#9th Review: The Pod (Boutique Capsule Hostel), Singapore

It’s always nice to welcoming weekend after long busy work-days!

Who’s agree with me now?

Still, about Singapore, this weekend I am going to give you another reference about one of boutique capsule hostel in there. Singapore is very well known for its expensive prices for everything, including for a hotel. Therefore, they have initiated to make and build a lot of capsule hostel in town. Most of the times, tourists who visit Singapore only for short times for holiday, they usually prefer to book a B&B (or bed and breakfast with a bunk bed) hostel.

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Bunk bed hostel in Singapore (Source by Pinterest)

That is why I am going to show you one of hostel recommendation that I ever stayed in Singapore for your holiday reference.

It’s The Pod, the boutique capsule hostel.

The location of this hostel is located in Beach Road area. It is the same area with one of the most well-known areas in Singapore, called Arab Village.

 

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The Entrance of The Pod Boutique Hostel
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Check-in Machine System

The entrance of the boutique hostel is just like any other hostels in Singapore, located in a small narrow building. The lobby of the hotel is located on the 3rd floor, where you can find the receptionist. That time, I arrived around 10pm, so I went to check-in directly with the receptionist, but the staff said that in here we can do self-check-in by utilized their machine system. We have to input our name, contact number, passport number, and even paid directly either by the card or cash. I paid by cash last time because I only stayed one night and it cost around SGD 91 or equal to IDR 900.000 or equal to EUR 56.

For Indonesian people, it still considers expensive. As I booked for the Deluxe Single Pod, but the price it’s already included a breakfast and tax.

Then after finished check-in, they prepared my room card also in the machine to activate it. After that, the staff was accompanied me to the room that I booked. It is the same floor as the lobby, and since they used half carpet and floor, so it’s an obligation for us to not using our shoes or sandals, and they even provide the locker to keep our shoes in the entrance.

Then I walked in the alley and my room is located in the same area with other Deluxe Single Pod areas. So this is how it looks…

 

So many doors in there and my room located in the right corner of the room. Don’t be surprised as you will see how small my room is in the next picture.

 

 

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The bunk bed

 

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They have a small cabinet under the bed and provide me with the towel and hanger

 

 

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This is how we access the bunk bed, by the stairs!

 

 

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The bed is in upper side and the small desk under 
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This is how we access the bunk bed, by the stairs!

 

Yes, this is how it looks for the Deluxe Single Pod in the boutique capsule hostel, The Pod. Actually, they have a very good and reliable service and very helpful staff!

Yes, it is very unique, right? Actually, I used to stay many times in the bunk bed or hostels like this during my stay in Singapore. Since it is a good option to avoid the expensive price and another way to mingle with another backpacker. I met by accident with tourists from around the world during my stay in the hostel or any bed and breakfast place. Only a few of them I still keep in touch until now.

It is one of good reason whether if you want to practice your language skills or just want to have so many friends during your travel.

This boutique capsule hostel is very good for people who just want to explore Singapore for very short times and wants to go for backpacker options.

Last time, I went to Singapore only for one-day business purposes, so I prefer to stay in the boutique hostel which located in the central area and of course close to the MRT green-line.

Beside very cute and small bedroom, their bathroom also very cute one! I really like the wall and its clean toilet and shower room.

 

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In the Deluxe Pod, they provide 4 bathrooms for us, but still, we have to patiently wait for the queue in the morning as people will go outside and enjoy Singapore!

Their breakfast is so so for me, well it’s a standard breakfast if you stay at the capsule hostel. They provide bread, croissant, instant noodle, orange juice, sausage, cookies, cappuccino machine, cereals, and milk. I met with travelers which came from another country in the breakfast area.

 

They usually start the breakfast from 06.30 until 09.30 am

The location of this boutique capsule hostel is only 700 meters from the MRT Station Bugis area. Which closed to one of the most famous shopping places where you can visit all day until around 10 pm. You can find almost anything in this area, from clothing, resto, cafe, bar, supermarket, souvenir place, etc.

 

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Souvenir’s heaven place on Earth

 

 

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Bugis Food Street where you can find street food and fresh drink

 

I will recommend to my lovely blog readers to try to stay in The Pod Boutique Capsule Hostel both for holiday and business. I give a score 8.5 out of 10!

