Where to Stay in Singapore on a Budget
While searching for a place to stay in Singapore, I noticed that Agoda was pushing their Butternut Tree Hotel listing in my algorithm. This 3-star hotel is located in Chinatown, the center of most tourist locations in Singapore. What made me hesitate to book right away are the mix reviews they got from their former guests. Some of them had issues regarding the hotel room’s cleanliness and smell. I also read how the hotel staff were unfriendly and unhelpful, so I tried looking for other hotel options.
I still ended up booking here because of its price and location. Sa isip ko, tiis-tiis nalang. I was surprised that my experience with Butternut Tree Hotel was actually better than I expected!
Room Photos and Rates
Pre-pandemic, my usual budget for travel accommodation is only Php 1000 per night or less, which is hard to come by now that I prefer a private room with its own restroom.
Thankfully, I am still lucky to come across Butternut Tree Hotel in Singapore although it’s still out of budget. The room size is comparable to the tiny Korean Goshiwon I’ve stayed in, and the room layout reminded me of my recent hotel in Boracay. But honestly, I like my Butternut Tree Hotel experience best!
I paid a total of Php 6580 for 3 nights, inclusive of taxes and fees. Make sure to look for promo codes to get additional discounts before booking. I usually get the discount codes through their emails, so subscribe nadin sa newsletters nila.
Room Type: S Room without Window – I thought this will be an issue, but it wasn’t suffocating at all! Aircon worked really well, and space was okay to spread my luggage on the floor and there are still spaces to walk on.
Inclusions: Wi-Fi, small bottle of drinking water, instant coffee & tea
No cancellation policy (no refund if you don’t show up)
Check-in is from 03:00 PM, and check-out is until 12:00 PM
Pictures of my room:
1. PRIVATE, with own toilet and bath, since the pandemic made me hesitant with shared spaces
2. ACCOMMODATING STAFF. Contrary to the reviews I’ve read, staff were actually very nice and helpful.
This introvert even chatted with the hotel receptionist when I checked-in, from helping me out where I can get an antigen test near the hotel, or random stuff like Singapore’s travel situation post-covid. Super bait. Checking out, I encountered a different staff who was also very helpful. She offered to book my taxi for me, but also recommended that Grab is cheaper.
3. ACCESSIBLE to public transportations, restaurants and convenience stores, and top tourist spots.
☺ There are 2 nearby MRT stations: Outram Station (nearest) and Chinatown Station. I actually took the train from the airport to the hotel on my first day, one line transfer lang kasi sya. Without my luggage, the distance from Outram Station to the hotel is very walkable, you’ll even pass through a park along the way.
☺ Hotel is also surrounded by local restaurants and bars like Burnt Ends, The Study and Potato Head Folk, in case you’ll want to eat out although price is a bit expensive.
Lunch on my first day is in Potato Head, which is just across the hotel. They serve really good vegetarian burgers, but shooketh din ako sa bill! The restaurant is pretty, though!
☺ Hawkers like Maxwell Food Centre and Chinatown Complex Food Centre are both walking distance from the hotel, and there is also a 7Eleven just across the street where I bought my daily snacks and big bottles of drinking water.
☺ On my first day, I was able to stroll around the streets surrounding my hotel and ang dami mo na makikita kaagad. Popular Chinatown spots like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sri Mariamman, Masjid Jamae, hawkers and markets are all just walking distance. Perfect place to stay in as a tourist!
4. EASY TO NAVIGATE. Just type Butternut Tree Hotel in Google Maps, or pin hotel’s name to get exact location whenever you book for a Grab.
5. CLEAN. My room is actually clean, contrary to the reviews I’ve read! Plus, they have a housekeeping service that you can avail daily, just put the door sign provided that you’re out exploring! Came back to a clean room with replenished tissue paper, small bottled water, and instant coffee.
6. COMPLETE. For a small budget hotel, it actually has almost everything you will need with a few extras:
☺ Inside my room, I have a TV, a water kettle, hair dryer, a towel, and an all in one shampoo and body wash.
Few toiletries provided, but best to bring your own nadin kahit in small bottles:
Wasn’t able to use, but good to know din that there’s a safe box and phone inside the room. Sockets are also right next to the bed for charging phones and other gadgets.
☺ Ang lamig din ng aircon nila which is perfect for SG’s hot weather.
☺ Internet is fast inside my room so upload galore ako sa Instagram, hehe.
☺ I usually encounter no lifts when I stay in low-cost accommodations, but Butternut Tree has an elevator till the third floor. Having a big luggage wasn’t an issue.
Elevator Selfies! Hehe!
☺ They also allow leaving of luggage at the reception area, which you can take advantage of when you need to check-out na and still have time to explore.
☺ No in-house resto or convenience store, but there’s a vendo in their lobby area where you can purchase bottled and canned drinks in case you will need drinking water but too lazy to cross to the 7eleven hehe.
7. GENERALLY SAFE. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe during my entire stay. I never encountered the reception area empty or the streets too dark. They also use a super convenient tap keycard, and door has a double lock to feel more safe at night.
1. Not an issue coz I’ve read about it prior my trip, but they will ask for SGD100 refundable deposit upon arrival. Make sure to bring spare cash, or have a credit card with you. They will return the cash automatically when you check out so this is better for me, for credit card deposit it will take a few days daw to get the refund.
2. I had a peaceful first night, but on my second night ang ingay bigla sa hallway at around 3am! Woke up to the noise of a drunk group who partied that night haha (since bars din yung nakapaligid sa hotel). Gusto ko na mag tita mode on but mag-isa lang ako huhu so I was hoping may manita sa mga kapitbahay ko but no one went out. The cursing and banging of doors went on for about an hour huhu. I reported it nalang to the receptionist the following morning, so thankfully it did not happen na the following nights.
3. Train station is near, but not parang tatawid ka lang. It’s okay if you don’t have a big luggage with you. But heading to the airport, I opted to book for a Grab na coz medyo hassle sya ilakad. Grab fare is only around Php 750 so okay nadin.
4. Space is tiny but maximized. Might be hard to look for a space to open your luggage, but diskarte nalang. Siniksik ko yung sa akin sa ilalim ng TV area.
With the tiny CR, toilet paper, towel, and clothes are also prone to getting wet whenever I shower. Since mag-isa lang ako, I just placed everything outside the restroom to be safe. Make sure to also close the glass door firmly so water won’t spill over to your room hehe.