Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Village Hotel Changi Revisited

Last year, we booked ourselves a staycation at Village Hotel Changi. This year, we got lazy and didn’t quite plan any overseas trip again this December, and so we ended up again having a staycation at the same hotel. Our experience last year was quite pleasant, and so we expected the same this year. We were quite wrong.

Village Hotel Changi

It’s the same hotel, but somehow the room has deteriorated quite a little bit. This year we booked two adjoining standard rooms. We had a deluxe room last year. I’m not sure if that should be a reasonable justification for the difference in room standard. To be clear, I’m not complaining about how the rooms are fitted out differently. It’s about how poorly maintained the room is.

Village Hotel Changi Standard Room

The worst of it all is how the bed had a broken leg, at one corner, so that if there was more weight in that corner of the bed, it would just tilt over.

Many of the other defects in the room, to be honest, I could overlook. But when I discovered the broken leg of the bed, I was thinking like no one really bothered to check on the conditions of the rooms. How could a broken leg have gone unnoticed? The screws holding the leg to the bed were already missing, so it likely means the leg didn’t just break when we sat down on it.

So with that broken leg, I was annoyed enough that I’ve got to list all the other defects in the room. Where shall I start? The first thing I had noticed was this cracked bath tub. I think it’s just the “skin” that is cracked, so it’s not like water will leak through. The crack has pretty sharp edges, and it’s rusted, so it is quite dangerous. Of course, I could just put a mat over the crack and pretend I didn’t see anything. But hey, again, how did this not get noticed? If it did get noticed, why didn’t the crack get patched up? In the interest of guest’s safety, at least the sharp edges should have been filed off!

Village Hotel Changi

Moving on, the sink was full of hairline cracks. These had no safety issue like the crack in the bath tub. But it’s quite unlike of a fine hotel to leave their toilet in such a condition. The tap on the sink is also loose, moving around a little whenever we operated the lever.

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I’m still not done with the toilet. The flush button for the toilet bowl jams easily, so the water keeps running continuously, until we jiggle around with the button until it pops back out.

Next, the main door of the room doesn’t close on its own. It needs some force to shut the door properly. If you’re expecting your hotel room door to just close automatically after you, well, this one won’t.

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Then, we had a loose 230V power socket faceplate.

We had two rooms, and while the problems in the other room were fewer, it wasn’t without any. For instance, the sink in the other room is choked. Water drains very slowly out of the basin.

You know how those “Do Not Disturb” and “Please Make Up Room” signs that you hang on the door knob are now pretty much replaced by electronic indicators in many newer hotels? Well, this hotel had these fancy electronic indicators too, and they were not functioning for the other room.

Interestingly, while my room had a hair dryer, but no kettle, the other room had a kettle but no hair dryer. I wondered if Village Hotel Changi had intended for these appliances to be shared, since a single family was booked into the two adjoining rooms.

Finally, all our key cards stopped working on the second day of our stay. We were booked for two nights, and so it was another day before we were due to check out. For all our key cards to be invalidated together seems to suggest that they were simply programmed incorrectly.

When I arrived at the front desk to get the key cards sorted out, instead of a plain simple apology for the error, I was asked if I had by any chance gotten the cards wet. Erm, what? These were magnetic stripe cards. Even if the cards got wet, they would most likely still work. The key cards were obviously still in good physical condition. For us to get all our key cards soaking wet to the point that they could not work, and yet not show any visible damage, seems extremely unlikely.

The staff was polite, of course. I was just rather taken aback that he should even suggest that we might have wet the cards.

The hotel otherwise seems quite fine. We didn’t have any meals in the hotel this year, so I can’t comment on the F&B. Their maintenance, definitely, needs to buck up. Lest they some day become a colossal MRT-style disaster.

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