Our humble beginnings...
We finally opened on 27 March 04, an auspicious day, but we have already
welcomed our first 3 guests, Jon and Nat from UK and Justin from Malaysia one day
earlier on 26 March 2004.
It has been a good 6 months since we received the approval from our local
authorities (HDB and URA) to set up a hostel. It was never a smooth process and
I have expected it. We actually took about 3 months to get their approval with
all the rules/regulations that are reasonable to us in term of business sense.
For example, initially they only allow a maximum of 8 guests, how are we going to run a
sustainable hostel business? We fight on ... and Hostel One66 is born.
Wonder why "3 damn months" is required? Well, just for the simple fact that our hostel
is located in a HDB flat. It is government subsidised housing and is not for tourists/backpackers.
We became the talk of the town when front page news on our local media reported that
HDB finally agreed to let us run "Singapore's first hostel in a HDB estate".
TODAY paper ran a frontpage story "Heartbreak Hostel" on us for all the red
tapes and bureaucy that we have managed to overcome.
We wanted a hostel that is uniquely Singapore and at the same time cosy, homely,
environment friendly and within our budget! So we begin to hunt around and appeal to
our friends for their unwanted stuff.
We started renovations in February 2004. With the help of my dad, mum and girlfriend, we managed
to transform the HDB residential flat into Hostel One66 - a cosy, homely and comfy place.
Many thanks to my dad and mum who have worked unrelentingly to get our hostel up in time
to welcome our first guests on 26 March 2004. You are great, Mum and Dad! Thanks so much!
As for my girlfriend, I will upgrade her from "girlfriend" to "wife" soon :).
Upgraded my girlfriend to wife on 09 Jan 2005 and most likely to "mummy status" in Dec 2005!
For a start, running a hostel in Singapore is not a very lucrative business (you will never be a millionaire!).
I would not have opened a hostel if I do not have the passion and interest.
It is not just about providing a bed but to show our guests the real Singapore.
You have to be at the heart of where the locals stay so that you can be truly in touch with Singapore.
We are not profit driven. With you having a great time in Singapore and staying with
us, is all we wish for! We do not believe in making extra from you, your basic needs are all taken care of - internet access,
washing machine (with washing powder) all inclusive in the room/bed rate.
Mind you, some hostels have coin-sloted washing machine and charge additional for washing powder!
We believe that small is beautiful. One happy guest even commented : "...I never expected the service to be as good.
I doubt there are any other hostel in the world with a personal touch like yours".