recently travelled to singapore. Had booked into hotel 81 and arrived early that day. Most hotels throughout the world would allow you into a room if available but this hotel have no interest in customer service (though they confirmed there was a room available), only to charge an extra $10 per hour early if you want to check into a room.
Not happy and never to return.
i'm not surprised actually. They're a budget chain, so rates are cheap but they charge for any additional frills. It's like when you fly a budget airline, you get charged extra for online booking, to choose seats, to pay by credit card, you have to buy your own food on board etc.
Actually my experience in a lot of hotels is that they won't let you check in until the 'proper' check in time. I usually just leave my bags and go grab something to eat or wander around the neighbourhood.