The Noble Hotel is housed in a renovated shop house on Jalan Besar, which is essentially a working class neighborhood in Singapore. A mid-range hotel, it makes a perfect base to explore Little India.
If this hotel has a unique selling proposition, it would have to be the very friendly staff.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by the front desk staff like an old friend. It really made me feel welcome.
When I was working on my computer in the lobby the next day, the manager opened the refrigerator, picked up a can of Coca-Cola, and put in on the table next to me.
“Would you like a Coke?” he asked as he put the Coke down.
A small gesture, but it's things like this that make a lasting impression.
Extending My Stay
I had only booked the room for one night, figuring I’d check the place out before deciding if I wanted to spend another three nights there.
After checking out my room, I decided it would do. When I tried to extend my stay on line, however (the guy at the front desk said I’d get a better rate that way), I discovered that the rate had climbed dramatically since the night before.
Were Friday and Saturday nights more expensive than weekday nights? When I checked the price on a Monday night, it was cheaper.
A conversation with the guy at the front desk revealed that room rates were computer generated, and it all depended on availability.
The rate could go up or down depending on new bookings and cancellations, which would explain the fluctuating room rate.
When the manager turned up, he told the guy at the front desk to give me 10% off the best rate I got on line.
I showed him the rate I was offered on Monday. In the end, this resulted in a substantial saving over three nights.
The hotel has 30 rooms, which are described on its website as “zen”, which seems like a euphemism.
Cramped might be a more accurate description: think business hotel in Tokyo to extend the Japanese metaphor.
While most of the rooms have windows, many of the windows look out on walls, offering no view and no natural light during daylight hours.
It is therefore advisable to get a room at the front of the hotel if possible. Otherwise, try to get a room on an upper floor at the back of the hotel.
There is free Wi-Fi in the rooms, but I found it more convenient to access the Wi-Fi in the lobby because of the narrow counters in the rooms.
Minibars had complimentary drinks in the fridge. In addition to coffee and tea, there were also complimentary chocolate mini-cakes, which were actually quite yummy. They were sweet with a hint of crunch.
Bathrooms are open plan. In other words, the toilet, sink, and shower are in the same space. This is common at budget accommodation in Asia and in many other parts of the world.
In fact, the studio flat I rented for four weeks in Stockholm, Sweden, had a similar bathroom. But it might put off travelers used to American style sanitary facilities.
I stayed in three rooms during my four-night stay, and the layouts varied considerably from room to room.
There were flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls, but only local television channels were available.
There was a significant drainage problem in one of the rooms I stayed in. I would have to say that housekeeping was sometimes a bit lax.
Food + Beverage
Simple breakfasts were served in the lobby if breakfast was included in your room rate, but there was no meal service at lunch or dinner.
Interestingly, there was a sign in the lobby for an eatery called 407 Bistro Grill Pasta Bar.
But aside from a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks and beer, there didn’t appear to be any food or beverage service.
That didn't matter because there was a mini-mart across the street.
Location, Location, Location
The hotel is located on Jalan Besar, a busy commercial strip lined with hardware stores, day spas, karaoke lounges, electronics shops, a few markets, numerous food and beverage outlets, and numerous hostels.
The choice of food available ranged from regional Chinese to vegetarian to Muslim style Indian to Western.
I particularly liked a Malaysian cafe down the street, which served mouth-watering rendang chicken.
Most of restaurants, cafes, and bars in the neighborhood appeared to be independently owned rather than chains.
There are a few of Singapore’s legendary food courts within walking distance of the hotel. Most important, there is a mini-mart across the street, which was a boon.
The hotel is situated on the outskirts of Little India, which makes it a good choice if you want to explore this fascinating neighborhood.
The hotel is within about a 10- to 15-minute walk of several MRT stations.
If you would prefer a more upscale hotel in the same general vicinity, check out my review of Hotel Farrer Hotel and Spa.
The Noble Hotel, 407 Jalan Besar, Singapore. Telephone: (+65) 6817-0638.
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My stay at The Noble Hotel was entirely self-funded.
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