The popular choices
We know, we know – we grew up knowing 'Hotel 81' as a synonym for sleaze, dubious transactions and general immorality. But in all honesty, a Hotel 81 branch is your cheapest and easiest option to get away from prying eyes for an hour or two. Many of their branches have transit options with hourly rates away from the city's red light district, including Hotel 81 Cosy, with many a good bar and pub nearby, or Hotel 81 Heritage, which is just a few streets away from hipster haven Haji Lane. Like all the hotels on this list, Hotel 81 branches require identification for both parties when checking in.
The room is decent for its low cost: $40 buys you two hours in the room, and you pay $15 for every additional hour after. Clean sheets, heavy red drapes that cover the windows that overlook the alleyway behind the hotel – so you get utmost privacy. Then again, who comes to Hotel 81 for the view?
Although its street reputation is not quite as unsavoury as that of Hotel 81, the Fragrance hotel chain is also known for its clientele, even as it has been trying to shed this image. Like Hotel 81, Fragrance Hotel Bugis has transit options with hourly rates. A double room costs $40 for a minimum of two hours, with $40 for every additional hour. Rooms are generally small (some don't even have windows), but if you're not fussy about your potential play area, this branch works fine for a centrally-located option. One note though: the radio station that blares through the PA system on the ground floor from 9am to 6pm can either be an irritant or a good way to obscure any noises you may be making.
Fragrance also has many other branches in numerous locations, and Fragrance Hotel Lavender has the cheapest rates of the hotels on the list, with $30 for two hours in a superior double and $15 for every additional hour. But don't expect anything beyond a basic hotel room with no frills.
Known for its transit hotels in five airports around the world, Asia’s first YotelAir opens in Jewel Changi Airport. The Changi Airport outpost offers flexible check-in and check-out time, comfortable cabins inspired by first-class cabins, and smartly-designed spaces — great for taking power naps or freshening up before your flight. The state-of-the-art hotel also makes use of airline-style kiosks instead of traditional front desks, so you can simply check yourself in and out. Rates start from $80 for four hours.
If you're looking for some shuteye in a private space then The Pod is for you. Each capsule also comes with Wi-Fi, a reading light and a fold-down table if you're looking for a quiet place to get some work done. Your sleep and comfort is also well taken care of, with cotton sheets and a fluffy duvet – prices start from $40 a night so you don't have to break the bank to catch some zzz's.
Located in Changi Airport Terminal 3, The Haven has nap rooms that also grant you access to its rain shower facilities and snack bar should you need a place to freshen up during those long transits. Prices start from $75 for three hours in the nap room but $32 gets you access to the lounge for two hours.
For the whole night
The sleek red and white colour scheme and natural lighting in the lobby of the Amaris Hotel make this boutique hotel a charming and inviting destination despite the steeper price of $150 per night for a double room (breakfast included). However, as with most centrally-located boutique hotels, space is a precious commodity at the Amaris. That said, the large window and sunlight did help combat the feeling of being in cramped quarters – though for the purposes of this article, a cosy room might not be a bad thing.
Pamper yourselves to an overnight stay at Hotel Nuve Urbane. This hotel is stylish just as much as it is affordable, so you don’t sacrifice on the #aesthetic – Instagrammable pool included. If you’re feeling peckish, you can even head out to one of the many cafes along King George’s Avenue. Prices start from $90 a night. If you want a bigger space to show off your range of (ahem) movements, the Premier Double with balcony or window starts at $120 a night.
Located right in the heart of bustling Chinatown, Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen has standard rooms for $140 a night, which go for even cheaper if you book on their central reservation website. The quiet lobby has a plush Chinese aesthetic and their rooms are minimalistic in decor. The hotel faces Chinatown Food Street, which makes this location perfect for a hearty meal after your stay. Lai Chun Yuen is part of the larger Santa Grand chain, which includes Santa Grand Hotel West Coast off Clementi Road, mere minutes from the National University of Singapore. So if you don't fancy your roommate walking in on you, or if those dorm walls are a little too thin, this is a perfect option.
Tucked away in Joo Chiat, the Venue Hotel features a unique and classy lobby interior, with the standard double room simply-yet-tastefully decorated with plush purple walls. The Venue Hotel prides itself on its 'rustic location' away from the centre of town, and it's a stone's throw away from Dunman Food Centre and many other F&B options in the colourful Katong area (the 112 Katong mall is also a short hike away). At $73 a night for a standard double room and $107 for a deluxe, the Venue Hotel provides one of the best deals you can get for a one-night escapade without having to hunt down the best travel insurance plan.