Travel blues is an actual condition that’s starting to set in, given pandemic restrictions and limited international borders, so what’s the next best thing to cure our collective wanderlust? Staycations, in the heart of sunny Singapore — and with it, finding new experiences to enjoy as well, which makes The Clan Hotel one of our top contenders for a charming respite.
Launched just this year, the stylish hotel boasts a prime location right beside Far East Square and the Telok Ayer district, one that’s home to cultural sights while also buzzing with hip cafes and restaurants. It distinguishes itself from other luxury hotels in the area, both with show-stopping modern amenities that make for a calming retreat, and a story to tell.
You see, The Clan Hotel is inspired by prominent clan associations that used to reside in the cultural precinct, and as a nod to the rich heritage, the hotel incorporates elements of these in everything, from its decor and staff uniforms, to a welcome tea ceremony that greets you at their spacious lobby. All this is infused with sleek, modern and contemporary aesthetic details and top-notch service that’ll make you feel comfortable and well taken care of during your stay.
To further the charming experience, The Clan Hotel Singapore has recently launched an experiential stay package, which offers a curated 3D2N itinerary, and a two-night stay in the hotel’s signature MASTER Series Premier Room, at $1,048 nett. On top of breakfast and a 4-course dinner at the hotel’s own QĪN Restaurant, as well as other perks, guests will get to take part in an activity of their choosing, whether it’s a sandal-making workshop, or a cultural tour and cooking class that immerses you in stories of the Hainan or Hokkien communities in Singapore. Full details here.
Ahead, we’ll be sharing our experience of a 2D1N stay at The Clan Hotel, where we got to live it up in a MASTER Series Premier Room.
lobby & the welcome tea ceremony
It’s not often that I feel pampered before a hotel stay. Between making sure that my house is prepped for my absence, and that I didn’t forget anything important in my mini suitcase while booking a cab, I always feel a little frenzied — not this time though, thanks to a one-way limousine transfer service offered by the hotel, which brings me from my home to their premises. Fancy. The service is available to guests who have booked the MASTER Series Grand Premier or Premier rooms, and at a separate cost, though it is included in the hotel’s current staycation package.
Upon arriving at the hotel, I was also treated to an elegant welcome tea ceremony at The Clan Hotel’s stunning lobby, located at the second floor. A warm cup of Nanyang Ritual, a fragrant oolong tea, and a little morsel of tau sar piah later, I felt thoroughly at ease and ready to leave any worries or stress far, far away.
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It also helps that the space impresses with floor-to-ceiling windows, an unusually high ceiling, along with tasteful furniture and art pieces that complement its modern-meets-heritage theme. Working together with The Clan Collective, a group of local craftsmen, artists and keepers of Singapore’s culture and heritage, the hotel lobby features an art piece of 150 aluminium panels suspended from the ceiling, done by local artist Grace Tan, who wishes to highlight the history of Chinese immigrants. There are lots of curious knick-knacks to discover as well, along with $1,000 umbrellas on display. Fun fact: the hotel lobby features a tea-inspired scent for the ultimate zen vibes.
master series premier room
For this stay, we were housed at one of the 30-storey hotel’s MASTER Series Premier rooms, out of a total of 324 rooms that also include Deluxe and Grand Premier rooms. The 32m² space was decked out in contemporary neutral hues, where the slate grey, black, and dark wood nicely complemented cream walls and soft grey textiles — you might notice a few subtle heritage touches too, including the wall lamp. There’s a refined freshness to the furnishings that made the space feel elegant and subtly luxe.
It was also a corner room on a high floor, a feature of all MASTER Series rooms, which allowed for a great 270-degree view of the vicinity as well as the high-rise buildings located a distance away, all from the comfort of your personal bay windows. Other comforts within the room include a king-sized bed and smooth sheets; a gorgeous toilet with a lit mirror and heated toilet bowl, complete with a Hyflux filter for potable water too; and a smart TV for your entertainment needs.
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As a MASTER Series guest, I was also free to choose up to five items for complimentary in-room refreshments — which feels like a major luxury for me since I had always stayed far away from the temptations of the hotel minibar. Items include smoked cheese crackers, Pipers Crisp Co. potato chips, and a delicious Domori milk chocolate with sea salt, plus a special item of The Clan Beer Orient Brew, a craft beer specially created by homegrown brand The 1925 Brewing Co.. These will be served in a little basket that you’ll find already sitting on your desk the moment you enter the room.
On top of that, I really enjoyed how the hotel weaved in even more tea elements here; there’s a ceramic teapot artfully placed by the window, for you to enjoy either a British Breakfast tea or The Ritual, another one of their signature blends of tie guan yin and osmanthus teas. The Nanyang Ritual blend is also available in the welcome amenity kit with some cookies.
And if you need to be further convinced of upgrading to a more premium room, know this — all MASTER Series room come with The Clan Keeper service, where you get taken care of by a personal butler who’ll be at your service, whether it’s to book your slot at the rooftop pool, order in breakfast, or other special requests.
