill the bottles with either still or sparkling water. Imagine how much plastic waste is saved when they choose to adopt this green practice of offering water stored in glass bottles.
To further reduce carbon footprint, they have offered guests the option to rent their bamboo bicycles to explore the city. There are two types of bicycles – the larger one for men and the smaller ones for the ladies. In case if it rains, they also provide bamboo umbrellas which are made from sustainable materials as well.
On the hotel ground floor, there’s also a bar and a 24-hour restaurant that serving local and healthy meals, some of which are vegan or vegetarian-friendly. Their restaurant also uses biodegradable food packaging, such as paper straws, which are all eco-friendly and sustainable.
The buffet breakfast here was superb because the food tasted great and the variety is quite impressive for a 3-star hotel. They even got a booth where they serve local delights like Kueh Chap. You will be spoilt for choice!
I am quite a fan of their Japanese curry and rice. Their international buffet items were equally good.
Fancy something healthy? They’ve got a fruit bar where you can make your own fruit salad with some greek yoghurt and sauces.
Overall, the experience at ibis Singapore on Bencoolen hotel way surpassed my expectations of it. It is comparable to the ibis hotel in Paris where the facilities were all well-maintained and the staff were polite.
This is one local hotel which I’m really proud of as it sets a great example for the other hotels in the region to follow suit. In fact, Ibis Bencoolen established its reputation as the first hotel in Singapore to implement Accor’s PLANET 21 programme.
Have you been to any green and sustainable hotels within South-east Asia? Let me know in the comment box below!