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Travel KēSa House: Hotel Staycation Review

KēSa House: Hotel Staycation Review

The distinctive blue exterior facade of KeSa House stands out amongst the row of shophouses
The distinctive blue exterior facade of KeSa House stands out amongst the row of shophouses
By Cheryl Lai-Lim
By Cheryl Lai-Lim
May 24, 2021
Tatler checks into KēSa House, an eclectic boutique hotel set in a tranquil heritage shophouse in Chinatown

Set in one of Singapore’s most dynamic enclaves, KēSa House is a boutique hotel that offers a getaway in the middle of the bustling and vibrant neighbourhood of Chinatown. The hotel is now part of Oakwood’s new concept, called The Unlimited Collection by Oakwood, which includes a line-up of other properties like Ann Siang House and Wanderlust

Given the close proximity between the hotel and Tatler's office (aka the Tatler House Singapore), I decided to embark on a “workcation” at KēSa House—otherwise known as the other WFH, that is “working from hotel”.

Bleisure trips may be on hold right now but the pandemic has resulted in new travel phenomenons, such as workcations and even vaxications. With KēSa House’s shophouse charm, it seemed like a great place to work remotely whilst enjoying a much-needed change of scenery. Here’s the lowdown on my experience.      

Related: Wanderlust: Hotel Staycation Review

First Impressions

The modern interior of the shophouse is housed within a historic exterior shell
The modern interior of the shophouse is housed within a historic exterior shell

Housed within the bustling stretch of heritage shophouses on Keong Saik Road, the turquoise and white facade of KēSa House is hard to miss. The structure has been carefully preserved to retain its rich history, with key elements such as the terracotta roof tiles and ornamental windows adding a dose of nostalgia. 

While the exterior reflects its historic past, the interior of the hotel exudes a contemporary chic ambience. The reception area, which provides a taste of what to expect from the rooms, features tasteful wood panelling paired with warm atmospheric lighting and sleek brass touches.

Green accents and light wood panelling create a chic and tasteful reception area
Teal accents and light wood panelling create a tasteful reception area
The contemporary lobby of KeSa House exudes an inviting atmosphere with its soft furnishings
The design of KeSa House's lobby exudes an inviting atmosphere

When I entered, the hotel provided a cool respite from the sweltering heat outside. I was immediately directed by the friendly receptionist to complete the mandatory SafeEntry and temperature checks, before being ushered to take a seat at the lobby to begin checking in. The entire process was went smoothly, and I was soon escorted to my room. 

Related: Here's Why Shophouses in Singapore Are in High Demand Right Now

Do Not Disturb

Luxurious and stylish, the deluxe room features two skylights that allows ample natural light to flood the space
The deluxe room features two skylights that allow ample natural light to flood the space

KēSa House embraces a flexible living concept, which allows guests to stay from between one night to months on end. With 60 guest rooms across three floors, the boutique hotel has a variety of room classifications that are designed for both short-term and long-term stays. 

I checked into the Deluxe room on the third and highest floor, and was pleasantly greeted by a cosy room flooded with generous natural light courtesy of two expansive skylight windows. The contemporary space exudes a warm and inviting ambiance, amplified by white oak furnishings and aquamarine accents.

The Deluxe room offers plenty of storage spaces that can hold various trinkets
The Deluxe room offers plenty of storage space for those on extended stays

Designed with ample spaces for storage, the room also comes well-stocked with bathroom amenities from Ashley & Co. The large desk in the room made for an excellent working space, especially for someone like me whose work table is often littered with piles of notes and papers (orderly, in my defence). A bonus: I was informed that the rooms have been given a refresh and are designed with to be virtually soundproof, which means you wouldn’t have to worry about outside noise disrupting your work or Zoom meetings. 

Related: 14 Furniture And Decor Pieces to Improve The Look of Your Home Office

The Extras

The cosy common lounge on the second floor of KeSa House is a communal area that you can work, lounge or hang out in
The cosy common lounge on the second floor of KeSa House is a communal area that you can work, relax, or hang out in

If you're itching for a change of scenery, the common lounge located on the second floor is another option to work from. The little alcoves within the elegantly furnished space offer a conducive workspace for you to type away. Once tightened measures are lifted and it’s safe to mingle and interact freely again, I can imagine the cosy lounge space as a cool place to work, hang out, and meet new people. 

Need a break? The hotel also offers a range of curated lifestyle experiences and workshops for guests. I took a go at making my own kombucha. Hosted by Adele Lau, founder of homegrown kombucha brand Le Vyr, the workshop was an eye-opening experience. I had never really given much thought to brewing my own kombucha as I had always thought that the process of brewing your own fermented tea would be an arduous task requiring much concentration and effort.

All the materials are provided for each workshop, so you can simply turn up and enjoy the experience
All the materials are provided for each workshop, so you can simply turn up and enjoy the experience
You'll be able to bring home two batches of kombucha alongside new kombucha knowledge after the kombucha workshop held by Le Vyr
You'll be able to bring home two batches of kombucha alongside new kombucha knowledge after the kombucha workshop held by Le Vyr

Needless to say, the workshop proved me wrong. Lau guided us throughout the entire brewing process and shared additional facts and tips. And yes, whilst concocting your very own kombucha did require some concentration, it was nowhere near the level of the physics masterclass I had thought it would be. At the end of the fruitful session, we each took home a jar of first-stage fermentation kombucha to continue brewing at home, and a second-stage fermentation kombucha that’d be ready to consume in a few days. 

If kombucha isn’t your thing, you can go for other experiences, such as a hands-on leathercraft workshop by Crafune or the educational heritage food trail tour by Singabites.

Food and Drink

Grilled king crab legs from Burnt Ends
Grilled king crab legs from Burnt Ends

This may come as a surprise but KēSa House doesn’t have its own F&B concepts. Nevertheless, being located in one of the buzziest neighbourhoods in Singapore means that there are plenty of gourmet restaurants and trendy bars around. Just a few steps away are noteworthy restaurants like Burnt Ends, Pasta Bar, Olivia Restaurant & Lounge, as well as Potato Head Singapore

Looking for a nightcap? Award-winning bars like The Old Man, The Guild and No Sleep Club are literally outside the hotel's door. If you want a taste of local hawker food, the hotel is also within walking distance to Maxwell Food Centre, where you’ll be able to savour a variety of delicious local fare.

Tatler Tip

The common terrace located in the boutique hotel allows one to soak in the sunshine and lush greenscape
The verdant common terrace allows one to soak in the sunshine

There's plenty to explore in the neighbourhood of Chinatown. Venture out of the hotel and soak in culturally rich sights like the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, the Chinatown Heritage Centre, the Sri Mariamman Temple, and the Singapore City Gallery. 

If you’re looking for an extended stay at KēSa House, the hotel offers common facilities like a well-equipped kitchen and an outdoor terrace area that offers a relaxing breather amidst lush greenery.

Related: Tatler Tours: Rebecca Eu Takes You Around Chinatown | The Best Food, Activities And Spots

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Travel Staycations Tatler Checks Into KeSa House oakwood hotel the unlimited collection by oakwood chinatown keong siak

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