Another major change with the new AFA venue Singapore Expo is the fact that we no longer have a good reason to stay at our favorite hotel The Marina Mandarin Singapore; the Mandarin was right across the street from Suntec City Convention Center, and it was just a matter of going down two levels and across a footbridge to get to the convention from our hotel room.
That’s not the case this time around, as the Expo is about twenty minutes from the city center, and is closer to the airport than downtown Singapore. Your only real choice for decent hotels near Expo is to get rooms at airport hotels, and airport hotels being what they are, you are paying the same amount for a shoebox compared to much bigger rooms in the city. Not fun.
So, you can either bite the bullet and pay for expensive rooms that are closer to the event venue, or opt for a much more affordable room halfway between Expo and the city (the area around Lavender MRT is a good start) but have to lug your costume around in a suitcase.
As for us, since we were neither cosplaying nor in the mood to burn money, we opted to get pods at our favorite hostel in the Chinatown/CBD district. Matchbox offers Japanese capsule hotel-style pods with comfy beddings, mood lighting, and wall sockets to charge your electronics in comfort and safety.
The hostel offers an entertainment loft, free all-day breakfast (cereal, toast, even pastries if your fellow hostelers haven’t demolished them yet~), and clean communal showers. You can come and go as you please, and there are at least three hawker centers and/or food streets in the area (Lau Pa Sat, Maxwell, and Smith Street) for you to experience authentic Singapore cooking.