The Pod, Boutique Capsule Hostel

289 Beach Rd, Singapore 199552

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Bonus features:

There are a little bit tips and trick an easier way and strategic place where you can stay in Singapore for those who want to enjoy the city to the fullest, but don’t want to take more time on the street to go and back to the airport! The best place to stay is close to the MRT green line because it goes the same line with the MRT to Changi Airport.

Basically, it’s very easy to understand the MRT line in Singapore and you can also easily move from another place to another, since its very small city/country.

But, it’s good if you try to find a place to stay which close to the famous landmark or at least, the shopping place. I’ve ever stayed in Little India, Chinatown, Arab village, and Lavender Street. Those are very close to the shopping places and very close to the MRT station.

Click ‘like’ if you enjoy my review and please write your comment down below if you want to know more about Singapore through my lens!

Best,

Astrid

 

 

 

Another 24h in Singapore

Back in 2013, when I visited Singapore for the first time when I worked in one of architecture and interior design book publisher based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was also my first time traveled to a foreign country in Asean, as well as in the world. Since then, I often went to Singapore for few months, few weeks, or even just stayed less than 24 hours.

Yes, less than 24 hours.

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MRT Station in Changi Airport
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A very clean MRT

 

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Another very clean area inside the MRT

Maybe some of you also have an experience like me. It was a tough job, I admitted. I had to go to Singapore for less than 24 hours sometimes only brought books to our distributor in Singapore or had a meeting with some architects and partners in there. I even was joined with the architect tour in Singapore, it was an activity initiated and organized by my publisher company. Since then, I am very familiar with Singapore streets, café, restaurant, specifically places which identically with good architecture and interior design buildings.

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A very clean and well-organized parking lot in Arab village area
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Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station area and right-part is the Visual Art Centre

And since that too, I feel like Singapore already became one of my favorite countries to visit. Don’t ask me why, because I know you must have said, “Singapore is a very expensive country in Asia!” or “There are so many regulations in Singapore! You will get fine easily with the law enforcement.”

Yes, unfortunately, that’s the truth.

But you have to see Singapore beyond those kinds of things. Beyond expensive prices, high buildings, so many and tight regulations, Singapore has their own beauty.

Well, every country does.

I love the cleanliness of the country, the pedestrian, the environment, and their rich cultures from Arab, India, Melayu, Chinese, Asian and Western! You even can see so many different cultures and races from around the world only in Singapore (at least from my perspective).

I have my own favorite spots in Singapore both for hangout or just to stroll around the city, there are China Town, Bugis, Boat Quay, Esplanade Park, and Kampong Glam (Arab Village).

 

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Boat Quay with Anderson Bridge views
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One of the oldest hotel in Singapore, Fullerton Hotel

For all of you, who already went to Singapore, must be very similar to those places I mentioned above.

But, did you ever try to visit those areas only within 24 hours? I did.

Well, more than 5 times I guessed.

Just a few weeks ago, I went to Singapore and arrived around 9 pm, more or less. That was after 3 years or more, I guess since I went to Singapore last time. I feel good to be back. And I thought I already forgot the street and places in there, but I was wrong. Surprisingly, I still knew very clearly every spot in Singapore and every MRT stations.

Once I arrived there, I went directly to the hostel, which called The Pod. It is located on Beach Road in Arab Village area. The location is very good and I knew this boutique hostel long time ago, but I just had a chance to go there last time. Almost midnight, I felt very hungry because I was not eating very well for dinner, so I went to the Kampong Glam café just behind my hostel. I bought fish and chips and Ice Kopicinno. And oh my God, I really loooooooved the Kopicinno! It wasn’t because I feel very hungry or thirsty, but I really love the taste. Somehow it’s very sweet because of the milk, but the coffee is strong too. It was very good to stay in that area because you can easily get some places to eat or drink during the night.

 

Now, please let me know where is your favorite place in Singapore? And why you liked it?

 

Thanks,

Astrid

 

#8th Review: Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, Thailand

Yes, I know it’s been so long I did not make any review or recommendation. But no worries, I will give you my hotel review when I travelled to Bangkok, Thailand last week. It was quite short travel as I only stayed there to attend few days of the regional meeting related to my works. And the organizer gave us the twin shared room in Pullman Hotel G, which is located in one of a very good area in Bangkok, the area name is Silom road.

