The hustle and bustle of urban life can often stress one out. Sometimes, we need just a little nature in our life to slow down life and take a deep breath.
A stone away from the hype drive lifestyle is Changi Village and in the midst of various chalets that dotted the area, Village Hotel Changi stood; greeting its guests who preferred a short and easy suburban getaway.
You can argue that every Singaporean neighbourhood is suburban.
I will agree that that is technically correct but it is when we escape into a not too familiar surroundings, your brain will switch from the daily mundane routine to a different channel, one that provides a blank page for you to try out new and different experiences.
In my recent staycation hosted by Village Hotel Changi, my buddy W brought me to try the different famous food in Changi Village, which I would not have known otherwise in my everyday life shuffling between work, school and home.
Village Changi Hotel, formerly known as Changi Village Hotel; retained the layout of the old hotel and has many wide corridor spaces and roaming areas. It also boosts a capacity of 380 guest rooms.
Upon stepping into the room, it is simple and have nothing to scream about. The room showed signs of aging despite its renovation previously. It also has a slight smoky musty smell.
It was only later thay I realized that the guestroom I stayed in was just a few steps away (no kidding) from a smoking room, so I could guess that smoke smell was diffused from there.
However so, the room is still primarily neatly kept and the sheets on the bed are clean.
If you are sound sensitive, request a room not facing the sea. The airport is nearby so when planes start to land, the aviation noise is pretty annoying. I couldn’t sleep well because the last plane of the day was 1.30am and the first plane to arrive was 5.00am.
Rooms amenities are minimum; bottled water and hot drinks are complimentary.
However, the interesting part is the empty fridge.
I applauded this movement of having an empty fridge and only filling it when needed because not only the hotel can save resources, food aren’t left to expire and eventually wasted.
You also get a full iron and board in the room.
There is a full bath and shower in the bathroom.
The bathroom is clean but in my opinion, the window shade and shower curtains should be due to change as mildew stains can be spotted.
Toiletries amenities provided are minimum but still enough for 2 day staycation.
And if you can’t get away from the virtual world, you are still connected via the hotel’s complimentary internet. The internet connection is good around the hotel indoors as well on the deck on the roof pool.
Smoking and non-smoking rooms on the same floor
The downside of this hotel is that, smoking rooms and non smoking rooms are mixed around on the same level.
Even though the floor plan of the entire hotel building (think of an angled triangle shape, or an angled U with two sides almost touching each other) seems to make placing smoking and non smoking rooms on the same floor feasible, but being someone with really sensitive airways (like me), it was definitely a downer.
Spacious corridors and lobby
The up side is, having an old hotel layout means more space. The corridors and lobby is spacious, which means lots of space for the little tots to stretch their little legs and run around on the carpeted area.
Two swimming pools
There are two swimming pools in this hotel. One at the ground floor and one at the roof deck. The roof deck pool is more popular due to the view and thus the roof pool is often congested and the ground pool quite the opposite.
My buddy and I were up in the roof deck pool and there was hardly any room to swim properly but loads of children splashing water and having fun. The pool wasn’t too deep so I guess it was pretty okay for kids to unleash the fun.
While we were just soaking ourselves in the water, plane spotting became a fun thing to do for both of us.
Since Changi International Airport is just next door, the planes that are descending can be pretty close. We began a challenge to spot airliner brands and types of planes (I am a passenger plane fanatic! Okay, pretty close.) Occasionally, you can spot some cargo planes that sort of resembles the beluga whale.
The shower facilities on the top deck are pretty underutilised. The shower rooms are quite dark (even in the day) and since most of the pool goers are hotel guests, most or not, all of them, prefers to rinse off in their own hotel rooms.
One point to note, whilst we were there the pool towel cabinet has always been empty. It wasn’t until the evening when we spotted a staff standing there (still no towels).
My suggestion to the hotel would be to be mindful of the traffic flow of the pool goers and restock their pool towels as soon or build a bigger cabinet to house more towels.
How about a vending machine for towels? Swipe the hotel room card and the machine dispense towels. When it is almost empty it can send an sms to the housekeeping staff to refill the machine.
