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All reviews food street chinese opera house smith street great location chinatown mrt heart of china town single room rooms are small noisy at night hotel is located balcony stalls convenience
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Reviewed 4 November 2017

We booked a superior double room. It had a double bed, i'll give them that. Bed was very hard but I wouldn't mark a hotel down because of this, some people like a very firm mattress.

The room itself was, in total, about the size of a large double bedroom (including the ensuite). Space was at a minimum so much so that the toilet was in the shower. Literally. The girlfriend and I are gutted we didn't take a picture of it as we did find it quite amusing. Still, for a coupe of nights it wasn't too bad. The hotel staff we re friendly, their english was ok but from what we understand they cater more fro the Chinese visitors.

The hotel is situated in the hear of Chinatown. It is very noisy at night and the room didn't have any windows, just wooden shutters so nothing to block the noise out. This being said if you want to be in the heart of it all with restaurant and bars then it's ideal.

Also, Chinatown MRT stations is a 2 min walk (if that) and a lot of Singapore's attractions are only a few stops away. You can also use this from the airport. (Although you have to change trains which is really easy).

Room Tip: I would ask for a room away from the street if possible due to the noise
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank stuart137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017

The hotel is located inside Chinatown, very close to street food. Good decoration, the room is clean but everything in the room is so small and not comfortable. Lighting in the room are not enough. The staff is not friendly.

  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank LV_GreenGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2017 via mobile

I stayed there 2 nights last week. The location was supposed to be good but actually it's not. You cannot fall asleep until 12PM or later than that then surroundings sound will wake you up at 5AM at least. Unfriendly staff while checking in. Bed was too soft. Smallest washroom I've ever seen. In summary the room was so small even for 1 people. The most weirdest thing was they put the AC behind the wall so you rarely felt the air con from your bed. Even I dropped the temperature down to 20c I couldn't feel anything. I would not recommend this place to anyone. Better stay in any hotel in the Temple St. They're more quieter.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank Bibeej
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2017 via mobile

No complaints. Simple, smooth and great location. China Town is right outside the hotel front door. Only downside is the room didn't have a window. Would probably stay again just for the convenience..

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Christopher K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2017

This place should be shut down.

There is nothing ‘grand’ about this hotel. Even a seasoned, globetrotting traveler (in my retirement) fell into the trap when I stayed here. I figured the price was right and I would be in the heart of China Town in a city that is mostly ethnic Chinese. But wait…What was I thinking? Singapore has one of the greatest and cheapest mass transit system that it was not necessary to stay in a touristy neighborhood at all.

Nonetheless, I made reservations on line because I figured that after a long bus trip from Northeastern Malaysia, I needed a comfortable bed and a good night’s rest. I didn’t want to be looking for a hotel upon arrival.

As I walked into the crimson color lobby/reception, I felt a sense of unease and uncleanliness. The décor was just awful. Nonetheless, since I was aware of the significance of color red in the Chinese culture, I ventured forward towards the reception. I had been in Chinese crimson but not when it was filled with gloom in a dark place and was mostly weathered, old and even unclean. The furnishings were atrocious and could be mixed with other traditional Chinese colors to lighten one’s mood. After all the Imperial yellow, white, and blue denote purity, love and immortality. But there was nothing here to soften the intensity of red which was on the walls, counters, furniture, curtains and even the carpet. Everywhere you looked it was the same color and momentarily, I became depressed. Since the reception was busy, I sat down on frayed, clumsy and uncomfortable sofa.

