WHAT’S IT LIKE? You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking you had walked straight into the Starship Enterprise or a trendy club. Not many hotels ensconce their check-in counter in a five-metre stainless steel orb, park a seductive Moraine sofa by Zaha Hadid in their lobby or add dimension to their ceilings with organic-shaped blobs.
The name klapsons is derived from the owning family’s initials – KL (father), Lionel (son), Adrian (son) and Peggy (mother) plus “sons”, according to Adrian Lee, director of investments, Jit Sun Investments, which owns the hotel. It joins Singapore’s rapidly growing portfolio of boutique hotels.
WHERE IS IT? The hotel and its adjoining office tower both straddle Hoe Chiang Road and Lim Teck Kim Road, which are off the main thoroughfare Tanjong Pagar. My cab drivers never had a problem finding it, even late at night.
I had worked close to this neighbourhood, near Chinatown and the Singapore Port, in the early 1990s and found it always brimming with local colour. klapsons, though, is located in a quieter area.
The Tanjong Pagar MRT station and a big NTUC supermarket are within walking distance, but do remember that during Singapore’s more humid months it’s easy to work up a sweat even on a short stroll.
ROOM FACILITIES This is a non-smoking hotel, so lighting up anywhere on the premises is a strict no-no. All rooms feature free wifi internet access, 37-inch flatscreen TVs with cable programming, king or twin beds, free minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, personal safe, cordless phone, daily newspapers, Sealy mattress with goose-feather pillows, electronically controlled window shades and Molton Brown bath amenities. The room types above The Executive come with full breakfast, free dry cleaning or pressing of two pieces upon one’s arrival and balconies or outdoor Jacuzzis.
My particular executive unit boasted an unusual separate shower stall – and I mean physically set apart – and washroom, with the shower facility framed by a cube-like structure in vivid red, next to the bed, which I never really got comfortable with. But it’s always good to try something out of the ordinary. The ceilings were high, which created a welcome sense of breathing space.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Lucas, named after the grandson/nephew of the owners and located on the ground floor, combines a contemporary European grill, alfresco area and Champagne Lounge. With a packed schedule, I managed only to have breakfast (7am-10.30am Monday to Saturday and 7am-11am on Sunday) in the main dining room. Those wanting a quiet meeting for lunch (12pm-2.30pm, Monday to Saturday) or dinner (6.30pm-11, Monday to Saturday) will appreciate the subdued ambiance.
However, fabrika, which was launched in time for the recent festive period, exudes a more pulsating vibe and has a clear view of Sentosa island and Singapore port. On the 17th floor of the adjacent office tower, the alfresco pavilion offers signature bites include the Chivas-infused beef sirloin skewers and turmeric-marinated chicken wings. Opening hours are 5pm-12am, Monday to Thursday; 5pm-1am, Friday and eve of public holidays; and from 8pm-1am, Saturday.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES These are located in the office tower and are reached by a separate lift. The Concerto Room on level 18 can accommodate up to 250 people, while The Symphony is a raw duplex space consisting of a mezzanine area on level 29 and main event area on level 28; together they can take up to 400 people. All come with panoramic views of Singapore’s bustling port. A third function option is being renovated and will be relaunched within the year.
The staff of klapsons can help out with any clerical or secretarial requests.
Free wifi is offered in the lobby, Lucas and the Champagne Lounge; just ask reception for the password.
LEISURE FACILITIES Unfortunately, no fitness centre or swimming pool is available, so those who need a daily workout might want to think about climbing the stairs.
Margie T Logarta
HOW MANY ROOMS? There are only 17 guestrooms, in six categories: The Executive (eight units), The Cosmo (three), The Oasis (two), and The Oasis Suite, klapsons Suite and klapsons Premium Suite (one each).
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS No two rooms are alike, so repeat visits – unless, of course, you request the same room – mean new experiences. Also, the complimentary internet access, no matter what room type, is a definite plus.
PRICE The online rate for a midweek stay in March in The Executive starts from S$270 (US$209).
CONTACT klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, 15 Hoe Chiang Road, Singapore 089316; tel 65 6521 9000; www.klapsons.com
This hotel is not for everyone, appealing more to those who are drawn to cutting-edge interiors. Some out-of-the-box design features such as shower stalls in the shape of a red cube or glass cylinder, standing by the bed; they might put off those who put a premium on comfort. We appreciated the free, quick-to-access wifi service, though.