Pretty neat idea imo~
The pool on the ground floor is much less utilised. As you can see, some of the banners that has the face-cut-outs pictures are all just hanging in disregard. The pool on the ground floor is very nice actually, but it was pretty obscured and we only found it on the second day morning when we had breakfast. The pool was just outside the breakfast buffet area and accessed by a door that is smacked in the middle of the buffet dining area.
I guess no one would want to walk through that area just to get into the pool and also being watched by the diners in the dining hall.
Only if they could shift their buffet area and a more obvious and direct path to the pool would be great.
We had the cycle and stay package at Village Hotel Changi and of course it includes 1 hour free bike rental and free foldable water bottles.
We were not able to utilize the coupons as it was raining the day we planned to go cycling… Bummer!!
Anyways, we decided to head to the gym for some serious workout before we pig out later in the evening.
The reception room of the gym is spacious and well stock with basic amenities. Besides the usual towels and water, the gym has also a simple yoga corner for some exercise ball or floor workouts.
In the heart of the gym room, there are treadmills, bicycles and other training equipment.
During the afternoon we were there, we spotted water leaking from the ventilation shaft right above one of the treadmill. There was a towel on the equipment and on the electrical plug that was soaked through.
W and I thought that was pretty dangerous to have the two towels there to catch any drips and draps! They should have plugged out the machine instead and move the treadmill somewhere else. Afterall, these gym equipment ain’t cheap to begin with.
30mins on the cross-training machine did help us to work out a sweat and it was well worth it. We felt rejuvenated!
After that, W went on further for another 10mins on the treadmill. For me, that 30mins was already overwhelming. (Okay, I know I know… need to exercise more!)
So, we are done exercising and time to eat!!!
Diagonally opposite Village Hotel Changi is the famous Changi Village Hawker Centre.
As a Singaporean myself, its really funny that I haven’t tried any food from this place. (bit sua-ku lah~) W and I decided to get dinner from there.
For as far as I know, Changi Village is famous for one particular dish: nasi lemak. According to W, it’s the fragrance of the rice and the chilli that brings home the win and the cult status that led many willingly to queue patiently for a delicious plate of that nasi lemak.
Unfortunately, luck wasn’t in favour of us that evening. We had queued until it was almost our turn and the store announced there have sold out!! :S
So we decided to hunt for other famous food instead. Turns out that hawker centre has more famous and delicious offerings than just nasi lemak.
We finally decided on hokkien prawn noodles, a famous brand of ayam penyet (Indonesian styled fried chicken) and dimsum for dinner.
Since it is notoriously difficult to find an empty seat and table in the sea of people, we took the ‘tapau’ route and pack those food back to eat in our hotel room.
Breakfast is pretty scrumptous in the morning too! The buffet is kept very close to fully halal with only a small section or rather upon request then you can get bacon.
Besides the usual offerings of the standard continental breakfast, there is also a corner for nasi lemak which is of course, a famous staple in Changi Village.
Village Hotel Changi is pretty decent for family getaways from the urban city without being too far away from it. You still get your creature comforts with less buzz and craze of the urban setting.
The 2014 Weekend Cycle and Stay Package (from SGD$170) includes:
- One-night accommodation in Superior Room
- Buffet breakfast for two at Saltwater Café
- One-hour bicycle rental/ride
- Changi Village cycling reference guide
- Two 480ml foldable drinking water bottle
- Hop-on Hop-off City Tour worth $39.80 for two
- Koi feeding, limited to one feed per room
This hotel has pretty big corridors and spacious rooms, but I am not sure if there are any rooms specifically catered for wheelchair access guests. However do know the area surrounding the hotel are full of roads and kerbs, which is not ideal for wheelchair bound guests.
My review for this hotel: 3/5
Overall, the location is great for those who wants to just get away from the hustle and bustle or a rest stop if you want to spend a say at Pulau Ubin. There’s good food around and new sprung hipster coffee joints, so you still can the creature comforts of the city.
The hotel no doubt has been through the best days of being new, and having a high guest rate turnover, the hotel would be slightly worn down. There is lots of room for improvement and that definitely will take the hotel up another level!
Despite so, I did saw many happy faces of the families having fun splashing in the pool and smiling young parents chasing their little tots down the corridor.
Thanks very much to the Village Hotel Changi for your generous invitation! Gambatte!!
More stories soon,
*Please note that although the hotel stay is sponsored, quality of my reviews of hotel are not compromised.*