The Bras Basah-Bugis enclave has always been somewhat of an artsier sister to uptown Orchard. A mixture of cafes, hole-in-the-wall eateries, museums and chillout spots, it provides a more humble facet of city life away from the manufactured glitz and glamour of its uptown counterpart. The new Objectifs location next to a chapel-turned-event space is emblematic of the enclave finding its soul amid a nexus of art schools.
It is this interesting spot that some hotels have decided to set up shop, and where boutique BIG Hotel stands out from its seedy counterparts. (There is even a cheeky nod to that clientele – the hotel’s website allows you to choose between four personalities, one of them being “Lover” replete with, erm, protection.)
But far from that, the hotel’s five room types – from a cozy Superior to a balcony-attached Bigshot Suite – are designed for maximum comfort, with luxurious linens and a Nexus 5 tablet that lets you control the room’s lights and air-con without touching the switches. You know, for those times that you’re just too lazy to get out of the bed. For less than S$20 for five days, you can have data in your tablet so you can bring it out of the hotel wherever you go. The TV too has a wide array of cable channels and movies-on-demand for lazy days. “Lovers” out there: there are adult films. Use them wisely. Free speedy Wi-Fi that worked seamlessly without throttling during heavy multitasking on the laptop adds to the charm for business travellers looking for an affordable stay near the Central Business District. Other welcome amenities included ice machine and a water dispenser on every floor (the Executive room onwards comes with a water pitcher and Nespresso machine) and a gym for fitness buffs and those who eat too much on staycations. Admit it: you’re guilty of this. The star attraction here really has to go to the food and drinks. The Froth cafe served a mean breakfast, with crispy bacon topping off a smattering of chipolata sausages and scrambled eggs that were smooth and runny. Their free-flow bar with toasted bread, cereals, drinks and chocolate muffins capped off a hearty meal. Their lunch and dinner service takes it up a notch, with affordable mains such as Cajun chicken at a mere S$9.90++.
Breakfast for champs 😋 #bighotelsingapore #PSxBigHotel #pswinendine A photo posted by POPSPOKEN (@popspoken_sg) on
If you’re feeling artsy, the Art Seasons Gallery located above the cafe showcases contemporary Chinese art from young artists. If you’re looking to pre-game a bit before hitting the clubs, the Tipple Wine & Whisky Bar provides an unbeatable happy hour deal with beers going at just S$5. Shuttle over to Attica – hotel guests get free entry on select days.
However, for a hotel that has the term “big” in it, the rooms are much more cosier than expected – not really the type for claustrophobic folks. But for those used to such spaces, the compromise in space definitely will not hurt one’s wallet. (Psst: there’s a promotion for Laneway Festival attendees including return airport transfers but you have to get your tickets by Dec 7!) Here’s a tip: our Executive room didn’t come with a fridge, but because the staff are super friendly, they can help you chill your drinks at no cost.
The only thing missing here is a swimming pool (or a sundeck), but with all that’s happening in the district, you probably will be spoilt for choice anyway. With Superior rooms starting from a little over S$200 a night (and this is for peak holiday periods), BIG Hotel really is a steal for the price. Staycations don’t have to be expensive affairs: say goodbye to burning a hole in your wallet for your next stay amid city life. And because we love good deals, here’s an 11% discount for weekend stays to make it all better.
This was a sponsored staycation. Featured photo courtesy of BIG Hotel.