Home-stay nods to Singapore life

MICHAEL FERRANTE gets comfy at KeSa House

There is a new name on Singapore’s accommodation scene that offers a “home away from home” experience.

KēSa House, in one of Singapore’s most culturally rich and vibrant precincts, opened for business in mid-April.

As the name suggests, the 60 rooms and common areas are designed “house-style”. And what better way to capture the heritage of its Chinatown neighbourhood than in elegantly refurbished shophouses built in the mid-1920s.

It’s what they call the flexible living concept, reflected in the various styles of rooms.

As I enter the front door I wonder if I’m in the right place — I’m in an open area cafe and lounge but with no sign of a traditional check-in counter, rather a table with a smiling young man who greets me.

That homely feel is down to the detail — shiny timber floorboards throughout, shelves with books and ornaments, pot plants, nice furnishings.

As I open the door to my Entertain room I am surprised at the size of the living area. Timber shutter doors open to a private terrace with cushioned chairs and tables, set in a lush garden, a lot like Singapore itself.

I enjoy the comfort and convenience the extra space affords for both relaxing and working. The generous bathroom with walk-in shower and king-size bed are what I expect from high-end accommodation and comes complete with complimentary wi-fi and device charging points.

There was some noise from the bar below but it was a Friday night stay after all; the amenity as a whole more than made up for any inconvenience.

And at a tick over $200 a night plus taxes during the promotion period (expires end of July), it is great value. After this the price goes to $240 plus extras.

There are other styles of rooms — big open-plan studio rooms with a lounge and kitchenette, loft-style rooms with skylights and more intimate Cosy rooms for those that don’t require a lot of space.

Even though I’m not usually enamoured with the thought of using common areas, I get to appreciate them here because I’m on my own on a work assignment, and the upstairs lounge comes in handy when I want a quiet place to chill and enjoy a coffee. It also has work stations and charging points.

It’s a few paces from the shared kitchenette, which comes with a Jara coffee machine and I get to enjoy being in “the house” the next morning sipping a cafe-quality espresso.

The Chinatown location is ideal too — next to food and drink outlets and cultural and historical attractions, and a few minutes’ walk to popular restaurant and night hotspot, Clarke Quay. It is also a short taxi or train ride to shopping hotspots such as Orchard Road and Marina Bay.

KēSa House has leased ground floor dining options as well, with discounts for guests.

Fact File

KēSa House, 55 Keong Saik Road, Chinatown, Singapore

Public transport:

Outram Park MRT (four-minute walk)

Chinatown MRT (seven-minute walk)

Bus stop at Jean Yip Building for the East West/Green Line (three-minute walk)

Phone +65 6958 1588 or email stay@kesahouse.sg. Rates: From S$180 ($189) per night plus taxes and charges

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Michael Ferrante was a guest of the Singapore Tourism Board. They have not seen or approved this story.