Singapore

Stay at The Clan, a 5-star hotel in Singapore in the heart of Chinatown

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The Clan in Singapore is a luxury hotel in the heart of the CBD and Chinatown.photo/supplied

reach there: It’s about a 20 minute drive from Changi Airport, mostly through trains, where customs exit is very fast and you have to check to see if you’ve cleared. The hotel (full name The Clan Hotel Singapore, part of the Far East Hospitality group) will arrange for you to be picked up in a limousine, even a collection of Rolls-Royces, if you wish, for a fee. We were glad we changed to a taxi.

Place: Cross St, one of the oldest streets in the city, is located between the CBD and Chinatown. It was a meeting place for Chinese immigrants and clans (think iwi, think hapū) and formed associations for kinship and comfort. The ethos of this 2021 hotel is a contemporary hospitality inspired by earlier associations, offering curated experiences and personalized service.

style: The Clan’s marketing describes it as aimed at the “experience-oriented traveller”, and if a boutique can exceed 30 floors, it is a “modern boutique-style” hotel.

first impression: No fancy gold and glass entrance, more like a freight elevator with a concierge desk on the side. We were greeted and our luggage was gone. The “elevator” doors slide open, leading to a small, dimly lit lobby with actual elevator doors.

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Check-in at The Clan Hotel in Singapore requires a welcome tea ceremony.photo/supplied
Check-in at The Clan Hotel in Singapore requires a welcome tea ceremony.photo/supplied

Check-in experience: Our black and brown lift leads to the double height reception area with a wall of floor to ceiling windows where you can confirm dietary preferences and check in smoothly. We were then invited over a towering screen to a welcome tea ceremony. We were also assigned a personal Clan Keeper who would answer all questions, organize guided neighborhood walks if we wanted, ironing, shoe shining, anything we wanted.

Room: We are in a Superior Premier room on the 27th floor. There are 324 rooms in total: deluxe, prestige and super prestige. The rooms may be more compact than the standard rooms in many countries, but everything we needed was there. This hotel is mainly for business travellers, not much storage space. There is a queen-size bed, large bedside tables and a well-appointed desk. The sofa on the other side is narrow and not intended for lounging, but a wonderful dizzying perch. The Grand Premier rooms are all around the corner, with knee-high windows and Chinatown just below, a row of 1840’s shophouses. The 55-inch wall-mounted Smart TV is adjustable, and the drapes and blackout drapes can be operated with the touch of a button. There are many types of pillows, including my first experience with body pillows that don’t roll over and elbow your ribs but fall off the bed. There is a Nespresso coffee machine and regular tea bags, as well as cloth oolong tea bags, cups and a heavy teapot for guests to enjoy a DIY tea ceremony. We’ve been able to pre-select five types of soft drinks or snacks and they’re waiting for us in a basket.

The rooms at The Clan in Singapore are compact but have everything you need.photo/supplied
The rooms at The Clan in Singapore are compact but have everything you need.photo/supplied

bathroom: Our room had stone walls and floors, a bathtub, a wooden tray with a book tray, a cup holder and a large bar of fragrant handmade soap, and fixtures for a milk and oil bath or bubble bath. There’s also a phone protector that’s really just a super strong ziplock bag, you’ll never know you need your phone until your phone slips under the foam. The sky view from the bathroom can be covered with curtains. The large shower with Vuudh toiletries has a deep bench and regular shower head. The star, however, is The Waterlet, a stand-alone control unit that combines a toilet and bidet, and a heated seat, so glorious, it wasn’t just recently heated by another man’s lower body, but by the power of the Waterlet Baked forever.

The bathroom at The Clan Hotel in Singapore features a book tray, cup holder and city views.photo/supplied
The bathroom at The Clan Hotel in Singapore features a book tray, cup holder and city views.photo/supplied

facility: The Sky Gym on the 30th floor features modern equipment, on-demand fitness personal training and Wing Chun dummies for practicing Kung Fu. 30 also has the infinity pool which is a great way to wake up in the morning as it is naturally heated. It has semi-submerged loungers and an adjacent spa pool. There are showers and changing rooms for early or late check-ins. The Mahjong Room is a business meeting space for seminars or conferences. Wifi is free.

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The Clan Singapore's naturally heated infinity pool features semi-submerged loungers and an adjoining spa pool.photo/supplied
The Clan Singapore’s naturally heated infinity pool features semi-submerged loungers and an adjoining spa pool.photo/supplied

diet: Lots of tea. The bar is located on the mezzanine floor of Restaurant Qin and is open all day from early morning. There are no hard copy menus. You can scan the QR code on your own device or view the server’s tablet. Breakfast is a buffet and caters for many races. Seeing a big pot of blue coconut rice was a first for me. The lovely color comes from dried butterfly pea flowers.

noise: not any.

Nearby: Across the road is trendy Amoy Street, packed with cramped shophouse restaurants and bars. At the end of the road is Lau Pa Sat, a restored Victorian hawker center full of food stalls. Also nearby is Ann Siang Hill, a beautiful green enclave of gardens and restored shophouses. There are two subway stations within a five minute walk. This is Singapore – everything is on your doorstep.

Suitable: Business travelers, couples or solo travelers.

Sustainability: Filtered taps in bathrooms eliminate the need for plastic or glass water bottles. The hotel has the SG Clean quality mark, a national guarantee of commitment and measures to maintain good hygiene practices.

Accessibility: The entrance, lift, reception and car park are wheelchair accessible. Accessible rooms are available.

touch: theclanhotel.com.sg website

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