Place to Crash: HANGOUT @ MT. EMILY – Singapore
*Your quiet spot in the city!
Thankfully, this charming boutique hotel gave us our much needed rest and relaxation on the last day of our Southeast Asian backpacking trip. You can call it the ultimate pampering experience from our fast faced, jam-packed itinerary.
Hangout @ Mt. Emily of Hangout Hotels International Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Cathay Organisation Holdings Ltd., was the El Dorado capping off our entire trip. Jake and I were as worn out as the soles on our shoes and we were in desperate need of freshening up. The “no frills- just fun” accommodation helped ease us out of the busy city life in Singapore temporarily by giving us a peaceful sanctuary to return to every single time.
Who knew this 7 year old hotel once catering to student groups, families and local company retreats would grow up to be one of the highly recommended establishments in the international travel community well reflected in publications such as Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, and National Geographic Traveler Magazine amongst others? They surely did. And we do too after getting to stay there.
The modern boutique hotel ushers in international travelers mostly in their 20-30’s, much of them hailing from Germany, U.K, Korea and the Philippines, especially on holidays like the Great Singapore Sale or Christmas season. According to Ms. Seri Wani, one of the hotel’s executives, Singapore is merely the beginning as they are planning to take their “no frills- just fun” experience to various parts of the globe with preliminary focus on Asia. Besides Hangout @ Mt. Emily, the Hangout Hotels have already expanded to Hangout @ Jonker in Malaysia for guests visiting Malacca.
At first glance, we knew they were serious about living up to their entire concept of “no frills- just fun” accommodation. Everything— from their interiors bursting with bright colors down to their wide range of services offered for the fun and funky traveler— was bursting with wholesome goodness. It was just like they said, they want guests to feel right at home but without unnecessary amenities such as TVs in bedrooms. Seri says that nobody wants to pay extra for all those when they should be out getting to know Singapore. We applaud them for that and so will other fuss-free travelers who value comfort and quality over superfluous luxuries.
In return, Hangout @ Mt. Emily gives back to the guest impressive services and facilities topped off with being in one of the best locations in the city.
As usual, we got to Hangout @ Mt. Emily the longer way… so long that another wandering tourist decided his map was of more use to us. So to speak, the hotel’s location itself was way off to one of the quietest residential spots in the city that the busy folk around Singapore had no answers to the directions we were asking for. When we finally got there on foot thanks to Mr. Tourist’s Map (bless his heart), it was like we stepped into a bubble of breathtaking greenness. That says a lot since Singapore itself is already a literal garden.
Hangout @ Mt. Emily was cozy looking building on a hill right beside a minor park (Mt. Emily Park) and you could literally smell fresh grass and healthy earth whichever way you turn… automatically taking all our weariness away. It was worth the climb up those ascending pavements and stairways leading to the top.
Adding to our slowly rising positive vibe was our amiable reception by the hotel staff. It helped a lot that our receptionist was Filipina too! The check-in process was speedy and uncomplicated and we were given a valuable General Information Sheet which will listed out available facilities, city tours or commuting options, places of interests within the city, events calendar and even how to get to Malaysia.
We forgot about all those other activities as soon as we stepped inside our “ZONK OUT” room where we took in its spotless and immaculate atmosphere while steadily melting into the coziest of sheets.
Overall, this is what we’ve experienced during our stay last January 2012:
HANGOUT @ MT. EMILY – Singapore
Value for Money. Since staying a night or two (or even more) in world-class Singapore could be quite unnerving for a number of budget travelers, the Hangout @ Mt. Emily offers a state-of-the-art alternative from flea-bitten guesthouses. For a couple more dollars you can sleep, eat and relax in style and full-bodied atmosphere complete with essentials such as hot and cold showers, FREE media room access, FREE wireless internet access, luggage storage and laundry services, complimentary breakfast, and complimentary 24Hr coffee and tea at the “VEG OUT” room. Their rooftop garden also offers a priceless view of the Singapore skyline especially radiant at night if you prefer to stay there instead of down at the breezy park. On a downside, its location is somewhat secluded for tourists who prefer to be in the heart of the hustle-and-bustle of the city. 4/5 stars!
