Repurposed bus hotel in Changi Village opens for bookings, with stays from December
A new resort hotel with rooms made from old public buses has opened for bookings, with stays to begin from Dec 1.
The Bus Collective features rooms made from 20 decommissioned Scania public buses that were previously operated by SBS Transit.
The buses were upcycled and repurposed as luxury suites, and they now sit on the 8,600 sq m property next to the popular Changi Village Hawker Centre.
Original parts of the buses – including windows, driver seats and steering wheels – have been retained as features of the rooms.
Bookings opened last Wednesday, with room rates starting from $398 per night for a room that can accommodate three with a king-sized bed, sofa bed and bathtub.
Other rooms have different configurations, including one with bunk beds and another with a wheelchair-accessible toilet located just outside the room.
All the rooms are 45 sq m in area.
In comparison, a 24 sq m room that sleeps two at the nearby Village Hotel Changi will cost about $198 per night.
The project is the first foray into the hotel business by travel agency WTS Travel, which partnered the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Singapore Land Authority (SLA).
WTS Travel managing director Micker Sia said The Bus Collective is South-east Asia’s first resort hotel using repurposed buses.
Speaking to the media at the grand opening of the property on Sunday, Mr Sia said he came up with the idea in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said he has spent more than 34 years in the travel industry but first began as a bus driver, and he was thinking about how buses that were still in working condition were being disposed of.
Mr Sia added: “They are still in good condition, so why should we just scrap them? Why are we throwing things away when we are able to recycle?
“There are so many things that we can use. Even (the bus seats), we are thinking of converting those seats into office chairs.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Maliki Osman, who officiated the grand opening on Sunday, said Mr Sia had approached him with the idea, and the discussion then grew into how tourism, nature and environmentalism could come together.
The MP for East Coast GRC dubbed The Bus Collective as the “newest gem” in East Coast and said it is aligned with the green and vibrant pillars of the East Coast Plan.
“This remarkable project is not just another hotel,” he said. “It is a testament to our commitment to sustainability, creativity and revitalisation of historic Changi Village.”
He also thanked the government agencies that had supported the project.
MTI’s Pro-Enterprise Panel had supported WTS in identifying a suitable space for the idea and facilitated the discussions with the SLA and Singapore Tourism Board.
After visiting one of the rooms, Dr Maliki said the hotel combines the charm of the past with the comfort of the present and the promise of a greener future.
He added: “You (can see) the wonderful greenery, and you can actually see the planes coming in and out of Changi Airport, and you can really see the wonders of Singapore, right smack here, in Changi Village.”
The Bus Collective does not currently feature any gym or pool facilities.
Instead, it encourages guests to book tours and experiences through an experience centre.
The centre offers history and nature tours, which include exploring Pulau Ubin on bicycle and Changi Beach on trishaw.
Other experiences offered include a bicycle and shopping tour at Jewel Changi Airport and sailing at Changi Sailing Club.
Mr Sia said the hotel has about 20 employees, and he has plans to hire more. He could not give a figure when asked how much the project cost but said he hopes it is successful so that he can expand it to other places.
“When that success comes, we are interested in extending the concept of repurposing retired buses to adjacent and neighbouring plots of land in Changi Village and possibly the outlying islands such as Pulau Ubin, Kusu Island, St John’s Island and Lazarus Island.”