That was actually my second visit to Bangkok back in 2014, but I actually still very familiar with their road, the good places and restaurants. I could say, Bangkok is one of my favourite big city in the world!

And oh well, let me show you the hotel room look like…

view from the entrance

twin shared bed room overview

We’ve got a quite spacey hotel room for two. And I love their room because white everywhere. Make it looks like very big and clean. They also provide a mini refrigerator, spacious chest to restore your clothes, water heater, mini bar, the safety deposit box and the iron!

the most important, the iron!

Oh yes, as you can see below, they also have a big flat screen TV! But we never used it anyway, as the main channels were in Thai, also some Chinese, etc. Maybe because we were not really into the TV, and always worked hard every night after a whole day meeting.

Oh yes, the most favourite thing of my room was the bath and shower room! It is almost my dream bathroom, lol.

very nice bathtub

a spacious shower room with beautiful patterns ceramics

The breakfast was also very complete, of course, it’s a five stars hotel! They have Western, Chinese, and any Asian food to fulfil your indulgence and your happy tummy! But, unfortunately, their coffee taste bad for me. I much much prefer the coffee which they served for the coffee break during the meeting.

The hotel location was very good, very close to the sky train station, which called BTS. The closest BTS station name is Chong Nonsi. It is also very close to the Patpong Night Market, where you can go window shopping, as well as enjoy many cafes and bars in there. Well, you might find very “unique” bars in there (you know what I mean, for those who ever been there). Besides, there are many Seven Eleven mini shops, where you can get any kind of unique snacks which typically Thai or even Korean. I was so happy as I easily get Samyang Nuclear in there! Hahaha. Sorry, out of topic.

But overall, my stay was very good, except, during the check-in process they asked to give them 3,000 Baht which is equal to IDR 1.400.000 or at least EUR 100 for deposit, which was quite rare (and that was actually my first experience), as the hotel room has been paid and arranged by the organizer. But don’t worry, as they will give your money back, or if you use the credit card, they will cancel it after you check-out from the hotel.

Well anyway, never mind.

For me, the hotel is very good for the couple, holiday with a family, friendly environment, very good for people with disabilities, also business purposes. We had 3-days meetings in a very high point of the hotel which was on the 30th floor! We even can see the beautiful skyscrapers and high building surround.

Well, I won’t recommend this hotel for those who are a budget backpacker, as the price is quite pricey.

188 Si Lom, Bangrak, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500, Thailand

Must Visit in Stockholm: An Instagrammable Spot in Stortorget

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your great responses on my blog post about “Must Visit in Stockholm: the Most Artistic Subway in the World” both on my blog and my Instagram. I received very good feedback and I am glad to share my travel experiences with my blog readers, as well as my Instagram followers. I will try my best to share all of my travel experiences to you more frequently, so always stay tuned on my blog and my Instagram account.

And now I would like to share about one of a small and famous square which located in Central of Stockholm, in the old city area and in the plateau of Stadsholmen. It is the oldest square in Stockholm and very well-known with their historical centre as it still in the same location with the Royal Palace, the Cathedrals and the Nobel Museum, namely Stortorget.

Stortorget, Stockholm

That was second time during my visit to Stockholm, Sweden. And the two famous landmarks which I took above is good cafe or restaurant. This is a square that usually people or foreign tourists will spend an hour or more to hang out and enjoy the time with their family, friends or beloved ones.

The two famous landmark buildings in Stockholm, Sweden
Nobel Museum or Nobelmuseet

The Nobel Museum above located just in front of the two famous building on my first picture. It is the place where is a museum devoted to circulate information on the Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates from 1901 to present, and the life of the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), together with the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Library.

Besides that, there is also many cafes, restaurants, tabac stores, fashion stores, and souvenir shops just around the Stortorget square.

Narrow street @ Stortorget

For me, this is one of a good spot for you who love photography or just want to take some pictures for your travel documentary, or even just to capture your best moment and upload it to your Instagram account!

Just like what I usually do.

And don’t forget to like my blog post and leave your comment down below if you have any questions! 🙂

Picture was taken by: Astrid Maharani

Must Visit in Stockholm: the Most Artistic Subway in the World

It was my second time to visited Stockholm, Sweden. Last time I went there, I didn’t have much time to explore the city by subway or metro. I walked a lot during that time, so I didn’t use the subway. I heard a lot that in some of the subway stations they have a beautiful and artistic subway in the world. So this year, when I had a chance to go back again to Stockholm, then I chose to use the subway couple times.