*The Hangout Hotels donates a dollar for every room charged to charitable organizations in Singapore. What a way to give back for a better world.
Rooms. We were fortunate enough to stay in one of their trendy private rooms with an ensuite toilet and bath for complete pampering. The spacious twin room was pristine and spotless when we got there and we had a good view of the city outside all thanks to our large window. Lighting was perfect and gave its interiors a golden hue. Our sleep quality was especially wonderful as the boutique hotel’s beds are roomy and quite comfortable. Noise was also not a problem at all. It made us forget that we were there on a budget as it was as good as booking ourselves in a full-service hotel sans the room service, TVs and minibars. 5/5 stars!
It is good to note that only Hangout @ Mt. Emily has shared rooms for about 60 SGD nett/person while Hangout @ Jonker only has private rooms available. Within their shared rooms come with beds— not bunks— which is always a welcome treat for all travelers.
Toilet and Bath. Private rooms have their own T&B while shared rooms have common T&B. They are equally sparkling with well-functioning equipment. Towels, toilet paper, soap and shampoo are provided for as well as water heating. In addition to the hotel’s earth-friendly policy, towels (as well as linens) are only changed once requested while guests are reminded to save water and electricity. 5/5 stars!
Hostel Décor and Ambiance. 2 words: Simple and minimalist. Bright walls, glass windows and colorful contemporary Asian furnishings add flavor to otherwise immaculate white interiors. Its characteristic modern design is reflective of the cleanliness it holds of utmost importance. 4/5 stars!
Cleanliness. From inside the hotel to its exterior surroundings, we were convinced of its objective to keep clean and tidy at all times. 5/5 stars!
Location. Hangout @ Mt. Emily prides itself in its location as it boasts total privacy and sereneness on a quiet hilltop without being too far away from the action down at the city center. Basing on our own personal experience though, we appreciated all the peace and quiet the hotel had to offer but we did get lost a couple of times trying to locate it as it was in a quiet residential neighborhood and nobody knew any of the landmarks we asked for. We also didn’t mind being too near the city center as we did a lot of walking and lugged our backpacks almost everywhere we went. 3/5 stars!
- Security. In addition to the guest’s own discretion regarding his personal effects and belongings, their “HELP OUT” information desk provides safety deposit boxes for valuables. Electronic card security systems are installed throughout hotel entrances as well as strategically located security cameras. The neighborhood itself is also fairly safe, quiet and well-monitored. 4/5 stars!
- Staff. The staff is accommodating, friendly, multi-national, well-trained and professional. They are also quite proficient in English and have a wealth of knowledge valuable for every traveler who comes to visit the city. All inquiries, down to the most complicated commuting options are attended to. 5/5 stars!
- Reservation and Check-in Process. Convenient, fast, reliable and no-frills. 5/5 stars!
Facilities. Besides all the available amenities and basic facilities to enhance customer comfort, they have a media and recreation center (complete with satellite cable TV, FREE use computers with internet, brochures and guides, and FREE “VEG OUT” area wherein hungry guests are provided complimentary coffee and tea, microwave and hot water), rooftop garden with sunbathe area and standing pool, international and local dialing services, and an information desk with information on local tours, shuttle services and events.
Laundry services are also available for a fee as well as luggage storage rental. The entire establishment is smoke-free save for an open air smoker’s area and fire escapes are readily available for each floor.
At the ground floor, a different management is serving the posh Western fusion restaurant Wild Rocket whilst there is a nearby bar on the hill of the same management called Wild Oats. Also hidden gems in themselves. 4/5 stars!
In the end, we recommend Hangout @ Mt. Emily for budget-conscious travelers in Singapore who would like to spend less on quality and pampering— especially those who need some time to unwind away (but not too far away) from the big city.
Hangout @Mt. Emily is located in 10A Upper Wilkie Road Singapore 228119.
Tel: +65 6438 5588 or Fax: +65 6339 6008. You can e-mail your inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do check out their website www.hangouthotels.com, twitter and Facebook accounts for more information and watch out for ongoing discounts and special promos!
Special tip: Book through their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/hangouthotels for special discounts.
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