Now, on to the amenities. At level 30 on the top floor of the hotel, a serene rooftop pool greets you, overlooking a CBD skyline that looks particularly delightful in magic hour light. If you didn’t manage to snag a MASTER Series room, know that this offers one of the best views in the house. Though small in size, it’s enough for you to swim laps in, though we’d rather spend the time lounging on the deck chairs or taking a dip in the outdoor jacuzzi. It opens 6am all the way to 12am, so you’re able to sneak in a nighttime swim too if you wish.
The Sky Gym, on the other hand, features very new and state-of-the-art equipment, which made my time in the space very welcome. You get everything from stationary bikes and treadmills to elliptical machines, pull-up bars, and punching bag columns along with boxing gloves — even mats, exercise balls and other equipment for various workouts. Also fun is their selection of on-demand virtual classes from the world’s leading instructors, which include dance, spin, aerobics, or other workout classes for you to follow along. I’ve never been one to hit the gym during a vacation, but this was one of the most impressive set-ups I had encountered; and it’s open 24 hours too.
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qĪn restaurant and bar
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or a fancy dinner, spend some time at the hotel’s resident all-day dining spot, QĪN. A dining concept by the TungLok Group and helmed by head chef Nixon Low, the Asian-inspired menu gives a modern twist to otherwise traditional dishes. Appetisers and starters include the Siphon Mushroom Tea ($58), which pairs seasonal mushrooms and egg custard, as well as a Thunderclap Roti Prata ($12), of black garlic cream and truffle eggs mimosa atop a crisp yet fluffy flatbread, which perfectly exemplify the East-West fusion.
For the feel of zi char in an upscale restaurant, go for the Canton Crisp ($38), which sees tender beef brisket, braised in pickled cream, poured over crispy vermicelli. My favourite of the day would have to be the Short Rib ($68) though — the smokey, meaty flavour of the 100% Angus Short Rib from Margaret River was brought out by grilling it over binchōtan, leaving the insides soft and juicy, gloriously pulling apart at a slight cut of the knife. And that’s after it’s been marinated with sambal matah as well, for that Southeast Asian twist. A spicy peanut espuma accompanies the dish as well for even more kick.
Breakfast is also served at QĪN, with sets ($36++) that include a breakfast platter of favourites, including crispy hash browns, grilled sausage, and roasted vine tomatoes. On the sweeter side of the menu, you can wake up to freshly-made pancakes paired with seasonal fruits, or opt for something more local such as comforting porridge that comes with braised peanuts, ikan bilis, century egg, dough fritters, and the works. All breakfast items are served with traditional kaya and butter toast, a seasonal fruit bowl, and free-flow coffee, tea, or juice, which just about rounds off a filling start to the day.
A mezzanine section of the space at QĪN is dedicated to the bar, where Chinese medical hall-inspired cabinets serve as a stunning backdrop to the cosy area. Drinks include classic cocktails such as a Mojito or Old Fashioned, or more inspired ones like The Roar ($25), which makes use of local gin distillery Brass Lion‘s Butterfly Pea Gin.
If it’s not obvious already, MASTER Series guests truly get all the extra perks and little touches that make a stay at The Clan Hotel an even more memorable experience — this time, it’s an in-room dining curated by food blogger Leslie Tay. Unlike typical menus though, the Clan Daily Special focuses on local hawker fare — the famous ones — available in the vicinity, such as Punggol Nasi Lemak, Ibrahim Satay Power, and Legendary Bak Kut Teh, all served warm in tingkat carriers right to your room.
Available 6pm to 8pm, it’s best to inform the staff beforehand of your selections. Prices start at $30 for a meal, which is a little steep considering it’s hawker food, but the convenience and joy of dining in our luxurious room did make up it. Our picks were the Janggut Laksa, served with king prawns, and Punggol Nasi Lemak’s famous staple, which includes a fried chicken drumstick, prawns, ikan kuning, otah, and the most fragrant coconut rice.
The hotel prides itself in providing one-of-a-kind experiences during your stay, with private cultural tours open to MASTER Series room guests and those who have booked the 3D2N The Clan Uncovers: Craft and Cook package, where you get to go on precinct or food tours, as well as crafting and cooking workshops.
My chosen experience was crafting a pair of handmade leather sandals at Shoe Artistry. At the workshop, the leather patterns and straps were already cut out and laid out in front of us when we arrived, as were the soles, so all we had to do was to pick your thread and hand-stitch the pieces together. This made for quite a therapeutic afternoon of quiet chatter and getting fully immersed into perfecting my pair of light brown sandals, which will take some time to look more seasoned.
The sandals-making workshop is a refreshing one that doesn’t require much prior experience for a nice pair of sandals that you get to bring home — and is a valuable heritage craft that complements the theme of The Clan Hotel, and their supporting of locally-based artisans. This commitment to homegrown craft, seen across the hotel’s many collaborators, is one that brings further meaning to our refreshing stay.
The Clan Hotel
Address: 10 Cross Street, Singapore 048417
For enquiries, call +65 6812 6967
The Clan Uncovers: Craft and Cook Experiential package, available for bookings from now till 25 Dec 2021.