How about a staycay in an old bus at Changi Village ?, Lifestyle News

SINGAPORE – Twenty decommissioned public buses will be getting a new lease of life as rooms for a new resort to be built in Changi Village by 2023.

Tentatively called The Bus Resort, the project by travel agency WTS Travel will be located next to the popular Changi Village Hawker Center and span some 8,600 sq m, or an area slightly larger than a football field.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the resort on Sunday (Aug 28) was attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Maliki Osman, who is also an MP for East Coast GRC.

Mr Philip Raj, a hospitality consultant for WTS Travel, said the idea for a resort made out of old buses came about almost two years ago, during discussions on how to turn business around amid a decline in travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“You always want to find a new way of getting guests to experience something different,” said Mr Raj, adding that sustainability was one of the considerations in planning the resort.

Each bus-turned-room will have 28 sq m of floor space, and will be well furnished and have features such as bathtubs, he said. There will also be a 15 sq m area outside each room that can be used for barbecues.

Disused buses have also been repurposed into hotels in other parts of the world. In 2016, it was reported that the Tai Tai Mountain Park in China had converted more than 30 old buses into mini-hotels.

WTS Travel managing director Micker Sia told reporters this is the first foray into the resorts sector for the company, which has more than three decades of experience in travel and tourism.

It hopes to tap an expected surge in tourists following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, he said, adding that each room is estimated to be priced between $ 300 and $ 400 per night.

He added that the resort would employ “a lot of service staff”, but did not provide details.

When asked about the cost of developing the project, Mr Sia said the figure would be available only during the resort’s launch next year.

The unique project demonstrates the potential of new developments to be sustainable, said Dr Maliki, adding that he expects the resort to be a “wonderful experience” for visitors.

Each room will be well furnished and have features such as bathtubs. There will also be a 15 sq m area outside each room that can be used for barbecues. PHOTOS: WTS TRAVEL
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The area where the new resort will be built. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Noting its location near the Changi East Boardwalk – as well as the Changi Point Ferry Terminal, which offers boat rides to Pulau Ubin – Dr Maliki said The Bus Resort would enhance Changi Point’s status as a focal point for the East Coast area.

One of the guidelines for the resort, as well as any other developments near Changi Village, is that they retain the area’s rustic nature, he added.

“Because that’s the last thing I want, for us to lose the rustic and charming nature of Changi Village.”

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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