Been a while since the Old Roberts Barracks, one of the haunted buildings in Changi, had been turned into a hotel. A hotel called Changi Cove had emerged from the old empty building that stood there for decades. these were pictures that was taken of the Roberts Barracks in the past.
not a glory sight with its old walls and eerie looking facade. more than the facade, this place is also adorned with plenty of stories from people who were there before, to explore the place or know someone who heard stories there.
But not today. it is a pretty decent hotel that is given pretty good ratings overall in TripAdvisor. it is rated 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, and rated 134 out of 306 hotels in Singapore! not bad for a hotel that was previously occupying a not so illustrious past and land. about 68% of the travellers rated this hotel good or excellant, which is a pretty good performance and standard, we have to say!
Picture from: Tripadvisor.com
Of course at the same time, as all businesses and establishments, the positive comments are a good indication of what was done right, it leaves good encouragement for us to keep things up. however, it is the negatives that businesses would want to take note of and also keep taps on because these are the information that do make or break and can sometimes share good insight or possibility of the unpleasant side of a business. Curious, we took a look at the negative comments that was provided by travellers. Several people were puzzled by an apparent hotel rule that they would collect full payment of your stay first, and refuse any refund for sudden cancel or cutting short of the stay. 2 travellers voiced their puzzlement to this rule that one claimed most hotel do not have such policies (comments taken from Tripadvisor.com):
While nothing much was explained about this rule except for the fact that it is a management policy of terms that included non-refundable conditions, one cannot help but imagine or think that could it possibly be due to the nature of the place and its history, that if guests were to experience some strange (unexplained or haunting) experiences and wanted to leave the place, and if more people were to do so, this would have a damaging economical effect on the company? so to safeguard this way of 'losing money', this policy could be possibly drafted as such? you decide, as we are not here to make judgement but to offer an alternate perspective to think and ponder.
Secondly, there was also a guest who interestingly, feedback that he had smelt rotten fish smell during his stay at the hotel and wondered if there was a fishing market nearby. To which the management replied that it was the first time they had heard of a guest reporting the smell of rotten fish. this brings up a very interesting thought that we wanted to dig further to try to understand.
firstly, there are always a certain kind of travellers who would expect high demands and would complain at every single thing at every hotel. they are the disgruntled, unreasonable type of people that are what hotels call 'your worst nightmare'. however this particular traveller who smelt the rotten fish upon checking her other ratings, she was not such a traveller. in fact, out of 7 ratings she gave, she only gave 1 poor rating (which was for Changi Cove) and most of her ratings were Good or Excellent. Hence we concluded that she was not an unreasonable or over demanding person. and it gives us good faith that her feedback was genuine and real. She really did smelt 'something fishy'.
Looking at her profile picture, it was one of her doing some yoga pose in front of a sunset scene. she might be someone who does yoga/meditation and seem to be someone who could be in tuned with her surroundings and open to nature around her. this gives credit that she could possibly have felt some of the history of the place. you can imagine that in the past when Roberts Barracks was filled with POWs who had suffered from illness, disease or poor conditions of rotting wounds, poor sanitary or conditions, the smell would exactly be that of 'rotting'.
Could she have smelt the rotting wound, rotting flesh or smell of death that had plagued this hotel space many years ago during the war? Also, a person who is unaware of what the smell is could jolly well associate the smell as rotten fish because this is the only smell they have encountered that is closest to the smell of rotten wounds or flesh. indeed, this interesting comment yields up more thoughts and curiosity that can never be verified, because afterall, the paranormal and other side is not something that can be concretely proven by scientific means. but at times the coincidences that happen and the way of gathering different factors point to theories that can indeed be intriguing and makes us think further - is there more that we don't know of?