I’ve always wondered what it would be like to stay at a capsule hotel. It seems like a unique & fun experience, which is why I could not pass up the opportunity to stay at the Cube Boutique Capsule Hotel when we were visiting Singapore.
I originally found the Cube Hotel on Hostelworld.com. This happens from time to time when looking for a good rate. Don’t get too caught up in the distinctions when your hunting for a deal. For me, it’s all about the budget and experience.
It was relatively easy to find the Cube Hotel, since it’s in the heart of Chinatown and only a few streets away from the MRT Chinatown stop.
When you first arrive, you will have to conquer a good number of stairs to get to the second floor common area. It is decorated quite nicely, with a modern yet cozy atmosphere.
The front desk is always staffed 24-7 with a staff member ready to assist you with any questions. They will help you with directions, and happily provide recommendations on sites to see. They are pretty strict about Check-In times. We showed up early and weren’t able to sweet talk our way into an early check-in. And since there is not really a secured area to leave your bags or much of a waiting area, most people leave their bags against the wall to explore Chinatown.
Make sure you have a day bag to move your electronics and valuables into. The hotel is perfectly safe but better safe than sorry. It’s also a good idea to be back by your check-in time. This way you get the best chance of getting a higher cube. You will get more privacy and won’t be right above the lockers. Last but not least, if you booked with a credit card or bank card in advance, be sure to bring the same card this avoids any troubles while checking in.
Rules to Remember
There are a few simple rules to remember during your stay.
- No Talking in the Cube Rooms
- Shoes are NOT Allowed in the Cube Rooms
- No Food or Drinks
- Keep your Keycard with you at all Times
Each guest is assigned 2 secure lockers, one outside the Cube Room for your shoes and the 2nd inside the Cube room for your luggage. The lockers have more than enough space to fit all of your belongings with some extra room to spread out.
Try not to spread your gear out too much because the floor lockers are about 4 to 5 ft deep with no lights inside. Whenever you are packing use the flashlight on your phone to make sure you got everything. Also be mindful of your of neighbors, and don’t make a lot of noise. If you need more space or have to pack early try to do it outside the Cube Room. Sometimes the locks will get stuck and need to be reset. If they do, just head down to the reception desk and they will gladly take care of it. Also, the lockers in the Cube Rooms have two locks, one on each door. One is mechanical and the other is electronic. Be sure to lock both or the alarm will go off if the doors get bumped. Not good if it goes off at 1 am.
Each Cube Room has two stories. The cubes on the top are accessible only by a ladder. It takes some getting used to but after doing it about three times or so, I got the hang of it. Each cube is totally secluded from others with a pull-down curtain that gives you plenty of privacy. The beds are surprisingly very comfortable with white sheets, a plush comforter, and two soft pillows. When you first arrive you are greeted with a water bottle, a fresh towel, toothbrush and mini toothpaste at the foot of the bed.
Inside the cube, you have a pull-down table which can be used as a table for work. There are universal plugs and USB ports available to charge all your electronics. There are two lights, the main light and a reading light which is bright enough for anything you need.
Your cube is really just for sleeping. If you want to watch a movie or listen to music make sure you have headphones and keep the volume down. Some people are just staying for a day and want to rest up before their next flight. Outside of the Cube Rooms, there is a small business area that you can use to work on your laptop or take a quick call. It’s not a lot of space but it works. It’s great for packing, especially if you are leaving early and don’t want to disturb your roommates.
The facilities are self-contained individual bathrooms, each with a shower, toilet, and sink. There are shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower but check to see if they are full before trying to use. We noticed that they don’t get refilled too often. There is a blow-dryer in each of the bathrooms but none of them worked during our stay. Definitely wear shower flip flops for hygiene and if possible avoid using the first-floor facilities since they are open to the public and didn’t seem as well kept.
Try to take a shower the night before or really early in the morning. This way you avoid the rush. Keep your towel when you are done, you can always exchange it for a fresh towel at the reception desk but it’s a one for one exchange. Counter space is very limited, so its ideal to bring a hanging toiletry case or wait until you’re back in your cube to put on make-up.
There really isn’t a lot of space in the common areas where you can hang out, talk or work. With only about four tables and a bar with benches on the side of the walls, the common area can get crowded quick. There is a “business center,” which has a small table on the second floor if you need to get some work done.
Try to avoid peak times, check-in or breakfast time. It’s best to use the common area as just a place to take a short rest and enjoy some air con before heading up to your cube. For anything else, it’s better to just step outside.
All the guests were really respectful of one another inside the cubes. We all tried to be really quiet when entering the room and in our individual cubes. It’s really a place that travelers come to sleep and get rest.
If you happen to be in the common area, guests tend to keep to themselves so there is not much of a social aspect. Breakfast is served every morning which is perfect when traveling on a budget. There are also books and board games if you need to unwind.
Value for Your Money
Dorms range from $39 USD to privates at $198 USD. We stayed in a dorm and it wasn’t bad. Based on comfort and location alone, I would say this was good value for the money and would return to the Cube Hotel.
If you have never stayed at a capsule hotel before, I would totally recommend it. Especially if you are only at a destination for a short period of time and just need to rest.
Address: 76, 78 Smith Street, Level 2 & 3, Singapore 058971/72