Singapore's neighbourhood hotels

Yip Min-Ting checks out cosy neighbourhood hotels to get you or your overseas guests into the local mood

We’re making a bold call here, but Time Out Singapore feels that staying out in the suburbs is the next big thing. Not only does a suburban stint allow more opportunities to mingle with the locals, but there’s a much greater chance you’ll discover your own secret spots. From an economic viewpoint, expect savings of 20 to 30 per cent less but you’ll still get all the creature comforts (decent decor, Wi-Fi access) expected. In short, what’s not to like? Here are four choices to check out, and check into.

Hotel #1: Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel

Pet Shop Boys may have sung ‘Go West’, but we say do the opposite and live it up in the east. Staying here offers you a fast-track introduction to the more laidback side of the island. Hit the beach for sun and sea, or step into the Katong area for an eyeful of conservation shophouses and stores that sell Peranakan trinkets and food. Shopaholics and foodies take note: Parkway Parade Shopping Centre and Marine Parade Food Centre are just across the road. 

From $175++ per night.

Hotel #2: Rider’s Lodge

Converted from a set of former stables, this tucked away spot – just off Dunearn Road – has a placid rural landscape. The two-storey lodge has 40 spacious rooms, a lawn for sun-tanning/picnicking purposes, Wi-Fi and conference rooms for companies looking to take their AGMs off-site. Pony rides for kids, horseback riding lessons and a nearby golf course make this a great weekend getaway. The shops aren’t too far off either; Turf City is just a quick gallop round the corner. 

From $225 per night. 

Hotel #3: The Duxton

Set in a former Straits Chinese trading house, the 48-room Duxton is decked out with chandeliers, French windows and beautiful mahogany furniture. Ironic, then, that it’s set in a less than salubrious area – the hotel borders the seedy nightscape of Duxton Hill. An ideal spot for two very different types of people: those desiring a comfortable rest after an energetic stag night, or those looking for a more affordable colonial-era experience. 

From $135++ per night. 

Hotel #4: Lotus at Joo Chiat

Better suited to long-term guests, this serviced apartment was awarded the URA Architectural Heritage Award in 2002. It’s filled with delightful Peranakan details like wooden floors, carved screens, furnishings and airy courtyards. Besides offering guests a slice of Straits Chinese culture, a quick walk round this neighbourhood, littered with convenience stores, pubs and dozens of small restaurants, gives an instant home-away-from-home feeling. 

From $2,550 for a 6-month lease.