I spent a night at Hotel Calmo Chinatown, a budget hotel in one of Singapore’s tourist districts.
It cost $96 for a superior double room, which measured 150 square feet.
The worst part was the bed: It was just a mattress on the floor, and the sheets were stained.
Hotel Calmo Chinatown is the worst-rated hotel in Singapore.
The hotel is in Chinatown, one of the top backpacking locations in Singapore. The city-state is one of most expensive cities in the world, so many tourists try to save money by staying in cheaper accommodations.
Hotel Calmo Chinatown has an average rating of 2.4 stars on Google Reviews, the lowest rating I saw for hotels with at least 120 reviews.
One guest, who stayed at the hotel in October, said it was “disgusting” and “super dusty and smelly.” Another guest, who stayed at the hotel in July, complained about poor security, writing in a review that another guest had entered their room by accident.
While the hotel only has six reviews on TripAdvisor, it has an average score of one star. Guests on the site said their experience at the hotel was a “nightmare.”
When I looked up the hotel online, the photos looked great, so I was intrigued to find out what it’s really like, and booked a one-night stay.
I paid around 135 Singapore dollars, or about $96, for a superior double room.
The hotel is priced like most hotels that belong to the three-star category in the city-state, where nightly rates are typically over SG$100.
Notably, the hotel is more expensive than Hotel 81, a budget chain where I paid $55 for a night’s stay.
Insider paid for my stay at Hotel Calmo Chinatown in full.
On first impression, the hotel looked like most other mid-range boutique hotels. It’s housed in a former 19th century Cantonese opera house, and the hotel’s entrance was discreet and classy.
I was initially puzzled by the bad reviews — the exterior looked like it belonged to a more expensive hotel chain.
The front desk was small and basic but efficient.
The hotel is available for day use, which means guests can use it as a love hotel, but most of the guests there seemed to be tourists from abroad.
As I made my way deeper into the hotel, its poor condition became more apparent.
There were no elevators in the hotel, and the escalators weren’t working, so I saw tourists hauling their luggage up the steps.
The escalators were dirty, it was dimly lit, and its run-down design didn’t really reflect the SG$135 price tag.
The room was a mere 150 square feet, but I barely had time to register my surprise over the tight quarters, because the bed was the real shocker. It was just a mattress on the floor, no bed frame included.
The room was in rough shape. The ceiling was damaged, there were marks and holes in the walls, and the creases in between the doors were blackened with dust.
The room had a television and a kettle, but no phone.
A hotel representative told me guests can contact the front desk by scanning a QR code upon arrival.
The bathroom was clean but the design was strange: The shower was directly next to the toilet bowl, with no divider between the two.
The hotel provided basic dental kits and soaps. The towels were clean but had a slightly sour smell to them.
I settled into bed for the night, and that’s when I found the one thing that truly bothered me: Sheets that were stained with either red wine or blood.
Earlier this year, I found bloodstains on my sheets at Malaysia’s famous “haunted” hotel, where the discovery was unpleasant but at least still somewhat on brand.
This time around, I couldn’t call the front desk and was already in my pajamas, so I decided to just sleep it off. I could hear noises — from the bustling street down below and from other rooms in the hotel — well into the night.
When I asked a representative about the stained sheets, he told me to let the team know during my stay: “Our team would be more than happy to assist you there.”
The hotel did have some upsides: The windows could be opened, so I had fresh air and ample sunlight pouring into the room in the morning.
The natural light and traditional windows made for some pretty photos.
My windows had a view of the gorgeous traditional architecture of the neighboring shophouses.
The location was the best part of the hotel: It was located in the heart of Chinatown, which meant that it a lot of tourist attractions, from Maxwell Food Center to the oldest temple in Singapore, were just around the corner.
One guest who stayed at the hotel in November said the hotel’s location was ” too good” and that was the only positive thing about his stay.
After my stay, I contacted the hotel again to see if they had any comment on the issues I experienced. A hotel representative told me operations only began in July.
“We are aware of these reviews,” a hotel representative told me in an email. “We will strive to do better and improve.”
So, what’s my takeaway about Singapore’s worst-rated hotel? I didn’t go to Hotel Calmo Chinatown looking for problems, but I found them.
The upsides: The location can’t be beat, there were no pests, and it was relatively clean.
The downsides: The stained sheets, the mattress on the floor, the limited amenities.
My verdict: It’s not the worst hotel I’ve stayed at, but I don’t recommend staying at the hotel. It’s also overpriced. If you’re looking for a cheap budget hotel in Singapore, I’d try out the Hotel 81 Premier Star, which has a bad reputation but was harmless when I spent a night there in April.
Read the original article on Insider
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