Everyone was excited as we hopped on the van that collected us from the Changi airport. And then Harold revealed that we’re gonna be staying on different hotels, and then silence. I never felt the gloom for I was engrossed gazing upon the misty window, my first sight of the Lion City. One by one we were dropped at our assigned hotels and I realized that I was the last one left. I continued with my reveries.
I was melancholic at that time; maybe it’s because of the gloomy weather or the fact that I would be spending the rest of my stay in the hotel alone. I went into the front office and confirmed my reservation. Mr Irwan Suraji, the Assistant Front Office Manager, sincerely welcomed me to the hotel and assisted me throughout the whole process. I gave them my passport for confirmation and they handed me my room and elevator key card and my own password for the complimentary Wi-Fi.
After which, I was met by Ms. Radella Ho, the Sales Coordinator, who showed me around the hotel after giving me a welcome drink from the bar. And then I got my groove back again. The friendly smiles and the warm welcome from everyone in the hotel removed all the blues. I was excited to go around.
Ms. Radella showed me the Oopen Restaurant just across the hotel’s reception. The restaurant serves a wide variety of Asian and Western cuisines. The breakfast buffet is also served there. The restaurant is open until around 10:30 in the evening and the in-house bar much later (depending on the guests).
We then went to their laundry room first. The guests can go to the laundry room and do the self-service laundry for 6 SGD (around 210 pesos) up to 10 kg. of clothes. That’s so economical compared to the laundry shops around town.
|self service laundry room|
Next were the rooms. The Ibis Singapore Novena opened last 2011 (the newest Ibis International brand hotel in Singapore) and all of its 241 rooms are of the same size. The hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi, free car parking and wheelchair friendly features. The rooms are equipped with timber floors, en suite bathroom and toilet, large bay windows (oh I love the bay window), 32-inch LCD TV, self-controlled individual air conditioning, in-room coffee and tea making facilities, international power sockets and an in-room safe.
|exit signs everywhere|
And then we went on with the room tours. Ms. Radella showed me their Standard Twin Beds that comes with 2 single beds, the Triple/Family Room with 1 Queen and 1 Single bed that’s perfect for families, the Standard Room with 3 Single beds which is perfect for group sharing and Standard One Queen-sized Bed room, my refuge for two nights.
The rooms looked all the same (except of course for the size and number of beds). Ms. Radella pointed out that it is the standard look for all the Ibis chain. I noticed the bolster pillow in all of the beds. It was such a comfort knowing that you won’t be needing to ask for an extra pillow every time.
Ms. Radella ushered me to my room on the 6th floor and allowed me to rest for a while. I checked out the view from the bay window first. The mist from the drizzling hours ago was still there. I found a welcome letter from the desk that greeted me in Tagalog – so cool. There was also a box of chocolates and a box of Singapore’s authentic Tau Sar Piah (a Chinese pastry that reminded me of the Philippine hopia). That was really sweet.
|a sweet treat of Tau Sar Piah, chocolates and a note with Tagalog greetings :)|
And then I just jumped to the bed and felt its comfyness. The bed was huge and I can rock and roll on it without the fear of falling. I instantly dozed off.
|my refuge for three days|
After an hour or so I went back to life realizing that I needed to be in Clarke Quay at dinnertime. There wasn’t a shuttle service to pick me up so I went into the reception and asked how to get to my destination.
Somebody acknowledged me and I immediately knew that she was a Filipino. I looked at her name plate and my guess was validated. Her name was Jollibee, I knew right away that she’s a Filipino. I spoke to her in Tagalog and we were both glad to speak in our native language. I discussed with her the options on how to get to Clarke Quay. I could take a taxi (which would cost me a lot), a bus (which would probably take more time because of the rush hour traffic) and the MRT (my most preferred one). She handed me an MRT map and explained to me the railway system. I was so amazed with how organized the train system just by looking at the map. She then told me to walk a good 500 kms. from the hotel to reach the Novena train station. I thanked her and followed her instructions very well. I was just happy to meet a fellow Filipino in the hotel.
The next day, I woke up early for the buffet breakfast which starts at around 6:00 am to 10:00 am. I wasn’t the first guest at the restaurant. I registered with the attendant and found out that he’s also a Filipino. I was so happy, again, that it felt like I never left home. I chatted with him for a while and went straight to the buffet.
I checked out the spread and found some happy brekkie food. There’s the bread station, soup station, cereal station, egg station, salad station and the Asian area with the staple rice meal and other dishes. Coffee, tea and some fresh fruit juices (I super love the fresh orange juice) are also served.
I tried some of the breads and some rice meal. It was a typical breakfast spread but what I notably loved were the fresh fruit juices. Ugh, I consumed a gallon of their orange juice every breakfast. Well, that’s an exaggeration but that’s how I loved it (and I’m not even a fan of juices). I even requested for a take away cup to bring it to my room.
|fresh orange juice is love!|
Checking out from Ibis Singapore Novena hotel was hard after my two-night stay. The staffs were very friendly and assisted me in all of my needs and requests. The lady who managed my floor never failed to greet me every time she sees me. There was also this one time that my appointed van driver wasn’t there at the scheduled time and Mr. Irwan called him up right away and told him that I was waiting for him. Everyone was helpful in their own ways.
And I can say that above all, the personal touch of everyone in their workforce stood out. It was such a pleasant stay.
A Singapore experience would never be complete without exploring the famous landmarks and world-renowned attractions that makes the city the perfect destination for your holiday. Starting today up to September, stay at Accor hotels and enjoy best rate guaranteed, buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi and local attraction pass. Book your stay at Accorhotels.com and receive special rates and benefits with Explore Singapore Package.
Ibis Singapore Novena (book online)
6 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329543
Contact numbers: Tel (+65) 6808 9888, Fax (+65) 6808 9880