It had been a long time since we’d set foot in a hostel. After months of backpacking around Australia in my twenties and many bad experiences, I’d kind of put the hostel world behind me. But after our recent stay at the 5FootWay.Inn Project Boat Quay, my opinion of hostels has definitely changed.
It turns out that they’ve come a long way in the last ten years. My memories of them as being uniformly dirty, dull and uninviting is no longer accurate. If you’re traveling to Singapore on a budget, keep reading to find out why you should consider staying at 5FootWay.Inn Project Boat Quay.
5FootWay.Inn is the largest boutique hostel chain in Singapore, with multiple hostels around the city. We stayed at their Project Boat Quay hostel, which is perfectly located. It’s right on the banks of the Singapore river and conveniently placed between two MRT stations. Clarke Quay and the Raffles Place stations are both just a five-minute walk away. It’s a pleasant walk to many of Singapore’s key attractions, and the area around it is teeming with restaurants and bars; it’s a really happening part of town at nighttime.
Walking time to Singapore’s main attractions:
Merlion Park: 20 minutes
Clarke Quay: 10 minutes
Raffles Hotel (for your obligatory overpriced Singapore Sling!): 20 minutes
Gardens by the Bay: 30 minutes
Chinatown: 15 minutes
Little India: 35 minutes or two train stops.
We had a private room and although minimalistic, it had everything we needed. With a single bed down below and a double bunk bed up top, you could share the room with a third person, or a child if you travel as a family.
Project Boat Quay is child-friendly and a couple of families were staying there during our visit. They provide linen and pillows, and the beds were really comfortable. Each bed has an electrical outlet next to it, a reading light and even a switch to control the main light as well. Another big plus is that the rooms have air-conditioning. That made it heaven walking back in after a long day outside in the Singapore heat!
All rooms are secure and protected by a keycard entry system. Bear in mind that you’ll need to make a $20 refundable security cash deposit before receiving your keycard. After that, just like in some expensive hotels, the friendly staff will take you to your room, point out the bathrooms and common rooms, and answer any questions you have.
The shared bathrooms
Shared bathrooms are located on both levels. They were serviced twice a day and kept very clean. Plus, there are plenty of showers, so we never had to wait. The water pressure in the showers was very strong and really enjoyable. They even provide shampoo/shower gel, which I was definitely not expecting to find in a hostel. If you book a private room, they provide you with complimentary towels, which was great news since I’d totally forgotten to pack any!
The rooftop terrace
The best part of this hostel is the common area with its rooftop terrace. It overlooks the Singapore River and has stunning views of the iconic Marina Bay Sands hotel and the rest of the Singapore skyline. From there you can relax, watch the tour boats cruise past, and engage in a bit of people watching (all while sipping free coffee!). Coffee is available all day long and was actually very good!
Breakfast is also complimentary and served every morning from 7:30 am until 10 am. You can enjoy it on the terrace. What a great start to the day, taking in that view with your breakfast! The breakfast selection is toast, cereals, fruit, cakes, and condiments.
The kitchen/common area is very spacious, cozy and well-equipped. They even had an iron and ironing board!
Stylish and arty decor
The decorations at Project Boat Quay really surprised me. Many works of art from local artists hang on its walls. The upstairs common area and terrace also contain Gallery 76, a photography gallery showcasing iconic black-and-white images taken by renowned international photojournalist Edwin Koo.
The hostel used to be an old shophouse, and although the building has been renovated since, some original features are still present, such as the old wooden doors on the terrace.
If you book directly with 5FootWay.Inn, they’ll provide a free Singapore SIM card for your phone at check-in with an initial 100MB of data and $6 of calls. That was pretty awesome really, and it made our stay so much better. It helped us find our way around the streets using Google Maps, and to check out places to eat on TripAdvisor while on the go.
There is fast and free WiFi throughout the building, and there are two Apple iMacs in the reception area if you don’t have your own computer or smartphone with you.
The only disadvantage
Because of its location close to restaurants and bars, I found nighttime to be very noisy, especially staying over a weekend. This is of course true of many hostels, since they are typically deliberately located close to the nightlife that most backpackers crave. At any rate, if you too are a very light sleeper, make sure you bring some earplugs. If (like Simon) you can sleep through anything, then you won’t have a problem!
Where to find 5footway.inn Project Boat Quay?
76 Boat Quay, Singapore 049864
There are four other 5footway.inn projects in other parts of Singapore. They are Project Chinatown I, Project Chinatown II, Project Ann Siang, and Project Bugis.
We thank everyone at 5FootWay.Inn for their hospitality. We were hosted guests at 5footway.inn Project Boat Quay but this review is our own honest opinion.
Book directly with 5footway.inn and enjoy 10% off your stay by using our exclusive promo code “F2R10”. Simply email the promo code to [email protected] to book your stay.
We hope you enjoy your time in Singapore!