Contributor: Melvin Corales
When affordability and comfort met in a subway station and hang out at Clarke Quay, River City Inn was born. Located right at the night life center, minutes away from few tourist destinations, and just an MRT station away from a shopping haven, River City Inn is just the perfect definition of an ideal accommodation.
In any out of the country trip, finding an accommodation is very crucial. You are limited to what the internet will show you, that’s why travel sites such as tripadvisor and hostelworld can help a lot. In our case, since Shiela had been to River City last year with her college friends, accommodation was a pretty easy thing to decide.
River City Inn is a backpacker’s lounge located at 4th Floor 33C HongKong st. Singapore. Getting there is very easy. From Changi Airport, we took the MRT to Tenah Mehra then transferred to the train going to Joo Koon. We alighted at the Outram Park station then transferred to the North East line to Clarke Quay. Hong Kong street is just across the Central Mall. AirasiaGo is on the same street which is really hard to miss. Find the yellow building and there you go.
Upon entering River City Inn, you will be greeted by the very friendly front desk officer. He’ll tour you around and show your room. Adrian, which was the front desk officer when we arrived was totally a big help for us. He told us where to find the best chicken rice in Singapore, gave us advice on where to find cheap things, and most of all, he was always ready to extend his help in any way he can. As I have said with my Yiu Fai review, the service is what makes a hostel stand out against its competitors.
River City Inn’s rate ranges from 26SGD for the mixed dorm, 29SGD for the ladies dorm, and 128SGD if you will rent the 4-bed private room. When you book at River City Inn, you get a bed(since it is a dorm type room), a locker and access of their free services. Their free services are actually the basic things you will look for an accommodation – Wi-Fi, free breakfast, airconditioner, bathroom and use of their computers and entertainment set. It is not the most pleasant looking hostel but there is something in there that will make you feel so safe and so at home.
River City has 2 sofas in the living room where most of the guests stay. It is also adjacent to the dining area where guests can eat their breakfast which is composed of bread loaf, jam, peanut butter, margarine, nutella, and banana. Coffee, hot chocolate and tea are also for free. Plates, spoons and forks, chopsticks, glasses and mugs are available for everyone. Guests can even use the microwave and fridge. As for the bathroom, there are 6 cubicles – 3 for showers and 3 for the toilets.
They say the best thing about traveling is meeting new people. What I like about the set up in River City is that it looks a lot like a home, with dining area, living room, and bathrooms. I learned that the intimate set up was because the owners of the hostel were both travelers and having a single dining area and a living room will make guests talk to each other (which we did). Aside from Adrian who is Singaporean, we met a few more people from across the globe – Asaka from Japan (who shared us her Natto which is a Japanese food) and a guy from France. Shiela also met the Taiwanese 16-years old solo traveler, Jason. It was practically United Nations talking at a single table. I also like the dorm setup, you are with other travelers but you will still have your privacy. And hello, it’s like a World Youth Camp.
Easy booking process is also a plus, and of course Shiela made the booking for our group. She booked online then paid using a credit card. You just have to pay one percent of your total bill to reserve a bed. Jackie, the owner will then reply as a confirmation of your reservation. And there you go, just like that, you already have an accommodation.
Just like Yiu Fai, River City offers discounted tickets to some tourist attractions such as Universal Studios, Singapore Flyer, and others. We saved around 10SGD for availing their offer.
Verdict: Accessibility: 9.5 out of 10
I am not blaming River City here, The hostel is placed just in the middle of everything, but the short walk from the MRT Station under the very hot sun is just too much for us.
Value for Money: 10 out of 10
I said in my last review that even the best has a room for improvement, but I could just not dock off points with the kind of service we had when we were there. Singapore is an expensive country and finding an accommodation with such a low price and an exceptional service is a great thing. Each guest has a locker, keys, Wi-Fi is fast, bathrooms with shampoo and soap, and free breakfast. What more can you ask for? You can just easily walk in with nothing because all your basic needs are in there already.
Comfort: 10 out of 10
To tell you honestly, I really can’t sleep in any other place but our house, but as I have said, there is something about this place that makes it more like a home than a hostel. I really can’t explain what it is but it’s just so comfortable in there. I didn’t really had a hard time falling asleep with 23 other guests in the dorm.
Overall: 9.83 out of 10
Do I have to tell anything? The score says it all.
River City Inn is located at 33C Hong Kong Street Singapore 059672
Tel No: +65-6532-6091