The Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong is the third Holiday Inn Express property to open in Singapore. Set in what is increasingly becoming an alternative (and compelling) location to stay in the Lion City, the hotel is situated in a complex alongside its sister hotel, the Hotel Indigo Katong. The property opened in June 2016 and offered some pretty competitive rates – around $40 – $60 cheaper per night than the Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay or Holiday Inn Express Orchard Road. It was also timely that the new Accelerate offers came in at the same time so I went ahead to book a night at the Katong property to tick off some of my Accelerate challenges. My room bill was reasonable for a 3-star hotel with breakfast – I paid around SGD 106.40++ for a night.
There are no MRT stations near the hotel but a couple of bus stops are within walking distance, including one that is just 250 meters from the door (Roxy Square bus stop). The buses that stop here are quite plentiful and there are even direct journeys available to places such as Bugis and Orchard so it’s not too bad transport-wise. At the time of my stay, there were hardly any taxis stopping by the hotel entrance but one could easily be hailed from the shopping mall next door.
The Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong is located high above ground, with its lobby at the 7th floor of the building. Despite arriving at around 10 in the morning, the staff members did their best to give me a room. As an IHG Rewards Club Elite member, I was also given a room at the topmost floor – the 16th floor – and a check-out time of 2pm. Due to the brand proposition, there usually isn’t a lot that a Holiday Inn Express property can offer to Elite members so I was still appreciative that they acknowledged my patronage.
The room at Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong is similar to its sister hotels in the city, with the room size (at 19 square meters) being in line with the Clarke Quay and Orchard Road properties. The interiors were dominated with clean colors (think: beige and white), subtle patterns and lots of lighting. There are tea-making facilities by the desk, a small fridge (no minibar as it’s a Holiday Inn Express), a luggage compartment and a small cabinet. I was pleased to note that slippers were readily available in the room and I didn’t have to request for them from the front desk.
The toilet was also familiar in style, with just one door to use to either close the shower area or separate the toilet area from the room. Toiletries were of the 2-in-1 dispenser type that is similarly used in other Holiday Inn Express hotels.
Being a no-frills hotel, there was no swimming pool in the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong though I spotted a modest exercise room by the outdoor area near the lobby.
There is also a mac station where guests can surf for free if they want a bigger screen than their phones – as wifi internet is provided free anyway.
Like other Holiday Inn Express properties, my stay came with breakfast (breakfast hours: 6:30am to 10:30am). It was a rather busy affair in the morning despite the multitude of seating space and the presence of two or three buffet spreads. The Great Room was packed to the brim as everyone came down at around the same time for the morning meal. This is a very common experience in many hotels during the weekends – especially if you go down for breakfast from 9am onwards – so I was glad that at least I could still find a table.
For guests who are too busy or simply don’t wish to queue, the property has a Grab and Go breakfast consisting of coffee, muffins and fruits. While those on a staycation may prefer a more leisurely meal, I found the Grab and Go breakfast quite useful whenever I’m on a business trip and need to have something to fill the tummy quickly without being late for work.
With the property’s competitive pricing, you do get all the benefits of a Holiday Inn Express here for slightly less than its sister properties. The key to a good no-frills hotel is consistency and by that measure the hotel delivered what I expected of it – down to the familiar scent used for the public areas. This is the tenth Holiday Inn Express property that I’ve stayed in so no surprises whatsoever. If anything, I was pleased to find certain toiletries such as dental kits and cotton buds in my bathroom. In other similar properties, I would have had to request from the front desk.
The hotel is suitable for Singapore staycation-ers who are looking to stay in an area where they can conveniently sample the delights of the east coast. For overseas visitors, the property suits repeat visitors to Singapore who have already been to the usual sights and are looking for a worthy alternative. For a mix of heritage, traditional architecture and good food, it’s hard to go wrong staying in Katong and in that respect, the Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong offers everything needed for a comfortable stay at a decent price.
Holiday Inn Express Singapore Katong
88 East Coast Road
Tel: +65 6723 2001
Reservations: Compare prices HERE