Capitalizing on its location in the Telok Ayer / Amoy Street area, The Clan Hotel is a carefully branded new property by Far East Hospitality that pays homage to the numerous clan associations in the vicinity. Enshrouded in an air of mystique, The Clan Hotel is peppered with dark moody colors, staff uniforms that seem to take inspiration from exclusive clubs of yore as well as a strong tea culture unlike any other hotel in Singapore.
The Chinese word “自己人“ meaning “our own people” is firmly embedded into The Clan Hotel’s logo, showcasing their emphasis for community and a sense of belonging. Unlike the other Far East Hospitality property Amoy Hotel a few steps away, The Clan Hotel is no boutique property so the execution of this proposition does not seem as clear cut as first. With 324 rooms, the staff here looks after a relatively large “community of guests” they call their own and there’s extra effort placed in order to make folks feel treasured during a stay. For instance, the clanging of a gong marked my – as well as any other guests’ – arrival into the hotel. I thought it was a bit theatrical but it piqued my interest as I walked into the beguiling halls of the hotel.
Another rather theatrical element – the tea ceremony – has received rather positive responses from guests since the hotel opened. However, with recent measures, the tea ceremony has become a DIY affair that guests do in-room. The hardware is still there. Guests receive a rather picture-worthy tea set with tray. The tea – an oolong brew from Pryce which they call “Nanyang Ritual” – came with some Tau Sar Piah. This differs from another Pryce tea that one can find in the minibar called “The Ritual” which is a Tie Guan Yin with osmanthus blend. A couple of mainstream media that reviewed the hotel previously incorrectly described the Nanyang Ritual as the Tie Guan Yin tea instead.
The hotel has just 3 room categories. The base level room is the Deluxe while the other two are the Premier and Grand Premier. The latter two are classified under the hotel’s Master Series of rooms which have the following extra amenities:
- Customized in-room refreshments – guests can choose among 5 items – imported snacks and beverages plus the hotel’s own craft beer.
- Handmade soap selection
- The Clan Keeper service which includes a local precinct tour, pressing, etc
- The Clan Daily Special – an exclusive menu of local food available for in-room dining (chargeable). This perk was originally conceived for international guests.
The clan keeper can be thought of as a butler or personal assistant of sorts. One of their value-add is they hold these local precinct tours in the afternoons for guests staying in the Premier and Grand Premier rooms. I will cover more of that tour later. They can also be asked to perform pressing services (2 complimentary pieces per day), shoe shine services and to draw baths for the Grand Premier room guests.
Before my stay, I was handed a questionnaire with my choices of enhanced welcome amenities. This is a feature of the Master Series and I was able to select up to 5 from items like Pipers Crisp Co. potato chips, Luscombe sparkling juice and Simpkins candy.
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During this particular occasion, I stayed at the Premier Room. All of the rooms in this category are corner rooms which allow for expansive windows across two sides of the room. Do note that the hotel actually has two layouts of the Premier Room with slight differences. One layout has a narrower foyer with wardrobe and minibar but with slightly more panoramic windows while the second layout is more squarish with slightly narrower windows. Since the double sided window was a personal draw, I have to say I prefer the first layout – and that’s exactly the layout of the Premier Room I stayed in.
Even though the room was just of average size, the double-sided window really helped to create a sense of space. There were plenty of seating areas just below the bay windows – I counted no less than 3 spots and each one is long enough that you can rest your legs on them. There was also a working desk. Interestingly enough, the work chair was just a stool rather than a proper chair with back rest. My guess is that this was a deliberate decision to allow guests to appreciate the view from the windows with as little obstruction as possible.
The bedside table came with your usual charging outlets. There was also an Audio Pro bluetooth speaker on one of them which came with excellent sound. Coupled with the decent acoustics in the room, I probably toyed with the speakers more than the TV.
The TV was placed to the left of the bed but it can be made to turn to an angle so that one does not have to turn so much. I found the hotel’s own information center on the TV to be of much help as it actually showed some of the other benefits included with the Master Collection. This included a pillow menu as well as the dishes included with the Clan Daily Special in-room dining.
