Despite having booked our tickets to Singapore last October, I still put off booking our hotel. And because of that, and our unwillingness to spend too much on a hotel where we would only stay in during the early hours of the morning and late at night, we ended up staying at Madras Hotel @ Tekka. I found the hotel through Agoda and it was the only one within our budget (USD 428.68 for four nights) and during our travel dates, that offered enough space for three adults and one kid. Since it was my first time to book through Agoda, I asked Babe to confirm our booking and she willingly obliged. She said that according to the person she spoke with on the phone, as long as the booking was made through Agoda then it’s sure deal.
The Madras Hotel at Tekka is located at Madras St. in the Little India area. It is two blocks away from the Little India Station and about five (short) blocks from the famous Mustafa Shopping Center. We stayed at Rm 103 which was situated at the end of the corridor in the first floor. The hotel’s lobby is not much but they had many travel guides available and we used them during our tours. Our room consisted of one queen-sized bed and two single beds. There was a cabinet with five hangers (a big plus for me!), a safe (that we did not even use), flat screen LCD TV, tea and coffee maker. There were also some complementary slippers for us to use. We had our room made up twice and we were provided with bottles of mineral water each time.
The air conditioner worked fine and we mostly had to turn it off during the night because my sister and mother easily got cold. The sheets were fine and nothing spectacular. There were six outlets but we were only able to use four. We had to take turns in charging our gadgets which was a bit inconvenient. The “cable TV” had about seven channels but we could only take advantage of HBO and a kiddie channel. The rest seemed to be local channels but this wasn’t too much of a problem because we didn’t go to SG to watch TV.
The bathroom was satisfactory. There was hot water and the flush worked fine (except on our last day). I was just surprised because upon our arrival at our room, the bathroom was wet. It seemed as if the shower was recently used and since there was no partition, the toilet and some parts of the toilet paper were also wet. The mirror in the bathroom had some stains but there was a full-length mirror in the room so it was okay. Also, I did appreciate that they provided us with toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet soap, shampoo and even a couple of combs! And, there was even a hand soap dispenser available near the sink. Last but not the least was a hair dryer available for use and some outlet for shavers.
Our booking included free daily breakfast which consisted of bread, butter, jam, peanut butter, scrambled eggs, three kinds of breakfast cereals, banana, milk, chocolate milk, tea and other hot drinks. These hot drinks were four variants of coffee and a hot chocolate option that can be obtained from a vendo machine. But before you can get some drink from the vendo, you’d have to request for a token from the front desk. I tried hot chocolate on our first breakfast and it tasted like Lipton’s chocolate milk tea. Then I tried cappuccino on our last day and it was okay, nothing special but just right in bitterness. As for the breakfast choices, they were the same everyday but being the continental breakfast eater that I am, I was more than happy with my buttered toast with jam and a banana. One quirky thing was that breakfast was self-service through and through. We had to put our used plates and cups into pails and dispose our trash ourselves.
The hotel also contains a self-service launderette that was available from 6:30-22:20. But I was not able to use that. The hotel also has Wi-Fi but my iPhone 5 sucks at getting Wi-Fi signals (my iTouch was okay to use from the bed) so I had to stay in the corridor three nights in a row just to go online. But on our last night, with practice (and persistence), I was able to get some signal from my bed (the farthest from the door) and I was able to check my messages while lying down.
One thing I have to note was that I found a couple of baby cockroaches in our room and at night, there were some fruit fly/ant-like bugs in the bathroom. Another thing was that there seemed to be no soundproofing because I could hear my niece’s cough all the way to the lobby.
Lastly, the staff was friendly enough, particularly the old lady with glasses. Since I had to stay in the corridor to use the Wi-Fi, I locked myself out (despite having asked my sister to stay up and let me in) and I had to ask her help to let me in. I originally just wanted her to ring the phone (which we heard from the lobby) and wake up someone in our room. But since everyone was out cold, she let me inside the room. It was really embarrassing. The second time that she helped us was when the toilet wouldn’t flush.
Madras Hotel @ Tekka is only a two star hotel but for a budget traveller like me, it was fine. I also did not mind that it was in Little India since it was very near the MRT, there was a 7 11 store nearby and Mustafa Shopping Center is also within walking distance. The residents did not pay us much attention and it wasn’t as smelly nor chaotic as I expected (based on other reviews). I don’t imagine myself staying there again if and when I go back to Singapore (I have friends there who I hope are more than willing to let me crash in their rooms), but if you have already booked a room there and you happened to stumble upon this review in my blog then I don’t think you have much to worry.