The Clan Hotel Singapore: Hotel Staycation Review
Tatler checks into Far East Hospitality's latest property under The Clan Hotel brand, which opened in March this year
With pandemic anxiety on the rise, especially with the recent spike in coronavirus cases, it is now more important than ever to take care of our mental well-being. For me, that usually means tuning out everything related to work and spending a day to relax and recharge with my partner. Due to the fact that our homes have also been our ‘offices’ for over the year, we decided to escape life’s hustle and bustle with a restful staycation at The Clan Hotel.
The beautiful property is strategically situated within the Far East Square heritage precinct and the Telok Ayer district and is surrounded by cultural and modern sites—perfect for business travellers (once borders reopen) and local guests who are looking to immerse in the local culture as well as enjoy the hotel’s modern amenities.
And that was what we did during the staycation—from exploring the cultural sites near the hotel, savouring a modern Asian feast in the hotel restaurant to learning all about brewing durian-infused beer.
Find out what went down at our overnight hotel experience.
The hotel has a sleek and modern look inside and out, but we appreciated the cultural touches not just in the design but in the service too. Upon arriving via the limousine transfer (available to those who booked the Grand Premier or Premier rooms, under the Masters Room category), the staff welcomed us with a literal bang by ringing a gong to signal our arrival. After checking in, we were also invited to partake in a mesmerising Chinese tea ceremony, where we were offered a cup of hot tea and a snack of tau sar piah at the end.
The property didn't spare any expense in beautifying the hotel by showcasing unique art pieces reminiscent of the location's past and working with The Clan Collective, a group of local craftsmen, artists and other figures who are known to be keepers of culture and heritage in Singapore, to add an extra touch. For example, the lobby is decorated with 150 painted aluminium panels hanging from the high ceiling; it was done by local artist Grace Tan to showcase the bond of the Chinese immigrants living within the vicinity in the 1800s.
Do Not Disturb
The 30-storey hotel has 324 rooms, divided into three room categories—Deluxe, Premier and Grand Premier. We stayed in the Premier room on level 24, which offered a tantalising view of the towering CBD buildings juxtaposed with charming shophouses. The spacious 32 sqm space is definitely made for relaxation with calming hues of black, grey and brown, as well as a king-sized bed fitted with soft-as-silk sheets. We could even request our desired pillows according to our preferred softness. Staying in the said room category meant we also had access to The Clan Keeper, our personal butler who was always readily available to cater to our needs—whether it was about booking slots for the hotel pool and jacuzzi, ordering in our breakfast or asking about the hotel gym.
Seasoned staycationers would know it is also worth taking advantage of the curated experiences offered by The Clan Hotel. That was what we did when we signed up for the brewery culture and tasting tour that was arranged in collaboration with local beer brand 1925 Brewing Co. The brewery is located in the far-flung area of Mandai Link, but transportation and everything else was already provided for by the hotel—the only thing we had to do was show up at the meeting point.
The tour was hosted by co-founder and master brewer E.K. Yeo, who patiently explained to us the process of brewing beer. But the best part of the session was, naturally, the beer tasting where we tried out a host of signature and special brews—including the popular and often sold out Musang King Beer infused with Mao Shan Wang fruit. Honestly, I am not a fan of the fruit, but I liked the durian-flavoured beer which I found light and easy to drink, especially with its delicate notes of durian and mango. Tasting beers always make us hungry, and we ended the afternoon tour with a delicious meal at 1925 Brewing Co's restaurant at Joo Chiat, helmed by co-owner and head chef Ivan Yeo. This is offered for an additional fee that you can arrange with the hotel.
Food and Drink
Located right smack in the Telok Ayer district, The Clan Hotel is surrounded by a wealth of dining establishments such as burger joint Carne by renowned chef Mauro Colagreco. But there was no reason to leave the comforts of the hotel when we could comfortably dine at Qin a modern Asian restaurant in partnership with Tunglok Group.
The kitchen is helmed by head chef Nixon Low, who whips up a smorgasbord of Chinese dishes with a modern twist. Served as a starter, the chilli crab is reimagined as a toast topped with avocado puree, pomelo sacs and a chilli crab jelly, while the popular chicken karaage is made more addictive with a generous coating of house-made curry sauce. After a satisfying meal, we were tempted to head over to the bar at the mezzanine area to wind down the afternoon with an easy cocktail like Mojito or Dry Martini.
Those looking for unique and memorable staycations may opt for The Clan Uncovers: Craft and Cook package, a thoughtfully curated itinerary that will make the most out of your stay. Your experience begins with a limousine transfer to the hotel, where you'll be able to stay at the beautifully designed Master Series Rooms for two nights. Daily breakfast and a special four-course meal will be catered for at Qin, and you and your partner will also be able to join an experiential activity of your preference.
Put your creative hat on and learn how to make sandals using sustainable vegetable-tanned leather and natural rubber soles at the Sandal-making Workshop by Shoe Artistry, or learn about the Hainan community and its food culture at the Discover Hainan by Let’s Go Tour. Available until December 25, 2021.