Holding my hopes higher, at the counter, I paid for two nights. However, that would soon be changing (described below) with a slight disagreement with the middle-aged lady at the reception. As we walked up to the room, I was told that the escalator wasn’t working and I never found out if they had an elevator. Fortunately, I only needed to walk up to the third floor and my 70 plus bones could handle that. Otherwise, with several stories, above the third floor, I wondered what other guests would be thinking walking up flight of ugly metal stairs case which could even be used as fire escapes. (By the way, others have complained here that the escalators don't work. In other words, this hotel management keeps telling the same to every guest and has no intention to fix the escalators. )

Entering the room brought the shock that I am going to dwell on below. Not liking the room, at this point, I asked if they had any bigger rooms. Later I was shown the ‘upgrades’ which were almost identical except that space for the bed was a little bigger and two people could sleep in the bunk-like bed that seemed to have been built in the space under a canopy like structure. A phone was crookedly nailed to the side of the canopy. Now, I learned that the basic room rate was $SGP 80 ( US$ 50) and the ‘upgrade’ would cost me $SGP 125 (US$ 92).

The room was extremely tiny and probably six feet by 10 feet in size with low ceilings. Out of which a bathroom had been carved out. The bed sat on a fixed platform under a canopy like structure and an archway with a very thin pillow. There was only one pillow complimented by a single hand towel. The floor was wood and in one place it looked like someone had spit on it but that turned out to be a drop of varnish or something.

The bathroom was so tiny that a person who would weigh more than 170 pounds would have to sit on the commode sideways. I weigh about 150 pounds and I could hardly fit my legs in the space between the wall and the front of the commode. Two communal containers of shampoo and conditioner were affixed to another wall which the guests could use. No individualized soap, shampoo and conditioner were to be found. Taking a shower would cause the water to splash all over on the toilet, the commode and a few drops would even splatter on the ceiling.

If you are claustrophobic you would start having palpitation and you may even pass out. To charge my phone and my computer, the wires I stretched them out of one wall and traversed the two feet of space (of the room) to my bed. In other words, if I needed to get up and lock the door, adjust the temperature on the thermostat by the door or even turn the lights out, I would have to unplug the wires so that I would not trip in the dark, by getting entangled in the wires that overextended across the tiny space.

Of course, I refused to stay another night here, but now the lady insisted that the money for the second night would not be refundable. However, when I told her that I can block payment for the entire stay, through my credit card company, she seemed to have quickly changed her mind. She pretended that I was asking for cash back, when I had only requested that she void the earlier transaction.

Next night, I went to another hotel which was great and right next to the metro and I paid $125 SGD for an American size room with all the amenities at V-Hotel that is at Lavender station on the Metro. I have written a review about that hotel as well, here in tripadvisor.

The place was so bad, and knowing how organized Singapore is… I am going to write to Singapore Tourism Authority to take corrective action about this property, so the facility can be brought up to at least minimum standards.

This can be a low budget dorm or a hostel but not a hotel. It may have been in a historic building that housed Chinese opera at one time but the facilities that it provides are sub-par, unhealthy and the management is ripping off tourists by making this place masquerade as a real hotel when it is not.

Room Tip: DO NOT STAY here. There are cheaper options close to the metro. There is no need to stay in Chinatown in a terrible place like this.
  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mohammed S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantaGrandHotels, Manager at Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen, responded to this reviewResponded 2 October 2017

Dear Mohammed S,

Thank you for taking time to write us a review. We sincerely apologise for not meeting your expectations in your recent stay at Lai Chun Yuen.

There is no elevator in the hotel. It was unfortunate that the escalator was under maintenance during your stay. As the Operator, we had mobilised our staff during that period to assist guests with their luggages to ease the inconvenience caused. The Landlord was aware and had been in contact with the authorities. The escalator has since been in operation.

The standard single room was assigned based on the booking made. It has the moon-gate design and no window. Our staff offered to upgrade the standard single room to a deluxe room at a fee but it was rejected. We eventually void the two nights' transaction and charged one night instead of two as a form of goodwill.

The hotel is housed in a conservation building and thus may have some limitations that may caused inconvenience to guests. We are trying our best to serve our guests and ensure their stay at Lai Chun Yuen is as comfortable as possible.

Once again, we would like to sincerely apologise for the unpleasant experience.

Yours sincerely,
Lai Chun Yuen Hotel Team

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