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“Good Location; Rooftop Pool and Playground”
Review of Somerset Bencoolen

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Somerset Bencoolen
Ranked #119 of 317 Hotels in Singapore
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 December 2011

The first thing that struck me about this place is that it is a little tired. I agree with the previous reviewers that it certainly is not luxurious but it was clean and had everything we needed.

We wanted more space than just two hotel rooms for 2 adults and 2 kids, and a small apartment was what we were looking for. In that sense it was perfect. What I didn't like was that the apartment seemed a bit dark and that the bathrooms are not well-ventilated and smelled a bit damp, especially after the doors were closed all night. The one thing that did bug me was that the balcony light can't be turned off and the curtains don't close all the way in the master bedroom.

Basic crockery is provided, and tea and coffee. Fruits, drinks and snacks can be bought from the 7-eleven across the street.

The rooftop pool is great not only for the kids. There is a playground on the rooftop as well, though I would have used something more solid than glass for the barrier (quite scary for people afraid of heights).

Breakfast was provided in our rate and was of acceptable quality and with sufficient choice. Again, if you are not expecting luxury then you won't be disappointed.

There is construction going on in the road in front of the hotel but this is only during the day so it didn't bother us.

Location-wise, it is excellent. Convenience stores and fast-food outlets (including Subway and Coffee Bean) are near by. Two MRT stations are within walking distance: Bras Basah station (2 minutes' walk) and Dhoby Ghaut a bit further up. The purple line from Dhoby Ghaut takes one to Harbourfront (Sentosa) in no time. Bras Basah is on the Circle Line which takes one to Clarke Quay.

Also within walking distance is the National Museum, which is really worth a visit, especially on a rainy day.

Muslim travellers may find it convenient that there is a mosque is located on the same block.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank h4ni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 December 2011

This accommodation is basic. There is no denying that. BUT everything you need is right here. IF you are looking for a pool, there is a really good one on the roof. If you are looking for kids' places to play, they are looked after. Laundry and gym are taken care of... AND location is very good. Within 5 mins walk to Bras Basah station, shops, religious centres, museums and even raffles are within comfortable walking distance and anything else (ie the sands casino complex or Sentoza) are only a cab ride away.

I went there on holiday and was very satisfied but if I was there longer term, I would have been equally pleased. This caters for all purposes.

Staff were lovely and tried genuinely hard to accommodate all needs.

The only thing missing was luxury and for a holiday some may be looking for that - which if we're honest, for the price you can find elsewhere in Singapore many times over.

Room Tip: Higher up means closer to pool and away from street
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  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank internationalist159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2011

We Chose To Stay At Somerset Bencoolen When I Visited Singapore And The Stay Was Good And Safe Place The Mrt Station Was Near Aprox 12 Min Walking And Indian Food Was Also Not A Problem As Little India Was Around 3 Bus Stops Away The Hotels Location Is Good The Rooms Are Clean And Its Tarrif For A Long Stay Is Reasonable. Its A Kind Of A Service Apartment Where There Is No Room Service For Food Provided In The Room But They Have Given A Kitchen With The Basic Things To Work With Which Makes It Eassy For The Person To Prepare His Or Her Own Food Without Any Problem Other Food Items Can Be Purchased From The 7/11 Opp The Hotel.
Breakfast Is Provided By The Hotel. For A Long Stay With A Reasonable Tarrif This Could Be One Of Ther Best Hotels In Singapore As The Location Is Good Its Safe And The Rooms Are Clean.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank HirenMotla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We chose Singapore as our family holiday this year after a stopover to Europe last year. We were intrigued with what Singapore could offer as a family holiday. We did our research before leaving as we always do and it paid off. We had a list long enough to cover our 10 days stay and more. We chose to stay at the Somerset Bencoolen serviced apartments due to having 3 loud boys and also it was more practical than getting two hotel rooms and cheaper. We stayed in a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom suite and had an extra bed set up in the lounge area. It was well furnished and the beds were comfortable even the rollout. The bathrooms were substantial and all the little shampoos and niceties were supplied as well and even replaced. It had a well equipped kitchen with all the utensils required to cook and eat. A good sized fridge and microwave. The minimum stay I believe is 7 days so that needs to be taken into consideration before booking. The rooms were cleaned every day and the staff were very polite and helpful. The breakfast was a wonderful buffet breakfast so there was no need for us to go out for breakfast at all and the kids loved it which is saying something! Singapore is such a beautiful place. There is the shopping; the people; the zoo; Jurong Birdpark; Chinatown; Little India; Science and Technology museum; Snow City; Marina Bay; Singapore Flyer; 737 simulator; beautiful exquisite buildings to admire; Clark Quay; Boat Quay and of course Santosa Island with Universal Studios and various other attractions including the chairlift and luge it just goes on. We ran out of time to do everything and they are still building new things. There is an ice rink in the new section of Marina Bay with beautiful boutiques. We were 10 mins from the nearest railway station which is easy to use and you get a $SG1 refund on each ticket after use so it only costs $SG1 per trip or thereabouts. We loved it and our kids had the best time. Also the Somerset Bencoolen has a great rooftop area with lap pool spa and toddlers pool and playground.

