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Good functional design

January 27, 2013

The trouble with day one of an overseas trip with an eight hour time difference is that you sleep well on arrival and know that the second night will be truly terrible.  So I am trying to do as much as I can today which regrettably means confining myself to the hotel room and chaining myself to my macbook pro for the whole day.  Well other than a couple of meetings with members of the team in local coffee shops.  I'm staying as ever in the IBIS Bencoolen.   Now from the outside this is just a concrete block, but its to my mind one of the best examples of a well designed hotel for the business traveller.  A simple check list of features will make my point – and there is no reason why others (including hotels in the same chain) could not follow:

  • A good sized desk at the right height with space behind and beneath to store material.  
  • All sockets take US, UK and European plugs so I only need to bring one lead
  • There are two USB charging points
  • The Wifi is free (but bring an ethernet cable if you want speed)
  • It has a non nonsense bar with basic food that takes no time to order or eat but is more than OK
  • Its next to the best shopping centre for photography in Singapore
  • Its next to Bugis so there is no shortage of food courts
  • The MRT from the airport is a five minute walk away
  • There is a bus stop outside the door from which you can go more or less anywhere in Singapore with ease
  • There is a fridge in the room which is not stuffed with over priced soda and a store next door which sells milk and other essentials
  • Storage is basic but adequate for a week or more trip
  • There is a guest laundry with soap pre-set so long trips do not require expensive use of hotel services
  • There are high quality irons in the laundry which is much better than a tacky one stuck in the back of your wardrobe
  • There are two Starbucks within ten minutes walk
  • The television has, for Singapore, a good range of channels
  • All lights can be turned off without getting out of bed or reaching to the point of wakefulness 
  • There is a great bench seat which provides additional storage within reach of the desk
  • While the rooms are small they don't feel it 

The only downside is no swimming pool and the chair could be better.  Now as I say there is nothing there that is not easy to do, but how many hotels fail to even get near it?

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