On the day that I entered klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, Singapore was suffering in the grip The Haze – a yearly smog that descends due to fires in Indonesia, and renders all Singaporeans reliant on N95 filtration masks. The result was a sky grey as an old flannel, and a burnt tang at the back of my throat.
So to say klapsons was like an oasis of shine, colour and freshness isn’t too much of an exaggeration. But perhaps ‘oasis’ isn’t quite the right word. ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ might be more of a better description.
Boutique Me Up, Scotty
Entering klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, I almost felt like I was stepping into some Space-Age Disco lobby designed by The Jetsons, with significant input from Twiggy. It’s a glorious and jubilant temple to design, where sixties chic merges with contemporary pieces and more sci-fi influenced elements. The reception desk, for instance, is accessed via steps into a giant silver-chrome pod that seems to hover above a pool of shimmering water. It’s as if you’re boarding an intergalactic mothership – when you do speak, the acoustics make your voice resonate so it sounded a little like I’d been sucking in helium (which I found extremely funny, and therefore talked twice as much as I usually would to the lovely and patient Tony).
The seating in the lobby alternates between squishy couches and trendy, stylish chairs – everything is a balance of aesthetic beauty and ergonomic comfort, and it’s very obvious a lot of thought has gone into the decor. This feeling of care and attention seeps from the whole hotel, and imbues visitors with a sensation that they are somewhere safe – a haven where every need will be met with competent, smooth assurance. I put down my bag, sunk into a sofa, and immediately forgot the somewhat grim world outside.
Oh, and another thing – it pays to look up at klapsons. The ceiling overhead is a multitude of curves and holes and flowing lines that, periodically, change colour with neon ambient lighting. It’s entirely restful and a little hypnotic, and I’m not surprised so many people feel lulled into a sense of soporific security upon arrival. Award for coolest lobby I’ve ever waited in? I think so.
Staying In A Room Like No Other
The dedication to providing a unique experience at klapsons is perfectly encapsulated in each of the 17 rooms, since no two are the same. Each have individual design quirks that ensure your stay is different from every other person sleeping in the hotel – more of that lovely attention to detail, you see. I was staying in the klapons Suite – glamorous, chic and ideal for couples wanting a romantic break. Seriously, the hustle and bustle of Singapore seem miles away as you indulge in ultimate relaxation in the indoor jacuzzi bathtub, or enjoy a drink on a private balcony.
After the sensory colour-bomb of the lobby, the Suite is remarkably tranquil. The walls are pale and soothing, and a large white bed takes centre stage, with a crushed raspberry throw adding a pop of vibrancy. More elements of stunning design are dotted about, from the cool lighting to the curved chairs in the lounge area (all premium Italian furnishings, FYI). It’s all very simple and effective.
Dividing glass doors make great use of space; the plateau-inspired stone sinks are the kind everyone wants in their own bathroom; and there are interesting cubes of artwork on the wall. One big draw is the freestanding jacuzzi, standing proudly in front of the balcony so you can look at the city while soaking in the tub. It is the perfect escape, and trust me when I say it provides a thoroughly restful nights sleep.
Waking Up To A Sleeping Rhino
Breakfast is taken in the little restaurant downstairs, quirkily named The Sleeping Rhino. The klapsons signature luminous lightning and nods to design are continued in this room, and one can sit at individual tables or very cosy booths (I did the latter). One wall is completely glass, so you can watch other Singaporeans hurrying to work while you enjoy the fare on offer – a buffet in the centre has fruit and cereals, and a menu has more than a few tempting treats. Crab cakes with hollandaise were especially exciting, but I couldn’t not have the Croque Monsieur – it was everything it should be (creamy, salty, melted golden cheese seeping from butter-soaked bread. So, so good). The pancakes with maple syrup and bacon were also an extravagance that seemed acceptable since I was on holiday. Bravo, klapsons – you know that the people want.
To call yourself a boutique hotel, it’s pretty essential to display a flair for design – which klapsons pulls off with aplomb. Stepping inside feels like you’re entering a museum of contemporary art, and prepare to spend a decent amount of time wandering around with an open-mouth, peeking at all the stunning and unique pieces. Not only does this flood visitors with appreciative awe, but it also means you forget the rush of the world outside as you move sedately from wall to wall – and this is a very clever way of instantly relaxing anyone who’s just arrived. In fact, klapsons The Boutique Hotel manages to achieve what a lot of hotels aim for – that careful balance whereby they both invigorate and soothe their visitors. A stay here will calm your soul, inspire your imagination, and leave you energised for what is next to come – and this is exactly what a boutique hotel should be designed to do.