Santa Grand Lai Chun Yuen Hotel in Chinatown Singapore

When my husband found this hotel I was sceptical as the Chinese name Lai Chun Yuen resonance the olden times brothel house in China. He showed me the pictures on Trip Advisor and I was slightly convinced. Obviously it looks much better than most of Hotel 81 in Singapore although I haven’t stayed in one before. In Asia any hotels on the old wooden shoplots are normally not hotels but motels. And it tends to be cheap and dirty or worn out. I agreed to Lai Chun Yuen due to the fact that it is relatively new.

I also didn’t realise it was quite expensive. For a £70 a night in Singapore is probably considered mid range. Perhaps a 3-star rating hotel.

The location is just a street away from the Chinatown MRT station and there are 2 entrances to the hotel. The rear door is facing a row of hawker stalls. Along the shops where the front door is there is a dessert shop which were crowded when we saw it yesterday.


The first thing we saw when we entered from the front door is a yellow costume once worn by China emperors framed and hang up for display. It does give me an eerie feeling as everything else is red. Turning a corner we saw the front desk for check in and the lounge is tastefully decorated without losing its original theatre built up. Obviously there are no theatre chairs anymore.

Despite the impressive decoration I was a bit disappointed with the service given by the front desk. It was not that they have been rude but lacking the hospitality required for hotels and front desk in my opinion would deduct some points.

After an approximately 10 mins we were issued our room card key and were led by another staff to our room. We were given a room on the highest level which is on the 2nd floor. In most of Europe hotels there won’t be any escalators or lifts but just stairs. I am grateful that there are escalators as it would be even more difficult if we had more luggage.

Along the escalators there are pictures of different opera characters and hats of the characters. Information about the history of Chinese Opera is also written in a few boards so that as the hotel guests walk towards their room could understand and perhaps appreciate this long historical art a bit better.

Without my realisation we reached our room. Aside from the ordinary room number it is also marked with “Scholar” on the door.


We waved the card to enter the room but I was gutted to see the size of the room. There are 2 single beds arranged in a L shape with the toilet in between. It is probably just 200 sq meter. Then again hotels in Singapore is expensive and you won’t get the size as in Malaysia or China.

The next morning we went for breakfast at the little cafe turned pub at night. We were warmly greeted by a Singaporean Chinese Aunty and asked whether we would like to have coffee or tea. Probably the best customer service I had in Singapore. The breakfast is just normal English breakfast minus the hash brown, black pudding and mushroom.

All in all I did enjoy my one night stay in this hotel.

The following pictures are some of the explanation about the chinese opera hung on the walls throughout the hotel.

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