Motel recommendations from a team of self-proclaimed motel experts.
What are motels? How are they different from hotels? Here’s a crash course on motels in Singapore, along with a list of budget motels and luxury hourly hotel recommendations for you!
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Motels are roadside hotels for long-haul drivers and business travelers. They are basic lodging with parking for people who only need a bed and a parking space for the night before going on their way early the next morning.
You put on an American drama series, and 9 out of 10 times, these are where the detectives (and oddly criminals too) are staying at some point.
Motels are known for their lower prices as they don’t offer all the bells and whistles you may expect from a luxury hotel. Most guests book in one for affordable short stays. Because of this, elegance and grandeur are not their forte.
Motels in Singapore are leagues ahead of those portrayed on a TV show – to keep up with the fierce competition in hospitality, they have to stay clean and nicely furnished.
If fact, most chains are ‘SG Clean’ certified, meaning the premises maintain a high environmental hygiene standard set out by the government.
Motels in Singapore typically only allow short stays, which reduces the possibility of criminal activities happening in the hotel rooms.
Despite the location, two very popular Singaporean motels (also going by “love hotels”) are Hotel 81, and Fragrance Hotel.
Get your mind out of the gutter and worry not, they are more legal than the things your typical college student does behind closed doors.
As the Singaporean community grows more open-minded with time, the demand for motels has been going nowhere but up, gradually.
Other popular choices among the locals are Santa Grand Hotel Lai Chun Yuen, and Hotel Soloha. The first one is located along the perimeter of the National University of Singapore and in the heart of Chinatown.
This is where locals go if they want a fix of Chinese comfort food or to take a break from their unideal roommates. As for Hotel Soloha, it is gaining popularity for its ultra-chic design with its bold colors being a breath of fresh air from its tranquil earth-toned surroundings.
Most motels accept online reservations, but a few only accept walk-in. The easiest way is booking through an online platform (like Flow, our hourly hotel app, obviously).
With Flow, you can choose to stay for a specific session from 2 to 8 hours or overnight, saving up to 75% off a full night’s rate.
Almost all motels require identification when checking in as usual. It’s a safer bet to have your identification with you and ready.
Guests typically have the choice to check into the motel from 2-3pm onwards per hotel policy.
If you go to the front desk and ask for a room early in the morning or late at night, there’s a chance that motels will just turn you away.
But if you book through Flow, you’ll get a more flexible check-in option. Take Fragrance Hotel for example, you can check in around the clock from morning to midnight for a 2-3 hour stay.
Typically you have to check out either by 11am or 12pm for a night’s stay. You can enjoy a more flexible check-out time if you book through Flow, where we offer exclusive hourly and overnight rates for our partnering motels.
Motels are known for being on roadsides, literally speaking. However, they are experiencing significant growth and a number of them can be found near or right in the heart of public transport facilities, so you can remove “convenience” from your list of concerns!
Before the pandemic, motels nearly monopolized the hourly hotel scene as luxury hotels were vehemently against offering hourly rates.
When the lockdown began, luxury hotels needed a way out of the downturn. Soon, the market was flooded with staycations packages targeting local guests.
Some also started to offer hourly rates exclusively on online platforms. Since it’s an hourly stay, the price for staying in such luxurious hotels will be more inexpensive than it normally is or even cheaper than what motels typically charge.
Some motels have a very targeted fanbase. They can’t be searched online or accept online booking. You have to visit them in person to know whether there’s a room available for you.
Hotels, on the other hand, are quick to adapt to the digitalized world. You can search for an available time slot, reserve a room, and pay online. Some even offer free cancellation. You can put a deal on lock with just your phone when you’re on the go, when the idea strikes you all of a sudden!
There are motel deals that charge by the hour if that’s what you’re looking for, but alas overnight stays are the norm. Hourly hotel rooms featured on the Flow app, on the other hand, can be booked for as short as one hour.
If you’re in search of a place that allows you to stay for merely a short while, you might want to try looking into these hotels as there is an array of duration options for you to pick simply because you being able to have a good time is a priority.
It is considered by lots of locals that the neighborhoods some motels are in are not the most ideal neighborhood. They have second thoughts concerning a few well-known motels being in a red-light district in Singapore, even though the business the motels are running is 100% legal.
If their offers don’t put a smile on your face, you can always consider the luxury hotels. We are more than happy to present you with upscale and chic hotels that are in urban areas or in the heart of the CBD. If this is not what you envision, we also have options that are near historic sites and tourist attraction spots.
Motels sometimes don’t offer the full range of amenities a typical hotel does, so it can be inconvenient and disappointing sometimes. If you give luxury hourly hotels a go, although you might be staying for only an hour or two, you still have access to all their amenities such as THEIR FITNESS CENTRES.
It’s very likely you can use their facilities like from an overnight deal, unless they specify otherwise.
People frown upon motels not only because of their reputation, but also the quality in general among other things. It can be a huge turn-off, thus deterring people from patronizing it, even if they desperately need their service.
If you choose from a bunch of hourly hotels on our App, though, you won’t need to worry about that as heaps of hotels we’re working with are top-tier establishments with ratings of at least 4 stars! Instead of feeling appalled by the sight, you will be floored! Just remember to pick up your jaw from the ground, okay?
It is a recipe for a sweet dream when a fort-like enclosure is combined with an ambiance created by the soft warm glow of the Cabin M room in ST Signature Jalan Besar. Tell me something that’s more precious than unwinding in a cocoon-like “attic” that feels like your childhood. I’ll wait.
We know drinking in Singapore can be pretty expensive. While we can’t control the price of alcohol, we can guarantee you’ll have a blast staying in The Quay while you party your butt off into the sunset on a Friday night (more like into the next day) in the nearby Clarke Quay, home to Singapore’s greatest clubs.
We recommend ladies stay in this hotel on Wednesday nights. Why? It’s Ladies’ Night every Wednesday in Clarke Quay and every woman gets free drinks, free entry, you name it! If partying is not what you have in mind, think of it this way: Queens, what better way to reward yourselves for your hard work than to sip on complimentary cocktails in Clarke Quay?
This is the perfect place to work in peace. No blinding fluorescent lights, no coughing or coworkers’ typing to distract you, no stressors or triggers! The minimalistic design casts a calming spell on you.
If you’re dozing off, there’s a bed for you, so you can recharge for real instead of breaking your back to “nap” sitting on your squeaky office chair, drooling all over the place.
If you’re seeking fun and excitement, Hotel Royal is your go-to. Apart from being right next to Singapore’s famous retail heart and entertainment area Orchard Road, you and your partner will be delighted to know that one of Hotel Royal’s greatest feature is their spacious rooms.
If you don’t get to chill or if your place is so cramped that you feel like the walls are clamping down on you, give you and your lover a break and treat yourselves by paying this boutique hotel a visit. You guys will thank me later.
——— About Flow ———
Flow – the “Platform for Space” where travellers can book hotels or office space by the hour or timeslot, enabling flexibility in check-in time & duration of stay.
Why book for the whole day, if you need to stay for just a few hours?
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