I heard a lot that in some of the subway stations they have the most beautiful and artistic subway in the world. So this year, when I had a chance to go back again to Stockholm, then I chose to use the subway couple times. And, yes it was beautiful to be explored!

Here are some pictures that I took in some subway stations in Stockholm.

T-Centralen Subway Station

T-Centralen platform
Kungstradgarden Subway Station

a cute rainbow escalator in Central Station, Stockholm

Most of the people said the subway stations in Stockholm is the world’s longest art exhibit with approximately 110 kilometers long.

And I was amazed too when I saw and used the escalator in Kungstradgarden (if I am not mistaken) via Västra skogen, they also have the longest escalator in the world. Oh, it was my bad that I forgot to take the picture of it, but it was very long. When I check it in Google, then I found information about it on Wikipedia. They said its 66 metres and with a vertical rise of 33 metres and yes, it is the longest escalator in Western Europe!

Awesome!

If you have a chance to visit Stockholm, I will suggest you to try to use their subway transportation, even though the cost its quite pricey, moreover for Asian people like me, it’s quite worthed if you want to experience and see the subway art station while in Stockholm. Unfortunately, I just used few of the subway station because I don’t really have much time to visit all of the art subway station that they have.

Do not hesitate to ask some questions related to travel in Stockholm, I will be happy to give you some advice like place to eat, beautiful park to visit, and etc.

Anyway, happy Sunday!

#7th Review: Clarion Hotel, Stockholm – Sweden (Ringvägen)

I know I know, sorry for being so ignorant these days and not posting something on my blog lately. I travelled to Stockholm and Paris (again) for two weeks! I could say, I am a very very very lucky girl that I got chances to attend one of an international forum which has been held in Stockholm in the midst of May 2017. It was my second time went there, the first one back to October 2015, during an autumn season which was super cold (I mean, for a girl who lives in a tropical country) and now I got a chance to feel a spring season in Stockholm! Super-YAY!

Super-YAY!

Different with the last time, this year I’ve stayed in one of a four-stars hotel in Stockholm, namely the Clarion Hotel Stockholm! Don’t be wrong, as they also have another Clarion Hotel which located nearby the Arlanda Airport. But this one,  it is located in a very strategist location at the heart of Stockholm, in Södermalm area. And I will give my review of the hotel for your recommendations as below.

Hotel view from the outside

Yes as you can see, the picture above is the hotel which I took from the small street just behind the building. It’s face to the highway which connects to the city. I got a super comfortable and spacious bedroom only for myself! And I often wonder, why the four stars hotel in Stockholm very different with the one that we have in Jakarta, Indonesia?

And I often wonder, why the four stars hotel in Stockholm very different with the one that we have in Jakarta, Indonesia?

Well, maybe it’s a perk living in developing country like in Indonesia, I think! 😉

view of my room from the entrance

So, yup, this is the entrance of my room. It’s a quite narrow aisle, where you can see the right of the entrance is the shower room (sorry, I forgot to did not take a picture of it, but it’s quite spacey) and the left is the big mirror (I really love it) and wardrobe, where I put my suitcase, shoes and stuff.

Let me rephrase it again, oh I love the big mirror in this room!

the super-warm bed!

And this is the super warm bed! It supposed to be used for 2 people, but they gave us each room for every participant, which was super nice. Even though the weather was cold for someone who used to live in tropical country, but this hotel room also provide an AC and a heater, for sure!

Well, every night, I always turned on my AC because I feel bit hot, don’t know why. I even was sweating a lot during the night under my blanket. Overall, it was super-nice stay in Clarion Hotel Stockholm!

There was a TV and I was super happy because I was hoping that I may watch HBO or any movies in there but in fact, they only have Swedish channels and some Asian channel which only Thai and some Chinese channel, I guess. Since I don’t have movies also on my harddisk, so I just left the TV off all days during my stay in there, haha.

And plus, who need the TV, when we travel to another country? Wohoo!

Another thing I love about this hotel was… the BREAKFAST! They have many choices and various food. But my favourite was the scrambled eggs with creamy cheese, crepes with the chocolate cream, their fruits, also raspberries juice which was perfectly VERY FRESH! Besides they also have any kind of cereals, granola, croissant, any kind of salads, sausage, rice, omelette, and many more.

