When it comes to choosing a hotel for staycation in Singapore, there are a number of considerations. There are folks who are looking to be pampered, in which case a stay at a luxury hotel would suit. Then there are those looking for hotels with plenty of facilities or add-ons to keep their kids busy, in which case a full-service hotel would be more appropriate
After staying in over 50+ hotels in Singapore over the years, I recently chose to have a staycation at Lloyd’s Inn. While this hotel neither fulfills the luxury aspect nor the full-service element for the most part, I chose this property after seeing its minimalist and mostly-white interiors and thought a change of environment would be good. I wanted a staycation that was refreshingly different from a chain hotel experience and Lloyd’s Inn seemed to fit the bill. The location, just off Killiney Road and within walking distance to Orchard, is also a plus.
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Lloyd’s Inn is located in the quiet and upscale River Valley neighborhood. The boutique hotel counts the late Lee Kuan Yew as one of its neighbors, the house of the Singapore’s first prime minister being just 4 houses away. To the west of the property is Killiney Road, known for its charming eateries as well as the iconic Killiney Kopitiam which serves toast and local coffee / tea. The shopping centers of Orchard Road are about a 10 minute walk away.
From the outside, Lloyd’s Inn is easy to miss. The property possesses a gate and fence similar to the other landed houses in the area, with just a sign telling you there is actually a hotel inside.
Lloyd’s Inn seems to have a larger-than-life reputation, at least in social media. It was a bit of a surprise to me when I entered the gate and saw that the hotel’s expanse was nothing more than a large bungalow plus some space for a small garden and wading pool. From the outside, the hotel’s main structure carried an unfinished, industrial look with the primary color scheme being a cemented gray.
The contrast could not be greater when the door slid open and I entered the modest lobby. This was my first exposure to Lloyd’s Inn’s trademark white color scheme. There was a small sitting area at the center, with reception situated at one of the corners. A bookshelf carrying some coffee table books as well as the day’s newspaper was situated at the opposite side. Check-in was fairly straightforward. Unlike other properties where guests are first made to fork out a guarantee, I was asked to pay for my stay upon check-in. This is understandable as Lloyd’s Inn is a boutique hotel.
There are several rooms types at Lloyd’s Inn but if you are looking for a particularly photogenic one, consider the Reading Room. What makes this room particularly special is that the window is situated directly on top of the bed. This is even better for those rooms which have a view of the surrounding greenery. Coupled with the minimalistic, white interiors; the scene achieves something of a zen effect – provided you get the right room. I was told that out of the 8 or so “reading rooms,” only 3 have a view of the greenery.
In my case however, my view looked out to the street and the apartment block opposite. This diminished the zen mood somewhat, though I still appreciated the raised platform behind the bed which allowed me to lounge right by the window.
Power outlets were situated at the right spots, including just beside the bed to allow for charging of gadgets and phones. I also noted the portable keyboard provided in the room which allowed for surfing the net on the TV.
Despite being a boutique and supposedly no-frills hotel, I appreciated the amenities that came with the room. There was bottled water provided and even the slippers were the rubber rather than the cotton type.
The room’s open concept also helped to create a sense of space. There were no enclosed wardrobe cabinets in the room and instead, clothes are hung from an open bar. The platform from which the mattress is laid also contains two drawers which provide additional storage space.
I did encounter a minor issue with the room. The door did not slide all the way and I had to make that extra pull at the end to ensure it was locked whenever I left.
One of the more unique aspects of the guestrooms at Lloyd’s Inn is the partially open concept of the bathroom. A couple of potted plants are situated in the shower area with just a picket fence covering it. Although my room actually faced an apartment block opposite, there was still a wall outside my room which ensured no one could peek in while one took a shower.
Images of a well-landscaped garden and private pools might make Lloyd’s Inn seem bigger than it actually is, and that was the first impression I got when I checked out the “facilities.”
The outdoor lounge area is serene and there is a wading pool for those willing to try. What those photos fail to capture is how the neighboring empty lot is situated really close – almost bordering the edges of the plunge pool.
That being said, I was not really expecting much in terms of facilities as many boutique properties don’t even have any open areas or much less, a pool. I also noted the numerous seating options here – lounge chairs, rocking chairs and even a cabana complete the outdoor setup.
As Lloyd’s Inn does not come with a restaurant, breakfast is served at the Killiney outlet of Artisan Boulangerie Co. (ABC), a cafe specializing in pastries as well as coffee. The breakfast voucher entitles the guest to a hot drink such as coffee or tea plus one pastry. It is interesting to note that the breakfast voucher is not dated and not timed. For locals who are here for a staycation, this means that you can choose to utilize the breakfast some other day if you are not feeling it during the stay. The only catch is you have to return to this specific outlet of ABC.
Overall, I had a comfortable time at Lloyd’s Inn and was satisfied with the hardware and software provided for the price I paid. The important thing to note about the hotel is that it is not a full-service hotel and that is probably something that many guests who were enticed to book after seeing all the instagrammable photos fail to realize. Also, the zen feeling that people come to expect does not apply to all rooms and I would say the room category and the view play a huge part in determining the mood of the stay.
Lloyd’s Inn currently has a staycation package that comes with breakfast as well as turndown gift, starting at S$189 net and good for two persons. You can book the package here.