Saturday, March 31, 2012

Backpacking to flashpacking: Flashpacking hostels of Singapore and South East Asia

Backpacking is a developed industry with a long history now and something more sophisticated is emerging from the concept: flashpacking. Flashpackers are still budget travelers but requires some more from the hostel they stay like more privacy even in a dormitory room. So new flashpacker hostels offering something between hostel and hotel. These hostels offer more central locations, better customer service and a clean and modern place compared to classic backpacker hostels.

Here are some cool flashpacker hostels from Singapore and South East Asia:

Matchbox The Concept Hostel - Singapore

We have written about Matchbox before. Founded by Magdalene Wan, this first flashpacker hostel of Singapore is located in one of the most beautiful streets in Singapore, Ang Siang Road. They offer private pods for $45 SGD per night which is a quite reasonable price in Singapore where hotels are the most expensive in Asia. The place is just next to Club Street and is walking distance away from China Town. The main luxury Matchbox Hostel offers is a great privacy in a dorm by pod style beds.

Matchbox The Concept Hostel in Singapore

Matchbox Concept Hostel - Singapore
Five Stones Hostel - Singapore

Five Stones is another centrally located hostel from Singapore. this boutique hostel is only 3 minutes away from Clarke Quay MRT and very near to Boat Quay and Clarke Quay riverside nightspots. Prices start from 30 SGD for a bed-night in a 14 bed mixed dorm. The hostel also offers private rooms: a standard private double room costs $100 SGD per night and a deluxe private double room costs $105 SGD per night. Quite expensive for a hostel room but still very competitive with the hotel rooms you can find in this central location.

Five Stones Hostel in Singapore

Wink Hostel - Singapore

This flashpacker hostel also offers pod style beds, double pod beds and single pod beds. The hostel is founded by Heng Chong Boon, a private investor, and Cheryl Ou, who was previously operating a small backpacker hostel named Habitat. Like other flashpacker hostels this hostel is to satisfy the need for an accommodation budget, backpacker oriented but still private and a little luxury. The hostel is housed in a three-storey historic shophouse with a Chinese baroque façade in Chinatown just right next to Chinatown MRT station.

Wink Hostel in Singapore

Wink Hostel - Singapore
HQ Hostel - Bangkok, Thailand

HQ Hostel Bangkok is a boutique budget accommodation for backpackers and budget travelers located in the middle of Bangkok's city center. The hostel offers great variety of accommodation options from beds in 10 bunk bed rooms (380 THB - 12 USD) to a room with a queen size bed for 2 people with bathroom (1700 THB - 55 USD). The hostel is founded by four like minded young travellers and designed by Knot. The location is quite nice, near Silom and Sala Daeng Station.

Ryokan@Muntri Street- Penang Malaysia

Ryokan Chic Hostel at Muntei Street is Malaysia's first flashpacker hostel which was opened in April 2010 in Penang’s Unesco World Heritage Site. This Japanese-themed hostel is in Jalan Muntri, George Town. The hostel offers four-bed dormitory, four- and six-bed mixed dormitories and a luxury double room ensuite. The rooms and public areas such as bar and business centre offer free WiFi connection.

The group will open two new boutique flashpacker hotels this year — Ryokan@Damansara Utama and Ryokan@Ipoh. Unlike the sister property in Penang, these will not have dormitories though they will maintain the Japanese-fusion look and hi-tech features.(Source : Flashpacker lodgings)

Backpackers Hostel Ma May - Hanoi Vietnam

Ma May is located in the heart of Hanoi's Old Quarter and is close to Hoan Kiem Lake, delicious street food stalls, cheap Bia Hoi (fresh beer) shops, around the corner from all the late night bars of the Old Quarter. The founders have previously converted a diplomat's house to Vietnam's first international-style hostel on Ngo Huyen Lane and has one more hostel in Huey. Ma May offers a wide range of accommodation options from mixed dorm double bed for $9.00 / night to private room with a super-sized double bed for $40.00 / night.

Source : JetStar Asia Magazine

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