During our sixteen years of marriage, my husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to see beautiful places. Some destinations were easy to reach, but some were quite unique which required a specific way of travel. There were times where we enjoyed to be treated like king and queen, but sometimes we were also very excited to be on a real adventure with minimum comfort. These contrast styles of travel were rich with experience and memorable in its own way. Now with our young children (age 9 and14), our travel style has evolved gradually to a certain taste which includes the choice of places to stay. As strange as it might sound, chain hotels or any place which has similar characteristics as stars-hotels are no longer our preference. Instead, we make an effort to look for a more unique place with character, charm, and if possible, a personal touch. It is not always easy to find, but luckily, with the Airbnb is getting more and more popular the choices are many out there.
Last week we had a long weekend in Singapore and stayed in an old shophouse! Yes, those multi-storey narrow houses with deep rear which stand right at the street. I know it’s not everyone’s taste to stay in a place like that, but let me describe you the place which the owner called it: ‘The shophouse Enclave’.
What is a shophouse?
A shophouse is a type of building which has a certain architectural character – two or three stories high, with a shop on the ground floor and a residence above the shop. The shophouses are commonly seen in the urban area in Southeast Asia. Each house is connected next to each other with no gap in between, which form a block of buildings bordered by streets around it. In Southeast Asia, the existence of these shophouses can be dated back in the 18th century during the colonial era, hence the unique characteristic of the exterior – a mixture between East and West.
The Shophouse Enclave and its surrounding
The Shophouse Enclave is located at 42 Petain Road, Singapore. This area was recently voted as one of the hippest neighbourhoods to stay in Singapore where everything is just some minutes walk away – from heaps of indie-cool hipster coffee joints/eateries next door and throngs of famous local food streets to two large shopping malls. According to the map, it must be part of the Mustafa and Little India area (please do correct me if I am wrong). I am not sure about that but the famous places like Mustafa Centre, Little India, Arab Street, Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, or Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple are less than 1 km away. One of the two around the house malls is City Square mall which is only 5 minutes walk from the shophouses. The mall is connected to an MRT station on the basement. From here the Little India is only one station away. But if a historical area is not your option but shopping therapy instead, the famous Orchard road is only 20 minutes away by MRT.
The room in the Shophouse Enclave
The shophouse offers some rooms with a different theme for each room. Each room is tastefully decorated. We stayed in the loft called Family Room, an entire 2-storey Duplex Loft Maisonette. The Duplex occupies two whole private floor levels, which is decorated with eclectic charm. It has a high lofty ceiling with large spacious rooms, made up of 2 connecting floors (4th & 5th storey) at the top of the Shophouse. The room is perfect for larger families or groups of friends travelling together who like the idea of staying in the same living quarters but with their own separate spaces.
Here are some photos of the room:
Meanwhile, in the neighborhood are…