The minibar included complimentary tea and coffee from Nespresso. There were 4 capsules provided for the coffee maker but notably, they didn’t provide any decaffeinated ones. This is a slight departure from other hotels where at least 1 capsule is decaf.
The bathroom came with windows which is a plus. Even the shower stall came with a bit of natural light from the glazed windows and I like how the shower area had a rather spacious seating area.
A complete set of toiletries was provided which was great as I didn’t have to make a call to request for a shaving kit. As mentioned earlier, the Master Series rooms come with a bar of handmade soap as an extra amenity on top of the existing shower gels they already have available. The clan keeper basically lets you pick from three choices – the bars come with scents such as peppermint, lemongrass/eucalyptus and lavender. The bars were quite huge and I didn’t expect them to be used during the stay itself. They are seen more as souvenirs that one can consume at leisure at home.
The hotel notably doesn’t provide any bottled water as well and any water needed for consumption is drawn from the filtered tap.
Turndown service is also provided and roughly at about 6PM, a housekeeping staff member knocked on my room door and did some light cleaning of the room. Another tea set was provided at this time with a transparent pot and cups – a non-caffeinated tea that reminded me very much of chamomile.
During my stay at The Clan Hotel, I also got to check out the other rooms. The Deluxe Room is the hotel’s entry level room. The interiors are decked similarly as the Premier except that the window extends to just one side and the bathroom sink its actually located in the bedroom near the open wardrobe.
The bathroom then comprises of two distinct sections – one for the toilet and the other for the shower.
As of this writing, the hotel does not seem to make its Grand Premier rooms available for booking online. A quick check revealed that these rooms are offered to guests as an optional upgrade once they check in, subject to availability. This is the highest room category in The Clan Hotel and is also classified under the Master Series.
Similar to the Premier Room, the Grand Premier is also a corner room. The difference is that the room layout is slightly more squarish with a larger space running between the bed and the windows across both sides. The Grand Premier room also carries a darker shade overall, as against the beige color permeating the other room categories. Guests can also automatically control the curtains from the bedside switch – a feature which the other rooms categories do not possess.
Another difference with the Grand Premier is that it includes a bathtub and guests can ask the clan keeper to draw one’s bath as part of the benefits.
The Clan Hotel is 30 floors tall and a number of its facilities accentuate that fact. The fitness center is situated at the top floor, allowing for sweeping and panoramic views of the surrounding CBD as guests do their workouts.
The gym is relatively well-equipped. Aside from the usual cardio and weights equipment, there is also ample space to do high intensity interval training. On-demand virtual classes are likewise available on a large screen, allowing guests to mimic a real HIIT workout even when alone.
Next to the gym is the swimming pool which likewise has excellent views. It’s just of the right size and guests can swim their laps if they wish or just chill with a special someone. There is also a small jacuzzi just between the pool and the gym but it was closed at the time of my visit due to prevailing restrictions.
The hotel’s inhouse restaurant – Qin – is a tie-up with Tung Lok Group. The restaurant serves Chinese food but with a local twist. I dined there one evening and got a taste of some of the house specialties which I have covered here.
Qin is also where breakfast is served. Guests are allowed to choose one breakfast dish – with options ranging from pancakes to a full American breakfast set which they call “The Qin Breakfast.” Regardless of the dish chosen, guests also receive a fruit bowl and toast. I picked The Qin Breakfast which was quite a big plate with a mix of hash browns, sausages, beans and eggs. The portions were generous that I did not mind at all that the format was not an ala carte buffet.
Coffee lovers can also note the brand they serve during breakfast which is Lavazza – different from the in-room Nespresso.
The Clan Hotel is an example of a property that will appeal to travel starved Singaporeans. The rooms are plush and are up-to-date with latest trends in luxury hotels. Its unique branding – that of a modern interpretation of a clan association – also helps to differentiate it with cookie cutter luxury hotels. Extras such as local tours and enhanced welcome amenities add to the stay experience.
As for the room category to go for, I would still book the Premier Room the next time I stay at The Clan Hotel. It’s not really the Master Series amenities I’m after but rather the double-sided windows which are quite rare to find in a hotel room in Singapore. For an extra S$50 to S$70 per night over the Deluxe and coupled with those extra refreshments, I think it’s worth it if the layout matters to you.