The Scarlet Hotel is flashpacker chic in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown, giving backpackers a lot of luxury for a very reasonable price.
A large part of my love affair with Singapore over the years has been down to the fact that the country gives a whole new meaning to hospitality. I have spent so much time in the Lion city and had so many major life events in the last few years in particular that I have even begun to think of it as a home. That is how much I love Singapore, and a big part of that comforting infatuation has been my regular stays in one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in.
Perfectly located in the heart of Chinatown, just across the road from the venerated Maxwell Road Food Court and the Chinatown night market, as well as round the corner from the world class restaurants on Club Street, the Scarlet is very easy to get to being within a couple of minutes walking distance to two centrally located MRT stations.
The price can take a bit of a chunk out of a backpackers budget at around £100 GBP a night, but this is a standard price for a midrange hotel in Singapore and is actually outstanding value considering you actually get so much more than you pay for. For this level of quality or service in Sydney, New York or London you would pay significantly more. So if you are travelling for an extended period and considering you can easily balance the budget by staying in cheaper places for longer in countries such as Thailand or Indonesia later on, it is well worth giving yourself a little bit of luxury for a few days or so.
Singapore in general is pushing the bar for boutique hotels across the whole region, but the Scarlet Hotel stands head and shoulders above even those lofty standards. Everything about the Scarlet screams decadence, romance and indulgence, and you really do feel like you have stepped into a world of luxury when you arrive.
You are greeted at the doorway by a concierge, finely uniformed in full regalia and straight out of a luxury hotel, taking your bags and treating you like royalty as you check in. It is an effort that is almost entirely wasted on this backpacker and occasional flashpacker who is more than happy with just a friendly smile, but is appreciated nonetheless and is a mark of the first class treatment you will receive throughout your stay.
The heritage listed traditional shop houses have been converted into a winding maze of luxuriously appointed corridors that lead you to your room, and are a wonderfully characterful reminder of Singapore’s heritage which puts this boutique hotel far and above any bland, cookie cutter chain hotel. We loved strolling down the atmospheric corridors to our room, and I feel that it actually added to the experience of staying there.
The rooms themselves are a little on the small side, especially if you get one without a balcony, but this is the norm for Singapore where space is at a premium – especially in converted heritage buildings – so is something that can’t really be held against the hotel at all. Saying that we stayed in a deluxe balcony room and it was more than roomy enough for two of us plus our bags.
The room and the adjoining en suite was absolutely immaculate and spotlessly clean, and had all the amenities you would expect in a hotel of a much higher grade and price range, and even a few things you wouldn’t expect. The free Spa Treatment taster session voucher was a nice touch.
They have no pool, but they do have a nice Jacuzzi on a rooftop balcony that overlooks the city which is a really nice place to relax. It isn’t heated, which makes it a little too chilly to use in the morning before the sun warms it up. A water heater could be added here to make this a little more luxurious, but when that is literally the only negative you can think of you know a place is doing really well. I don’t think the Jacuzzi gets much use though as every time we have been we have been the only ones there. The gym is also quite small and basic, but has everything you need for a good workout.
I have to say however it is the staff who really make this place special. Every single member of staff from the cleaners to the manager was unfailingly polite and friendly, and the staff on the front desk and in the lobby are amazingly helpful and go out of their way to help out when needed. The little touches count for a lot, and that is something the team here understands perfectly.
I really cannot recommend this hotel enough and will absolutely stay here again on our next visit to Singapore. Regardless of what type of traveller you are, a backpacker, flashpacker, business traveller or travelling with a family, you cannot go wrong here and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this hotel to you.
The Scarlet is located at 33 Erskine Road, Singapore. 069333
Ready to book? The Scarlet’s website can be found here.
No incentives or payment were offered or given in return for this review or any links used. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.