Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon is a no-frills modern hotel in the heart of a vibrant, underrated neighbourhood, ideal for the value-conscious traveller.

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Checking into Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon

Lobby entrance, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonAs my inaugural stay at a Holiday Inn Express property, I was pleasantly surprised as I stepped into a gleaming, modern lobby area; my expectations had been shaped by preconceptions of the hotel chain as slightly dated and tired.

This new hotel was clearly fashioned with the tech-savvy, modern, millennial traveller in mind, with its polished white marble, sleek geometric design, stylish hanging ceiling light and a sparkling white reception desk.

Reception, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonChecking in was a seamless process, which was perfect as my friend and I had a full-on schedule for the rest of the day, which involved cafe-hopping between several neighbourhood institutions, all within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

Apart from the reception desk, the lobby also features a waiting area with two Apple computers equipped with a printer for guests to surf at their leisure.

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Restaurant, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonThe lobby area is also shared with the dining area where breakfast is served.

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Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon’s Room

The room was adequately sized for a short stay and translated elements of the reception’s sleek design in the bold yellow and blue accents.

Room, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonWalking into the room, the first thing I noticed was the eye-catching headboard, an artistic medley of triangles in an array of blues.

Room entrance, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonThe second is the full-length mirror along the corridor and another mirror lining the right-hand side of the room. These two elements alone really opened up the space and made the room seem much more spacious than it was.

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Pillow, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonOn the standard queen-size bed were propped two pairs of pillows, one soft and one firm – I thought that this was a really insightful touch considering how much personal preference varies with pillow firmness from traveller to traveller.

Bed desk, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonBoth sides of the bed had a night table, reading lamp and plug; as someone who usually travels with multiple electronics, including various cameras, a laptop and a phone, I really appreciated the multiple charging points, which also meant that my friend and I didn’t have to share sockets.

Room side table, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonThe kettle, safe and fridge were all neatly tucked in a corner of the room – getting to it required squeezing past a terracotta armchair decorated with a bright yellow pillow, but I appreciated how there were no cupboard doors which made everything easily accessible.

Carrying on this space-conversation theme, the room’s wardrobe was a minimalist bar directly attached to the wall on which hung a number of wooden hangers. Both designs worked well in terms of saving space yet still being functional, however, the desk design was a different story – the incredibly narrow ledge under the TV has just about enough space for a small laptop at some points, curving at other points to only be able to hold a phone. This meant that my friend and I had to perch awkwardly an arm’s length from each other in order to share a late-night meal.

Room desk, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonWhen travelling, the bathroom almost always remains one of the key comfort factors and Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon’s offering exceeded my expectations.

Toilet, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon

Bathroom, Holiday Inn Express Singapore SerangoonThe edgy cubic wallpaper complemented the classy beige tiles and the beautifully lit mirror, perfect for getting ready. The shower had good water pressure and was quite spacious. The only downfall was that the toilet amenities are incredibly basic, with body gel and shampoo combined in one dispenser. We thought that additional amenities would be available upon request but realised that this wasn’t the case, which was unfortunate as we hadn’t thought to bring our own toiletries.

It seems that the layout is a cookie-cutter design that is standard for all Holiday Inn Express properties and goes to show that in general, it caters to the modern traveller’s basic needs.

Read: Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore - Hotel Review

Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon’s Amenities

The property has a small gym with the essential equipment including treadmills and weights, but we only stayed for a night so didn’t have time to try it out. There are also meeting and laundry facilities, ideal for the business traveller and those staying for a longer time.

Dining at Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon

Considering that it was an Express property, I was expecting a small pastry with tea for breakfast and was quite surprised by the complimentary spread.

The buffet offered fresh fruit, yoghurt, a range of cereals, pastries, and both Western and Asian hot items, including scrambled eggs, chicken chipotle sausage, chicken congee and roti prata.

Breakfast, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon

Breakfast spread, Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon

This made for an enjoyable start to the day, soaking in the morning light at a table right next to the window. Though we went during peak breakfast time, it wasn’t too crowded and I appreciated how fast all the food was refilled.

Apart from the morning offering, there is also a grab-and-go pantry for those who get peckish during the day. Snacks here are not inclusive.

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Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon’s Location

The hotel is located at crossroads between Little India and Serangoon, making for a culturally-rich stay. We were a stone’s throw away from the iconic Sungei Road Laksa, where we had a delicious lunch (if you’re hungry, get two bowls as the portions are quite small), as well as Swee Choon Dim Sum and Scissors Cut Curry Rice, both of which open late into the night.

Coffee aficionados will be delighted at the proximity to cafes such as Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Apartment Coffee and Tiramisu Cafe, all of which my friend and I visited during our stay at Holiday Inn.

One thing to note is that the entrances are a bit confusing for pick up and drop off – with the front entrance on a busy main road where taxis aren’t able to stop and the back entrance being quite hidden and difficult for drivers to find.

Additionally, wheelchair access is available but the slope is slightly on the steep side which begs the question of how accessible it would be for wheelchairs.

There’s a bus stop right outside the front of the hotel, which is your best bet for getting around the city. The nearest MRT stop, Farrer Park, is a bit further, taking 7 minutes to get to on foot.

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While there were a few things that were lacking such as the toiletries and ample desk space, overall, the stay at Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon was enjoyable and we had basically all the things that we needed at our fingertips for a comfortable, no-frills experience.

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For the price point, the offering is very reasonable and a budget-friendly option for travellers who are still looking for intuitive hospitality and design.

Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon
270 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209019
[email protected]

Special thanks to Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.