** Is it time for small space jokes yet?
Kesa has been on my radar since the last few months because it is such a unique property, plus in an area where I’ve been hanging out more frequently for food and hair. Having a night here will allow me to explore the neighbourhood without having to rush elsewhere or worry about parking. After shuffling some of my other stays around due to the recently (re)implemented Phase 2 Heightened Alert Phase where no dine-in is allowed, I found a cool rate on Trip.com and figured there’ll be minimal impact to the stay experience since it does not offer any F&B.
Address – 55 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089158. Website.
Contact – Tel: +65 69581588. Email: email@example.com.
Price – $98nett for 1-night stay booked via Trip.com which to me is a fantastic way (and excuse) to give this quaint property a shot. I believe the regular price is $150-ish which I find it slightly overpriced given that there is no inclusions.
Location – Smack in the middle of all these Keong Saik happenings with easy access to plenty of food and drinks, both cheap or fancy whichever you prefer. It is also a 10mins stroll to Chinatown Complex where plenty of local calories await. The property is unsheltered to elsewhere though so if it rains, too bad.
Pre-arrival – no pre-arrival email but I did reach out prior to ask for early check in and late check out and was informed that they can accord 1:30pm for check in but I am welcome to go earlier and leave my barang with them if the room is not ready. Fair enough.
Getting there – I was dropped off at the property itself but as many would have guessed, there is no complimentary parking for in-house guests as the only available parking are the roadside lots along Keong Saik Road. So while getting a lot on weekday is a non issue during P2HA, you may be better off just grabbing there.
Check In – I arrived at slightly past 12nn on a weekday and was warmly welcomed by Siti who invited me to be seated while she process my check in – this was such a nice touch which is absent in most properties I’ve been to. 10mins later, I was handed my keys and off I go.
Meanwhile, the lobby is a really nice place to wait in! The cosy space is tastefully done up in hues of their signature olive green (happy to be corrected if anyone knows what exactly this color is) and has a fancy living room vibe where chilling on one of the comfy seats are perfectly acceptable. The scent is a dream too!
Room – my standard room, 305, was located on level 3, the highest level of this property.
At 13SqM, you see everything in one glance and I’m impressed that the clever design even allowed a queen size Simmons bed. Everything else in the compact room is made up of clever designs which makes every corner fully functional and adequate for a short stay. You also need to know that this room type does not come with a proper window which could bother some.
The bed is set up facing your non-smart TV and pretty much the most comfy spot in the room you can do your TV chilling on. Simmons quality also meant I got quite a good sleep that night. You also have the lighting controls on the wall side of the bed which allows varying gradients of your lights which I liked instead of only being able to switch them on and off.
Along this same side is a a rather perplexing structural which is like a low rectangular window looking out to a ledge – this is curtained off to prevent any accidental see-throughs.
On the other side of the bed are your cupboards, shelves (including a make up mirror), ironing board, incorporating an open concept hanging rack for your clothes. Your mini bar is also here: an empty fridge, a kettle, 2 glass bottles and 2 cups. You can fill the bottles with still or sparkling Nordaq water on the level 2 Kitchen (more on this later) as and when needed – maybe I suaku but this is the first time I see sparkling water on tap and I really like being able to guzzle those carbonation as much as I like.
Neatly laid out in one corner is your in-room phone, tissue box, and a pull up platform which doubles up as a work desk or dining table. This space comes with powerpoints, as well as a clock.
Lastly, I really appreciate being on level 3 as I get to have this “extra” ceiling space which helps to mitigate the small-space stuffiness. Sorry for the bad pic but I couldn’t find a better angle to capture what I’m trying say.
And of course, the bathroom! Compact as expected but everything is clean and spotless which matters more to me – and it looking fancy is a plus too. The single sink area comprise of a tiny ledge for limited stuff, alongside a small stash of toiletries. Immediately behind this is your non-bidet toilet with neatly folded bath towels above it . The shower space is right besides separated by sliding doors which do not fully close (yes, they do come with a sign that explicitly says this least you think that it is faulty), with a rainshower option (yays!).
Those Ashley & Co toiletries are sadly missing but the Imperial Barber Grade Products were doable – EXCEPT thereafter I found out that its a men’s grooming thingy. I hope I smell masculine enough now.
The most obvious drawback of staying in such a property is the poor soundproofing. I mean, I couldn’t hear the streets but I could very well hear the 2 rooms of guests opposite having the time of their lives from 7+pm onwards til midnight-ish chatting at deafening volume, then crossing to each other’s rooms causing slamming and persistent knocking booms well into the night.
Their care kit comprise 2x individually packed masks and sanitizing wipes.
Facilities – being a Boutique property, there is no gym nor pool but the following were thoughtful touches nonetheless which are in line with it communal theme.
Level 2: you’ll find the Kesa Kitchen, Kesa Lounge, and Kesa Terrace here. The Kitchen is where you’ll find communal cooking facilities, fridge, microwave, as well as a coffee machine which are sadly closed due to COVID-19 regulations. The only working thingy here is your water dispenser where you get to have your fill of still or sparkling water on tap.
The Lounge is a common living area which is also closed off due to existing regulations.
The Terrace is an outdoor space which sounds…….very hot. Closed during my stay but you may refer to Secret Life Of Fat Backs’ post on how it looks like.
Level 3: the Launderette is located at one corner of the level where you’ll find 2 laundry machines as well as a sitting area to stone in while you wait. Washing powder is also provided.
Lastly, the no dine-in ban during my stay and lack of F&B inclusions did not bother me as there is The Guild set within the property. Otherwise, there is a plant-based health food thingy Afterglow, Yanti Nasi Padang for expensive Malay fare, Kok Sen Restaurant for zichar, Tong Ah Eating House for traditional kopi, eggs & toast, and further down at one corner is a coffee shop comprising Soon Heng Pork Noodles for soupy bak chor mee, 步步糕升 peanut pancake (mee jiang kueh), and Hwa Heng Kei 華兴记 for herbal duck and roasted meats (sio bak!). For familiar traditional ang moh stuff, Shake Shack is 5mins walk away. For a more intense money burning experience, Burnt Ends is across the road along Teck Lim Road.
Service – I was pleasantly surprised by the warm and genuine service from Siti – not that I don’t get great service from other bigger properties sometimes but there is something about the intimate setting of Kesa House which means it easier for the staff to come across as your friend instead of just another hospitality face.
Check Out – Seamlessly done at 1pm on a weekday and it was quiet enough for Siti to be able to have a little chit chat about the property before my ride came.
a fun, and by far my cheapest, staycay to add color to my weekday. I would only caution against actually having 2pax in a standard room as there is zero space for any privacy of sorts. But definitely worth a stay especially for solo peeps!
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