The Fragrance Hotel – Joo Chiat

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I have a lot of friends that are now based in Singapore and during one meet up last year with my college friends, we decided to visit our friends in Singapore. Once we decided on our trip dates and booked our flights, our next step was to find a place to stay. Since we can’t crash with our friends given our huge entourage, we decided to look for a budget hotel. We can’t afford to book in a backpackers hotel or hostel since we have a child with us. Our options were down to either Hotel 81 or Fragrance Hotel – both have a lot of branches within the city. After several weeks of research and meetings, we finally decided to book The Fragrance Hotel at Joo Chiat Road, Singapore.  There are mixed feedback online for this hotel but most are just okay. Since we needed a cheap and decent hotel, we chose the Joo Chiat branch. Even though it is located in the red lights district, it looked like it is on a nice location given its proximity to the city proper.

The Fragrance Hotel at 219 Joo Chiat Road

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much since this is a fairly budget hotel and some friends say that it’s sort of a motel chain. So imagine my surprise when I checked in to the hotel and finally saw it in person. It exceeded my expectations, to say the least.

The official check in time is 3pm but we arrived at around 1pm. We called the hotel beforehand and told us that there is an extra charge if you like to have an early check in. Since we really wanted to check in immediately and get some quick rest, we went straight ahead to the receptionist even if it meant having to pay S$42 for early check in. To our surprise, they had available rooms upon our arrival and the receptionist was able to check us all in without extra charges! 🙂

Hassle-free check in at the front desk

We booked 3 rooms (1 family and 2 superior). Before we went to the room, I asked if there is an electric kettle in the room and the receptionist said that they only have a thermos and I can get water from the front desk. Since I needed hot water to sterilize Yui’s bottles, I figured that this will be a hassle. But I was greeted with an electric kettle in the room! With complimentary coffee sachets and drinking water to boot. So cool! I was beginning to like this hotel. Our room was spacious and clean enough. The bathroom had a water heater with free toothbrushes and soap. Really, I wasn’t expecting toiletries since some budget hotels I’ve been to here in the Philippines didn’t have those.


The hotel also sells fairly priced water and juices (even beer) which makes it very convenient. It also has a bus stop nearby, about 1 minute walk, and the bus route passes tourists spots which makes it very easy for us to travel about.

The only things that would make this hotel perfect for me would be free in-room wifi, a bidet and a hand-held shower head. All in all, we had a really nice stay at the hotel and I would definitely recommend this to others 🙂

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