Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bugis is the most popular accommodation choice for cost-conscious travelers

Room bookings for Bugis have overtaken other districts according to Singapore budget hotel specialist

When choosing a place to stay, tourists visiting Singapore have traditionally opted for historical favorites like Chinatown and Little India, but that preference is rapidly changing in favor of budget hotels in Bugis, especially those near Bugis MRT station, says Danny Lee, founder of

The Singapore budget hotel specialist has observed a 38% spike in room bookings through its portal for hotels in the Bugis area in recent years, a trend that looks set to keep increasing. While there are many budget hotels in the Bugis area, prices are not necessarily cheaper than those of Little India and Chinatown, suggesting that other factors are creating the draw.

“There’s a buzz about Bugis,” notes Lee, “and it offers some of everything.” Indeed, Bugis has one of the most fascinating histories of the downtown districts, being once a settlement for immigrants, then an infamous red-light rendezvous point for transvestites, before transforming into the modern and urban playground of the young and trendy that it is today. Yet it retains its personality in its eclectic mix of old churches, crowded street-bazaars and high rise mall complexes.

Another factor, Lee suggests, could be the proximity to the Formula One racing track. Bugis is geographically situated just outside the Marina Bay Street Circuit which hosts the Singapore F1 Grand Prix. “Racing fans have found that Bugis has the perfect combination of proximity and affordable room rates. This has raised the overall awareness for hotels in the Bugis district, which eventually drives up the hotel bookings over time.”

Indeed, Bugis has a lot to offer. A downtown district served by Bugis MRT (EW12) train station, Bugis is on the direct train line from Changi Airport. Guests can arrive at Bugis in under 35-minute for just S$2 per ride. The district is also bordered by the other popular tourists’ hubs like Orchard Road, Little India, Chinatown and Marina Bay, meaning travelers have all the sights within easy reach.

According to, budget hotels in Bugis like
Ibis Hotel Bencoolen Singapore on Bencoolen  (in the
photo above) are the most popular accommodation
choices for cost-conscious travelers.
Last but not least, Lee thinks a big draw could be the shopping. While Orchard Road deserves its title as the most famous shopping boulevard in Singapore, Bugis actually offers better value and variety for the budget traveler. The cheapest accessories and souvenirs are found in the Bugis Street Market, the largest street bazaar in Singapore, while good hagglers can obtain unbeatable deals for electronics from Sim Lim Square IT Mall.

Whatever the reasons, one fact is clear: budget travelers have declared Bugis the most attractive district to stay in when visiting Singapore. And with so much going for the area, that is a trend unlikely to change anytime soon.

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