I was disappointed with their coffee, anyway. For me and some of my friends, the coffee taste was very bad. So I never took the coffee again after I tried during the first day I stayed there. But they have very spacious breakfast restaurant and I loved to sit nearby the window to see beautiful cherry blossom which left some after the spring effect.

About the service? I could give 8 out of 10. At the second day, I stayed there, I put the “Clean My Room” sign mark in front of my room and then I left it maybe for an hour to breakfast, then when I came back, surprisingly my room and bathroom was already clean and tidy! And they were super friendly and helpful because I gave my postcards that I wanted to send to my boyfriend and his Mom postcards but didn’t found any post box, then I just gave it to the receptionist and they will exactly help you! 😉

I love the area because, in the neighbourhood, we can easily found Subway Resto, 7/11, minimart, H&M, Telia counter (if you want to buy new sim card), and small shops surround.

 

View in front of the entrance of the hotel

 

If you want to go to the central, it is easier to take the train or subway just in front of the hotel. The name of the subway station is Skanstull. They have a single trip, a week trip and a month trip if I am not mistaken, but since I have stayed only for 3N4D (and most of the times I only stayed at the conference), so I bought the single trip, which only valid for an hour (as written on the ticket). The cost for the single trip was Kr. 43 which is equal to EUR 4,5.

Yes, it is VERY expensive.

It’s very different with the one that I bought in any other European countries, like for example in Paris. For single trip during an hour, the price around EUR 1,85 where it is included RER (central), bus and metro. And what I know from a friend who live in Stockholm, the transportation in Sweden it’s very expensive compared to other European countries, even Geneva, Switzerland.

So the mechanism by using this single trip ticket is we have to show the ticket to someone who stays at the ticket counter, then they will open the gate, from inside the counter, for us to go in. And we don’t have to tap or insert the ticket if we want to go out from the station. Because the door will be automatically open.

But I will tell you a little bit secret, so the first time I bought the single trip, I used it for more than  4-5 hours! You must be wondering, how come I did that? Because most of them who standby at the ticket counter, they don’t really check for the duration which written on your ticket and they just open the door for you.

And yes… I was lucky because of that. I just showed to them my ticket and pretend that I was in hurry, then they will just open the door for you 😉 Hahaha, I know it was very bad and I may get a fine if they knew I was cheated. I AM SOOOO SORRY SIRS/MADAMES. It’s just because your subway ticket was crazy expensive for (cheap) Asian people like me, hahaha.

Anyway, sorry if it’s out of context from the hotel review, I just want to share my experience with you haha.

Ok, so for me, it was very easy to go to the city or old town from the hotel. If you want to take the subway, it will only take like 5 minutes and if you want to go there by walking its around 30-45 minutes.

Some cherry blossom left, after spring effect
view from the other side of the hotel entrance

How about the hotel price? Well, I didn’t know how does it cost for the hotel room which the organiser paid for me to stay 4D3N in there?! But I’d checked the price in Booking.com, the price is around IDR 2.160.000 or equal to EUR 145 as per night, which if I rent a hotel room with that price in Indonesia, I could get a room in 5-stars hotel, for sure!

So, I could say, I was very lucky (again) for many times in my life! And I had a pleasant stay in Clarion Hotel Stockholm 🙂

xoxo

 

 

WITT #18: H-7 to go (back) to Stockholm!

I am so happy that next week, I will be back to the first travel (far away) abroad, first city, first country, first Scandinavian country, the first European country that I ever visited! Yes, it is Stockholm.

Back to October 2015, I went to Stockholm for the Stockholm Internet Forum 2015 as one of the participants. It was the best experiences so far for me, I met with a lot of new friends and networking. And surprisingly, I never thought that a country which located in the north part of the world could be very beautiful with their original sparkling colour which also divided by some lakes.

I love how the old city in Stockholm gave a new spirit, enthusiasm, and incredible feeling! And this year, actually it’s next week, I will have a flight to Stockholm again to attend the Stockholm Internet Forum 2017! It’s an honour for me to be back and participate a huge forum like that. And can’t hardly wait to gain new knowledge, new friends and of course, new experience and excitement!

I will try to write some blog posts about the conference and my adventure or journey to Stockholm Part 2!

See ya..