Next week H81 promotion will include piak piak companion?
LOL @ $69, what a number. Genius marketing.
How the fuck is a couple gonna 69 each other when they have to wear masks?
“So darling, I’m booking a stay at the Hotel 81,” I told The Milelioness over breakfast.
She didn’t so much as blink, confirming that a year and half of marriage had inoculated her against such shock tactics.
“It’s really for the website, you know. I think it’d be good to review staycations across a range of price points, to see what the new normal looks like at different places,” I elaborated, doth protesting too much. “Besides, Hotel 81’s removed the carpets, so you can’t get pregnant by walking across the floor barefoot anymore.”
She blinked this time.
“It’s all hard wood now.”
There then proceeded a two minute period where I chortled uncontrollably at my own joke, and The Milelioness’ eyes made several rotations of their sockets.
I invited her to join me for this escapade, but she declined, citing how contracting a communicable disease might render her ineligible to practice dentistry.
Let’s back up.
The STB has been steadily approving hotels for staycations since 9 July, but they’ve mostly been chi chi establishments, the type which charge you 2% for looking in the mirror twice.
Then on 17 July came the news that not one, but two Hotel 81 properties had received approval to take staycation guests.
Amorous couples islandwide rejoiced. Finally, a place where two consenting adults could play Monopoly Deal away from prying relatives and noisy children, enjoy a leisurely swim, luxuriate in the tub, catch up on the latest movies, and feast on Geylang’s sumptuous gastronomic bounty. There’s nary a better place in all of Singapore for wholesome fun.
But which one to book- Sakura or Tristar? Both had equally stellar reviews (with one reviewer confirming my suspicions that this was, indeed, a place for “good family time”), as well as compelling rates.
Hotel 81’s website wasn’t making this decision any easier, dangling the coveted “guaranteed late check-out” carrot for both properties.
I ended up doing a little online research on the two hotels (apparently, someone called Sammy has a lot of interest in these places), and once I saw the Tristar’s address, there could only be one winner.
Those of you who know your bible history will be familiar with the story of Onan, from whom we get the term “onanism”. I’ll spare you the etymology lesson, suffice to say that a Hotel 81 on Onan Road is the kind of thing you can’t make up.
There was just one problem. Hotel 81 Tristar was completely booked out for the next two weeks. Now, I know that there’s a lot of pent up demand for staycations among Singaporeans, but I didn’t think we could be this vigorous.
So I called up the hotel to ask, and as it turns, out, the website doesn’t reflect actual availability. With the exception of the weekend (where, statistically speaking, most people play Monopoly Deal), there were plenty of rooms available.
I proceeded to make a booking.
“How many staying?” the clerk asked.
“Just one,” I said cheerfully.
There was a disbelieving pause on the other end of the line.
“…OK sir. But if you have any extra guests you’ll need to register them at reception.”
I tried to hide my offense at her microaggression. Single diners and theme park visitors are already so discriminated against. Need we extend this stigma to hotels too? What if a man just wanted a quiet space to ruminate on the deeper issues of life and maybe build a pillow fort?
“I understand,” I said.
“Can I get your name?”
I briefly thought of using a pseudonym. What if I one day wished to run for public office, and my opponents decided to do a little opposition research? That one furtive night at a Hotel 81 might be hard to sell the voters on.
But against my better judgment I opted to be honest, and in less than a minute I was done (with the booking- oh grow up). They didn’t even ask for a credit card to secure the reservation, simply telling me that check-in time was 2 p.m, and if I didn’t show up by 4 p.m they’d release the room.
I was all set.
On the day in question, I ordered a Grab to spirit me away to my staycation.
Isn’t technology great? Back in the day you’d have to skulk into the back of a cab and mumble a sheepish “Uncle, Hotel 81 please”. Now, your proclivities can be left unsaid- just you, the driver, and whichever intelligence agency happens to be mining Grab’s database at the moment.
For the sake of plausible deniability (still thinking of those voters), I entered the destination as Cheers @ Hotel 81 instead, so if anyone asked I could say I was only there for a microwavable sandwich and a bottle of overpriced mineral water.
If the driver saw through my subterfuge, he did admirably not to let on.
“You’re going to Hote…Onan Road, right?” he said. Smooth.
I conceded I was, and we were off.
The Hotel 81 Tristar is nestled away on an idyllic corner of Geylang and Onan Road, deep in the heartlands where traditional values are respected, away from the Sodom and Gomorrah that is Marina Bay.
I thanked the driver, who spotted my wedding ring as I alighted and gave me a concerned look. No doubt he disliked my taste in jewelry, but that was his problem, not mine.
Now, say what you will about the rising cost of living in Singapore, but Hotel 81 seems to defy all economic reality. Rooms here go for an astounding S$79 nett per night, well below the STB’s estimated average of S$108 at other budget hotels. That’s 30% lower than the competition, in a segment of the industry where margins are as tight as the lips of the front desk clerk.
There were some curious looks from bystanders as I diligently photographed every aspect of the Hotel 81 Tristar’s facade, but I figured they were just jealous it was staycation-o-clock for me.
I registered myself via SafeEntry (if you have any jokes about SafeEntry, please make them now), and proceeded inside to check-in.
Check-in was fast, and I was given an STB-mandated form to declare the purpose of my stay. Quite frankly, I had no idea the difference between “staycation” and “enjoy some private time away from home”, but decided the latter was way too euphemistic for my liking.
More at https://milelion.com/2020/07/24/what-i-learned-from-my-hotel-81-staycation/
LOL dude actually brought along a UV flashlight and spotted semen stains just about everywhere!