Room Tip: There is construction going on at the moment across the road but it never really bothered us because...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank alpatdunc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2011

After a week at the Bencoolen my head is really hurting! There is so much contruction going on. Between 10am and 10pm it is virtually impossible to be in your room - they are building a train station right out the front and digging up the road directly out the back - this looks like continuing for a few more months.
The Great - the pool was awesome, always plenty of towels and places to sit, and the view up on the roof pool was lovely. The house keeping staff were lovely and really helpful, And kept the rooms really clean, and the location really cant be beaten
The not so great - the free wi- fi connection was hit and miss, and the helpfulness of reception in addressing this was hit and miss - some staff were great others had no interest in helping you.
The ugly - the contruction noise! nightmare!

  • Stayed: October 2011
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Thank Wilp33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2011

I stayed here for one month after being relocated to Singapore. I hadn't a clue where this was and on a map, it looked like it was in a bit of a no-man's land between Orchard Rd and the marina front. How wrong I was. It simply couldn't have been a better located hotel.

Within walking distance are 2 of Singapore's most interesting districts - Little India and Kampong Glam. Both worth a 10 min walk to sample some authentic Singaporean experiences - shops, markets, food, architecture. The hotel is also right in the middle of what Singapore is trying to brand as the 'Arts District' - so there are galleries, musuems and exhibitions all around you. Orchard Road for major shopping is about 10-15 mins away. Fort Canning Park is one of the nicest green spaces in Singapore and that is about 5 mins walk from the hotel. We found ourselves doing a lot of exploring on foot to get to know our new home city and found you could reach any of the touristy spots within a 30 min slow wander.

Transport wise - 2 mins to Bras Basah MRT station on the Circle line. Not very useful to be honest but less than 10 mins away is Dhoby Ghaut which is one of, if not THE, main MRT interchange. You can access 3 of the 4 lines from here and go anywhere you want to. There is also a heap of buses on the corner of Bras Basah Road which will get you to the Financial District/Marina Front in about 10 mins. There's also a taxi rank right out the door so that comes in handy for getting around too.

It's also right opposite a great, cheap, clean food centre - part of a well known chain called Kopitiam. If you are going to go there regularly then buy a card which you load up with cash and you will get 10% discount when you pay with that rather than cash. You will also find some of the cheapest beer in Singapore here too - large bottle of Tiger for SGD$5 vs small bottle of Tiger in a bar for SGD$12.

If you are self-catering, then it's opposite a 7-Eleven for emergencies or there is a Cold Storage Supermarket in a place called POMO on the road that runs behind Bencoolen Street called Prinsep. There's also cafes, bars and some food places along this road too.

Drinking wise - you can walk to a place called 'Chijmes' (big bar/restaurant complex) by walking along Bras Basah Road for about 10mins. There's lots of choice around you.

The hotel itself is extremely dated - our 1 bedroom deluxe room was just about OK in size for 2 people but it was so dark and '80s' we found we had to escape the room as much as possible. Thank god for the great location! Hard to self cater too with just one frying pan and enormous stock pot. Plus our room had an adjoining door with next door and the cooking smells from their room would drift over to ours and linger for days. It really wasn't pleasant. Ended up buying tonnes of air fresheners. However, the hotel provided some great cable TV channels and free, reliable wi-fi so big thumbs up for that.

The rooftop pool is simply stunning though with great views - especially over to the financial district. There is also a jacuzzi on the roof too but in the month we were there is only worked once. There is also a semi-decent gym and a cheap and fast laundry room.

Other positives were the staff - very friendly and polite. Room was cleaned spotlessly everyday. Very unobtrusive service.

Overall, it was a great introduction to living in Singapore. Shame about the hideous rooms. It really needs some renovating and then it will be an amazing place. Would recommend it still though.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank LMcKeeling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2011

I stayed at the Somerset Bencoolen for three months. When I first heard of this address I was confused, not knowing where the heck this place was and whether it would be convienient. When I got the service apartment I found it was centrally located with two subway lines within 8 minutes walk of one another.

~Close to Fort Canning park which is great for jogging
~Great breakfast every morning including weekends, although it gets crowded at 9:00 on weekends.
~ Staff is very nice and friendly but not always knowledgable for people who stay long term and may want to know where to buy fresh veggies from the market or buses to go here and there. Not criticising but just a comment.
~ The pool on the room was awesome. It was well kept with great views of the city.
~ Exercise room was comfortable with basic equipment.
~ Newspaper everyday in the common room and lobby
~ There is Malaysian restaurant just downstairs you should really try. Great beef rendang and you can see how good it is because it's always packed for lunch.
~ Bencoolen is not a busy street and there is bus transport half a block away with a lot of busses.

~ No washing machine in unit, must pay and usually very busy. I was hugely dissapointed by this.
~ The TV in the unit was old to say the least. Why no flat screen?
~ There was a lot of construction when I stayed and that got to be annoying when they started early on weekends.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled on business
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Thank juxworks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Somerset Bencoolen

Address: No. 51 Bencoolen Street Bencoolen Residences, Singapore 189630, Singapore
Region: Singapore > Singapore
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#48 Family Hotel in Singapore
#64 Business Hotel in Singapore
#70 Romantic Hotel in Singapore
#100 Luxury Hotel in Singapore
Price Range: $180 - $447 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Somerset Bencoolen 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in Singapore's former civic district, Somerset Bencoolen is strategically and conveniently located. A luxurious escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, it nonetheless puts you just minutes away from every imaginable pursuit. Elegant shopping, fine dining, pulsating nightlife, as well as museum exhibits and world-renowned cultural performances are all within easy reach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Somerset Bencoolen Singapore

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